Northern Periphery and Arctic 2014-2020

  • Programme Thematic Objectives

    • A smarter Europe – innovative and smart economic transformation

        RSO 1.1 Developing and enhancing research and innovation capacities and the uptake of advanced technologies

        • The programme aims to promote research, innovation, and technology adoption among SMEs and microenterprises in the NPA area, to expand their activities and leverage regional strengths. It also emphasizes the importance of innovation in addressing climate change and identifies green and blue technologies as important areas. Projects can participate in various stages of the innovation cycle and should involve SMEs in technology development and application across various sectors such as healthcare, energy, the marine economy, circular economy, transport, environmental and natural resources, tourism, culture, and creative industries.

        RSO 1.2 Reaping the benefits of digitisation for citizens, companies, research organisations and public authorities

        • The programme recognises that territories in the NPA area face challenges related to distance and access to markets and services. Digitalisation is crucial in addressing these challenges and benefiting public services, SMEs, and local communities by creating links between the public sector, education providers, and SME networks. Digitization can also mitigate demographic change and crises, such as pandemics, and provide opportunities for younger people in remote communities through remote healthcare and smart mobility. To ensure everyone benefits, it's important to develop digital skills and build capacity in SMEs, public services, and organisations. Transnational collaboration is essential in sharing expertise and experiences with digital solutions, expanding knowledge, and applying new solutions in peripheral areas.

        RSO 1.3 Enhancing sustainable growth and competitiveness of SMEs and job creation in SMEs, including by productive investments

        • The programme aims to improve the entrepreneurial climate in the NPA area by facilitating the transfer and development of business support strategies for start-ups and existing SMEs in remote and peripheral regions. This includes building networks and clusters to overcome challenges faced by SMEs due to long distances to markets, which will help create a more dynamic business sector, particularly for non-traditional sectors. Innovation can help diversify and expand traditional sectors, such as tourism, which has a high number of SMEs and micro-enterprises. It's crucial to engage indigenous groups and local communities in planning and activities related to tourism. The NPA area has area-based specialisms linked to specific cultural or natural resources, such as the uniqueness of Arctic, islands, coastal areas, etc. Economic diversification and resilience are essential for managing traditional businesses in remote and sparsely populated areas.

    • A greener, low-carbon Europe

        RSO 2.1 Energy efficiency

        • The NPA area has high energy needs due to its cold and extreme climates, which requires smart energy solutions, including smart energy storage. Community-based systems, such as those for islands and remote areas, are necessary due to long distances and lack of access to hubs. The area has vast potential for renewable energy resources and is prepared to adopt and apply new technologies and solutions. The main focus is on achieving net energy savings while respecting biodiversity and habitats.

        RSO 2.4 Promoting climate change adaptation and disaster risk prevention and resilience, taking into account eco-system based approaches

        • The NPA regions' vulnerability due to their unique geography requires specific measures to combat and adapt to climate change. Local knowledge is crucial for effective solutions. The programme will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and the creation of networks between regions.

        RSO 2.6 Circular economy

        • The circular economy requires new solutions and innovations to change production processes and consumer behaviour. The programme will support the creation of new solutions that consider specific territorial challenges, such as waste management and distance. Circular, green, and bio-economy are already integral parts of the NPA area due to the tradition of reusing and repurposing. The programme can support remote communities in accessing wider networks and developing their skills. The importance of these sectors also lies in their potential to reduce pollution in sensitive environments.

    • A better cooperation governance

        RSO 6.4 Enhance institutional capacity of public authorities and stakeholders to implement macro-regional strategies and sea-basin strategies, as well as other territorial strategies

        • The NPA Programme aims to develop more resilient communities by enhancing the capacity of public authorities and stakeholders in the area. This includes protecting and promoting natural and cultural heritage, and developing synergies across the region. The NPA Programme is uniquely positioned to contribute to the EU Arctic Policy and national Arctic policies due to the specific challenges faced by the NPA area, including peripherality and harsh conditions. The NPA Programme can also support projects that encourage cooperation between Arctic INTERREG programmes and other northern European regions with similar features and challenges.

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  • See the list of all projects at
  • Currently there are neither job vacancies or calls for projects open for this programme

30th September 2020

Last open call closed on 30th September 2020

Covid-19 Call for project applications
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For 20 years, the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme aims to promote sustainable development in remote and sparsely populated communities through transnational cooperation between regions in the NPA area..

The next programme will continue to do this, focusing on those themes and types of activities that are deemed to benefit most from transnational cooperation between the regions in the NPA area.

The new NPA programme area includes Northern and Eastern Finland, Northern and Western Regions of Ireland, Northern Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, and Northern parts of Norway.

The funding priorities and specific objectives of the NPA 2021-2027 overlap with those of the previous period, but the new programme focuses more on digitisation and disruptive technologies, sustainability for SMEs, and promoting a circular and resource efficiency economy. The NPA 2021-2027 also includes a new priority focusing on strengthening the organisational capacity for cooperation opportunities.

The total budget available to the programme has decreased between the two periods, mostly due to the smaller geographical area of cooperation.

Partners from outside the programme area are eligible to receive an ERDF grant up to 65%, and Icelandic partners are now eligible for a higher grant rate of up to 65%.

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