Check the relevance and readiness of your project
1. Eligibility of the Main Urban Authority
Is your project proposal led by an urban authority, an association or grouping of urban authorities located in the European Union, classified as city, town or suburb, and comprising at least 50.000 inhabitants?
The project proposal is led by an urban authority, an association or grouping of urban authorities with more than 50.000 inhabitants and all located in the European Union.
Please note that European Urban Initiative is dedicated to cities, therefore only urban authorities, associations or grouping of urban authorities located in the European Union, classified as city, town or suburb, and comprising at least 50.000 inhabitants are exclusive eligible applicants of the EUI-IA. For more information about the eligibility rules, please refer to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 1.5 Eligible Authorities where you can find: detailed explanation of each category of eligible authorities, the definition of local administrative units, and the EUI-IA Correspondence table which will serve as the main reference document for the Eligibility Check (you will find there a classification of the local administrative units according to the degree of urbanisation and the figures on the number of inhabitants).
2. Topic of the Call for Proposals
Is your project proposal in line and relevant to one of the topics of the Call?
The project proposal is relevant to one topic of the Call for Proposals as defined in the Terms of Reference. If there are several topics, applicants are requested to select only one of the topics proposed for each Call for Proposals.
Please note that EUI-IA project proposals must clearly demonstrate that they are in line and are relevant to the topic of the Call for Proposals, as presented in the Terms of Reference available on the Call webpage. The project proposal must demonstrate the potential of the new solution to add value in relation to the topic of the Call. For more information about the topic of the Call, please also refer to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 1.6 Thematic Coverage.
3. Policy framework – Cohesion policy specific objectives
Does your project proposal demonstrate a clear contribution to the specific objectives of the EU Cohesion policy (2021-2027) listed in the description of the Call topics?
The project proposal clearly contributes to the 6 specific objectives of the 2021-2027 EU Cohesion policy (2021-2027).
Please note that EUI-IA project proposals must demonstrate a clear contribution to policy and specific objectives of the 2021-2027 EU Cohesion policy targeted by the relevant Call for Proposals and listed in the Terms of Reference available on the call page. Please note that concrete contribution elements, referring to priorities from Cohesion policy programmes, initiatives or projects at the regional or national level should be mentioned in your Application Form. For more information, please also refer to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 1.4 Main features of a successful innovative solution, as well as to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 3.2.2 Strategic Assessment.
4. Policy framework – New Leipzig Charter and the Urban Agenda for the EU
Does the project proposal you are submitting contribute to the vision of sustainable urban development as presented in the New Leipzig Charter?
Beyond being in line and relevant with the Call for Proposals topic, the project proposal is in line and contributes to the vision of sustainable urban development presented in the New Leipzig Charter.
Please note that it is expected that the EUI-IA projects will contribute to the vision of sustainable urban development presented in the New Leipzig Charter. Place-based, integrated, participatory, multi-stakeholder approaches should be embedded in EUI-IA projects’ delivery and visible in the description of the project proposal. For more information, please refer to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 1.4 Main features of a successful innovative solution and the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 3.2.2 Strategic Assessment (especially, please note sub-criteria: 1.3 and 1.7 and criterion 2 in this regard).
5. Policy framework – urban megatrends
Is your project proposal’s innovative solution linked to urban megatrends highlighted in the Article 11 of the ERDF/CF Regulation, i.e. green and digital transitions?
The project proposal also contributes to tackling environmental and climate challenges, in particular the transition towards a climate-neutral economy by 2050, and to harnessing the potential of digital technologies for innovation purposes.
Please note that it is expected that the EUI-IA projects, being concentrated on the topic of the Call for Proposals, will also contribute to tackling environmental and climate challenges, in particular the transition towards a climate-neutral economy by 2050, and to harnessing the potential of digital technologies for innovation purposes (e.g. they will include ‘zero carbon’ or greener services, as well as digital components). For more information regarding this topic, please refer to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 1.4 Main features of a successful Innovative Solution as well as to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 3.2.2 Strategic Assessment.
