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Making Cities Work - Innovation Action - JPI Urban Europe
Deadline: Feb 28, 2018  

 Urban Management
 Smart Cities
 Urban Development
 Urban transport
 Urban Innovative Actions


The aim of the JPI Urban Europe is to create attractive, sustainable and economically viable urban areas, in which European citizens, communities and their surroundings can thrive.

The JPI Urban Europe focuses on how to:

• Transform urban areas into centres of innovation and technology
• Ensure social cohesion and integration
• Reduce the ecological footprint and enhance climate neutrality
• Take advantage of technological solutions and realize efficient and sustainable

urban systemsandnetworks(mobility,energy,water,ICT,etc.)



A substantial knowledge base has already been created within JPI Urban Europe research projects. Other national and international (incl. EU framework) research initiatives are also generating knowledge about the development of urban environments including both technological and socio- economic aspects.

However, much of this knowledge is not accessible to potential users and is not easily implemented. Implementation of new solutions can be hindered by institutional barriers (e.g. standards and regulations for construction, installations, procurement), social barriers (e.g. resistance of organisations and individuals to accept new ways of doing things) and financial barriers (business models to implement social innovations are unclear or not viable, or there are insufficient possibilities for scaling up innovations).

This call invites proposals for projects that tackle these barriers and address implementation issues. The projects will work on concrete urban challenges and focus on developing a proof of concept and learning on a European scale using transdisciplinary consortia with active participation of both municipalities and companies.

For the development of this call, cities and public utilities across Europe have contributed actively to develop a vision on which urban challenges are most pressing to address and for which challenges learning and developing on a European scale has a real added value. Through both national and international brokerage events with cities’ representatives, businesses, researchers and NGOs the topics in this call have been decided upon.

To ensure that projects supported by Making Cities Work have a lasting value, the participating city management must express its support and intention to develop follow-up of the project by implementation in a real-life situation.
Cities can have different roles in innovation projects: they can be creators of regulations, which allow the innovation to move forward; they can be champions of new solutions and they can be the problem owners and solvers. Often, even forerunning innovative cities often test innovations in isolation. Sharing innovation experiences amongst European cities is the key to effectively tackle city innovation problems.


The Making Cities Work call invites municipalities, businesses, researchers, civil society and other stakeholders to build transnational consortia to create challenge-driven innovation projects for European urban areas that have the potential to result in commercially successful services and products.

The projects submitted in this call should:

  • Have a challenge-driven approach with the problem owners in an active role and relevant

    stakeholders to address this problem in the consortium;

  • Have transdisciplinary and trans-sectoral collaboration with active cooperation between all

    stakeholders throughout the project;

  • Be focused on innovative solutions, getting to a proof of concept, demonstration, or test

    replicability and scalability;

  • Show the added value of European collaboration.

  • Should describe the way in which gender and diversity aspects are relevant to the project.

The contents of projects resulting from this call should address one or more of the following topics (see page 7 ff. for full topic descriptions):

  • Re-thinking urban mobility: Innovative solutions to reduce city congestion

  • Implementing the Smart Sustainable City: From pilot projects within sectors and neighbourhoods to cross-sectoral services for citizens and business

  • Creating the city together: Closing the gap between citizens, companies and city policy

  • Innovative and sustainable city change: Reducing the negative impacts of construction sites

Proposals for collaborative transnational projects should cover challenge-driven innovation and implementation in close collaboration with the end users such as citizens or public authorities and should refer to the topic addressed in the proposal and fit the available funding for the project partners on the national or regional level.

The call for proposals is open until 28 FEBRUARY 2018 (12:00 noon CET).

This document describes the objectives, scope, and topics of the call, rules for participation and procedures from proposal to implementation of the projects. Further information on the joint call can be found on the JPI Urban Europe website


3. Objectives

This Making Cities Work Innovation Action is issued by JPI Urban Europe. Making Cities Work is based on the JPI Urban Europe Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA).1 Making Cities Work projects should fulfil the following criteria:

  • The project should have a challenge-driven approach with relevant stakeholders in an active role to address this problem in the consortium.
    Societal challenges are often multi-dimensional in character which means that solutions combine knowledge and resources from several actors.

