Project Details

Title: Enhancing ‘Next Generation Access’ Growth in Europe
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: the Information Society

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Dec 2014
Website: http://www.engage-interreg.eu


Total budget: €1,387,058.35
ERDF contribution: €1,074,109.74

Lead partner

Digital Nièvre Joint Authority
7, avenue Marceau - BP 40241
58002, Nevers

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Jean-Dimas MALOT
      Phone: +33 3 86 61 82 66
      Fax: +33 3 86 36 89 23

Project summary


ICT play an increasing and crucial role in the European socio-economic environment. The adoption and use of ICT are among the most significant factors determining productivity growth, accounting of 40% of Europe's productivity growth and 25% of EU GDP growth”. ICT could be a key factor to help developing rural areas in Europe but there is still a real rural-urban gap in broadband coverage.

NIVERLAN Joint Authority (JA) decided to address the related issues through the exchange of good practices and their preparation for subsequent implementation in several regions in Europe.



It is made up of 12 partners from 10 countries (FR, ES, IE, PT, RO, SI, UK, DE, FI, PL), among them 3 are new MS (PL, RO and SI).

Breakdown per area: West (3 countries); South (2 countries); East (3 countries) and North (2 countries).

Mix of national/regional/local authorities (6 partners), agencies with delegation of ICT competencies from their public authorities and universities (6).


To help rural regions across Europe to better understand and address the issue of “How to build a high speed broadband (HSB) network at efficient cost in rural areas” in order to make sure that the requisite are fulfilled for the maintenance or even strengthening of local populations and economic activities. ENGAGE will help the participating regions to fasten the setting up and the implementation of HSB policies, considering the significance & strategic importance of the next generation access networks.

APPROACH in 3 steps: 1/ Initial identification of good practices; 2/ Better knowledge of good practices in other territories, based on 6 interregional thematic workshops, study visits and staff exchange; 3/ Commitment to implement achievements of strong interest after the end of the project.


► 32 interregional events; ► 36 good practices selected ; ► Creation of a European high speed broadband experts team.►10 implementation plans

designed (1 per country and among which 5 are from Convergence Objective regions) according to common guidelines and with the support of the European experts team; ► 1 policy recommendation paper


► 30 staff members with increased capacity via staff exchange/ ► 780 participants expected in joints events (seminars, workshops, study visits, info days...) / ► At least 20 external regions involved in joint dissemination events; ► 10 policies/instruments improved in the field of ICT.


Results achieved in particular in projects such as B3Regions, DE-LAN and PIKE will be taken on board in a capitalisation perspective. ERNACT, Lead partner of PIKE, will play a crucial role as co-responsible for Component 3 on methodological aspects for the implementation plans design and for the coordination of the European experts team at the service of the partner regions in ENGAGE project, and also after the end of its implementation for the outside.

Project achievements

Following 3 years of collaboration and exchange between the ENGAGE partnership and institutions at European, national, regional and local levels ENGAGE held its closing conference in Brdo, Slovenia both to highlight Project achievements and future actions required to ensure every rural European is digital. The conference reflected the strength of the project and external partnership developed during three years: project partners presented an overview of exchange activities and individual achievements, showing through multi-media presentations how thematic workshops, staff exchanges and study visits, became instruments for transferring knowledge and getting to understand how good practices work at all levels: technical; financial and political. Presentations demonstrated how Expert Workshops in PR3 and PR5; the creation of a Political Platform in PR2; holding of policy/practice seminars and participation in the ‘Open Days’ in PR2 and PR4, joint events and with other IVC projects,

enabled ENGAGE to collaborative partnerships with HSB experts, elected representatives, public officials and European institutions and stakeholders. which advanced understanding of the digital environment of rural Europe of the barriers, and opportunities and assisted in creating the practical and political tools to achieve Digital Agenda targets.


ENGAGE has succeeded in producing tools and instruments to implement policy and practice at local level and inform or inspire other regions across Europe on the practicalities and opportunities offered by High Speed Broadband. From the opening event in Bremen where the political platform was first proposed and the study visit to the Broadband Competence Centre which inspired transfer of good practice and policy improvements, to meetings with DG CONNECT & REGIO leading to ENGAGE's input to the EU Broadband Investment Guide, to the HSB experts meetings and staff exchanges in PR3-6 which helped shape the comprehensive Implementation Plans and

the multi-media final conference which highlighted ENGAGE’s digital communication and advocacy strategy.


The four transferred good practices, ten policy improvements and ten spin-off activities, ENGAGE White Paper and ENGAGE web-site are concrete achievements; however as we realized, while it was important for us to exchange and develop practice we had to communicate them and try to influence policy makers and involve them. Through Videos; the ENGAGE Manifesto and ENGAGE APP and the SELFIE Campaign we connected to current and future decision makers and broadband users all over Europe. With each uploaded photo, an growing matrix of photos of broadband supporters and users across Europe, demonstrated that access to High Speed Broadband is a political and social priority. Importantly too there are available and accessible technical, financial and social solutions that can enable and involve rural communities to connect to the global (and local) digital economy.

In January 2015 Nièvre Numérique as LP of ENGAGE was one of a select group of public representatives invited to the Stakeholders Roundtable on the Investment Plan for Rolling Out High-Speed Digital Networks called by Commissioner Oettinger. ENGAGE's contribution brought together the conclusions of three years of project activities, joint learnings and advocacy. We now have efficient socio-economic models for HSB networks and guidelines to achieve them, now we need to engage all stakeholders in the use of these new technologies and on the development of appropriate and economically viable collective services. ENGAGE has helped to show how the new digital infrastructures and services must be accompanied by new sustainable economic models for public investors, telecommunication operators and local councils, which demonstrate social and economic return on investment in the short, medium and long-term and involve all stakeholders in their creation and roll out


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Digital Nièvre Joint Authority, Nevers FRANCE Bourgogne +33 3 86 61 82 66
University of Bremen - Center for Computing and IT, Bremen GERMANY Bremen +49 421 218 7829
ERNACT EEIG, Letterkenny, Co, Donegal IRELAND Border, Midland and Western 353749168212
Kent County Council, Maidstone UNITED KINGDOM Kent +44 01622 221381
Globalgarve-Cooperation and Development, SA, Faro PORTUGAL Algarve +351 289807768
Harghita County Council, Miercurea Ciuc ROMANIA Centru Phone: +4-0266-207701
Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, Ljubljana SLOVENIA Zahodna Slovenija +386 1 478 3378
University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana SLOVENIA Zahodna Slovenija +386 1476 8888
Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia, Seinäjoki FINLAND Länsi-Suomi 358403565630
Suupohja Economic Development Agency (SEK), Kauhajoki FINLAND Länsi-Suomi Tel: +358-40 653 1913
Self-government of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship, Olsztyn POLAND Warminsko-Mazurskie +48 89 521 94 30
IdenTIC Consortium, Badajoz SPAIN Extremadura 34924229111
ADRAL Alentejo Regional Development Agency, Évora PORTUGAL Algarve 3511266769150
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