Innovating and surpassing challenges – Forum of the EU’s Outermost Regions

Innovating and surpassing challenges – Forum of the EU’s Outermost Regions

A forum takes place in Brussels, March 30-31, to consider a renewed European Union Strategy towards the EU’s Outermost Regions. There are nine Outermost Regions: Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Réunion, Martinique, Mayotte and Saint-Martin (France), the Azores and Madeira (Portugal) and the Canary Islands (Spain).

Existing EU measures under the Regional Policy, the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy, assist the nine in surpassing their unique challenges. Insularity, remoteness, topography, climate and the dependency on a limited number of economic sectors are issues that the Outermost Regions share with the European Union’s Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

However, the unique geographic and geological characteristics of the Outermost Regions are spurring research and innovation in the areas of renewable energies, pharmacology, space science, biodiversity and marine ecosystems. The forum will look at measures to make the most of the regions’ potential within a renewed strategy.

The Presidents of the Outermost Regions of the European Union are expected to attend the event, along with President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Crețu, French Minister of Overseas, Ericka Bareigts, Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs, Margarida Marques and Spanish Secretary of State for European Affairs, Jorge Toldeo Albiñana.

agriculture @fr actualités science, recherche et innovation énergie renouvelable Commission européenne économie bleue économie verte OCT tourisme news @fr Brussels events
L’émergence de l’innovation en Nouvelle Calédonie

L’émergence de l’innovation en Nouvelle Calédonie



En effet, ce projet « Stratégies territoriales d’innovation » a été porté par la Nouvelle Calédonie en 2007-2008 dans le contexte de la programmation du 10ième FED ; pour la première fois, la Commission européenne nous donnait l’opportunité de monter un projet qui devait couvrir l’ensemble des PTOM associés à l’UE. Dans ce contexte, la Nouvelle Calédonie a proposé de monter un projet sur l’innovation.

Pourquoi l’innovation ? C’était le résultat de démarches et de réflexions déjà engagées en Nouvelle Calédonie sur les outils et dispositifs en place non seulement au niveau national mais aussi au niveau européen. Au niveau national, il s’agissait des différentes stratégies de recherche-innovation dans les domaines présents en outre-mer. Au niveau européen cela concernait les stratégies régionales à l’innovation, développées dans le contexte de la programmation des fonds structurels en faveur des régions de l’UE. On s’est largement inspiré de ce processus en place dans les régions de l’UE pour monter ce projet, et le proposer aux autres PTOM ; très rapidement on a reçu l’approbation des autres territoires pour monter ce projet, ainsi que celui de la Commission européenne, en tant que bailleur, financeur du projet thématique.

Le processus de programmation a pris quelques années et en parallèle du montage du projet sur le plan administratif et financier, on a continué au niveau politique de souligner lors de chaque opportunité de dialogue, l’importance de l’innovation et du renforcement de la compétitivité dans les PTOM. On peut notamment mentionner la position commune entre les PTOM et les Etats membres sur le futur du partenariat entre l’UE et les PTOM, adopté ici même à Nouméa en février 2011 dans laquelle l’accent a été mis sur le besoin du soutien de l’UE pour renforcer la compétitivité des PTOM. On peut également mentionner d’autres opportunités notamment les Conférences ministérielles et le forum de dialogue UE-PTOM au cours desquels des tables rondes thématiques ont pu être réalisées sur le sujet de l’innovation. Toujours en parallèle de ce processus de programmation, on a aussi été associé et participé activement aux différentes initiatives de séminaires européens organisés sur l’innovation, à Séville ou à Grenade en 2010.

Tout ce processus a pris quelque années mais on est très content que le projet ait pu démarrer en 2014 et satisfait de voir aujourd’hui la réalisation de ce séminaire, qui fait partie des activités prévues dans le projet suite au séminaire de lancement organisé à Bruxelles l’an dernier. Deux séminaires régionaux étaient prévus et la Nouvelle Calédonie était bien entendu très demandeuse de pouvoir organiser le séminaire régional Pacifique dans la mesure où elle avait porté un intérêt particulier pour ce projet dès le démarrage.