  • The project should have transdisciplinary and trans-sectoral collaboration with active cooperation between all stakeholders throughout the project.
    Transdisciplinarity is collaboration among multiple partners, both academic and non-academic, to solve a common problem. Non-academic partners may include public authorities, NGOs, private and public companies, civil society, grassroots movements etc. In co-creation projects all these different partners bring in specific know-how and together create new knowledge, instruments, products or policies. Trans-sectoral collaboration emphasizes that cross-fertilization between branches speeds up the innovation process.

  • The project should be focused on innovative solutions, getting to a proof of concept, demonstration or testing.
    The main focus of the projects should not be new knowledge creation, but using knowledge in practice. The project can provide a proof of concept for a particular solution to an urban challenge or it can focus on testing a solution or determining the feasibility of upscaling solutions.

  • Projects should show the added value of European collaboration.
    Problems in cities are local, but often comparable to problems in other cities. Learning between cities can stimulate new innovative solutions. Many cities have also initiated different urban pilots. Scaling up from these pilots in several cities can be more efficient than when every city has to learn only from their own pilots.

  • Gender and diversity aspects:
    Applicants should describe the ways in which gender and other diversity perspectives are relevant to the project. Diversity within the consortium in terms of gender, age, ethnicity and nationality is considered beneficial.


4. Call Topics

The call topics have been selected through inputs from problem owners and other stakeholders. The topics are a subset of the thematic priorities identified in the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda of JPI Urban Europe.

The societal challenges municipalities now struggle with should be the base for the projects. Implementation is in focus and the necessary academic knowledge should already be acquired. However, action research could be one part of the project.

The project proposal should at least address one of the following topics:

Topic 1: Re-thinking urban mobility: Innovative solutions to reduce city congestion

Traffic congestion remains a considerable problem for urban areas. This is not only a mobility problem but also has consequences for the environment; citizens’ health and quality of life; the urban economy; security and safety and is a part of social sustainability.

Solutions to congestion have traditionally been in the mobility or infrastructure area. The complexity of the traffic congestion challenge implies that the solutions could be sought in different urban areas as well and in the basis that too many people travel in the same places at the same time.

Topic 2: Implementing the Smart Sustainable City: From pilot projects within sectors and neighbourhoods to cross-sectoral services for citizens and business
Smart Sustainable City pilot projects in European cities have so far focused on solving challenges within thematic sectors such as mobility or health. To facilitate synergies and added value among pilot projects, innovative projects of tomorrow should use integrative, cross-system approaches.

Moreover, it has proven difficult to scale up innovations from a smart city pilot to city-wide implementation, or to implement in multiple cities. Shared challenges and successful practices must be identified and turned into useful services for cities and citizens.
Projects could combine the business actors’ ability to turn innovative ideas into business, researchers’ experience of providing solutions and by including cities in the process.

Topic 3: Creating the city together: Closing the gap between citizens, companies and city policy
Cities have a responsibility to initiate cooperation with its citizens, civil society actors and companies to solve societal challenges. Over the past years many cities have done this: urban living labs, smart city pilots and urban innovation initiatives have been established all over Europe. However, it has proven difficult to move from a short-term citizen involvement initiative to a sustained practice where citizen involvement is truly incorporated.

Projects related to this topic could focus on closing the gap between citizens, civil society actors, companies, and policy development. One option is to work on a specific city case where a pilot project is transformed into practice. Another option is to develop tools, methods or ideas on how to close the same gap for multiple case study areas.

Topic 4: Innovative and sustainable city change: Reducing the negative impacts of construction sites
Cities are growing and continually changing. When buildings, streets, public spaces or other infrastructure is built or renovated, cities experience added CO2 emissions, noise, visual pollution and forced detours.

