Most AEBR Global Initiative activities are managed by our Brussels team coordinated by Chema Cruz. Cooperation between EU and Latin American players on cross-border cooperation continues in Colombia-Ecuador and other border areas, and AEBR explores also solutions to foster cross-border inclusive innovation practices. Further progress on INNOVACT and ENTELIS+ projects, a new collaboration with the Extremadura Agency for International Cooperation, and an agreement with the Titicaca Lake Authority.
ENTELIS+ (Accessibility skills for a technology enhanced learning in an inclusive society) is the second project AEBR is involved in in collaboration with EASPD (European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities) with the intention to increase our capacities on projects related to persons with disabilities. ENTELIS+ aims at developing and implementing innovative methods and practices to foster inclusive education and promote common values, as well as enhancing digital skills and competence of digitally excluded groups, such as persons with disabilities of all ages through strategic public-private partnerships. The project is focused on key aspects, barriers and challenges for the digital inclusion of disadvantaged groups via the development of facilitating policy framework.
The main objective of ENTELIS+ project is to empower educational staff to support their learners and service users. It builds on the outcomes of the previous ENTELIS project, as an innovative cooperation and networking practice which involves combinations of relevant (public/private) stakeholders across different sectors. The project is also based in the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Health Ageing (EIPonAHA) methodology to work at local level, where network members commit reach the objectives via concrete actions.
On 15-16 January AEBR attended the coordination meeting of this project which took place in Brussels where all the tasks and next steps were discussed. AEBR will organise several workshops in border regions in order to discuss best practices of cross-border inclusive education.
Within the framework of INNOVACT project, AEBR has actively participated in the organization of a study visit to Europe of representatives of public and private entities from border regions of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. INNOVACT is a project financed by DG REGIO (European Commission) that is being implemented in seven Latin Americans borders areas in 2019 and 2020 with the aim of disseminating its regional policy experience and good practices in Latin America. To further develop cooperation between regional authorities and specialised agencies on innovation policy decision-making and governance from EU and Latin American border regions, a study visit was organized in the second half of October 2019, focused on experiences of regional innovation, tourism and agro-productive development. A half hundred experts took part in a seminar about innovation and cross-border cooperation held in Bilbao (Spain) on 14-15 October. The participants also visited, in different groups, Basque Country, Navarre and Aragon border regions, the EUROACE Euroregion (Spanish-Portuguese border), and the Italian-Slovenian border.
On 16-17 March, INNOVACT held an Internet forum to exchange experiences and best practices across Latin American borders, with the presence of DG REGIO and CAF (Development Bank of Latin America). Some 50 local experts in cross-border cooperation from a dozen countries presented different projects and discussed about innovation and cross-border planning.
In March 2020, AEBR has entered a collaboration agreement with the Lago Titicaca Bi-nacional Authority (ALT), aimed at strengthening this cross-border structure capacity as well as the planification and implementation of cross-border actions managed by local and national actors. The Authority is a dependent entity from the Bolivia and Peru governments, whose main function is to support the bi-national sustainable development of the Lago Titicaca basin.
Furthermore, with the financial support of the Extremadura (Spain) Agency for International Development (AEXCID) AEBR organized in January 2020 a workshop on the formulation of cross-border cooperation and development projects, held in Tumaco (Colombia). AEBR also supported the organization of a capacity building seminar by the Fundación Centro de Estudos Euro Regionais from Galicia and North of Portugal. The event was held in Ipiales (Colombia).
AEBR also collaborates with the MERCOSUR Social Institute in cross-border patients’ mobility in border areas of Argentine, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.