What does Interreg do in general?
Every border region in Europe has its own Interreg programme which is a European Union funding programme that helps partners to work together cross borders and regions. The Interreg programme is managed by the European Commission’s Directorate for Regional and Urban Policy and stands for the deep belief that no border should ever prevent the exchange of resources, ideas and knowledge. We believe in sharing ideas and know-how and in learning from each other rather than reinventing the wheel, in order to grow together as people, as regions, and as the Interreg community.
Why is this region important to Interreg?
In the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, that is the cross-border area of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, we face many common challenges. That is why we strongly believe in working together, supporting shared solutions and therefore, Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine funds projects that do just that. We believe that collaboration is how we find richness in our differences and opportunity in our challenges in the Euregion Meuse-Rhine. In the current programme period, we invest EUR 96 million from the European Regional Development Fund in the areas of innovation, economy, social inclusion, education and territorial development.
Why is the GYM project important to this region?
The project addresses the issue of muscle disease and muscle breakdown, for which no effective treatment exists so far. This is a major health issue, especially for vulnerable populations (for example for older people or people with a lower economic status). Addressing this disease is therefore vital for our region, especially considering the fact that the population in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands is growing ever older.
The project aims to produce and commercialize the research findings into a spin-off, which means that a new muscle therapy based on stem cell will be developed and spread. This will not only contribute to enhance the economic potential of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, but will also offer hope to patients suffering from muscle diseases.
Why does Interreg believe in the GYM project?
One main focus in the current programme period is stimulating research and development in the health-care sector for the EMR region. Interreg Euregio-Meuse Rhine believes that the project presents an interesting idea in the field of health-care and contributes to innovation through the development of a new product, a muscle stem cell therapy, by a consortium made of research organizations and private companies.
Our programme believes that the market potential is real which is of great importance concerning the sustainability of the project. The Interreg EMR funding will not go unnoticed, but will make a difference to many practitioners, patients and scientist in that area alike. We also believe that GYM contributes to enhance a high-level expertise within the programme area.
What does Interreg contribute to this project? (financial or otherwise)
Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine supports the project with more than EUR 1.4 million from the European Union as well as further support and networking opportunities.
What does Interreg hope to achieve through this contribution to the project?
One main focus in the current programme period is stimulating research and development in the health-care sector for the EMR region which we believe the Generate Your Muscle project will through the development a of muscle stem cell therapy.
Our programme also believes that the market potential is real and that the GYM project will help pool expertise in the area of healthcare in our region. Furthermore, we hope that we can support people in our region who suffer from muscle loss by supporting research towards muscle stem cell therapy.