Interreg Alpine Space programme - 4th call for project proposals

The Alpine Space programme is an EU transnational cooperation programme to support sustainable regional development in the Alpine region. Contributing to the EU 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, it provides stakeholders with a framework to develop, test, implement and coordinate new solutions.

The fourth call for project proposals is open throughout the following priorities:

Priority 1: Innovative Alpine Space
Specific objective: Improve the framework conditions for innovation in the Alpine Space
• Developing new or better value chains in key strategic sectors as identified in the relevant smart specialisation strategies.
• Improving the framework conditions for cooperation in the field of circular economy and eco-innovation, with specific regard to high-technological applications and eco-innovation services.
• Promoting social innovation as a new vision for innovation in the Alpine Space.
• Facilitating youth entrepreneurship as well as dual education.
• Improving the uptake of digital technologies in SMEs.

Specific objective: Increase capacities for the delivery of service of general interest in a changing society
• Fostering innovation and accessibility of services of general interest in remote, urban and peripheral areas, in order to tackle marginality, gender inequality, social exclusion and demographic change.
• Improving the capacities of social organisations and public authorities for receiving migrants and refugees, caring for them, and integrating them in the Alpine Space communities.

Priority 2: Low carbon Alpine Space
Specific objective: Establish trans-nationally integrated low carbon policy instruments
• Promoting the use of renewable resources such as biomass, by exploiting local/regional value chains.
• Fostering the development of energy sufficient models for the whole Alpine area.
• Supporting policy tools to promote decentralised energy production and smart energy management systems.
• Promoting policy instruments to foster the retrofitting of buildings, considering also the use of local and innovative construction materials.
• Raising awareness on the necessity and benefits of low carbon lifestyles across the Alps by bridging the gap between technical strategies and actively experimenting sustainable lifestyle.

Specific objective: Increase options for low carbon mobility and transport
• Fostering the availability and use of low-carbon mobility and transport solutions.
• Increasing the efficiency of existing networks and the use of less impacting transport means by coordinating local and regional transport (modal shift).
• Increasing intermodal and low carbon transport options through improved interfaces between national networks and transnational corridors, by improving common decision tools.
• Improving transport and mobility flows with regard to land use by enhancing the interaction of logistics, mobility and spatial development.
• Developing low carbon mobility options as well as related information services via smart mobility or a common travel information system.
• Promoting sustainable mobility through active and participative behaviour change.

Priority 3: Liveable Alpine Space
Specific objective: Sustainably valorise Alpine Space cultural and natural heritage
• Strengthening an Alpine cultural identity through the use/valorisation of its material and non-material assets (green growth as constituent element of the Alpine lifestyle).
• Establishing balanced models on resource management and protection of cultural and natural heritage.
• Valorize traditional skills and jobs, value chains and local products based on cultural and/or natural resources.
• Encouraging measures supporting local communities involved in the protection and promotion of Alpine cultural heritage in order to increase awareness on that topic.
• Developing and promoting new approaches to sustainable tourism, throughout four seasons and consideration of local cultural and natural heritage, as an opportunity for revitalising peripheral and declining areas.
• Promoting the valorisation of the natural environment and the diversification of its functions (e.g. for social, recreational and environmental purposes and/or as driver for sustainable local/regional development).

Specific objective: Enhance the protection, the conservation and the ecological connectivity of Alpine Space ecosystems
• Supporting initiatives to improve public policies on biodiversity management in areas dealing with specific constraints.
• Promoting green infrastructure and supporting the integrated concept of landscape planning to enhance ecological connectivity in the Alps.
• Fostering risk governance concepts in the Alps with specific regard to climate change driven scenarios by raising awareness on natural hazards and developing of innovative and transnational integrated solutions and methodologies.
• Supporting development initiatives in isolated mountain settlements (small villages, mountain refuges, alpine farmsteads, etc.) by encouraging sustainable strategic planning and transnational networking solutions.
• Developing new models and networks for the integrated management of aquatic ecosystems with special focus on its different functions, water uses and flood control.

Priority 4: Well-governed Alpine Space
Specific objective: Increase the application of multilevel and transnational governance in the Alpine Space.
• Setting up a policy foresight for governance challenges in relation to the Alpine Space driving forces: such as climate change, tensions on the energy market, economic globalization, rise of the information society and the knowledge economy, socio-demographic change, migration/refugees, increased mobility of goods and persons.
• Developing transnational models for the design, testing, up-scaling, comparison and evaluation of innovations (tools, processes, actors, organisations and interfaces) in the field of public administration.
• Setting up frameworks for strategic stakeholder cooperation to build cross sector clustered sets or chains of projects that address multiple funding sources to induce the envisaged changes.

Project budget 
The programme does not set specific budget restrictions for the projects applying to priorities 1 to 3. However, applicants should pay attention to the consistency of the project budget with the envisaged activities and outputs. As a general recommendation, applicants may orientate themselves on the average ERDF allocation to projects funded by the forerunner and present programmes which amounts to around EUR 1,7 Mio ERDF. Project proposals submitted under priority 4 in this third call for proposals are expected to have an amount of max. EUR 1 Mio ERDF.

Project duration 
The duration of projects cannot exceed 36 months including the project closure.

The Programme targets actors from the public and private sector: 
• public authorities 
• agencies 
• SMEs 
• higher education institutions 
• education/training centres 
• business support organisations 
• interest groups including NGOs 
• etc.
Public private cooperation is strongly encouraged.

• Austria (whole country)
• France: Alsace, Franche-Comté, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Rhône-Alpes
• Germany: districts of Oberbayern and Schwaben (in Bavaria), Tübingen and Freiburg (in Baden-Württemberg)
• Italy: Friuli Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Lombardia, Piemonte, Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano/Bozen, Provincia Autonoma di Trento, Valle d'Aosta, Veneto
• Liechtenstein (whole country)
• Slovenia (whole country)
• Switzerland (whole country)

Project partnership
The project fulfils minimum requirements for the partnership: at least 4 partners from 4 different Alpine Space countries are involved.The size of partnership shall not exceed a total of 15 project participants, including the lead partner and non-EU partners. However, projects shall consider that it is not the number of partners that makes a project good but the appropriateness and relevance of the partners and the quality of the partnership.

The total Programme budget is almost 140 mio Euro, of which 116.6 mio Euro are contributed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Projects can be co-funded with up to 85% of ERDF. The remaining costs have to be covered by other public funds, depending on rules at national level. For the preparation activities, the programme grants a lump sum of EUR 20.000 for total eligible costs (corresponding to maximum EUR 17.000 ERDF) if the project is approved.

Eligibility of costs According to Article 17(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1299/2013 and Delegated Regulation (EU) No 481/2014), the European Commission set up specific rules on eligibility of expenditure mainly based on a common set of the following five budget lines applicable for all ETC programmes: 
1. Staff costs 
2. Office and administration expenditure 
3. Travel and accommodation costs 
4. External expertise and service costs 
5. Equipment expenditure

Especially with regard to staff costs the above-mentioned eligibility rules contain considerable simplification options relating to the calculation and documentation requirements (Article 67 and 68 of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013). When defining the programme eligibility rules the ASP will make use – to the maximum possible extent - of the simplification options offered by the regulatory framework if accepted and applied by the national controllers. The application of calculating staff costs on a monthly basis will contribute to a significant reduction of the administrative workload for beneficiaries. Furthermore overheads of up to 15% of certified and reported staff costs will be eligible in the upcoming programme period without any evidence.

For more information about this call click here.

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