1. CALL CONTEXT
The general context for this call for proposals is defined in Section 2.1 of the 2016 CEF Telecom work programme as published on the call page on the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) website.
2. BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE
The background and rationale for this call for proposals are defined in Section 3.6.1 of the 2016 work programme.
The priority outcomes of this call for proposals are defined in Section 188.8.131.52 of the 2016 work programme, namely to continue the support to the generation, aggregation and cross-border/cross domain harmonisation of open datasets at all levels of government, including cities, integrating the support provided by the CEF Telecom 2015 work programme. In addition, the call aims at fostering the availability of harmonised and detailed datasets content description for their full and informed use.
Proposed actions must be fully coordinated with the ongoing activities related to the deployment of the Open Data infrastructure, complementing the assistance already provided to the preparation of high quality metadata and datasets. Public administrations participating in the proposed actions should directly or indirectly represent the data providers. If appropriate, the consortia may also involve data users and/or private sector organisations (e.g. for providing technical support).
Proposed actions should aim to:
Support actions re-using information made discoverable/available through the European Data Portal, where appropriate in combination with other sources of information, such as the INSPIRE geo-portal, via operational and sustainable end-user dedicated solutions (mobile devices applications, websites or (web)services. The deployment of new services by innovation ecosystems supported by open platforms (such as FIWARE) in domains reaching significant critical mass is encouraged.
Improve the usability of Open Data across borders through a convergence of licensing conditions for Open Data in Europe, inter alia by way of progressive alignment of identical licensing conditions in existing national licences (reduction of ambiguity due to different ways of formulating identical conditions), thus facilitating their machine readability.
Propose a EU-wide assessment model demonstrating the impacts of open data, such as through the provision of a toolkit for the national administrations (standard procedures, software solutions which might include the processing of open data, harmonised questionnaires, key indicators, etc.) to facilitate ex-post evaluation of the economic and social impacts brought about by the re-use of public sector information in Europe.
Taking the above points into consideration, proposals should address all the issues listed below:
Facilitate the re-use of datasets belonging to the same domain and generated by different authorities in cross-border areas, e.g. by harmonising their metadata beyond the use of the same metadata model (minimum degree of harmonisation provided by default by the European Data Portal) and possibly the data themselves, e.g. through their aggregation, as well as by improving their overall quality.
Where appropriate, these same activities may also be proposed to be applied to more than one of the priority domains mentioned below.
Address both technical and legal issues, therefore including the adoption of harmonised conditions for re-use - be it through direct access or through a provided service.
4. RESULTS EXPECTED FROM THE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
The benefits and expected outcomes of this call for proposals are defined in Section 184.108.40.206 of the 2016 work programme. This call will help boost the development of information products and services based on the re-use and combination of open public data across the EU and contribute in particular to:
Improve the availability of harmonised content at the EU level, which will facilitate its cross border and cross domain re-use in both the public and private sectors and streamline of the production of interoperable content as well as its re-use and duplication reduction.
Increase the transparency and availability of innovative services for citizens, as well as increase the overall efficiency of public services and administrations.
Assist the innovation ecosystems of startups, which can strongly benefit from open data and platforms, as well as support the development of apps with high social and economic impact.
Promote the availability of good quality, reliable and interoperable datasets and enabling data portals infrastructure to allow the full potential of Open Data to be exploited.
Support the functioning of the European Data Portal as the one-stop-shop for Open Data across the EU.
Support the priorities of Digital Single Market, boosting competitiveness through cross- border interoperability and standardisation and facilitating easy interaction with citizens.
The indicative amount to be allocated on the basis of this call for proposals to projects of common interest in the field of trans-European telecommunications for Public Open Data generic services is €3.5 million.