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OCT-EU Forum: Joint Declaration Signed

OCT-EU Forum: Joint Declaration Signed

European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and President of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association and Prime Minister of Curaçao, Dr. Ben Whiteman on, 26 February signed a Joint Declaration on reinforced cooperation in the field of sustainable energy, on behalf of the European Union and the twenty two Overseas Countries and Territories in Brussels. The signature took place in the margins of the 14th annual EU–Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) Forum in Brussels.

The signature represents a significant political gesture, signalling the importance assigned to sustainable energy by both Overseas Countries and Territories and the EU.

EU Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean, OECS, CARICOM and CARIFORUM, Mikael Barfod said: “The Joint Declaration represents an important step in our cooperation in sustainable energy in the Caribbean. Its signature strengthens the links between energy policy commitments of Overseas Countries and Territories and the support that could be provided by the Union in the context of the Overseas Association Decision and the resources available via the 11th European Development Funds”.

During the 14th OCT-EU Forum discussions focused on two major topics of mutual interest: the new global agreement on climate change reached in Paris on the 12th of December 2015, and the OCTs’ response efforts; as well as growth and investment opportunities in OCTs, which sits at the heart of OCTs’ sustainable development.

The EU has already agreed to allocate EUR 40 million to finance sustainable energy and marine biodiversity projects in Caribbean OCTs.

The OCT-EU Forum represents the highest levels of political dialogue between the European Commission, Overseas Countries and Territories and EU Member States to which OCTs are linked. It was attended by the Premiers and Chief Ministers of the 22 OCTs; representatives of France, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, together with members of the European Parliament, representatives from the Outermost regions and the ACP Secretariat.

The participants held in-depth dialogue on topics of mutual interest and underlined their special relationship, their belonging to the same European family and common objectives, values and principles.

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Neven Mimica speech at the 14th EU-OCT Forum, Brussels, 26 February 2016

Neven Mimica speech at the 14th EU-OCT Forum, Brussels, 26 February 2016


Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

After enjoying the wonderful hospitality of the British Virgin Islands last year, it is indeed an honour to welcome you today here in Brussels for the annual Forum of the Overseas Countries and Territories and the European Union.

What a year this has been.

2015 – designated as European Year for Development – saw the adoption of a new global Agenda for Sustainable Development and of a landmark agreement to combat climate change. It was also a year during which the OCT-EU partnership grew even stronger, with our commitment to shared, operational objectives demonstrated more clearly than ever in the conclusions of this Forum and in initiatives such as the Joint Declaration we will be signing later today.

It has been a pleasure working with the outgoing Chair of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association, Premier Dr Ben Whiteman. I thank you for your dedicated work and excellent cooperation.

I would also like to congratulate the incoming Chair, Premier “Mike” Godfried Eman, on his nomination, and I look forward to establishing equally strong relations over the coming year.

I also welcome the Vice-President of the Development Committee of the European Parliament, Mr. Maurice Ponga, who tirelessly champions OCT interests for many years now, and I know that the topics that will be discussed today are very dear to him. I also extend my welcome to the Secretary-General of the ACP Secretariat, Dr Patrick Gomes.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2015 was a crucial year of international development. But it was by no means an easy one. It will be remembered also for unprecedented challenges in conflict, disease, and migration, calling for greater mobilisation of the international community on all fronts.

We will all be marked by the large-scale flow of refugees into Europe. I am proud that the European Commission played an integral role in mobilising the political and financing means to deal with the first stages of these movements. But we cannot be complacent. This complex phenomenon will require the continued engagement of the EU and its partners over the coming years.

I am hopeful that we will succeed in addressing this, and other pressing challenges of our time. The landmark agreements of last year show that the international community can indeed unite decisively when this is needed.

The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and its comprehensive list of Sustainable Development Goals is an achievement of unprecedented scale. Building on the agreement reached on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda in July, it projects a broader and more inclusive approach to development.

The conclusion of the climate change negotiations in Paris, and the adoption of an ambitious and binding agreement to limit global warming has also been a historic success. It is the first purely multilateral agreement on climate change, covering 195 countries and 98.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU has played a crucial role in shaping these two initiatives, which together set the course for international cooperation and development up to 2030.

The true test now is implementation.