6. Identified urban challenge and target groups
Is your proposed innovation relevant for the selected urban area and has clearly identified target beneficiaries?
The project proposal is relevant for the selected urban area and for the target groups which were clearly identified.
Please note that the proposed innovation must be relevant for the selected urban area and to tackle the identified challenge (data and other evidence allowing to analyse the breadth and depth of the addressed challenge should be presented in the Application Form), target groups which will benefit from the project implementation must be clearly identified, specified and quantified. For more information, please refer to the EUI-IA Guidance chapter 2.1.1 Partnership principles for explanation on the involvement of target groups and wider stakeholders.
7. Innovativeness of the solution
Does your project proposal present a new solution which has never been tested or implemented as such anywhere in Europe?
The project proposal aims at implementing at local level a truly innovative solution, developing an idea that has never been tested before in the European Union.
Please note that EUI-IA is looking for project proposals that are new, bold, creative and experimental. The proposed project must go beyond the present state-of-the-art and business-as-usual. Building on research and benchmarking, urban authorities should demonstrate that the proposed project has not been previously tested and implemented on the ground in the urban area, in the Member State where the urban area is located or elsewhere in the EU. Please note that EUI was established first of all to provide urban authorities throughout Europe with space and resources to identify and experiment (via pilot projects) new innovative answers to the interconnected and complex local challenges related to sustainable urban development. In line with the above, the assessment criterion Urban innovativeness and relevance constitutes 30% of the total assessment scoring, therefore urban authorities wishing to apply for funding should soundly analyse this aspect of their project proposal. For more information, please refer to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 1.4 Main features of a successful innovative solution.
Does your project proposal have the potential to be transferred/replicated (in full or partially) by other cities across Europe?
The project proposal is relevant to address similar challenges in further urban areas across EU, has the potential for replication, and Main Urban Authority is able to explain the conditions (legislative, technical, etc.), resources needed (human, financial, etc.) and potential challenges to overcome, that other urban authorities should consider in order to adapt and possibly replicate, in full or in part, the proposed solutions in their local contexts. Main Urban Authority can demonstrate in the Application Form that it has identified other European urban areas that could benefit from replicating the proposed solution; how the most suitable Transfer Partners will be/were identified (and specify potential Transfer Partners, if already identified, together with the underlying motivations/rationale).
Please note that a key novelty in comparison to the Urban Innovative Actions projects financed during the 2014-2020 programming period is the embedment of the transnational transfer component as an integral part of EUI-IA projects. It is important to underline that the primary focus of the EUI-IA projects remains on the testing of new innovative solutions in a given place, but with this new component it is expected that the processes and results of experimentation will be followed by partner cities from other countries (Transfer Partners). The Main Urban Authority must be able to explain the conditions (legislative, technical, etc.), resources needed (human, financial, etc.) and potential challenges to overcome, that other urban authorities should consider in order to adapt and possibly replicate, in full or in part, the proposed solutions in their local contexts. Main Urban Authority must also demonstrate in the Application Form that it has identified other European urban areas that could benefit from replicating the proposed solution; how the most suitable Transfer Partners will be/were identified (and specify potential Transfer Partners, if already identified, together with the underlying motivations/rationale). For more information about the transfer activities, please refer to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 5 Transfer.
9. Sustainability and upscaling
Is your project proposal likely to provide a significant and durable contribution to solving the targeted challenges and be self-sustainable after the project end?
The proposal has the potential to be sustainable after the project end-date once successfully tested. This implies it can provide a durable contribution to address the identified challenge and be self-sustainable beyond the end date. The question of ownership and potential funding sources is considered and addressed. The project solution is linked to relevant local/regional/national strategies and policies, and has the potential to be upscaled if proven successful.