Projects related to this topic could involve working with municipalities and construction companies to identify innovative practices and processes that reduce the negative impacts of construction sites in cities. Solutions could make use of existing knowledge, using it in new and innovative ways, and making it possible for municipalities to make knowledge-based and sustainable procurement choices for liveable cities.


5. Participation Rules

This call contains a set of rules for participation at Joint Innovation Action programme level (general rules for participation) and specific funding agency rules which apply to applicants who claim funds from a specific funding agency (see Annex A for guidance and for web links to further guidance on agency websites).

All funded partners in this Making Cities Work Innovation Action for projects will be funded by their national or regional funding agencies in accordance with their respective eligibility rules.

Who can participate and apply?

Each project proposal must be submitted by a project consortium consisting of at least three eligible applicants from at least two participating countries. Each project consortium must have the interest and competence to undertake the goals provided. Each project consortium must exist of at least one eligible business and one city partner.


An organisation/institution or a natural person of the lead organisation is the project coordinator, depending on the specific eligibility rules of the different agencies. In addition, a proposal must have at least two further Partners eligible for funding. The proposal may also include self-funded partners, whose role is described further on. In the proposal the participation of all partners involved must be convincingly justified.

Only applicants located in the following countries are eligible to apply as Project Coordinator or Partner, irrespective of their nationality: Austria, Belgium, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Applicants from other countries may participate as a self-funded partner.

Applicants can come from organizations such as:
• Companies (from industry/large companies to SMEs)
• Cities, municipalities, public authorities
• Citizens’ representatives, NGOs
• Research organisations (universities, university colleges, research institutes or other authorities

with research undertakings)

Project Coordinator

The Project Coordinator will be responsible for running and managing the project. This entity will be the contact point with the Making Cities Work Innovation Action on behalf of the whole consortium and is responsible for the administrative management of the complete project, should it be awarded funding. In addition, the Project Coordinator is responsible for leading the project activities in his/her own organisation. The Project Coordinator must be situated in one of the five participating countries in this call. The specific eligibility rules of the respective funding agency apply.


Partners are eligible for receiving funding. Each Partner is responsible for leading the project activities at his/her entity. There may be more than one Partner from any of five countries. Each Partner should be situated in a participating country. The specific eligibility rules of the respective funding agency apply.


Self-funded Partners

Partners from countries not participating in this call, partners that are willing to participate with own funding, or are not eligible for funding from participating agencies, may be included in the projects as Self-Funded Partners. Self-Funded Partners can be included in the consortium if (a) they finance their activity from other sources and (b) the consortium in general fulfils the requirements on the number of applicants from participating countries.

Eligibility requirements and recommendations

The Call Secretariat will verify the eligibility of the proposals according to the transnational eligibility criteria listed below. The participating funding agencies will verify the suitability for national funding according to their respective eligibility criteria.

If either the project coordinator or the proposal does not meet the eligibility requirements, the proposal will not be admitted to the evaluation procedure. In case a single Partner is not eligible, the proposal may still be eligible without this Partner if and when the eligibility criteria are met by the proposal. In both cases, this will be communicated to the Project Coordinator.

If a proposal is “eligible”, this does not mean that it will be awarded funding, but only that the proposal will be admitted to the evaluation procedure.

Transnational eligibility criteria: (admission of the proposals to the evaluation)

  • Submission of a complete proposal through the FFG electronic submission system ( before the deadline, 28 February 2018 12:00 CET.
    An online help document for submission is provided via The project proposal may only be submitted if all Partners have previously completed and submitted their partner proposals in eCall. Therefore it is within the project coordinator’s duties to ensure timely submission of all partner proposals and of the proposal as a whole. The process of the invitation and "application" of project partners is described in detail in the “Project Partners” section of the eCall tutorial (see above). The terms "partner proposal" and "partner application" are used interchangeably. The "partner application" (or "partner proposal") only includes the master data of the project partner and does not mean that the proposal must be submitted several times. It is not possible to resubmit or revise the proposal after the submission deadline.