We – the EU, its Member States and you, the overseas countries and territories – all have to put in place the policies and tools necessary to achieve the objectives to which we have collectively committed.

Implementation is a top priority for the Commission and for me personally for the months ahead. It should be guided by the spirit of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which emphasises that the means of implementation include not only financing, but also the enabling policy frameworks, which are often neglected. For the EU, this means making additional efforts to ensure consistency between the internal and external dimensions of our policies. Policy coherence will be an essential element for the success of the 2030 Agenda.

Therefore, I was delighted with the themes proposed for the two roundtables today:

The new global agreement on climate change, focusing on the OCTs’ response efforts, and

Growth and investment opportunities in OCTs.

Both topics are particularly relevant to our continued partnership, and I hope today’s discussions will be frank and fruitful, leading to concrete conclusions for follow-up.

Many of you were present at COP21 – culminating in the global target to limit temperature increases to less than 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, and aiming at limiting the increase to 1.5°C. Meeting this target is of vital important for the planet as a whole; but for many of the OCTs in particular, it is truly a question of survival.

As I said before, the EU is fully committed to maintain the international momentum in order to ensure the full and timely implementation of the Paris Agreement. We stand ready to support you in your efforts to ensure that the particular needs of OCTs are adequately addressed. And I hope that today’s reflection will help translate our shared vision into practice.

It is particularly opportune that these discussions take place today, in order to feed into our thematic and regional programmes. These programmes have seen substantial increases in financing under the 11th European Development Fund. This is precisely because we recognize the common elements in the climate-related challenges that OCTs face, and the need to search for common solutions.

I know there has been considerable discussion on the precise use of these resources in the build-up to yesterday’s ministerial meeting, and I am confident that these financial allocations will prove a sound investment.

The signature of the Joint Declaration on Sustainable Energy will also send a strong positive signal in this direction.

The theme of the second roundtable of today is just as pertinent, addressing growth and investment in the OCTs. Boosting growth, jobs and investment sits at the heart of this Commission’s vision for sustainable development in Europe and beyond. As part of our Investment Plan, the European Fund for Strategic Investments aims to generate investments of up to EUR 315 billion. It has already triggered an estimated €50 billion of investment by the end of 2015 – and it is open to OCTs.

This is also one of the areas on which I’m determined to put more focus when designing the next steps of EU development cooperation. To achieve such a far-reaching set of Sustainable Development Goals, it is evident that we need to look beyond traditional development assistance. We need to use aid more catalytically and – crucially – unlock the huge potential of private sector engagement.

It seems to me therefore that two interesting areas of focus for this afternoon’s discussion can be highlighted. Firstly, the role of private investment in growth, and how public investments cab best support this.

Our experience and studies have shown that public investment can drive growth and stimulate private investment, only when accompanied by a sound regulatory framework, allowing the private sector to operate effectively. This I believe is an essential dimension to address in your discussions and in your programmes.

Secondly, I believe it is worth exploring more systematically the favourable trade provisions already provided by the Overseas Association Decision. It is important to ensure that your territories benefit fully from this regime, which can be pivotal to their development.

I very much look forward to the outcome of the round-table discussions, which I hope will help improve the effectiveness of our territorial and the regional financial allocations.

Looking ahead, I believe 2016 will be another key year for EU development cooperation and for EU-OCT relations in particular.

As you are aware, we have launched a consultation on the future of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which considers the Union’s future relations with the African Caribbean and Pacific group of countries.

I aim at presenting proposals late this year to the Council in order to launch negotiations in 2017 on the framework that will succeed Cotonou.

Since this consultation does not address the source of funding, it is of course only indirectly relevant to the OCTs. But it is worth noting as it is only the first in a series of interlinked consultations to take place during 2016, in a coordinated manner.

We will embark on mid-term evaluations of all our External Finance Instruments under the EU Budget – including the specific Greenland Decision.

To this extensive exercise we will associate the Performance Assessment of the 11th EDF. This is particularly relevant, in light of a possible integration of the EDF resources into the wider EU budget at some stage. In assessing the 11th EDF, we will also be looking into relevant evidence from the 10th EDF – and I am certain that we can demonstrate good results from the funding dedicated to OCTs.

