NPA Annual Event 2021: Redefining Peripherality

The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme is pleased to announce the date for its 2021 Annual Conference on 27th October 2021 in Sligo in Ireland.


The Annual conference theme is “Redefining Peripherality”. Relevant information about the Interreg NPA 2021-2027 will also be shared during the event. Follow the updates on social media with the hashtag #NPA2021Sligo.

Redefining Peripherality

The NPA Annual Event 2021 will look at the recent developments in the Northern Periphery and Arctic, including the transformative changes triggered by the pandemic, and how they are addressed by the NPA projects and can be addressed in the future programme.

The conference will be the opportunity to discuss how the perception of the periphery has changed and initiated or accelerated changes in e.g. ways of working, living, providing services and taking decisions. The benefits of cooperation across Arctic and near-Arctic regions also emerged during the past period showing how the exchange of knowledge and expertise between the regions played a key role in building response capacity and preparedness for the future.

Some of the questions NPA project partners, keynote speakers and participants will be addressing:

What does the new periphery look like?
What new opportunities are coming up?
What changes are needed to harness such opportunities?
To which quality of life in the periphery are we aspiring for the future?
2021 also marks the transition between the NPA 2014-2020 programme, and the beginning of the next Interreg NPA 2021-2027 programme. The conference will not miss to look at the 2014-2020 achievements and introduce the vision and funding priorities of the new programme.

The NPA Annual Event will broadcast from The Model, in Sligo, where the conference will hopefully take place in person for a local audience.





13:00 – Welcome words
Welcome words from the Northern & Western Regional Assembly, Ireland

13:30 – Redefining Peripherality
How has the NPA area changed since 2014? Observing the changes in the NPA area from 2014 until now and trends for the future based on the area analysis.
Dr Irene McMaster, European Policy Research Centre, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
Findings and Recommendations from the COVID-19 Response group projects
Panel discussion between members of the COVID-19 response group:
Dr Thomas Fisher, Lead partner of NPA project Covid & Economics, CoDel, Scotland
Prof. Liam Glynn, Lead partner of NPA project COVIDWATCH EU, University of Limerick, Ireland
Prof. Joan Condell, Lead partner of NPA project TechSolns, University of Ulster
Prof. Anette Fosse, partner in NPA project COVIDWATCH EU, The Arctic University of Norway
Questions and Answers with Irene McMaster and the members of the panel.

14:30 – 15:00 Coffee Break

15:00 – Networking Session, NPA projects solutions for a new periphery

Separate thematic sessions online and one session on site. Each of the sessions will look at a topic addressed by the NPA 2021-2027 and will discuss how future NPA projects can contribute to the objectives of the new programme, also taking into account the solutions developed by the projects carried out throughout 2014-2020.

To participate in the thematic sessions it is necessary to register for the online event.

Innovation Capacity – How can NPA projects support the uptake of advanced technologies, reap the benefits of digitisation and enhance sustainable growth & competitiveness of SMEs?
Hosted by the NPA project DISTINCT

Climate change and resource sufficiency (online and physical)- How can NPA projects promote energy efficiency, climate change adaptation and disaster risk prevention? How can they promote the transition to a circular and resource-efficient economy?
Hosted by the NPA project HUGE

Natural and cultural heritage – How can NPA projects protect and develop wider territorial synergies through natural and cultural heritage?
Hosted by the NPA project SPOT Lit

16:00 – Periphery and Arctic, a mutually beneficial cooperation

The new EU Arctic Policy and the role of transnational cooperation
Mr Michael Mann, EU Ambassador at Large for the Arctic, European Union External Action Services
The Irish Government’s Strategy for the Nordic Region
Mr Ciarán Byrne, Deputy Director of EU Policy Division, Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland
The Network of Arctic Researchers in Ireland (NARI): Fostering opportunities for collaboration
Dr Audrey Morley, The President of Network of Arctic Researchers in Ireland
Debate with the audience

16:30 – Looking ahead to the Interreg NPA 2021-2027

The Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic 2021-2027
Ms Kirsti Mijnhijmer, Head of Secretariat, Northern Periphery and Arctic programme
Questions and Answers

17:00 – Wrap up and closure