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ECOKT2016 (RE-PUBLICATION) Preparatory Action: Open Knowledge Technologies: Mapping and validating knowledge
Deadline: 30 Mar 2017   CALL EXPIRED

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 Capacity Building
 Disadvantaged People
 Aid to Refugees
 Education and Training
 Adult Learning
 Youth Exchanges
 Open Source
 Digital Society
 Migrants and Refugees

1. INTRODUCTION

The European Commission adopted on 14 September 2016 a financing decision for a preparatory action in the field of online learning and skills, with a particular focus on migrants. A call for proposals was published on 28 September 2016. This is a re- publication of that call.

The economic crisis contributed to severe cuts on the employment market, in particular for the low-skilled workers across the EU. The lack of opportunities for low-skilled workers increases their risk of exclusion, not only from the labour market, but also from society as a whole, with societal cleavages in the form of inequalities increasing. Migrants, in general, may face particular difficulties in labour market integration (e.g. due to language, culture, skills recognition, etc.). The recent increase in migrants coming to Europe has served to further highlight the need for innovative ways to ensure successful inclusion on the labour market and in society.

In order for the EU to achieve the Europe 2020 goals of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth it must strive to provide the necessary skills to the work force, and in particular to those at risk of exclusion, leading to more and better employment opportunities. Thus, education and training build the critical foundation for developing a thriving, cohesive and prosperous European society and economy.

Digital learning technologies and solutions have the potential to equip European citizens with the required skills and to enhance their employability, whilst contributing towards better employment opportunities and growth. Digital learning enables students in any location to study with the best teachers, access a plethora of information, collaborate with peers, and contribute to new thinking through networked learning and interactive research communities. They have the potential to prevent inequality of opportunities, maximise student’s learning potential and ultimately their ability to thrive. Digital learning helps diminishing the constraints of time, place, talent, and cost, and has the ability to personalize instruction by matching students 'needs, interests, learning styles, and educational goals.

 

2. OBJECTIVES

The overall objective of this action is to develop and demonstrate a European-wide learning and assessment technology system and networks to facilitate the up- and re- skilling of citizens at risk of exclusion, in particular migrants, whilst empowering citizens to take more responsibilities for their own learning. The solution should deliver employability skills for the particular target group, by matching the interests and the current knowledge of these with the most demanded labour market skills and suggest possible learning roadmaps.

The action will consist of the development and deployment of a technological platform integrating online services, which will incorporate the following modules and services:

  1. (1)  Skills/competence mapping and routes for recognition of prior learning,

  2. (2)  Tailored learning roadmaps via educational services, including specific open educational resources,

  3. (3)  Mechanisms for credentialisation (e.g. by certificate and/or badge) and recognition of the new learning.

These services should be accompanied by a thoughtful and comprehensive social innovation process to engage citizens at risk of exclusion in Europe, in particular migrants, in the proposed learning and skilling activities. Keeping in mind that 'migrants' is a vastly heterogeneous group with different needs, the proposal should also reflect on the particular barriers facing this group and that the proposal aims to address (e.g. languages). The services of the proposed solution will need to be tested and demonstrated through an integrated solution.

It is expected that the proposed solution will contribute to the implementation of the new Skills Agenda for Europe1, and will deliver employability skills for citizens at risk of exclusion, in particular migrants.

 

 

 

3. TIMETABLE

a) Publication of the call

15 February 2017

b) Deadline for submitting applications

30 March 2017 17:00 CET

c) Evaluation period

April/May 2017

d) Information to applicants

June

e) Signature of grant agreement or notification of grant decision

July 2017

f) Starting date of the action

August 2017

 

4. BUDGET AVAILABLE

The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated at EUR 1 500 000 (one million five hundred thousand Euro).

The Commission expects to fund one single proposal.
The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.

 

5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • –  Applications must be sent no later than the deadline for submitting applications referred to in section 3.

  • –  Applications must be submitted in writing and on usb key (see section Error! Reference source not found.), using the application forms available at https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/news-redirect/34447

  • –  Applications should be drafted in English.

Failure to comply with those requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.

 

6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

6.1. Eligible applicants
Only applications from legal entities established in the EU Member States are eligible. Applications may be submitted:

  • –  by a single legal entity;

  • –  by a consortium made up of several legal entities; or

  • - by one applicant, whether established specifically or not for the action, whichis formed of several legal entities complying with the eligibility, non-exclusion and selection criteria set out in this call for proposals, and implementing together the proposed action, provided the application identifies the said entities. For the purpose of declaring eligible costs as specified under section 11.2, the entities composing the applicant shall be treated as affiliated entities.