These evaluations will produce initial conclusions in late 2016 – and a public consultation is planned for early 2017. I invite you to make structured contributions to this consultation.

Your views, your experience, your ideas will be essential for designing our proposals on future financing instruments. I would estimate the Commission being able to table these proposals by mid-2018.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The OCT-EU Forum is the highlight of our partnership, setting the scene for the work over the coming year.

Last year’s conclusions pointed to several areas for continued engagement, understandably emphasising the programming of the 11th EDF. I am encouraged by the steady progress that has been made in this direction.

As you will have seen, the Commission recently submitted to the Council its first annual report outlining the progress achieved. Looking at this report, the basis for programming has now been established. Our agreed ambition remains possible – signing all Financing Agreements before the end of this year. But the report equally notes that maintaining impetus throughout 2016 will be crucial for this. To date we have received several EU Response Strategies – my services have assured me that work is progressing on the remainder.

I count on you to keep up the good progress and draw the attention of your administrations to the importance of completing this exercise swiftly.

In turn, you can count on my continued personal engagement and support – as well as that of the Commission services.

The OCT-EU relations are based on mutual respect and a sense of true partnership. I am truly pleased to see this relationship continually reinforcing itself, and I am confident that today’s exchanges will contribute to further strengthening our partnership.


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OCTA Innovation in the press: EuReporter

OCTA Innovation in the press: EuReporter

OCTA Innovation is pleased to be included in EUReporter news service.

The drive for Innovation in the European Union’s Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) has moved up a gear following the finalisation of innovation strategies drawn up by Individual OCTs under the OCTA Innovation project.

Innovation strategies in each OCT detail the innovation landscape, the scope for innovation by sector and outline action plans to achieve the new goals. The strategies are a key feature of OCTA Innovation, a four-year EU-funded project that is leverging economic diversification and improved regional and global competitiveness in the EU’s inhabited OCTs*.

Innovation Managers, appointed by the governments of the respective OCTs at the start of the project in April 2014, have been in the driving seat of all of the project’s actvities. OCTA Innovation Team Leader, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck says: “All segments of society in the OCTs were involved in drawing up the strategies – government, public bodies, businesspeople, academics, scientists, banks, investors, NGOs and individuals from every sector – agriculture, construction, the creative industry, energy, financial services, fisheries, food processing, IT, administration, tourism, trade and transport.”

“A great job has been done, but a lot of the work to apply innovation strategies lies ahead. Progress made thus far shows that OCT governments understand the crucial importance of innovation for their countries, and are ready to make the systemic innovation undertaking required to implement innovation across all segments of the economy and society.”

In parallel with actions to develop systemic innovation, the project is directly funding innovation initiatives. It has already secured EUR 1.5 million of EU funding for pilot projects as a first step towards implementing the strategies. “The European Union understands the importance of keeping the momentum of our innovation work and supporting the first steps of the action plans developed on the basis of the innovation strategies,” says Milan Jezic von Gesseneck.

actualités réseau d’innovation OCT
Innover pour se nourrir autrement

Innover pour se nourrir autrement

Bpifrance accompagne les entreprises pour voir plus grand et plus loin et faire émerger les champions de demain. Dans le domaine agricole et agro-alimentaire, elle appuie des startups innovantes, qui participent à une croissance verte. Les exemples cités dans Innovation alimentaire – de la mayonnaise au sel sans œuf donne un petit aperçu de secteurs à explorer.

L’élevage d’insectes commence à se développer dans de nombreux pays, et l’exemple de cet entrepreneur de Guadeloupe pourrait être certainement étendu à d’autres territoires d’outremer. L’Université de Wageningen explore cette nouvelle production, qui s’avère utile pour l’alimentation animale et humaine, tout en étant plus économe en intrants.

La culture d’algues est une autre production intéressante à développer dans plusieurs PTOM. Les débouchés sont nombreux : engrais, biocarburants, alimentation, médecine, biomatériaux. Le projet AT-Sea est dédié au développement de textiles techniques qui permettent d’améliorer la culture d’algues en pleine mer. L’Université de Wageningen étudie les valorisations possibles offertes par des nombreuses variétés d’algues.

