North Sea Region projects reach for the RegioStars

02 June 2020 - Published by Anne Sofie Forfang

Three North Sea Region projects have enlisted for the RegioStars Awards and are now showcased on the RegioStars website. 

The RegioStars Awards honour EU-funded projects demonstrating excellence and new approaches in regional development. The winners are announced at the EURegionsWeek, the top annual Cohesion Policy event. 

HyTrEc2 is applying in the category Smart Growth - Industrial transition for a smart Europe. The project has made significant inroads to replace fossil transport fuels with clean hydrogen produced by solar and wind energy, e.g. through innovation and capacity building of operators and supply chain companies. Based on project activities, Aberdeen City Council won the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2019, and HyTrEc2 partners Groningen and Drenthe have entered into partnership with the EU to transform Northern Netherlands into a Hydrogen Valley. 


BEGIN is a contender for the category Urban development - citizens engagement for cohesive European cities. BEGIN demonstrates the multiple benefits of incorporating blue-green infrastructure in cities using social innovation methods, including more than 30% flood risk reduction and a 5-fold return on investments in terms of health, biodiversity, social and flood risk benefits. BEGIN has helped transform political priorities and strategies in several cities across the North Sea Region.


Like is also applying in Urban development - citizens engagement for cohesive European cities. A big part of this digital innovation project concerns how to involve citizens via digital tools and platforms. They have launched a plethora of initiatives, e.g. over 1000 young people voting online in Scotland, Angus Council spending 1% of their yearly budget through participatory budgeting, and fostering digital democracy through guides and platforms such as "Voice of Groningen". 


All projects are now up for public voting. Meanwhile, an independent jury will choose up to 5 finalists per category, to be announced on 9 July. Competition is stiff - the Commission has received a record number of 206 entries this year, which marks the Interreg 30 year anniversary. 

At the Secretariat, we are very proud of our star-quality candidates and would encourage our stakeholders to view their entries and consider voting for them. You can see all the candidates and cast your votes here: