Articles

Community-led actions to restore our ocean, seas and waters | Deadline 18 Sept 2024

Deadline:  18 Sept 2024
Budget/ Technical Assistance:
€ 50.000.000
Countries/ regions:
a.o. all WestMED countries
More information:
website


This call aims to mobilize communities of actors across the European Union to take decisive action in restoring, protecting, and preserving our ocean, seas, and waters. The call will support community-led pilot actions and transition agendas, as well as provide technical assistance tailored to the needs of Mission communities. Community-led actions will focus on implementing innovative solutions that transcend traditional approaches, incorporating technological, nature-based, social, cultural, regulatory, and financial innovations.

Additionally, the call encourages collaboration with scientific institutions and the integration of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) disciplines to ensure the societal impact of innovation activities. Applicants are encouraged to foster partnerships with local stakeholders, NGOs, government agencies, and relevant actors to maximize the impact and scalability of their initiatives.

Interreg NEXT MED: first call for proposals for transnational cooperation projects | New deadline 30 May 2024

Deadline:  30 May 2024 (= extended/ was 30 April and 28 March)
Budget:
€ 103.600.000
Countries:
Cyprus, Greece, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia and Türkiye.
More information:
website interregnextmed.eu | extension message

 

The Managing Authority of the EU-funded Interreg NEXT MED Programme, in agreement with the representatives of the 15 participating countries, is pleased to announce the launching of the first call for proposals.

With a substantial budget of €103.6 million, this call represents a unique opportunity to fund transnational cooperation projects aimed at catalyzing positive transformations and encouraging sustainable and inclusive development throughout the Mediterranean area.

In view of making the region smarter and more competitive, greener and climate resilient, more social and inclusive, the call focuses on pivotal themes for both shores of the Mediterranean: these encompass boosting research and innovation capacities, fostering SME growth, advancing renewable energy solutions, bolstering climate change adaptation measures, promoting educational opportunities, ensuring access to quality healthcare, and enhancing local governance processes, among others.

Geographical coverage of the call extends to over 100 territories from 7 EU and 8 partner countries, namely Cyprus, Greece, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia and Türkiye.

Recognizing the unique added value of working together beyond borders for the development of the Mediterranean area, each project has to be submitted by a partnership representing a minimum of 3 organizations from 3 different eligible countries, including at least one Mediterranean Partner Country. A diverse array of stakeholders, including national and regional public authorities, municipalities, non-profit/civil society organizations, universities, research organizations, private companies and other relevant entities may participate in the call.

Depending on the type of projects foreseen for this call – thematic, youth-oriented and governance – the EU financial support will range from €500,000 to €2.5 million. The EU contribution cannot exceed 89% of the project total eligible costs and the project co-financing must be at least 11% of the total eligible costs.

The launching of the call will be supported by a series of information events and other activities dedicated to interested organizations to be organized across the cooperation area and online. Foreseen iniatives and dates will be announced soon on this website.

The deadline for submitting project proposals is 30 April 2024 .

Interested organisations are encouraged to carefully read the application pack of the call for proposals available here.

MEDTOUR announcement poster

Note: Interreg NEXT MED organizes a  series of national info days designed to ensure interested organizations are thoroughly prepared and well-informed for effective participation in this first call for proposals. Visit the MEDTOUR page for the events near you

Maritime Spatial Planning projects (EMFAF-2023-PIA-MSP) | Deadline 27 February 2024

Deadline: 27 February 2024
Budget: € 4.000.000
Countries: Algeria, France, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia
More information:   funding and tender opportunities portal by the European Commission 

 

Objective

The objective of this call for proposals is to facilitate the implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the EU, including through the effective application of Directive 2014/89 establishing a framework for MSP. This call is intended to fund projects developing innovative responses to tackle specific challenges that EU Members States might encounter when putting into effect, monitoring and/or revising their maritime spatial plans.

