To ensure that the EEA and Norway Grants programmes address truly critical challenges and achieve their results, programmes are designed with results-based management principles in mind. The following section offers a peek into the achievements of the Grants for the 2014-2021 funding period so far.
Through the Grants, the Donor States support the Beneficiary States’ contributions towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the European Green Deal.
The European Green Deal is the EU’s blueprint to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The EEA and Norway Grants contribute to this ambition by supporting various activities in 12 Beneficiary States. In the current funding period, the Donor States have allocated €457 million to address environmental issues and climate change and to promote sustainable energy.
|Policy area in the European Green Deal||Expected results of the EEA and Norway Grants|
|Contributions towards a climate-neutral economy and CO2 emission reduction.||
|Mobilising industry for a clean and circular economy.||
|Preserving and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity.||
|Mobilising research and fostering innovation||
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals reflect a shared global vision for a peaceful and prosperous world through sustainable and fair development. Through the Grants, the Donor States empower public authorities, civil society, the private sector and academia in the Beneficiary States to take concrete actions to deliver on the shared commitment to fulfilling the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Med Mentors project in Bulgaria supports medical students from Roma communities across the country to succeed in their studies and subsequent careers. By providing both financial and personal assistance, the project aims to improve their opportunities and success rates while directly addressing the growing shortage of health workers in Bulgaria.
The scholarships behind the project are provided by the EEA Grants’ Active Citizens Fund. Participants receive a scholarship for an academic year, and complementary mentorship support from other medical professionals. The scholarship programme will support 40 Roma students per year. In total, 240 annual scholarships will be awarded over six years.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the students volunteered in local events focusing on COVID-19 prevention. By doing so, they made sure that accurate and fact-checked information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic was available to their communities.
Improving the situation of Roma across Europe is a priority of the EEA and Norway Grants. In total, an indicative minimum of €50 million is allocated to Roma inclusion through programmes in the sectors of health, local development, children and youth at risk, justice and home affairs, culture, research, and civil society. Special focus is placed on countries with large Roma populations – Bulgaria, Czechia, Greece, Romania and Slovakia.
The Estonian cleantech company, Roofit Solar Energy OÜ, has developed a solar roof that cuts homeowners’ CO2 footprint. With a capacity of 10 kW, a single roof can help prevent the emission of 300 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere by producing solar energy. That is equivalent to driving a car around the globe 78 times.
With funding from the Norway Grants, the company is working on a modular clickable roof tile that will make the product cheaper and more accessible. In addition, Roofit Solar is developing a new design and planning software to improve their services.
By the end of the project, the company aims for its green energy output to reach 50 000 MWH per year and to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 200 kilotons. That’s the emission equivalent of approximately 61 000 cars.
Roofit Solar’s roofs already cover more than a hundred homes in Estonia and other countries on the EU market. Working with Norwegian partner Søran AS , they now plan to bring the products to the Norwegian market.
Cooperating across Donor States and Beneficiary States is at the heart of the EEA and Norway Grants. Through dedicated bilateral funds in each Beneficiary State, the Grants support initiatives aiming at strengthening bilateral relations between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the 15 Beneficiary States.
The project Sharing Good Practices between UNESCO Global Geoparks aims at strengthening the ties between Portuguese, Norwegian and Icelandic unique geological sites – known as UNESCO ‘Geoparks’. This bilateral initiative aligns with the United Nations’ 17th Sustainable Development Goal on promoting global partnerships for sustainable development.
This EEA Grants initiative brings the Estrela UNESCO Global Geopark (UGGp) in Portugal, the Gea Norvegica UGGp in Norway, and the Katla UGGp in Iceland closer together. This will enable the three Geoparks to create and share innovative approaches and tools towards the sustainable development of their unique territories.
The project involves joint exchanges and seminars linking the employees of the three Geoparks. By partnering up, they will share knowledge and learn from each other’s extensive experiences in areas that are relevant to the UNESCO Global Geoparks, such as the Conservation of Geological Heritage, Natural Risks, Climate Action and Education and Community Development, just to name a few.
An exhibition called ‘Rocks with History’, will also be organised simultaneously in the three countries. This will give each project member an opportunity to promote their work, activities and territories on a European level.
Freshwater resources are limited and under pressure, often threatened by issues such as climate change, pollution and population growth. This is one of the reasons why the United Nations’ 6th Sustainable Development Goal calls for access to water and sanitation for all.
To help meet increasing water demands, a process known as desalination is being used to create drinking water from seawater. However, marine pollution is threatening seawater desalination and limits the resources from which water can be desalinated.
Water shortages are a pressing concern for many Greek islanders. The iFOs project, supported through the EEA Grants Business Innovation programme, will tackle this challenge by taking the desalination process to a more resource-efficient, digital and low-impact level.
The Greek project promoter Emvis is developing a web-based platform that will use satellite data and machine learning to analyse the changes in seawater, as for instance harmful algal blooms in coastal waters. Once in place, the technology will enable desalination plants to improve their day-to-day performance, inform decision-making, and ultimately reduce the costs of seawater desalination.
Emvis has partnered up with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Sychem, a leading Greek water treatment company. The partners will learn from each other and turn research into action. SYCHEM will provide insight from an end-user perspective, and NTNU will certify the science behind the service line, in order to provide a scientifically proven solution that meets the real needs of the end user.