The EUSDR Priority Area 7 – Knowledge Society Steering Group met in Vienna in December 2014 and, in such a circumstance, the Pilot Phase for labelling of Danube Region projects and proposals was launched.
The development of excellent project proposals with a remarkably relevant impact in a transnational, macro-regional environment is a challenging venture. In order to encourage stakeholders to actively engage in implementing of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) through EU funding instruments in programming period 2014-2020 and with the intention to support the preparation of projects with a clear EUSDR added-value, a process for labelling of projects has been proposed.
The specific objective of suggested approach is to provide a common system to support EUSDR Priority Areas and the work of their Steering Groups in targeting the most relevant calls under particular funding schemes (e.g. Horizon 2020) which fit into their objectives, complement their on-going activities and avoid duplication. Stakeholders expected to take part in future project proposals will be informed about targeted calls relevant for the EUSDR/Priority Area and invited to apply. Potential applicants will be offered assistance in steering them towards better integration of EUSDR objectives in the project applications. The most relevant proposals will be given the EUSDR label and the Letter of Recommendation (LoR). The assessment decision will be based purely on the proposal relevance for the EUSDR, PAs and targets and will not reflect a technical evaluation. The process suggested is based on the good labelling practices already established in some Priority Areas, and aims at consolidating the current activities to reach joint EUSDR-wide approach. At the same time it intends to promote closer cooperation and mutual understanding between the implementation of the EUSDR and relevant European funding schemes, and to promote joint recognition of the EUSDR strategic projects.
The labelling process aims to support the good governance of the EUSDR and recognition of those projects which contribute most to defined targets and priority area´s action plans. It follows the Joint Statement of the Ministers of foreign affairs on the participation states of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region and of the European Commission, Vienna, 26 June 2014, which “called on Priority Area Steering Groups to further develop joint approach for labelling strategic projects of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region until the end of 2014”.
The main target groups are stakeholders who show capacities, willingness and readiness to take part in or coordinate projects and collaborations with clear EUSDR added value. These are researchers and research institutes, universities and departments, research related SMEs, non-governmental organizations, public institutions and other eligible parties in the Danube Region who plan to participate in large-scale projects that fit into the EUSDR objectives, addressing different funding sources.
The labelling process should facilitate the information flow about relevant calls expected to support the implementation of EUSDR and PAs roadmaps, while improving networking and cooperation among stakeholders in the Danube Region. The expected result is the accelerated implementation of the EUSDR and Action Plan through advanced recognition of the most prominent project applications, first internally among EUSDR governance structures and right after externally among funding decision makers.
At the Priority Area 7 – “To develop the Knowledge Society (research, education and ICT)” Steering Group meeting held in Vienna on December 10, the labelling pilot phase was launched. It targets the specific Horizon 2020 call:
Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation
Call for Twinning, H2020-TWINN-2015
Deadline date: 07-05-2015
All stakeholders are strongly encouraged to develop Danube Region consortia and apply for the EUSDR label for the specific call.
Application for the EUSDR label and Letter of Recommendation is open from the time of publication of the respective call until 3 weeks before the call deadline for projects that do not seek assistance in project development and apply directly for the assessment (i.e. in the case of the Twinning call currently addressed, the deadline is April 16). However, projects who ask for recommendations related to consortium/partnership and EUSDR relevance are strongly encouraged to address the facility not later than 6 weeks before the deadline.
The “Concrete outline of process for labelling of projects” was developed and adopted under the framework of Danube-INCO.NET project and is an integral part of the overall attempt to promote innovative and inclusive Danube societies. It addresses the labelling of strategic projects of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region and proposes the framework for a joint approach and coordination of all Priority Areas and Steering Groups in this regard.
For more information and submission of applications please use the Priority Area 7 e-mail address: email@example.com.