Many of these challenges are common to coastal Member States. Therefore, there is a shared interest in developing innovative responses that can apply within a sea basin and/or across sea basins. This means that projects should bring together participants from different Member States, located in a sea basin, or from different sea basins. To meet these challenges Member States will have to:

  • Reflect and align their maritime spatial plans to the ambition of the European Green Deal and the related initiatives in areas such as climate change mitigation and/or adaptation, biodiversity, food, mobility, energy transition, alongside established activities and interests.
  • Cater for cumulative impacts of ocean stressors: promote the use of an ecosystem-based approach, including Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), strengthen the process of the Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs), which are an integral part of MSP and promote environmental monitoring to collect data and asses impacts (e.g. on offshore renewable energies).
  • Reinforce the sea basin dimension of MSP: meeting the above-mentioned challenges, and integrating the new EU initiatives, will require greater cooperation in planning activities in the different sea basins.
  • Making MSP digital and pan-European: The aim of this « digitalisation » is to harmonise data and to disseminate the contents of these plans through a common or shared digital platform – the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet).

Demonstrations of innovative floating wind concepts | Deadline: 21 January 2025

Deadline: 21 January 2025
Budget: €30.000.000
Countries: Algeria,France, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia
More information:   funding and tender opportunities portal by the European Commission 

Scope

The overall aim is to accelerate the cost-effective construction and deployment of floating wind farms, facilitating their rapid and sustainable deployment across Europe and lower their overall costs.

The transition of the energy system will rely on reducing the overall energy demand and making the energy supply side climate neutral, in current and future climate conditions. R&I actions will help to make the energy supply side cleaner, more secure, and competitive by boosting cost performance and reliability of a broad portfolio of renewable energy solutions, in line with societal needs and preferences. Furthermore, R&I activities will underpin the modernisation of the energy networks to support energy system integration, including the progressive electrification of demand side sectors (buildings, mobility, industry) and integration of other climate neutral, renewable energy carriers, such as clean hydrogen.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Increased knowledge about design, construction, assembly and operation and maintenance of floating wind farms.
  • Improved overall constructability, reliability, installability, operability and maintainability of floating offshore wind systems.
  • Demonstrated efficient, low-cost and sustainable emerging technologies for floating wind turbines; reduction of the LCoE.
  • Reinforced European offshore wind turbine value chain and skills.
  • Data for future optimisation of industry scale commissioning of the floater, mooring and anchor system.

 

Circular bioeconomy start-up villages | Deadline: 28 February 2024

Deadline: 28 February 2024
Budget: €2.500.000
Countries: Algeria,France, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia
More information: funding and tender opportunities portal by the European Commission 

Scope

Applicants should demonstrate how they will provide innovative circular, sustainable and socially fair bioeconomy solutions for:

  • food systems transformation;
  • bio-based sectors, covering biological waste/residues and bio-based materials and products;
  • employing digital technologies and approaches.

Applicants should address only one of the thematic areas above, and clearly indicate it in their proposal.

Proposals are expected to contribute to the creation and support of a thematic network of start-up villages based on bioeconomy concepts, including all of the following activities:

Provide assistance and advisory support for the development and linking of startup villages and raise awareness of the rural innovators on sustainable and circular systemic bioeconomy solutions.

Develop the Start Up Village Forum initiative through a community of practice to support active engagement of all relevant actors (local and regional authorities, entrepreneurs, investors, rural cooperatives, rural communities and others) in the start-up villages and foster knowledge exchange and mutual learning between them, as well as share research, data and analytical findings.

Develop a list of case studies of local and regional start-up villages focusing on bioeconomy including sustainable food systems and bio-based solutions, identifying and presenting the respective strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.

These case studies could be used for replication and dissemination across Europe in the context of the Startup Village Forum. Proposals should involve at least three start-up villages from three different Member States / Associated Countries, ensuring geographical coverage of different regions.

Identify the challenges and development pathways for developing and scaling up of start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for a sustainable bioeconomy, including businesses linked to agriculture, food, forestry, bio-based innovation and non-agricultural activities in rural areas related to the community-led local development strategies.
Address the challenges of Europe’s fragmented start-up scene and of entrepreneurship education and capacity building.
Assess possible options and create guidelines and recommendations for policy makers, investors and rural innovators summarizing, sharing and presenting existing best practices and innovations to enable replication of successful cases across Europe.

