France/In Corsica, European funds help finance sustainable development projects

Published on 19/05/2022 | La rédaction


The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) allow the financing of projects on the island of beauty around rural and sustainable development or environmental preservation.

In Corsica, the development of rural areas and environmental protection are stated priorities of the Region. These objectives have been achieved in part thanks to the support of European funds in the image of these four projects.
"Smart paesi" connected objects for sustainable development
After the "smart cities", here are the "smart villages". Cozzano is a small village in southern Corsica with fewer than 300 inhabitants, located about 1.5 hours from Ajaccio. Since late 2017, it has been at the heart of a project led by the University of Corsica and the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) to transform it into a "smart village." Code name: "Smart paesi".
The objective is to develop, between 2018 and 2021, a digital infrastructure in the village. Connected objects are installed to collect and store information on the activities of the town and its environment (agriculture, livestock, environmental risks ...). Artificial intelligence is developed in parallel to process all the data collected and to help decision-making on the development of the territory. Finally, this information must also be disseminated directly to the inhabitants through connected objects.
These connected objects and data analysis tools are gradually being introduced into the village in order to improve, for example, environmental monitoring, energy efficiency, water management, etc.These connected objects and data analysis tools are gradually being introduced into the village in order to improve, for example, environmental monitoring, energy efficiency, water and waste management, and the development of digital uses for the benefit of citizens and activities in the rural world.
The project is built in partnership with EDF. The Corsican IT company SITEC was eligible for a call for tenders from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Thus, the installation of this "intelligent village" mobilizes 1.6 million euros, including 266,000 euros from SITEC (or about 36%) who responded to the call for tender of the Territorial Collectivity of Corsica in charge of the ERDF fund. In total, a little more than one million euros of aid allowed the financing of the project.

AGRIEX, consolidating the aromatic plant sector
Since 2018, the ERDF has also been supporting a project to consolidate the aromatic and medicinal plant (MAP) sector in Corsica. Named AGRIEX, it is carried by a partnership between three private companies (Corsica Essences, Solyvia, Teppe Rosse) and the University of Corsica Pasquale Paoli. The objective is, on the one hand, to promote the cultivation of local plant species (immortelle, mint, santoline...). On the other hand, it should allow the use of technological innovations to extract new essential oils from other aromatic resources such as citrus peels.
All this while preserving the environment and enhancing the work of the local economic fabric, particularly for cosmetics, natural health products and other processed products with high added value such as essential oils.
This project is based on the observation that consumers are increasingly wary of chemical products and, conversely, are more interested in natural substances. This is an opportunity that can create diversification opportunities for all players in the field and generate new economic benefits for companies and farmers.
To achieve these objectives, the overall budget of AGRIEX reaches 1.5 million euros with an ERDF contribution of 65%, or nearly 970,000 euros.
MoonFish to better manage fisheries resources
Technology for environmental protection. This is the challenge of the European MoonFish project, which brings together researchers from the University of Corsica and fishermen to develop modeling tools for the eastern coastline of the island of beauty. Launched in 2017, the project has lasted until October 2021 and has provided assistance in the management and preservation of fisheries resources, while maintaining the profitability of the work for professionals in the sector.
The objective is to better understand the interactions between fishermen and the environment in which they work. This modeling of the coastline makes it possible to identify interesting species and to predict their evolution. The analysis of these data by digital tools should help in the development of new fishing policies and test their viability virtually. Thus, this work should lead to the implementation of new fishing strategies that are both environmentally friendly, to ensure the restoration of fish stocks to sufficient levels, and provide work and income to Corsican fishermen.
The MoonFish project has received ERDF funding of €739,000 out of a total budget of €1.3 million, or nearly 60% of the sum.

U Nidu daycare center to revitalize the area
The EAFRD, as its name suggests (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development), supports development projects in rural areas. Objective achieved in the small municipality of Eccica-Suarella with the development of the U Nidu nursery. This spatial development project initiated by the Community of Communes Celavu Prunelli must revitalize the territory by offering a childcare service in an area lacking such infrastructure.
Since March 2019, the 230-square-meter nursery can accommodate up to 18 children at the same time, benefiting about 30 families, which has also created 7 jobs. The total cost of the project, which reaches 800,000 euros, is shared between the Community of Communes, the community and the European Union. The FEADER program financed, more precisely, a part of the project on the measure "service in rural areas".


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