Associated to the European Union (EU), the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) comprise 25 islands, which have special links with Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, located in the Caribbean Sea, and the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans.
Twenty-two (22) OCTs, of which 21 inhabited, are members of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA). One of the aim of OCTA is to contribute to the sustainable development of the OCTs, namely through innovation, competitiveness, and green growth.
OCTA recognised the critical need to spur innovation among key stakeholders (enterprises, education institutes, and public institutions). With the support of the European Commission (EC), OCTA initiated a dedicated project, “Territorial strategies for innovation” (OCTA Innovation project), which provides technical and demand-driven services to the governments of the OCT.
The TSI project aims to meet the challenge “Innovation for sustainable islands’ growth”. For that purpose, the European Commission has allocated an overall budget of € 5 million, for technical assistance and implementation of pilot projects in the OCTs. The project focuses namely on the following OCTs: Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Falkland Islands, French Polynesia, Greenland, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Saba, Saint Helena Ascension Tristan da Cunha Islands, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, Wallis and Futuna. The technical assistance contract was awarded to the consortium Eurecna (Venice, Italy) and Egis (France) for a four-year period (April 2014 – March 2018). A team of experts (a core team based in Brussels and a number of short-term experts) is supporting the OCT governments, both from Brussels and in the OCTs, in order to:
- Establish an innovation strategy for each OCT;
- Establish action plans for implementing the strategy and then to carry them out;
- Create training tools to raise the awareness of innovation;
- Facilitate an innovation network through a digital platform and training sessions;
- Develop regional cooperation.
Objectives of Grant Application and Priority Issues
The global objective of this application is to enhance sustainable development through innovative solutions for economic diversification and to improve regional and global competitiveness of the OCTs.
The specific objectives of this grant application are:
- To support the reinforcement of OCTs capacities on innovation and related strategy setting, and to encourage regional and sectoral cooperation when appropriate ;
- To develop a shared approach and enhance the links between the main stakeholders (i.e. private sector, research, education and public authorities) on strategic objectives for supporting innovation in OCTs;
- To create the appropriate framework and tools for supporting OCTs in the implementation of their strategies for innovation.
Good governance is a major crosscutting issue that will be taken into account through the consensus building and the involvement of all stakeholders. Policy-makers constitute a key element of the project and guarantee that the approach of the innovation strategies in the OCTs will have a democratic dimension. A more technical issue related to governance regards the lack or unreliability of statistical data and information which will be taken into consideration.
Grant documents in French.
Grant documents in English.
programme européen appel à projet Commission européenne