In order to assess the applicants' eligibility, the following supporting documents are requested:

Examples of supporting documents:

  • –  private entity: extract from the official journal, copy of articles of association, extract of trade or association register, certificate of liability to VAT (if, as in certain countries, the trade register number and VAT number are identical, only one of these documents is required);

  • –  public entity: copy of the resolution or decision establishing the public company, or other official document establishing the public-law entity;

  • –  consortium: in addition to the supporting documents referring to their legal status, consortium members will submit letters confirming their participation to the project;

  • –  natural persons: photocopy of identity card and/or passport;

  • –  entities without legal personality: documents providing evidence that their representative(s) have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf.

Eligible legal entities having a legal or capital link with applicants, which is neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of it implementation, may take part in the action as affiliated entities, and may declare eligible costs as specified in section 11.2.

 

6.2. Types

Eligible activities
of activities eligible under this call for proposals:

  1. Prototyping, deployment and testing/validation actions
  2. Conferences, seminars;
  3. Awareness and dissemination actions;
  4. Actions aiming at the creation and improving of networks, exchanges of good practices;
  5. Studies, analyses, mapping projects;
  6. Researchactivities Implementation period

 

6.3. Implementation Period

The duration of the action is expected to be no more than 24 months;

 

Applications for projects scheduled to run for a longer period than that specified in this call for proposals will not be accepted.

 

7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA

7.1. Exclusion from participation

Applicants will be excluded from participating in the call for proposals procedure if they are in any of the following situations:

  1. (a)  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;

  2. (b)  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;

  3. (c)  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;

  4. (d)  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 RAO or those of the country where the grant agreement is to be performed;

  5. (e)  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 an illegal activity is detrimental to the Union's financial interests;

  6. (f)  they are currently subject to an administrative penalty referred to in Article 109(1).

7.2. Exclusion from award

Applicants will not be granted financial assistance if, in the course of the grant award procedure, they:

  1. a)  are subject to a conflict of interest;

  2. b)  are guilty of misrepresentation in supplying the information required by the Commission as a condition of participation in the grant award procedure or fail to supply this information;

  3. c)  find themselves in one of the situations of exclusion, referred to in section 7.1.

The same exclusion criteria apply to affiliated entities.

Administrative and financial penalties may be imposed on applicants, or affiliated entities where applicable, who are guilty of misrepresentation.

7.3. Supporting documents

Applicants must sign a declaration on their honour certifying that they are not in one of the situations referred to in articles 106(1) and 107 to 109, filling in the relevant form

attached to the application form accompanying the call for proposals and available at https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/news-redirect/34447

 

8. SELECTION CRITERIA

8.1. Financial capacity

Applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the period during which the action is being carried out or the year for which the grant is awarded and to participate in its funding. The applicants' financial capacity will be assessed on the basis of the following supporting documents to be submitted with the application:

a) Low value grants (< EUR 60 000):

  • – a declaration on their honour.

b) Grants > EUR 60 000:

  • –  a declaration on their honour AND,

    EITHER

  • –  theprofitandlossaccount,thebalancesheetforthelastfinancialyearforwhich

    the accounts were closed;

  • –  for newly created entities, the business plan might replace the above documents.

    OR

  • –  the table provided for inthe application form, filled in with the relevant statutory accounting figures, in order to calculate the ratios as detailed in the form.

c) Grants for an action > EUR 750 000, in addition to the above:

  • – an audit report2 produced by an approved external auditor certifying the accounts for the two last financial year available.

 

In the event of an application grouping several applicants (consortium), the above thresholds apply by applicants.

In the case of legal entities forming one applicant, as specified in section 6.1, the above requirements apply to those entities.

On the basis of the documents submitted, if the Commission considers that financial capacity is not satisfactory, it may:

  • –  request further information;

  • –  propose a grant agreement without pre-financing;

  • – – –

    propose agrant agreement with apre -financing covered by a bank guarantee (see section 11.4);

  • where applicable, require the joint and several financial liability of all the co- beneficiaries;

  • reject the application.

 

Operational capacity

Applicants must have the professional competencies as well as appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed action or work programme. In this respect, applicants have to submit a declaration on their honour, and the following supporting documents:

– curriculumvitaeordescriptionoftheprofileofthepeopleprimarilyresponsible for managing and implementing the operation (accompanied where appropriate, like in the field of research and education, by a list of relevant publications);

– the organisations' activity reports;

– anexhaustivelistsofprojectsandactivitiesperformedinthelastthreeyearsand connected to the policy field of a given call or to the actions to be carried out;

– an inventory of natural or economic resources involved in the project.

In the case of legal entities forming one applicant, as specified in section 6.1, the above requirements apply to those entities.

 

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