Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) launched its fourth call for proposals on 15th October 2018. Managed by the French Region Hauts-de-France and part of the ERDF, the overarching mission of the programme is to identify innovative and creative solutions which ‘address issues related to sustainable urban development and are of relevance at Union level’. The budget for this call is between 80-100 million ERDF.
According to the UIA, the main aim of the initiative is to provide urban authorities across Europe with space and resources to test unproven ideas addressing interconnected challenges and examine how these respond to the complexity of real life. Projects to be supported need to be innovative, of good quality, designed and implemented with the involvement of key stakeholders, result oriented and transferable.
UIA encourages urban authorities to move from normal, mainstream ERDF projects and take the risk to transform creative ideas into prototypes that can be tested in real urban settings. The UIA has the capability to support projects that are too risky for traditional funding sources, provided that they are highly experimental.
Who can apply?
According to the Terms of Reference for Call Four, the following bodies are eligible to apply:
- Any urban authority of a local administrative unit defined according to the degree of urbanization 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 urbanization as city, town or suburb where the total population is at least 50,000 inhabitants. This include cross-border associations of different regions between Member States.
In Ireland the counties are considered as eligible urban authorities under the category “organized agglomerations”. In this case the county can be a Main Urban Authority provided that the majority of the population is living in municipalities (LAUs) composing the county and considered by Eurostat as cities or suburbs/towns (code 1 or 2). In addition, for this 4th Call and only for the topic “Sustainable use of land – nature based solutions”, there is a possibility for municipalities with code 3 (rural) to be included in a proposal as Associated Urban Authorities.
More information on eligibility criteria can be found here (Section 2 – Terms of Reference for the Call) and questions regarding eligibility should be directed towards the UIA secretariat at an early stage. Applicant seminars will be held in Munich on 21 November and in Brussels on 28 November. Registration is available on the UIA website.
What are this call’s topics?
The topics selected by the European Commission for this call are:
- Digital Transition, with key focus on implementing smart cities solutions, enabling citizen-centric eGovernment solutions, improving free and fair access to data, speeding up the adoption of agile technologies to modernise cities’ infrastructure (IoT solutions and applications)
- Sustainable use of land and nature-based solutions, with particular focus on quality of life, biodiversity, ecosystems and regional planning. Projects are expected to ‘promote sustainable land use through the implementation of nature-based solutions’.
- Urban Poverty, including innovative solutions to tackle homelessness, socio-educational inequalities, child poverty and access to basic services, amongst others.
- Urban security, focusing on reducing public security threats and as such, at local levels, projects should focus on social integration, community empowerment, resilience or law enforcement.
Applicants should be mindful of the fact that certain topics have been selected for previous calls, and are therefore invited to consult previously approved projects.
More information about the call, further description of the topics, as well as the relevant documentation required for application can be found at https://www.uia-initiative.eu/en/call-proposals. The closing date for applications is 31st January 2019.