Parfois les algues envahissent les plages, comme c’est le cas des algues brunes appelées sargasses, autour des Antilles. Il s’avère que les sargasses pourraient se transformer en une véritable aubaine !

agriculture @fr énergie renouvelable économie bleue OCT
Atelier régional de l’innovation à Sint Maarten , 5-7 Octobre

Atelier régional de l’innovation à Sint Maarten , 5-7 Octobre

Atelier régional des Caraïbes aura lieu 5-7 Octobre 2015 au Sint Maarten. L’objectif principal de l’activité est d’améliorer PTOM et OCTA ses capacités et d’assurer un meilleur échange d’expérience et d’expertise dans l’innovation en rassemblant les GI et d’autres parties prenantes à des ateliers régionaux et une conférence de projet, ce qui contribuerait à faciliter le développement, l’accès et la mise à jour d’un réseau d’innovation efficace.

Atelier Sint Maarten sera assisté par les gestionnaires et les parties prenantes de l’innovation à partir de 15 PTOM (Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, Îles Vierges britanniques, les îles Caïmans, Curaçao, îles Falkland, du Groenland, de Montserrat, Saba, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Hélène, Ascension, Tristan da Îles Cunha, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten et îles Turques et Caïques), et les intervenants régionaux à partir de Trinidad, la Barbade, la Guyane, ainsi que de l’Union européenne.

L’accent devrait être fait sur la entrepreneuriat, en particulier sur les micro et petites entreprises actives dans l’économie bleu et vert; sur la protection de la biodiversité et sur la création de l’ensemble des mesures politiques pour soutenir la croissance économique tirée par la connaissance et l’innovation dans les PTOM.

programme européen Aruba Îles Vierges britanniques Caraïbes Curaçao Iles Malouines Groenland Montserrat Sint Eustatius - St. Eustatius - STATIA Anguilla Bonaire Sint Maarten Iles Caïmans Missions d'innovation Saba Saint-Barthélemy Iles Turques et Caïques événement Commission européenne réseau d’innovation OCT Association OCTA soutien aux PME Sainte-Hélène
Projets innovants soutenus par les Investissements d’avenir

Projets innovants soutenus par les Investissements d’avenir

Vous souhaitez vous lancer dans l’économie circulaire, une entreprise de recyclage, des transports et des bâtiments plus économes en énergie, découvrez des entreprises et des filières qui innovent, grâce au site mis en ligne par l’ADEME, l’Agence du développement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie :Projets lauréats qui bénéficient du financement Investissements d’avenir.

Vous découvrirez des entreprises innovantes dans l’économie verte comme le recyclage de batteries, le tri de verre, la valorisation de déchets de caoutchouc, le recyclage d’emballage de plastique souple, l’élevage industriel d’insectes, ou la méthanisation.

biotechnologie actualités appel à projet industrie créative énergie renouvelable économie verte OCT
Sommet des ministres de l’Energie des Pays et Territoires d’Outre-mer

Sommet des ministres de l’Energie des Pays et Territoires d’Outre-mer

Thierry Trouillet, conseiller technique spécialiste de l’énergie en poste au ministère du Budget, des Finances et de l’Energie, et représentant spécial du Vice-Président, Nuihau Laurey, a porté la voix de la Polynésie française au Sommet des ministres de l’Energie des Pays et Territoires d’Outremer (PTOM), les 16 et 17 juin derniers, à Bruxelles, en Belgique. Cet évènement est organisé par l’Association des Pays et Territoires d’Outremer (OCTA) avec le soutien de la Commission européenne.

original article

programme européen Polynésie française actualités énergie renouvelable OCT
Ressources minérales marines : une opportunité pour les PTOM?

Ressources minérales marines : une opportunité pour les PTOM?

Les ressources minérales marines profondes offrent l’opportunité pour l’Europe et ses territoires d’outre-mer, de combiner recherche scientifique, progrès technologique, valorisation économique, sécurité pour certains métaux et participation à la mise en place collective d’une gestion durable de ce nouvel espace. Cette étude de l’Ifremer évalue le potentiel des principales ressources minérales marines profondes (minerais métalliques et hydrogène naturel) présentant un enjeu stratégique pour la France et l’Union européenne à l’horizon 2030 (dont l’océan Pacifique).


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