The proposals should build on the knowledge and tools already generated by the BioeconomyVentures[2] and Pilots4U[3] projects developed under Horizon 2020, as well as seek complementarities with related actions and existing[4] and upcoming[5] relevant projects on bioeconomy governance and ensure inclusiveness and engagement of all actors. It is also relevant to cooperate and establish links with the Circular Bio-based Europe (CBE) JU, and relevant EIT KICs.
Seek synergies and complement the knowledge and cooperation activities of the Startup Village Forum. Cooperate with “Rural networks” (soon to become the CAP networks) including the European innovation partnership on agriculture productivity and sustainability (EIP-AGRI) and the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD), and Horizon Europe Partnership Sustainable Food Systems.

Proposals should explore all available financing instruments on a European level, including relevant regional instruments (Cohesion Fund, CAP, ESF and others). Proposals should also describe how they plan to complement the ongoing activities of bodies such as the European Innovation Council, the Circular Bioeconomy Investment Platform, and the Enterprise Europe Network and European Institute of Technology (EIT) initiatives.

Social innovation is relevant for this topic as it contributes to strengthened rural innovation ecosystems and to find solutions for rural communities when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social and behavioural change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake. Proposal should contribute to improve the quality of life and long-term socio-economic prospects of rural and coastal communities, including women (especially supporting women-led SMEs and start-ups), youth and the most vulnerable groups like indigenous people or minorities and refugees.

This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.

Ocean models for seasonal to decadal regional climate impacts and feedbacks | Deadline: 22 February 2024

Deadline: 22 February 2024
Budget: €9.000.000
Countries: Algeria,France, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia
More information: funding and tender opportunities portal by the European Commission 

Scope
Proposals are expected to focus on:

  • Developing capabilities for producing decadal to long-term (multi-decadal to centennial) refined predictions of the ocean state, at the scale of European regional seas including the coastal zones, where climate change risk is considered to be particularly high;
  •  Improving the representation of ocean processes (and dynamics, especially at regional to coastal scale) that can be integrated in in climate models;
  • Developing capabilities for producing decadal to long-term EU basin scale predictions of biogeochemistry models to support feedback into global/regional marine ecosystem models and climate models;
  • Validating the approach by performing historical runs and comparing corresponding model results to observations, proxy information, and / or reanalyses over an instrumental multi-decadal period, up to centennial scales, with characterized uncertainties;
  • Investigating and assessing the quality of coastal models or ecosystem models of the low to mid trophic food web levels, over European seas and their coastal zones, with characterized uncertainties.

Minimising climate impact on aquaculture: mitigation and adaptation solutions for future climate regimes | Deadline: 22 February 2024

Deadline: 22 February 2024  | 17 September (multiple cut-offs)
Budget: €9.000.000
Countries: Algeria,France, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia
More information: funding and tender opportunities portal by the European Commission 

Scope

  • Proposals are expected to enhance knowledge of the impacts of climate change on aquaculture production at environmental, social and economic levels. They should identify, forecast and assess the main effects of climate change on different aquaculture production systems and on their ecological carrying capacity.
  • They should consider impacts of climate change such as water availability (e.g., rise in evaporation, decrease in rainfall, extreme weather events like droughts or floods), water quality (e.g., acidification, eutrophication, pollution, contamination), temperature rise, sea level rise, spread of diseases (e.g. recrudescence of endemic and emerging diseases in traditional and recirculating aquaculture systems), reduced fish welfare, invasive species, and other climate related risks.
  • They should also investigate adaptation and mitigation solutions and opportunities such as technological, social, economic, and biological/ecological aspects, selection of suitable sites, culture methods (including the contribution of organic production and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture), species plasticity and adaptability to changing environments as well as breeding and selection techniques for a more sustainable, productive and resilient production.
  • Furthermore, they should address aspects of circularity in terms of more efficient use of resources and less negative impacts on marine environment, including reduction, valorisation, and reuse of waste. Indicative aspects could include Life Cycle Assessment approaches such as of feeding systems and valorisation of non-food biomass for feeds and fertilisers.
  • Proposals should build on the work of Horizon 2020 and EMFF projects, such as ClimeFish and CERES, and provide applicable approaches and tools to the aquaculture sector.
  • Selected proposals should collaborate with each other.
  • This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.
  • Proposals are encouraged to cooperate with actors such as the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). The possible participation of the JRC in the project would consist in providing and analysing aquaculture data.

