Being an IVY Project Partner to fight forest fires in Spain and Portugal : CILIFO Interreg POCTEP Project. An experience to be part of!

Hello fellow Europeans! My name is Viviana and since June this year I have been an Interreg project partner for the CILIFO Interreg POCTEP project at the host organisation Finnova Foundation Seville.

Interreg POCTEP stands for Spain-Portugal Cross-Border Cooperation Operational Programme and is the European Territorial Cooperation programme that aims to enhance, foster and promote cooperation between Portuguese and Spanish entities to collaborate on environmental, economic and social issues common to both territories. CILIFO project is part of this cooperation framework.

CILIFO stands for the Iberian Centre for Forest Fire Research and Fighting and its network is composed of different types of partners by competence and territory: the lead project partner is the Junta de Andalucia and within the partnership there are other regional and local public authorities representing the Algarve, Alentejo (PT) and Andalucia (ES) territories. In addition, universities and foundations collaborate in the CILIFO project as project partners.

The objectives of bringing all these competences together are:

  1. To strengthen and combine the cooperation, the operating procedures and the training between the Forest Fire Preventing and Extinguishing devices in the cooperation area of the Alentejo-Algarve-Andalusia Euroregion.
  2. To promote lasting and quality employment creation in the area; reduce the economic cost of fires creating rural economy linked to the landscape.
  3. To improve the involved administrations and authorities’ capacity to respond to forest fires in the three participating regions.

And through these objectives and activities create and establish a permanent center for the development and promotion of training, awareness, research and cooperation towards forest firefighting.

My host organization, Finnova, is the partner responsible for CILIFO’s communication activities with the aim of disseminating CILFO’s achievements and activities. And in this role It is carrying out one of the best practice born from this project: Firefighting Open Innovation Lab. This best practice was honoured last year by European Commission with an important award: European Enterprise Promotion Awards.

FOIL-CILIFO is the first business accelerator for forest fire and forest management companies. Through FOIL-CILIFO, all forest fire companies participating in the CILIFO network and activities receive business support advice. For example, the production of material such as newsletters, notices and electronic catalogues on calls, funding programmes, existing in the forest fire sector. In addition, FOIL-CILIFO promotes registered companies by publishing an electronic catalogue with all the information, objectives and targets of these companies, to also improve the network’s matchmaking system and create interesting CILIFO follow-ups.

In addition, competitions called CILIFO ACCELERATHON were organised within FOIL-CILIFO to promote innovation of technologies and methodologies in the field of forest fires. During these competitions, green tech business ideas aimed at combating forest fires and climate change were presented and the winner was given the opportunity to apply for a European call for proposals with the support of FINNOVA to see the idea realised.

As an Interreg project partner, I am collaborating in these areas of CILIFO communication, producing communication materials which will then be disseminated to the actors of the CILIFO network and I am also participating in the organisation of events such as the above-mentioned ACCELERATHON.

Through this experience, I am learning a lot about how European regional cooperation works, its funding structure, the key actors in European regional cooperation and cohesion policy and the main challenges. And I can see how it becomes real and effective in the everyday life of our society.

In the hyperlinks you can find all the information on the above 🙂

-Viviana Lattanzi, IVY Project Partner for the Interreg project “CILIFO”, under the Interreg POCTEP Programme, at FINNOVA Foundation Seville- 

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