Please note that urban authorities should be able to anticipate and explain how the solution will be sustained and scaled-up once successfully tested. The project proposal should be able to demonstrate (i) that the proposed solution will provide a significant and durable contribution to solving the challenges targeted in the identified local context; (ii) that the questions of ownership and potential funding sources for the solution to be continued beyond the project’s end-date were addressed; (iii) how its main outputs and investment elements (if applicable) will be durable beyond the project end-date (and has identified by whom and how outputs could be used after its end); (iv) that the proposed solution is directly linked to relevant local/regional/national strategies and policies, ensuring the use and sustainability of projects outputs and results beyond project’s end; and (v) how up-scaling of the project can be done (including identifying potential funding sources for the scale up). For more information, please refer to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 3.2.2 Strategic Assessment.
Have you identified all the relevant Partners to address your urban challenge and to be involved in the implementation and delivery of your project?
The project proposal relies on a solid, relevant, and complementary consortium of Partners with the necessary thematic expertise and experience to deliver the planned activities.
Please note that given the complexity and the interconnected nature of the challenges to be addressed, urban authorities cannot act alone when designing and implementing innovative, sustainable and effective solutions. The Main Urban Authority is expected to play a strategic leading role in the development of the EUI-IA project by establishing and chairing a strong Project Partnership to make it technically, scientifically, and financially viable. Ideally, the quadruple helix (representatives from all members of society: i.e. public authorities, industry, academia and civil society) is represented in the Partnership. For more information, please refer to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 2.1 Partnership for the European Urban Initiative – Innovative Actions.
11. Project’s design
Would you, as a Main Urban Authority, and your Partnership commit for up to 3.5 years of project lifetime delivering project activities for up to 5 million EUR, and with a sound transfer component and knowledge capitalisation?
We are aware of the key characteristics of the EUI-IA project generation and development (project phases, funding principles, expected Intervention Logic and Work Plan structure, as well as transfer component embedded in the project implementation and required communication, capitalisation and evaluation activities).
Please note that the Main Urban Authority and its Partnership will be expected to prepare and implement their project according to certain EUI-IA framework. It’s important that timeline constraints (project phases, and especially: 6 months of the Initiation Phase; 3,5 years of implementation and 3 months of Administrative Closure), budget and funding principles (maximum 80% co-financing rate, structure of ERDF payments, eligibility of expenditure), obligatory transfer component (3 Transfer Partners being part of the Project Partnership, Work Package Transfer with its requirements, attention to general transferability and replicability of the project proposals), as well as communication, capitalization and evaluation requirement are properly analysed before submitting the project proposal. For more information about the EUI-IA project design requirements, please refer to EUI-IA Guidance and especially Chapters: 1.7, 1.8, 2, 4, 5 and 7.
12. Project’s Intervention logic
Is your project proposal designed with coherently interconnected activities related to project preparation, management, monitoring and evaluation, communication and capitalisation, implementation, (not mandatory) investment component(s) and transfer?
Project’s Intervention Logic represents a clear and well-thought-out understanding how planned actions are expected to lead to the desired change and intended results. Project proposal presents a logical sequence between initial needs, inputs, projects activities, outputs, results, and ultimate impact. The proposal is designed in a logical and coherent way to lead to the achievement of objectives and expected results. Different Work Plan elements (Work Packages, activities, deliverables, outputs, results, and their indicators) are sufficiently detailed, clearly structured, consistent, and logically interrelated. Notably, the thematic Work Packages are well defined to reflect the main pillars of the project. Proposed activities, deliverables and outputs are relevant and allow to reach project’s objectives. If applicable, the need for project investments is justified. Enough time is planned to carry out the project evaluation.
Please note that the Intervention Logic of the EUI-IA project must be a representation of clear and well-thought-out understanding how planned actions are expected to lead to the desired change and intended results. Project proposal must present a logical sequence between initial needs, inputs, projects activities, outputs, results, and ultimate impact. While preparing the project proposal the project is encouraged to answer the following questions: What is the rationale for the intervention/project? What are the challenges/needs that triggered the intervention? What problems is the intervention meant to solve? What is the “desired change”? How are these changes to be achieved? For more information about the Project’s intervention logic, please refer to EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 2.2 Project Work Plan.
