The Programme Monitoring Committee met on 15th-16th December in Joensuu, Finland.
At this meeting, the PMC approved one project with conditions: Sustainable Living Assistant, which is aimed at reducing energy use in households. The PMC also agreed to extend the main project Recruit and Retain to become strategic, focusing on recruitment and retention of public sector workers in remote areas.
The PMC congratulated the Developing Scots Pine project, the first NPP 2007-2013 project to have been successfully closed. The project developed 5 products, exceeding their target of 4. The PMC thanked the project and acknowledges their strong outcomes, which demonstrates that transnational cooperation can result in tangible products and services, which is a specific feature of the NPP.
The PMC agreed on a new call for proposals, the 9th Call, which will be open for strategic project applicants addressing the themes of renewable energy solutions and responding to climate change. The call will also be open for main projects in all themes. It is expected that the remaining funding will be allocated in this 9th Call.The call will run from 16th January to 2nd May 2012. Decisions will be taken by the PMC in September 2012. In preparation for the 9th call for strategic and main projects, a preparatory project call is open.
The PMC took note of the outcomes of the NPP Annual Conference 2011 "Beyond 2013", which took place on 29th September in Alta, Norway. At this conference, projects were consulted about their ideas for the programme beyond 2013, looking at what works well in the current programme and identifying place based opportunities for the next programme. The PMC viewed the input from the projects as very useful for the discussions about the new programme in the coming months. The PMC may be in touch with the projects when the priorities for the new programme begin to crystalise. A vision for the future of the NPP area as a vibrant area, which emerged from the conference, will be used as inspiration for next year's Annual Conference in November 2012 in Northern Ireland.