Date of publication of call for proposal
12 May 2016
Deadline for the submission of proposals
15 September 2016 (17:00.00 Brussels time)
Evaluation of proposals
September-December 2016 (indicative)
Consultation of the CEF Committee
January 2017 (indicative)
Adoption of the Selection Decision
February 2017 (indicative)
Preparation and signature of grant agreements
As of February 2017 (indicative)
7. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
A proposal will not be evaluated if at least one of the following situations occurs:
It is not submitted electronically in the TENtec Information System eSubmission module. It is not submitted by the deadline for submission of proposals (see sections 6 'Timetable' and 13.2 'Submission of proposals').
The proposal is incomplete, i.e. any part of the application form (A, B, C or D) is missing. The proposal is not duly signed by the applicant(s).
8. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
8.1 Eligible applicants
In accordance with the 2016 work programme and pursuant to Article 9 of the CEF Regulation,
only those proposals submitted by one of the following types of applicants are eligible:
One or more Member States;
With the agreement of the Member States or EEA countries concerned, international
organisations, joint undertakings, or public or private undertakings or bodies established in Member States.
In accordance with section 4.3.1 of the work programme, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) may participate6 in the call for proposals, even when not explicitly mentioned, with the same rights, obligations and requirements as EU Member States. At the moment of the publication of this call, these conditions apply to Norway and Iceland only.7
Where necessary to achieve the objectives of a given project of common interest and where duly motivated, third countries and entities established in third countries may participate in actions contributing to the projects of common interest. They may not receive funding under the CEF Regulation, except where it is indispensable to achieve the objectives of a given project of common interest.
Acceding states and candidate countries benefiting from a pre-accession strategy may also participate in the sector of the CEF covering telecommunications infrastructure in accordance with agreements signed with the EU. As at the time of the publication of this call no such agreements have been signed, the same conditions as for third countries apply to acceding states and candidate countries.
Third countries and entities established in third countries may only participate as part of a consortium with applicants from EU/EEA countries. The application must contain the agreement of the Member State concerned by the proposed Action and a declaration from the European partner involved in the proposal on why the participation of the third country applicant is indispensable. Applicants that are entities established in a third country must also provide proof of the support of the third country authorities concerned.
Proposals may be submitted by entities which do not have legal personality under the applicable national law, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf and offer guarantee for the protection of the EU's financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons.
Proposals submitted by natural persons are not eligible.
Any applicant that cannot provide the agreement of the EU Member State or EEA country concerned will not be eligible.
Applicants may designate affiliated entities within the meaning of Article 122(2)(b) of the Financial Regulation8, for the purpose of supporting the implementation of the action submitted for funding. Such affiliated entities must comply with the eligibility criteria for applicants.
For multi-applicant proposals, a coordinator must be designated.
The exclusion criteria are defined in Annex 2 of the 2016 work programme. Applicants must certify that they are not in any of the situations listed below:
they are bankrupt or being wound up, are having their affairs administered by the courts, have entered into an arrangement with creditors, have suspended business activities, are the subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or are in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations;
they or persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over them have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a judgment of a competent authority of a Member State which has the force of res judicata;
they have been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the contracting authority can justify including by decisions of the EIB and international organisations;
they are not in compliance with their obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or the payment of taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established or with those of the country of the contracting authority or those of the country where the contract is to be performed;
they or persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over them have been the subject of a judgment which has the force of res judicata for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity, where such illegal activity is detrimental to the Union’s financial interests;
they are subject to a financial or administrative penalty referred to in Article 109(1) of the Financial Regulation;
they are subject to a conflict of interests;
they are guilty of misrepresenting the information required by the contracting authority as
a condition of participation in the procurement procedure or have failed to supply that information.
Proposals failing to meet the above criteria will not be further evaluated.
These same exclusion criteria also apply to affiliated entities. Applicants and their affiliated entities, if applicable, must certify that they are not in one of the situations listed above.
8.2 Eligible actions
Only actions which can be identified as "projects of common interest" as defined in the Telecom Guidelines9 may receive EU financial assistance.
Proposed actions also must comply with eligibility criteria regarding consortium composition, which must consist of a minimum of two public administrations from two different Member States.