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TOWER - Towards Sustainable Excellence by Innovating Regions. (TOWER)
Start date: Dec 31, 2004, End date: Dec 30, 2007 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The overall aim of TOWER is to create and improve strategies, methodologies and tools for sustainable economic growth and to establish a platform for a long-term exchange of experiences and best practices between the regions involved. Achievements: TOWER has been perfomed successfully and achieved its main goals and objectives. In total four calls for proposals have been launched. The TOWER Monitoring and Steering Committee has approved a total of 13 sub-projects within the four components, covering a wide range of topics in the field of sustainagble economic growth in regions, such as tools and methods for support services for SME's, stimulating entrepreneurship, and sustainable SME's. Information on all approved sub-projects and their activities is available on the tower website. All regions have been involved in sub-projects and in total 46 participants have been actively involved in the running of sub-projects. The management team, consisting of the project coordinator, financial manager and five regional coordinators, has worked together to promote and implement theTOWER programme and to assist potential sub-project participants in the application procedure, as well as in their implementation to secure a successful performance of the pogramme and sub-projects. The management team has worked with a joint assessment procedure, to evaluate and assisst the monitoring and steering committee in their decisions. The management team has worked close together and has had a number of work meetings. Three partner search seminars have been arranged to facilitate the exchange of ideas. All five regions have been involved and active on programme level as well as in sub-projects. The partnership has been active in the dissemination of the operation activities and results, arranging and participating in a number of activities within the regions. A final conference was arranged in Linköping, Sweden in September 2007. This conference was an opportunity to disseminate the results and activities of the operation, and strengthening the transnational network on all levels. Some 80 participants from five countries attended the conference. TOWER has also been represented and presented at a number of national and international events. This has been an important way to meet stakeholders and policymakers which represent an important targetgroups for the operation. The external evaluators have performed a process evaluation, identifying areas of benefits from TOWER. TOWER Monitoring and Steering Committee has met eight times in total, starting in Linköping in April 2005, Keswick, UK in June 2005, Szeged, HU in October 2005, Lyon, France in January 2006, Arnhem, the Netherlands in May and September 2006, in Lyon March 2007 and Linköping September 2007. A final brochure has been produced and disseminated widely, a summary has also been produced. All information materials are published and available for download on the website, where news and information about TOWER are regularely updated.

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