    Please note that the eCall system generally does not allow a further change of any content once you have submitted your proposal. (The Call Secretariat can only manually open your application again before the submission deadline if necessary.) Therefore we kindly ask you to finalize your submission only when you are sure all content is ready for submission.

  • English as the language of the proposal.
    Proposals must be prepared in English using the designated proposal form. Proposals written in other languages will not be accepted. The proposal form should be completely filled in; incomplete proposal forms will be ineligible.

  • Consortium composition must include
    o Atleast3independenteligibleorganisations(legalentities)fromatleast2differentpartner

    countries participating in the Call for Proposals.

o Atleastoneeligiblefor-profitbusinesspartner(SMEorLargeEnterprise)
o Atleastoneeligibleend-userorganisationaspartner(city,municipality,publicauthority).

• The added value resulting from transnational cooperation must be addressed in the proposal. Consortia need to be balanced between countries both in terms of number of partners and distribution of budget. No one partner may represent more than 70% of the activity in the project. As the call is organized for innovation projects, consortia are required to 

prove the interest and active involvement of all partners in the consortium. Consortia need to have at least one business partner to elaborate the solution and at least one city or municipality who will have the role of “innovation accelerator” during the project and work with business partners actively in order to elaborate and implement the solution.

  • Duration of the project: 18 to 36 months.
    Projects may decide themselves what they see as a suitable running time for the project. Projects may be funded for a maximum of 3 years, and must start between September 2018 and December 2018. The starting date may depend on the budget allocation (rules) of the specific funding agencies. The end date of a project should be harmonized for all applicants in the same consortium.

Funded projects indicative budget: €500.000 to €1.000.000

  • There are no fixed minimum or maximum limits for a project size. Smaller-sized innovation projects with total budgets requested from the funding organisations in the range of 0,5-1,0 M€ are typically expected. However, there are (national) funding limits for the respective partners. Table 1 indicates the bandwidth of funds available from each of the respective national funding agencies. For more information on the specific funding agencies’ rules, please see Annex A. In the proposal a justification of the requested budget will be required. This justification must include reference to the runtime of the project, the consortium size and the project proposal. The estimated budget must be given in Euros only and be tabulated according to the proposal template provided. All costs must be eligible according to the funding agencies’ rules available (see Annex A). In case of doubt, applicants should consult their respective funding agencies which can advise on funding rules.

By transmitting your proposal, you agree that it is forwarded to your responsible funding agency as well as to all other participating funding agencies involved in JPI Urban Europe Making Cities Work.

If, after reading the instructions on the website, you still have technical questions about the use of the system, please contact the Call Secretariat at FFG (see section 8).


6. Evaluation

Evaluation procedure

Within the framework of the Making Cities Work Innovation Action, a one-stage evaluation procedure will be adopted. Applicants will be invited to submit full project proposals. These will be evaluated in an open competition in which an independent international Expert Panel will rank proposals according to the programme’s evaluation criteria stated below. The Panel will consist of recognized experts in relevant fields, practitioners and innovators as well as academics, who can assess the innovative and practical values of the submitted Making Cities Work projects. The Panel will be appointed by the participating funding agencies. Applicants will have no possibility for rebuttal to the committee’s evaluation.

Based on the ranking by the Expert Panel, and taking into account the available (national) budgets, the participating national and regional funding agencies of the Making Cities Work Innovation Action will take funding decisions. Funding decisions are final, and cannot be appealed.

A written statement on the evaluation of each proposal will be sent by the Call Secretariat to the Project Coordinators. The Call Secretariat will inform the Project Coordinator of projects that have been recommended for funding on the subsequent contracting procedure.


Evaluation criteria

Need for solution (Why is this project needed?)

5 points

  • Clear description of the challenge addressed and relevance to the programme objectives

  • Innovativeness of the solution

  • How will the proposal set up and develop a model or proof of concept or prototype to test

    the solution?

  • Potential to contribute to increased gender and diversity equality with solution

  • Added value of European trans-national cooperation


Approach (How will this project provide solutions?)

