Ireland and Scotland to collaborate on SMART Islands Projects

Isle of Eigg. Credit: L J Cunningham
News from Scottish Islands Federation

The Scottish Islands Federation, in partnership with the Irish Islands Federation (Comdhail Oileanean na h Eireann) have recently succeeded in securing LEADER funding for 2 transnational projects focusing on the them of 'Smart Islands'.

The first project, 'Smart Sustainable Islands through Exchange and Collaboration', will be looking at the smaller islands in Scotland and Ireland in the framework of the Smart Islands Initiative and Clean Energy EU islands Secretariat Transition model. Clare Island and Inish Turk in County Mayo, Eigg and Canna in Highland (which are small islands similar in size, population and comparable challenges) will look at steps for action towards becoming smart, inclusive and thriving societies.

The exchange is taking place this September on Clare Island and will be looking at climate change mitigation, the move away from fossil fuels, electric mobility, developing the circular economy and diversification, strengthening stakeholder participation and sustainable, community led tourism.
The second project is looking at supporting Enterprises and Young People, building on experiences across Scottish and Irish islands in developing enterprise and engaging young people as key factors that contribute to becoming Smart Islands. The project, led by CoDeL,  involves Grimsay/Uist in Scotland and the Aran islands in Ireland and will kick off as a parallel event to the S.I.F. AGM this October, with a return visit to Ireland in November. The project will focus on three themes:  

  1. Small and community enterprise and employment, including: enterprise development for young people; the interactions of language/culture and enterprise/employment; sustainable tourism and marketing; and small-scale fisheries.
  2. Young people: enterprise; out and in-migration of young people; interventions to support young people staying, returning or settling on islands.
  3. Policy: exploring the relevance of the Irish Heritage Fisheries Act for Scottish islands; a joint briefing on how Scottish and Irish islands are seeking to become sustainable and smart.

For more information, visit the SMART Islands section of the SIF website.