Minimising climate impact on fisheries: mitigation and adaptation solutions for future climate regimes | Deadline: 22 February 2024

Deadline: 22 February 2024  | 17 September (multiple cut-offs)
Budget: €9.000.000
Countries: Algeria,France, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia
More information: funding and tender opportunities portal by the European Commission 

Scope

  • Proposals are expected to investigate the impacts of climate change on biological and ecological processes such as shifts in stocks distribution, abundance and density, fish health, stock productivity, habitats, regime shifts in ecosystems and altered growth, reproduction rates, seafood safety and overall changes in the ecosystem potential production. They should also explore and test innovative measures to mitigate climate change (such as new designs of fishing gears or new fishing strategies that do not resuspend carbon from the seabed or new fishing strategies which improve energy use efficiency or strengthen circularity aspects) and adaptive solutions (such as valorisation of new catches or building resilience actions).
  • Proposals should include studies representing the whole spectrum of European fisheries, including small-scale fisheries, and the related biotic, abiotic, social and economic conditions. They should follow an interdisciplinary approach and cover both scientific and socioeconomic aspects.
  • They should build on the work of Horizon 2020 projects ClimeFish and CERES and others and provide applicable approaches and tools to the fishing sector. They should also build on the work of initiatives such as the EMFF-funded studies on “Climate change and the Common Fisheries Policy: adaptation and building resilience to the effects of climate change on fisheries and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from fishing”, and “Adapting postharvest activities in the value chain of fisheries and aquaculture to the effects of climate change and mitigating their climate footprint through the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions”.
  • Also importantly, proposals should build synergies with the projects funded under the topics HORIZON-CL6-2023-BIODIV-01-5: Understanding and reducing bycatch of protected species in Destination “Biodiversity and ecosystem services” and ‘HORIZON-CL6-2022-CLIMATE-01-02: Understanding the oceanic carbon cycle’ as well as with work done under other organisations such as the OECD Committee for Fisheries. Selected proposals should collaborate with each other.
  • Proposals are encouraged to cooperate with actors such as the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). The possible participation of the JRC in the project would consist in providing and analysing fisheries.
  • This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.

Systemic circular solutions for a sustainable tourism | Deadline 22 February 2024

Deadline: 22 February 2024
Budget: ‘€10.000.000 (allocation per project: 5.000.000)
Countries: Algeria,France, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia
More information: dedicated funding page from the European Commission

Scope

Proposals are expected to implement and demonstrate circular systemic solutions at the level of cities and regions, and include several sectors providing services for visitors and residents such as hospitality, transportation, culture, attractions, nature-based activities.

Tourism can consume large quantities of energy, water, and plastics, which degrade the environmental quality of destinations and ecosystems, affecting the lives of residents. Circular tourism should consider waste and water management, batteries and vehicles, electronics and ICT, packaging, plastics, construction and buildings, GHG emissions of local and long-distance mobility, accommodation and food services.

Proposals should address at least one of these above mentioned sectors.

The complexity of tourism ecosystem lies in the fact that industry is deeply interlinked with and dependent on multiple key resource and commodity chains. Travel and tourism actors can both act as enablers of circularity in a wider economic context, and at the same time benefit from circularity models in other industrial ecosystems. Proposals should develop and demonstrate new and circular business models and technological solutions to change the way tourism operates, enabling businesses and destinations to be sustainable. This includes developing systemic approaches that steer the behaviour of consumers, whether residents or citizens, towards circularity and makes them participate in circular practices.

