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Choosing to grow and to deliver a joint implementation of the Lisbon and Gothenberg agenda (GROW)
Start date: Dec 31, 2004, End date: Dec 30, 2007 PROJECT  FINISHED 

GROW is identifying the good practices that can help to achieve smart growth. Its overall objective consists of three interlinked ambitions: enhancing the environment and promoting sustainable use of natural resources (green growth); enhancing innovation, dynamic business practices and the knowledge economy (business growth); and supporting the development of sustainable communities and social inclusion (inclusive growth). Achievements: Achievements so far GROW is a €7.5m programme between Andalucia, Emilia-Romagna, Noord Brabant, Malopolska and the South East of England. These 5 high growth regions are all at different stages of developmennt & share the same vision - not growth at all costs but the achievement of SMART GROWTH. They have joined forces to work towards a joint implementation of the Lisbon and Gothenburg Agendas making the EU the most competitive & dynamic knowledge based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more & better jobs & greater social cohesion. The 3 pillars of GROW reflect this ambition - GREEN Growth for environment, BUSINESS Growth for business cooperation, innovation & entrepreneurship & INCLUSIVE Growth for employment & social cohesion. GROW was launched in Seville in June 2005 with over 200 organisations from the 5 participating regions & in the presence of the Spanish Minister for Social Welfare. 16 sub-projects were delivered: 6 in Green Growth, 5 in Business Growth and 5 in Inclusive Growth. 82 organisations from the 5 regions are involved. Examples of topics addressed by the sub-projects are: sustainable construction (SusPurPol, PPSC, Building for the Future), environmental awareness in flooding (FLORISPRE), knowledge transfer between research institutions and SMEs (BBAS), access to finance for women (FEW), social enterprise (Social on Business, EcoSocial). All projects ended in October or November 2007. Highlights to note are the success of the RAMEA environmental accounting tool which has resulted in discussions with DG Regio & subsequently collaboration with Energies Demain in Paris on synergies with the NECATER tool; the widespread success of the FLORISPRE project which has resulted in flood awareness being introduced into policy at a variety of levels; the impact the Building for the Future project will have on the construction of colleges in the UK in the future. At programme level an innovative online monitoring system was developed & programme level DVD, posters, banners, website, newsletter produced. During 2007 a 3-pronged review of the programme took place including an interregional analysis of strategic documents, an external evaluation and an analysis of the sub projects against the '3P' model (People, Planet, Profit) to assess their level of sustainability. Six programme level events / conferences were held in total (including partner fairs, dissemination events) - one in each region and a final dissemination event in Brussels on 18 October 2007. All partners are hoping to continue to work together in the future along with new partners so as to capitalise on the strength of the partnership that has been developed through this programme.

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