08. December 2009

Strategic NWE Cluster "Adaptation to the expected spatial impacts of climate change"

ForeStClim will soon join 7 other INTERREG IVB climate change projects and participate in a new mechanism called "strategic initiative".

You may download the detailed description of the cluster including action plan and budget details from the internal section of the website (File Manager --> 02_ForeStClim --> 04_Strategic Cluster).

Please be aware that the following description is just a working document, and currently neither fully submitted nor in any form accepted by the Joint Technical Secretariat (JTS). Therefore, considerable changes might have to be implemented in the course of the next few months.



1.  Background and Cluster partnership
2.  Aim and objectives of the Strategic Cluster
3.  Description of the joint actions in the strategic cluster
4.  Working structure of the strategic cluster
5.  Schedule for the strategic cluster activities

1. Background and Cluster partnership

The INTERREG NWE programme aims at developing the Strategic Cluster (SC) “Adaptation to the expected spatial impacts of climate change”. The goal is fixed in the operational programme (OP 2007, chapter 5) and supported by decisions of the steering committee. So far eight approved INTERREG IV B NWE projects that tackle the issues of Adaptation to Climate Change were motivated by the joint technical secretariat of the programme (JTS) to initiate the strategic project cluster. All eight projects (ALFA, AMICE, C-CHANGE, ForeStClim, FloodResilienCity, Future Cities, IMCORE, WAVE) are interested to join.
The Lead Partner of Future Cities (FC) (Lippeverband) and the FC scientific project
assistance (Consultancy INFRASTRUKTUR & UMWELT, Germany) started together with the other seven relevant projects to develop the cluster initiative. In three meetings (Cologne, September 15th and November 10th 2009, Rotterdam October 8th 2009) the following scope and actions of the cluster activities were identified.

2. Aim and objectives of the Strategic Cluster “Adaptation to the expected spatial impacts of climate change
The aim of the cluster is:
• To establish and promote measures
• To call for action
• To share knowledge
for efficient adaptation to the expected spatial impacts of climate change in NWE.
To reach this aim the cluster pursues three concrete objectives:
1. Surplus for cluster projects: Enhance the outcomes of the cluster projects on
adaptation measures and assessment tools 
2. Policy influencing: Improve the impact of the project’s outcomes relating to policies by drawing policy relevant conclusions and recommendations on the basis of joint findings of the cluster projects and mainstreaming adaptation into policies, programmes and planning
3. Communication and dissemination: To communicate the strategically relevant results and interim results of all cluster and the cluster projects with EU-policy makers, EU-research institutes, relevant national policy makers, other INTERREG programmes / strategic initiatives
Key outputs of the strategic cluster:
The cluster will develop
o A common joint definition of “Climate Proof” (related to adaptation)
o Joint messages and joint publicity action towards two main target groups (public, policy / decision makers)
o Political messages: What is necessary in future and which decisions have to be taken; Where are gaps in actual policies, programmes, plans.

3. Description of the joint actions in the strategic cluster
The actions shall produce tangible joint outputs that are policy relevant and in the
strategic focus. Related to the three objectives four work packages were developed:
1. Adaptation to climate change – assessing vulnerability, impacts and adaptation measures
2. Policy recommendation and mainstreaming
3. Communication and Dissemination
4. Cluster coordination

4. Working structure of the strategic cluster
The working structure of the cluster is planned as follows:
• Cluster Leader (CL): All participating projects decided on a cluster leader
(Lippeverband / Lead Partner of Future Cities)
• Cluster coordination Office (CCO): One central cluster coordination office of the SC under the control of the cluster leader will be responsible for organisation, reporting, budgets and coordination / supporting the development of thematic outcomes. 
• Interlinked Thematic Cluster Panels (ITCP): Four interlinked thematic cluster panels (Built environment, Water environment, Natural environment, Social environment) with representatives of relevant cluster projects; members to be nominated by the projects, in regard to the topic. 
• Cluster Steering Committee (CSC): The implementation of actions is monitored by the Cluster Steering Committee where all Lead Partners of the participating projects take part. The CSC is chaired by the Cluster Leader.

In terms of the time schedule the main focus of all working units is on: 
1st year: Tools and measures / WP1, 
2nd year: Policy recommendations / WP2, 
3rd year: Final cluster communication / WP3.
Tasks of the Cluster Coordination Office
• Office available for the lead partners of the involved cluster projects and their project partners (around 100) 
• Thematic coordination of questions and comments regarding the topic „Adaptation to the spatial impacts of climate change“ for the NWE-programme and Interreg-projects
• Coordinating and supporting the development of strategic outcomes
• Developing and producing information material (e.g. information modules) for the cluster projects to be integrated in the communication material of the individual projects (in print projects, websites,etc.): Factsheet „What is the cluster about?“, main messages of the cluster, Logo, etc.
• Coordinating the implementation of the communication plan (products / meetings/ final workshop/conference etc.)
• Financial reporting (cluster leader)

5. Schedule for the strategic cluster activities
Start date of cluster activities: June 2010;
End date of the strategic cluster: December 2012. Additional 6 months for Cluster
Coordination Office for formal completion and summarising results.