The programme in brief

The Northern Periphery and Arctic 2014-2020 Programme forms a cooperation between 9 programme partner countries; the Member States of Finland, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom (Scotland and Northern Ireland) in cooperation with the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Norway. This means that the programme area encompasses the Euro-Arctic zone, parts of the Atlantic zone and parts of the Barents region, neighbouring on Canada in the West and Russia in the East.

Despite geographical differences, the large programme area shares a number of common features, such as low population density, low accessibility, low economic diversity, abundant natural resources, and high impact of climate change. This unique combination of features results in joint challenges and joint opportunities that can best be overcome and realised by transnational cooperation. 

The Northern Periphery and Arctic 2014-2020 Programme is part of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, also known as Interreg, in the framework of the cohesion policy, supported by the European Regional Development Fund. The programme operates in a multi-layered policy landscape, making it well positioned to contribute to and align with the Europe 2020 Strategy, national and regional policies and development strategies, macro regional and sea basin strategies, and other programmes covering parts of the geographical area. In addition, increased interest and rapid developments in Arctic regions have resulted in a more explicit recognition of the programme’s Arctic dimension in regional development.  

A detailed description of the Programme strategy, Priority Axes, Budget and Management can be found in the Cooperation Programme document, which forms the foundation for the programme. 

The Northern Periphery and Arctic 2014-2020 Programme aims to expand the regions’ horizons, building on concrete outcomes and enabling the programme area to be a 1st class region to live, study, work, visit and invest. It is the programme’s vision is to help to generate vibrant, competitive and sustainable communities, by harnessing innovation, expanding the capacity for entrepreneurship and seizing the unique growth initiatives and opportunities of the Northern and Arctic regions in a resource efficient way. 

The development needs and potentials of the programme area, together with the policy and historic context have resulted in 4 priority axes to achieve the programme vision: 

  1. Using Innovation to Maintain And Develop Robust And Competitive Communities
  2. Promoting Entrepreneurship to Realise the Potential of the Programme Area’s Competitive Advantage 
  3. Fostering Energy-Secure Communities through Promotion of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
  4. Protecting, Promoting and Developing Cultural and Natural Heritage 

The sparsely populated communities of the programme area are the focus point of all 4 priority axes.  

More information on the priority axes can be found in the section Priority Axes.  

The NPA 2014-2020 will allocate in total approximately 56 MEUR through bi-annual calls. The funding will be allocated to projects with a total budget between 250 000 EUR and 2 MEUR. A precondition for funding is that the projects provide at least 35-40% of the total project costs as match funding through own or national or regional sources. The share of the match funding depends on the country where the partner is located. However, SMEs always have to provide a minimum of 50% of their costs in match funding.

More information on the programme funding can be found in the section Funding sources.  

In general, the programme is open for public and private partners of all kinds from inside the programme area, for example regional and local authorities and other public sector organisations, research institutions and private entities delivering public service, private-public partnerships, social enterprises, and third sector organisations. Besides that, local and regional SMEs, among these specifically micro enterprises in remote and sparsely populated areas and business organisations, etc.   

More information about eligible project partners can be found in the section Applying for funds, and chapter 2 of the Programme Manual.  

Projects shall first of all address the main challenges and potentials described in the Cooperation Programme. Furthermore, projects shall fulfill a number of qualitative objectives, such as:

  • Concrete: The project outputs are recognisable as a tangible solution (most commonly a product or service) which address identified challenges within the Programme area. 
  • Innovative: The project output is new or innovative to the partner organisations, the partner countries involved, or the Programme area. 
  • Focused: Projects can demonstrate a link between the development challenges or opportunities they address and the relevant Programme specific objective, and they can state the changes they intend to bring about. 
  • Transnational: The design of project outputs clearly draws on the results of transnational cooperation, e.g. transferring models/knowledge/technology from one region to another, partners complementing each others’ competences and resources, combining different regional skill sets, gaining a critical mass, etc. 

More information about expectations for project results and outputs can be found in chapter 2 of the Programme Manual.  

Calls for project applications will be launched regularly, approximately two per year from 2015 onwards.  For preparatory projects, a continuous call system is in place, meaning that project applicants can be submitted at any time.

More and continuously updated information about how and when to apply can be found in the section For Applicants