ERNACT or European Regions Network for the Application of Communications Technology (Letterkenny, Ireland) is SMARCTIC lead partner. ERNACT is an international network of European regional and city public authorities that work together to access European Union digital technology programmes and funding for the benefit of their areas, companies and universities. The network was founded in 1991 and implements innovative digital-age projects to improve member regions’ digital needs.
ERNACT has significant expertise in managing large-scale technology-driven projects, working together, and helping regions to create the innovation services needed to sustain public services, social solidarity and jobs. It also has wide experience in international networking and the design of transnational systems. ERNACT’s experience in transnational technology-led projects will be used to facilitate the transnational cooperation. It also brings considerable knowledge in the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and this will be applied for the development of the model and the pilots implementation. ERNACT will be responsible for the entire coordination of the project management, finance, communication, dissemination activities and sustainability and it will also actively input and assist the other partners during the project lifetime.
Juanita Blue, SMARCTIC Project Leader, explains that SMARCTIC draws on the clustering experience obtained in the NPA clustering project, ARCTIC CLUSTER. "This project was led by ERNACT and involved 3 projects (SECURE, EEBAK, GraB) funded by 3 different Arctic Cooperation programmes that had similar themes and territorial challenges. This provided an opportunity to develop SMARCTIC to deliver greater energy efficiencies by considering, not only the efficiency of individual buildings, but how wider communal spaces can provide higher efficiencies and create healthier, more attractive arctic environments. SMARCTIC also builds on SECURE’s approach of creating Smart Energy Communities by providing tools to underpin work in communities".
ERNACT will benefit significantly from this interregional exchange of knowledge and experience. "We will disseminate the knowledge and experience gained through SMARCTIC to our wider European network in order to facilitate project Capitalisation and increase the number of regions across which the services are transferred", continues Juanita Blue.
The lead partner will capitalise on the project results to guarantee the sustainability of project outputs beyond the project lifetime. The project leader mentions that, "our ambition is to be a kick-starter for other Northern Periphery and Arctic communities to adopt the smart energy management model, develop their own innovative energy solutions, and thus become more energy efficient and better at tackling the energy challenges they face in their regions".
Why other regions outside the partnership should keep an eye on SMARCTIC
"I would recommend other regions outside the SMARCTIC partnership to keep an eye on our project because we will develop a business model that facilitates other Northern Periphery and Arctic territories to transfer the smart energy management model and services we develop", states Juanita Blue.