7. Eligibility of expenditure

Frequently asked questions
Can stakeholders not identified as Delivery Partners in the Partnership have access to the funding?

Stakeholders cannot have a specific budget allocated in the framework of an EUI-Project. Nevertheless, EUI-IA rules allow the implementation of financial schemes implemented by Project Partners, supporting the distribution of financial resources as a reward following a contest (such as prizes, vouchers, or grants) to the benefit of third parties (individuals or organizations) that are not part of the Project Partnership. Such schemes must contribute to the project’s objectives and results. The individual award per third party beneficiary must not exceed EUR 60 000. They must be properly described in the Application Form (either in a dedicated Work Package, activity or deliverable, depending on the importance of the scheme), including the following information: the purpose of the scheme, the rules of the contest, the award criteria, the value of the individual award, the total amount of the award, the payment arrangements, target groups. 

Is it possible that one of the Partners ensures the entire co-financing value?

EUI projects receive ERDF co-financing up to 80% of the eligible costs, every partner receiving ERDF needs to secure 20% at least of public or private contribution to complete its budget either from its own resources or from other sources e.g. from another project partner but not from another EU funding source. Therefore, it is allowed that one Partner covers the co-financing of one or several/ all Project Partners. In that case, this Partner should be explicitly mentioned as the “source of contribution” in the dedicated section of the Application Form. It is to be noted that the partners contribution can be in the form of cash and/or in-kind.

Can in-kind contribution be used to cover Project Partners’ contributions?

EUI-IA rules offer the possibility to Partners to cover their contribution with in-kind contribution. The value of the in-kind contribution can also be used to cover the contribution of several Project Partners. For instance, in the case of a building owned by the Main Urban Authority and brought to the project as in-kind contribution in order to be refurbished, the value of that building can be used to secure the contribution of the Main Urban Authority, as well as the contribution of the Project Partners X and Y. Logically, the maximum value reported as in-kind contribution should be capped not to exceed the overall 20% of the total project budget. Please note that there is a specific limitation applicable to the provision of land only: in-kind contribution in the form of land cannot exceed 10% of the total project budget. The value of the in-kind contribution must be independently assessed by an Expert. The value of the in-kind contribution must be explicitly reflected twice in the Application Form: in the Partners’ contribution section (for the different Partners concerned), and in the budget of the relevant Work Package. 

Are in-kind contributions eligible under the staff costs budget line?

In-kind contribution (IKC) refers to non-cash contributions given to a project that have a monetary value, however for which it is not charged. It can be seen as a gift/ donation given to the project. Staff paid by their employer do not correspond to the definition of IKC as there is a monetary transfer (salary + taxes…), so they should be considered as contribution in cash.

However, volunteers (unpaid work carried out for the benefit of the project without receiving any financial compensation for it) are eligible as in-kind contribution, provided they are included in the AF, and that the conditions regarding the value of in-kind listed in the EUI-Innovative Actions Guidance are complied with. Please note that supporting documents are necessary for the first financial claim, not at application stage.

In the case of co-financing with real estates as in-kind contribution, when are projects requested to provide an external evaluation of the value on the market?

In the case of land and real estate purchase or provision in the form of in-kind contribution, a certificate from an independent qualified evaluator or duly authorised official body confirming that the cost is in line with the market value is requested. The evaluation is only necessary when project expenses are reported to EUI for the first time; it is not necessary at the approval stage nor earlier. This will be checked by the first level controller.

Do private Partners have to comply with public procurement rules when carrying out an EUI-IA project?

If not otherwise stated by other national/ internal rules, Private Partners are normally not subject to public procurement law. However, in order to demonstrate the sound use of ERDF funds, they are requested to carry out market researches for any contracts of works, supplies or services with a value higher than EUR 10 000 excluding VAT – i.e. asking for at least 3 comparative offers, or presenting at least 3 internet quotes or prices, and ensure thorough documentation for audit trail purposes and transparency of the decision-making process.

Does the fact that infrastructure and construction works have already started prior to the project start make it ineligible as part of EUI-IA funding?

Nothing precludes to submit a proposal including an investment partly funded by external funding and initiated prior the project start, to be completed with EUI-IA funding during the project timeframe. Nevertheless, from a strategic perspective, the relevance of EUI-IA funds to deliver this investment should be demonstrated, as well as the need for such an investment as part of the overall innovative project solution. From a financial perspective, applicants should explain the link with the other fundings and make sure there is no double financing. In any case, no investment-related costs incurred before the official start date of the project can be claimed as part of the EUI-IA project.

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