5 points

  • Feasibility of aims and objectives of the project

  • Feasibility and suitability of project design and methods

  • The consortium’s competence and composition with regards to the project goal

  • Quality, complementarity and diversity in gender, age, ethnicity or nationality of the

    consortium and how well the gender and diversity perspectives are integrated in the project

    goals and plan

  • Appropriateness of management arrangements for project

  • Appropriateness of costing

  • Feasibility and appropriateness of timescale

  • Handling of development risks


Benefit of project (What will this project contribute?)

5 points

  • Extent to which the project is likely to be of value to user communities/cities.

  • Potential to take a real step towards utilisation/implementation of the solution

  • Involvement of end users and co-creation of the solution

  • Accurateness of the proposed solution to the end users’ needs

  • Scalability and replicability of the solution

  • The plan for generating value from the proposed solution. This can either be market value (profit) or social or public value.

Scoring and thresholds

Experts will evaluate on the basis of the criteria ”Need for solution”, ”Approach” and ”Benefit of project”. Evaluation scores will be awarded for each criterion, and not for the different aspects listed in the above table. Each criterion will be scored by the Expert Panel, using the following scale: 0) Unacceptable, 1) Weak, 2) Average, 3) Good, 4) Very good, 5) Excellent. Half marks can be used. The threshold for individual criteria will be 3. The overall threshold, applying to the sum of the three individual scores, will be 10.


Time Schedule

24 October 2017


Launch of the call for proposals

28 February 2018


Deadline Submission of proposals

February 2018


General eligibility check (programme level)

March 2018


National eligibility check

April 2018


Meeting of Expert Panel to assess proposals

May 2018


Funding recommendation by the Making Cities Work-JPI UE Steering Committee

May 2018


Announcement of results to Project Coordinator

May-June 2018


National procedure starts

Sep 2018-Jan 2019


National funding decisions and contracts completed Start of projects

January 2019


Kick-off meeting Projects



Mid-term Projects Event


Final Projects Event


Documentation and forms

All documents (including application forms and procedure guidelines) are published on the Urban Europe website:


7. Project Implementation and JPI Urban Europe Activities

This call is part of the transnational Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe which includes various joint programme activities (e.g. knowledge sharing, networking) that are described in this section. Projects funded via this call will become part of the programme of the JPI Urban Europe. Participants of projects funded via this call are expected to actively participate in the programme activities and to consider this in the planning of their project proposal by including budget to participate in the JPI Urban Europe programme activities.

Consortium agreement

Each project recommended for funding is required to have a signed consortium agreement between all partners prior to the start of the project, at least addressing the following topics:

• Internal organisation and management of the consortium • Intellectual Property arrangements
• Settlement of internal disputes

Project monitoring and reporting

Project monitoring and reporting will be in accordance with the respective funding agency’s rules. In addition to the respective funding agency’s requirements, the consortia are expected to deliver short progress reports to the Making Cities Work Call Secretariat, in English, on an annual basis, including a description of their transnational cooperation and a publishable summary of the project status. A reporting template will be provided on the programme website.

A detailed survey must be completed by the Project Coordinator twice per project (mid-term and final). This survey includes key performance indicators for project progress and their contribution to the overall aim of the call.
Furthermore, one project observer from one of the participating funding organizations will be assigned to each of the funded projects to monitor the progress in transnational cooperation on behalf of the participating funding organisations and to provide a communication link between the project, the Call Secretariat and the JPI Urban Europe programme.


8. Contacts and Further Information

General information on the joint call

Updated information on this joint call and all relevant documents/templates are published on If you have questions on the general call process and proposal submission, please contact the Making Cities Work Innovation Action Secretariat:

Johannes Bockstefl
Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) Telephone: +43 5 7755 5042

Contact points of participating funding agencies

Hanna Scheck
Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) Telephone: +43 5 7755 5068

For questions regarding specific funding agencies’ rules and additional forms please check the following section 9 “Agency Funding Guidelines and National Contact Persons” first. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the indicated national contact persons at the participating funding agencies.



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