"Cooperation across regions can yield new inspiration"

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TIDE partnership possesses a wealth of significant sites relating to historical eras including the Napoleonic, Armada, World Wars and Atlantic Migrations.
25 March 2020 - TIDE  project
Juanita Blue, Project Manager at ERNACT

This week we want to present TIDE lead partner, the ERNACT network, which will be coordinating and managing project activities, progress and communication and financial activities. 

ERNACT, or European Regions Network for the Application of Communications Technology, was founded in 1991 and they are 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 the partner areas, companies and universities. We speak with Juanita Blue, Project Manager with ERNACT, about their role in the TIDE project.

What is the contribution of ERNACT to the project?
ERNACT’s role in the project is to act as the Lead Partner, leading the project’s coordination and communication workpackages, including the implementation of their actions. ERNACT will also lead the design and development of the Atlantic Tourism Package PLATFORM. It will procure the required "project-wide shared services”, providing expertise and budget for the shared transnational service. The PLATFORM is a key output of the project and it needs to: identify the potential for developing tourism packages related to a particular historical period and group of regions; expand use of project outputs to a wider range of Atlantic regions during the capitalisation process; describe the cultural assets and tourism services each region will provide to the multi-region package; enable effective communication between tourism development partners in different regions; provide a gateway to enable the deployment of historical multi-region exhibitions and attractions.

Inclusion of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) within the developed pilots adds an element of innovation to the project. Those who interact with the pilots will experience historical sites and examples in a new and exciting way. The pilots will allow for an emotional connection that takes them on a journey to another place and time in history. Through this journey they will learn about the significant role that different Atlantic Area regions played during the selected historical period and also the events that link those regions together. Information and artifacts that were previous hidden from view in archives, museum stores and underwater can now be shared through the power of digitisation.

Have you identified any good practices that will be shared among the partnership?
ERNACT provided the partnership with guidance in identification of good practices within each of the regions. Each partner was encouraged to seek out regional examples of sites and developments that the partnership could learn from. The criteria for good practices included strong elements of historical site identification, stakeholder involvement, market research, business case development, product development and marketing. This resulted in the selection of 25 good practices across the partner regions. These good practices ranged from historical building sites to resource centres, themed historical accounts, museums, digital portals and promotional websites. Lead partner ERNACT is delighted with the strong examples and experiences that the partnership have contributed.

How will you benefit from this interregional cooperation?
Being a Lead Partner is a very rewarding experience. The Lead Partner must be the mainspring of the group, yet also allow each partner to take initiatives and develop their own skills. The seven regions working together in this tourism project share a common maritime dimension and a rich historical heritage. Therefore, a transnational approach is important since maritime issues pose challenges across large geographic areas outside existing political/member state boundaries. This project transcends the traditional sectoral perimeter. It reflects the learnings that can be drawn from interregional cooperation, including the understanding of the strategic process and development of an approach that can be used in all regions to identify, promote and maximise upon each region’s unique maritime sites and heritage. 

Interregional cooperation provides an opportunity to exchange experiences and learn from other regions. By starting at a local level and involving the relevant stakeholders, cooperation across regions can yield new inspiration. When this inspiration is transformed into actions, this interregional cooperation can lead to concrete benefits and long-term impact. All partner regions depend heavily on tourism for job and wealth creation. At best, these benefits go well beyond the project, the immediate partners and stakeholders, ultimately benefiting the region or even the country as a whole. ERNACT benefits from this journey through effective regional tourism knowledge transfer and real tangible impact to at local level.

What is the key opportunity with TIDE?
ERNACT decided to lead the TIDE project as the organisation recognized that the region’s rich maritime heritage and historical sites had often been undervalued and neglected. The area possesses a wealth of significant sites relating to historical eras including the Napoleonic, Armada, World Wars and Atlantic Migrations. The organisation saw the value in partnering with other regions who share these themes to develop unique tourism packages that have the capacity to convey a story that was potentially previously unknown. Through this, ERNACT has identified a key opportunity to learn from other regions, develop and promote these locations, share our region’s stories with partners and tourists, whilst also creating concrete economic benefits and long-term impact at a local, regional and national levels.

Click here to email  Ianire Renobales at ERNACT for further information

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