UIA projects receive 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 e.g. from another project partner but not from another EU funding source. The partners contribution can be in the form of cash and/or in-kind. In case one partner is covering the contribution(s) of (an) other project partner(s), please mention this partner explicitly as the “source of contribution” in the dedicated section of the Application Form.
In-kind contribution (IKC) refers to non-cash contributions given to a project that have a monetary value, however for which it is not charged. It can be seen as a gift/ donation given to the project. There are two types of staff but none corresponds to the definition of IKC: -Staff paid by their employer: they do not correspond to the definition of IKC as there is a monetary transfer (salary + taxes…). It should be considered as contribution in cash; - Volunteers: they are ineligible. The condition regarding the value of in-kind are listed in the UIA guidance. For instance they must be certified by an independent qualified expert and not be previously financed by EU funds. It is the partners’ responsibility. Please note that the certification, as document, is necessary for the first financial claim, not at application stage.
At the time of project submission, the Main Urban Authority needs to ensure that the project has been designed so as to comply with state aid rules at all levels that is either at the level of the owner, constructor and/or operator of the project or facility. Especially, the contributions secured by each Project Partners as cofinancing of UIA projects are subject to state aid rules, as far as public funding is involved, and as long as the project proposal under the UIA involves "economic activities". For further information projects should refer to the UIA guidance.
The evaluation is only necessary when project expenses are reported to UIA for the first time; it is not necessary at the approval stage nor earlier. In the case of land and real estate purchase or provision in the form of in-kind contribution, a certificate from an independent qualified evaluator or duly authorised official body confirming that the cost is in line with the market value is requested. This will be checked by a first level controller.
Delivery partners are those that have a formal role in the delivery of a project where they have a set of responsibilities and a budget allocated to them in order to implement them. Stakeholders normally do not have a formal role and therefore do not have a budget allocated in order to pay for their cooperation with the implementation of the project. Projects need to assess how the organisations they are working with will be involved in the project. If they have a formal role, hey will need to be included in the partnership by filling in Part B of the application form. If they are part of the wider stakeholder group, please include them in Part C (section 2.4). Names of specific stakeholders can be already mentioned in the Application Form, and their involvement during the preparation and the implementation phases of the project shoud be described in the revelant parts of the Section C of the Application Form. Moreover, projects are recommended to foresee (i.e. Section D) some structured mechanisms in order to ensure the concrete involvement of stakeholders in the project (e.g. as part of the Management structures, by creating and Advisory board...)
Ministries or regional authorities (e.g. provinces, county council) cannot be considered as an eligible urban authority in the framework of the UIA initiative and thus cannot submit an application on their own – only a municipality/organised agglomeration can. However they can be involved as delivery partner and have a dedicated budget and be involved in the implementation of the different activities/work packages. They can also be involved as wider stakeholders.
According to Urban Innovative Actions eligibility rules a municipal department (e.g. local police department), municipal institution (e.g. education board), municipal agency (e.g. local development agency), municipal company (e.g. in the field of energy/ waste/economic development/tourism) or similar organisations partially or fully owned by the municipality cannot be considered as an urban authority according to UIA rules. In all cases, the municipality has to be involved and is the only organisation that can submit the project proposal. However there are three possible ways for this organisations to be involved in the project:
- Option A: the Municipality is involved as Main Urban Authority and the organisation will be considered as a Delivery Partner and have a formal role, a dedicated budget implying that a financial contribution and involvement in project activities has to be foreseen.
- Option B: the Municipality is involved as Main Urban Authority and the organisation is considered as ‘in-house contractor’ of the Municipality. Therefore the costs will be budgeted as “external expertise and services” of the Main Urban Authority. The organisation will not have any formal role in the project partnership and not be listed as delivery partner. For more information about this option and the criteria which define the opportunity to do so, please carefully read the dedicated section of the UIA Guidance.
- Option C: the organisation is involved in the wider group of stakeholders which implies that it has no formal role in the project therefore no dedicated budget and responsibility to implement activities.
Delivery Partners can be any organisation with the exception of urban authorities, seen as relevant for the successful delivery of the project. Delivery Partners can be institutions, agencies - even if fully owned by municipalities/city councils, research institutes, universities, higher education institutes, private sector partners, associations, NGOs, SMEs, start-ups, consultancy firms etc. It should be noted that only organisations having legal personality are entitled to participate in a project as Delivery Partners. Urban Authorities should select their Delivery Partners in respect of the principles of transparency and equal treatment. Consultancy firms having as primary objective the development and management of European projects are not entitled to participate in a project as Delivery Partners.
As indicated in the UIA Guidance, we recommend urban authorities to select their Delivery Partners through fair and transparent procedures which does not mean through public procurement. However this is only a recommendation and it shall therefore not be seen as a mandatory procedure in the framework of the UIA initiative unless formally required by your national legislation. In case it is not a formally required by your national legislation, it is up to the Main Urban Authority to decide if, when and for how long such public call for Interest should be open.
Urban Innovative Actions is not a territorial cooperation programme but an initiative meant to finance innovative and bold projects in urban areas. Although allowed, transnational partnership are not required to implement a UIA project. Urban authorities applying in the framework of a UIA call for proposals shall present a partnership mainly composed by local key stakeholders (other public institutions, universities, research centres as well as NGOs and associations) that will play a role in the implementation of the project at local level.