13. Compliance with funding principles
Is your project proposal designed in compliance with EUI-IA funding principles in terms of maximum budget, Partners contributions and eligibility rules, and is your project budget well balanced, coherent, and proportionate to deliver the planned activities?
The project proposal complies with the EUI-IA budget and funding principles requesting up to a maximum of EUR 5 million ERDF; co-financing up to 80% of the eligible costs; every Partner (Main Urban Authority and Associated Urban Authority, Delivery Partners and Transfer Partners) receiving ERDF secures 20% at least of public or private contribution to complete its budget; eligibility rules have been carefully analysed and the project proposes activities eligible for funding.
Please note that the project proposal must comply with the EUI-IA budget and funding principles, which means: requesting up to a maximum of EUR 5 million ERDF; co-financing up to 80% of the eligible costs; every Partner (Main Urban Authority and Associated Urban Authority, Delivery Partners and Transfer Partners) receiving ERDF must secure 20% at least of public or private contribution to complete its budget; and eligibility rules must followed. For more information about the EUI-IA financial rules, please refer to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 1.8 Funding principles and EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 7 Eligibility of expenditure.
14. Measurability of results and impact
Is your project proposal designed to ensure a solid monitoring and evaluation of project activities?
The project proposal can clearly present what changes are planned to be achieved in the local context as a result of the project implementation, how these changes in the local situation are directly attributable to the new solution developed and how the results can be measured, quantified and evaluated.
Please note that measurability is one of the key features of a successful innovative solution and will be assessed during the assessment process. Submitted project proposal should have: (i) their objectives properly described (specific) and realistic (achievable during implementation timeframe); (ii) expected results reflecting the change in the local situation that the project will generate if being successful, properly described (specific), realistic (achievable during implementation timeframe), relevant, and of sufficient scale to answer the identified challenge; (iii) expected results measurable and properly quantified through proposed indicators; (iv) outputs under Thematic Work Packages relevant and of sufficient scale to achieve expected results and benefit identified target groups; (v) a robust methodology for data collection and measurement of results proposed together with relevant monitoring and evaluation activities for analysing and assessing the progress towards achieving the planned outputs and results. For more information about the measurability of results and impact, please refer to the EUI-IA Guidance 2.2.4 – Work Package Monitoring and evaluation as well as to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 3.2 Selection process.
15. Project readiness and feasibility
Does the design of your project proposal sufficiently anticipate all potential project risks that could delay or jeopardize the successful delivery of the project?
The project proposal is sufficiently prepared and mature to deliver a successful innovative solution. To avoid, as much as possible, any major unexpected issues during the project implementation, risks related to management, administrative, financial, or operational challenges likely to affect the start, sound execution of the project or the achievement of targeted project results were sufficiently identified and anticipated. All potential project risks are clearly mapped (i.e. related to the project management, procurement procedures, implementation timeline, potential price increase, investment documentation, investment ownership and location, administrative authorizations, etc.) and appropriate mitigation measures are foreseen. Special attention is paid to the logical time-sequence and to a realistic time plan including a contingency, especially for the projects with significant investment components.
Please note that it is strongly recommended that the applicants will analyse and clearly identify potential obstacles or resistance they expect regarding the general implementation of the innovative solutions proposed in order to proactively foresee mitigation measures. Obstacles and resistance can for example refer to: national or legal framework not mature yet for the overall innovation and project, changing financial and political conditions that would make the project obsolete, lack of long term sustainability, lack of political commitment, opposition from organised groups of inhabitants, undesired outcomes fostered by the project (uncontrolled urban sprawl, gentrification, environmental impact, etc.). For more information about the EUI-IA project readiness check, please refer to the EUI-IA Guidance Chapter 4.2 Project readiness check (including ex-ante audit) and Application Form Part G Risk management.