October 11th and 12th, 2022 - The partners of the Interreg Europe CLAY project (Cross Sector support for Innovative and Competitive Artistic Ceramic SMEs) have met in Brussels (Belgium) to present the project results to an audience of policy makers, directors, officers and stakeholders of various institutions and colleagues. 

The main objective of the CLAY project is to show that with product, process and marketing innovation it is possible to make tradition competitive in a globalized world.

In this frame, the project partners have presented their work and their regions in the 2 days event in Brussels.

The project partners:

Regione Umbria / Regional Government of Umbria (Lead Partner - Italy);

AEuCC - Agrupaciòn Europea de Cooperaciòn Territorial Ciudades de la Ceramica, AECT limitada / European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation Cities of Ceramic, EGTC with limited liability (Advisory Partner, legally based in Spain, with headquarters in Italy);

ADRSV - Agentia pentru Dezvoltare Regionala Sud Vest Oltenia / Regional Development Agency South West Oltenia (Romania);

Etelä-Pohjanmaan liitto / Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia (Finland);

CTCV Centro Tecnológico da Cerâmica e do Vidro / CTCV Technological Centre for Ceramics and Glass (Portugal);

Association pour le développement et la promotion du pôle européen de la céramique / Association for the development and promotion of the european ceramic center (France).

The first day of the event (Tuesday October 11th, 2022 - 16:30 – 19:30) saw the partners presenting their “Ceramic Corners”, to provide a glimpse of tradition and innovation in the ceramic sectors of the CLAY Regions: Umbria (IT), South-West Oltenia (RO), South Ostrobothnia (FI), Centro (PT) and Nouvelle-Aquitaine (FR). 

More than 50 people interested in learning more about the solutions (projects, videos, ceramics) on display turned out to be present, especially officials from regional offices stationed in Brussels (see list of participants).

During the second day of the event (Wednesday October 12th, 2022 – 09:00 – 16:00) CLAY partners held a conference titled “Ceramics: a crucial sector for Europe”, with participants both in presence and online.

Moderator Diletta Giovannelli (Foreign affairs and Communication manager for Regione Umbria) opened the session introducing Michele Fioroni (Umbria Regional Deputy President for Economic Development) who welcomed the participants and stated that technology can provide new opportunities to the ceramic sector, as innovation can boost tradition by developing new skills and products. Michele Fioroni stated that presenting such great results of a programme about one our patrimony sector, in Bruxelles was of moment of great proud for Umbria, the lead partner of Clay project . 

Emanuela Bossi (CLAY project manager for Umbria Region) presented the 5 years project stating that the work never stopped, despite the global situation.

Ilaria Piazza (Interreg Europe Joint Secretariat representative), welcomed the participants and provided useful information about the future developments of the Interreg program.

Donatella Tesei (Umbria Region President) remarked the importance of CLAY project, as the importance of the ceramic sector. It is important, Tesei stated, to conjugate tradition and innovation in processes and products, together with sustainability linked to new practices.

The conference proceeded to the following session, during which the project partners presented their action plans, and the work done during the project: 

Emanuela Bossi, Lead Partner - Umbria Regional Government

Alexandra Sîrbu, Regional Development Agency South-West Oltenia

Pia Kattelus, Sanna Inkeri, Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia

Regina Santos, CTCV – Centro Tecnológico da Cerâmica e Vidro

Alexandra Beaudrouet, Pôle Européen de la Céramique 

Giuseppe Olmeti and Oriol Calvo EGTC AEuCC