The main aim of the UIA Initiative is to provide urban authorities across Europe with space and resources to test bold and unproven ideas addressing interconnected challenges and experiment how these respond to the complexity of real life. Projects to be supported shall be innovative, of good quality, designed and implemented with the involvement of key stakeholders, result oriented and transferable.

The Commission has decided to closely align the topics that Urban Authorities can address through the UIA Initiative to those defined in the framework of the Urban Agenda for the EU. More especially, each Call for Proposals for UIA will focus on a certain number of topics. For the third Call for Proposals, applicants can submit project proposals addressing the following topics:
• Adaptation to Climate Change
• Air quality
• Housing
• Jobs and Skills in the local economy

Urban authorities should seize the opportunity offered by the UIA Initiative to try out innovative approaches and new technologies outside the scope of “normal projects” (that could be financed
through “traditional” sources of funding, including mainstream ERDF Programmes). UIA allows cities to turn ambitious and creative ideas into prototypes that can be tested in real urban settings. In other words, UIA can support pilot projects that are too risky to be funded by traditional sources of funding, provided that they are highly innovative and experimental. The UIA Initiative supports projects that are:
• Innovative
• Of good quality
• Participative
• Measurable
• Transferable

Article 2 UIA establishes that the following authorities may apply for support to undertake Urban Innovative Actions:
• Any urban authority of a local administrative unit defined according to the degree of urbanisation as city, town or suburb comprising at least 50 000 inhabitants
• Any association or grouping of urban authorities of local administrative units defined according to the degree of urbanisation as city, town or suburb where the total population is at least 50 000 inhabitants; this can include cross-border associations or groupings, associations or groupings in different regions and/or Member States

Only the eligible beneficiaries listed here can apply in the framework of a Call for Proposals for UIA projects. All Urban Authorities shall be located in an EU Member State.

The UIA Initiative follows the total costs principle. The project receives 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. The partners contribution can be in the form of cash and/or in-kind. It should be noted that unpaid volunteer work is not eligible under UIA eligibility rules while paid staff should be considered as contribution in cash.

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