Commission launches first Call for proposals for Urban Innovative Actions

EU funding opportunities

On 15th of December the European Commission launched the 1st Call for proposals for Urban Innovative Actions.

The aim of this new initiative, managed by the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, is helping the cities to identify and test innovative solutions in order to meet the growing challenges that will affect urban areas in the coming years. The Urban Innovative Actions, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, provide a unique opportunity for European cities to find the potential solutions to the emerging problems of urban development, which are relevant at EU level, that can be applied in practice and respond to the complexity of real life.

The total budget allocated by the ERDF to the UIA initiative is 372 million euro over the period 2015-2020, while the resources available for the first call amount to 80 million euro.

Eligible applicants are:

– any urban authority of a local administrative unit comprising at least 50.000 inhabitants;

– any association / groupings of urban authorities covering a total population of at least 50.000 inhabitants. They can include cross-border associations or groupings, associations or groupings in different regions and / or Member States.

The funded actions will be pilot projects in which urban authorities will see how the proposed innovative solutions work in practice, by setting up prototypes that can be tested in real urban settings.

Projects should be applicable and replicable by other organizations throughout Europe. The transferability factor will thus be taken into account for the evaluation of successful project proposals, along with the criteria of innovativeness, partnership, quality and measurability of results and outputs.

The themes (and therefore the challenges identified) for the first UIA Call are:

  • Energy transition;
  • Urban poverty;
  • Integration of migrants and refugees;
  • Jobs and skills in the local economy.

For each Call for Proposals, the Commission will define a limited number of topics that will be announced on the UIA website. Besides the mentioned 4 themes, eight further topics will be addressed throughout the next calls: Air quality; Circular Economy; Climate Adaptation; Digital transition; Housing; Innovation and responsible public procurement; Sustainable use of land nature based solutions; Urban Mobility.

The projects will have to propose innovative and lasting solutions by putting in place the expertise of other relevant stakeholders. Urban authorities should therefore establish strong local partnerships with the right mix of complementary partners, involving entities such as agencies, universities, NGOs, businesses or other public authorities.

Each project will have a maximum duration of three years.

Selected proposals will be co-financed by the ERDF up to 80% of their eligible costs. Each project will receive a contribution of up to 5 million euro.

The call will remain open for submissions until 31 March 2016.

Further information on the initiative and official documents for the applications can be found on the UIA website:

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