The Interreg North-West Europe Programme invites public and private organisations to submit applications in the framework of the third call for proposals for the 2014-2020 period.
A comprehensive description of the Programme strategy and priorities is included in the Interreg North West Europe 2014-2020 Cooperation Programme.
A complete set of documents can be downloaded in the “Application resources” section of the Programme website www.nweurope.eu (Cooperation Programme, Programme Manual, Application Forms step 1 and 2 for reference).
2. Aim of the Programme
The Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) Programme is one of the fifteen transnational cooperation programmes financed by the European Union. It is financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)1.
The Programme encourages public, scientific, private and civil society organisations to cooperate with a view to improving the economic, environmental, territorial and social development of Europe's regions. The Programme co-finances these organisations to work together in transnational projects on specific themes.
All projects financed by the Programme will need to demonstrate high, transnational cooperation intensity throughout their lifetime with a clear focus on results. This means that partners must work together to deliver, evaluate, disseminate and roll-out the results of their project.
3. Thematic priorities
To deliver its aim, the Programme has identified three thematic priorities, each of which is sub- divided into specific objectives. These priorities and specific objectives (SO) are:
Priority 1: Innovation
Specific Objective 1: To enhance innovation performance of enterprises throughout NWE regions
Priority 2: Low Carbon
Specific Objective 2: To facilitate the implementation of low-carbon, energy and climate protection strategies to reduce GHG emissions in NWE
Specific Objective 3: To facilitate the uptake of low carbon technologies, products, processes and services in sectors with high energy saving potential, to reduce GHG emissions in NWE
Specific Objective 4: To facilitate the implementation of transnational low-carbon solutions in transport systems to reduce GHG-emissions in NWE.
Priority 3: Resource and materials efficiency
Specific Objective 5: To optimise (re)use of material and natural resources in NWE
The current call for proposals is open to all three thematic priorities. Transnational partnerships are invited to submit their project application under one of those.
Within these priorities, projects dealing with migration issues focusing on the integration of recognised refugees on the mid and long term will be considered, in particular in the domain of entrepreneurship, employment and access to the labour market.
4. Who can apply?
The Programme targets all or parts of 8 participating countries, including 7 EU Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) and the non-Member State Switzerland. A wide range of bodies are entitled to take part in NWE project partnerships including national, regional and local authorities, universities, R&D agencies, non-profit organisations as well as private partners, including profit-making partners (e.g. SMEs). Projects should bring together partners from at least three different countries (usually more) of which two need to be from within the NWE area.
5. Lead Partner principle
The “Lead Partner principle” will apply to the project management system, meaning that one partner is taking up the lead in the project. The Lead Partner will be the link between the project partnership and the Joint Secretariat, the European Commission and other interested bodies. He will furthermore supervise the administrative and financial management of the project and bear legal responsibility and liability for them.
6. Funding available
Over the lifetime of the Programme, €372 million of ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) will be allocated to the most qualitative and innovative projects.
No ceiling is set for this call.
All projects need to be match-funded. The maximum ERDF grant rate for partners is 60% of the total project budget. The partnership will need to provide the remaining 40% (see Programme Manual).
7. Submission of applications
This call for proposals is organised according to a two-step procedure. See chapters 3 and 4 of the Programme Manual for a detailed description of the process.
Step 1 – Applicants have to submit an application providing an outline of the proposed project. The application goes beyond a mere expression of interest, i.e. applicants need to present a comprehensive picture of the project’s intended change and result. This picture is the solid basis of the further development of the project.
Step 2 – Applicants who succeeded in step 1 of the call are invited to submit a “full application form” which includes all the details on the full partnership, the project work plan and budget.
Project proposals, both within step 1 and 2 of the call, must be submitted in English and only through the NWE portal (eMS). The project summary must be provided in all 4 programme languages (English, Dutch, French and German).
8. Project selection
All project proposals are assessed against Eligibility and Quality assessment criteria (see chapters 3 and 4 of the Programme Manual).
The decision on step 1 project applications will be taken by the NWE Monitoring Committee (MC), which is made up of representatives from both national and regional authorities within the NWE Member States.
The Monitoring Committee will meet in September 2016.
The applicants will be notified of the decision of the MC after this meeting.
There will only be one single opportunity for applicants to submit a specific project idea. If the project proposal is rejected, the applicants will have to come up with a new proposal (new scope, new objective).
9. Deadline for submission
Project proposals for step 1 of this call must be submitted through the eMS at the latest by
Friday 27 May 2016, 12.00 pm CET.
In case of approval in step 1, full applications (step 2) must be submitted either by 31 December
2016 or 30 June 2017 (dates to be confirmed). 10. Howtogetassistance
Continuous assistance will be provided by the NWE Secretariat staff members (project officers) and the network of Contact Points during both stages of project development. They are available to respond to any queries. All contact details can be found on the website www.nweurope.eu
Technical questions regarding the electronic Monitoring System should be asked through: eMS@nweurope.eu. This email address will function as the source for a FAQ section to be built up.