Introducing the NPA Regiostars' candidates

The competition recognizes and celebrates innovative projects funded by the European Union that demonstrate excellence and new approaches in regional development. After a long break, Interreg NPA projects have joined the race again with two strong candidates: W-POWER and POPCORN !


What is the Regiostars Award?

Regiostars is an annual awards competition organized by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy.

The awards recognize and celebrate innovative projects funded by the European Union that demonstrate excellence and new approaches in regional development. These projects serve as best practices and inspire other regions across Europe.

The competition includes various categories, focusing on areas such as smart growth, sustainable development, inclusive growth, and urban innovation. The winners are chosen based on criteria like innovation, impact, and transferability.

Last year competition was the most participated one ever, with 228 applications. The competition is tough, but we believe we have strong competitors: W-POWER and POPCORN!

W-Power - Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in sparsely populated Northern communities

This project has supported over 800 women entrepreneurs in sparsely populated areas of Northern Europe, Arctic and Canada. By supporting these women start and grow their businesses, W-POWER has fostered strong networks, provided valuable business training, and embraced digital solutions during the pandemic.

Learn how W-POWER has made a meaningful impact on women's entrepreneurship in the North, creating lasting connections and new opportunities.

POPCORN – Preventing Oil and Plastics Contamination of the Ocean Regions of North

In harsh northern conditions, dealing with oil spills poses significant challenges using current technologies. These spills, and plastic marine litter, disregard national borders. Different practices and methods used by the countries, coupled with diverse sea and environmental conditions and a range of oil types transported across the NPA region, create inefficiencies and significant risks.


POPCORN was a clustering project that brought together 4 previously implemented Interreg projects working with marine pollution: APP4SEA, Circular Ocean, Blue Circular Economy and OIL SPILL. The delicate nature both in the Baltic Sea and in the Arctic requires actions for preserving the environment, as it is also reflected in the EU Arcitic Policy and Baltic Sea Region strategy. POPCORN have in concrete ways supported the authorities and the communities in addressing these issues.

Learn more about the work of POPCORN.

When are the winners announced?

The competition goes through several steps.

First, a panel of high-level academics in the respective fields will assess the submitted applications and select the finalists.

As in previous years, the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite finalist for the Public Choice Award.

The finalists will then be invited to a “final round” of selection during the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels.

All winners will be announced during the REGIOSTARS ceremony, to be held also during the European Week of Regions and Cities.

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