The implemented circular systemic solutions should address economic, social and environmental dimensions of the transition towards circular tourism and include science, technology, behavioural and governance components. Proposals are expected to involve the relevant actors, which include public administrations, destination management organisations, private sector services and industries, citizens (residents and visitors), non-governmental organisations and new types of actors rising from collaborative economy platforms.

The development of systemic solutions needs to consider the costs of transition from the existing models into the new ones, analysing trade-offs and challenges related to their implementation and demonstration. As the tourism ecosystem is mostly composed of small actors, micro and SMEs, systemic solutions at the level of cities and regions should develop and test innovative and collaborative ways to create common objectives, targets and processes. The implementation of technologies such as AI, robotics, IoT and blockchain could also be considered in a context-sensitive manner. Proposals should however also investigate simple, low-cost and low-tech solutions. Projects should analyse the encountered obstacles and drivers and provide clear and precise policy recommendations for local authorities on how to improve circular tourism. Each circular systemic solution should address social, economic and environmental externalities and contribute to the well-being of the local communities while improving the circularity behaviour of the visitors.

The circular systemic solutions implemented and their business models should demonstrate a high replicability and scalability potential in order to contribute to the overall transition of tourism towards more sustainable and resilient practices. During their implementation and by the end of their lifecycle, the selected proposals are expected to prepare and share clear and comprehensive guidelines on the circular systemic solutions adopted, including their strengths and weaknesses experienced, mainly for the use of economic operators in the sector.

With regard to the territorial aspects of all proposed solutions, proposals should seek to contribute to the goals and cooperate with the services of the European Commission’s Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI). Joint activities with CCRI projects are encouraged.

Demonstration of sustainable wave energy farms | Deadline: 16 January 2024

Deadline: 16 January 2024
Budget: €38.000.000
Countries: Algeria, France, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia
More information:   funding and tender opportunities portal by the European Commission 

Scope

Demonstration of sustainable wave energy pilot farms (minimum 2.0 MW installed capacity and at least 4 devices) in full operational conditions for long periods of time is essential to advance this sector. It is the way to bridge the gap from technology development to market development while reducing costs, reducing risks and attracting investors for future commercial projects. The farms should be composed of several devices of the same type.

The wave energy farms have to be connected to the electricity grid. To focus on the technologies with the greatest chances of success, the single wave energy device to be used in the array deployment is expected to be satisfactorily demonstrated at full scale before, with limited changes to incorporate the learnings. Any change on the wave energy device may be incremental but should not involve fundamental changes to the device design or composition. The innovation component should mainly lie on the pilot farm systems and supporting industrial manufacturing activities that enable a cost-effective and high-performance pilot farm. Where established, stage-gate processes can help ensure that this approach is followed.

The project is expected to deploy a wave energy farm with a minimum capacity of 2 MW and operate the farm at least 2 years in the lifetime of the project. After the project it is expected that the farm will continue to be operated for at least 8 years. The project should develop and execute an effective operation and maintenance programme.

Proposals are expected to address also all the following for both the supporting infrastructure for the farm and for the individual devices themselves:

  • Industrial design and manufacturing processes including set up of an industrial supply chain, circularity of (critical) raw materials, sustainability, scalability, installation methods, transport, operation & maintenance, supply chains and the related digital infrastructures.
  • Projects are requested to demonstrate the technologies at sea while respecting existing environmental regulatory framework. Necessary mitigation measures should be integrated to protect habitats and species. Present an environmental monitoring plan to be implemented during the demonstration action. Environmental monitoring data should be open source and be shared with EMODNET and the IEA OES environmental task.

The project has to include a clear go/no go moment ahead of entering the deployment phase. Before this go/no-go moment, the project has to deliver the detailed engineering plans, a techno-economic assessment, including key performance indicators based on international recognized metrics, a complete implementation plan and all needed permits for the deployment of the project., The project proposal is expected to present a clear and convincing pathway to obtaining necessary permits for the demonstration actions and allow for appropriate timelines to achieve these. The project is expected also to demonstrate how it will get a financial close for the whole action. For this the use of other EU/national/regional support mechanisms can be considered. Independent experts will assess all deliverables and will advise for the go/no-go decision.

The exploitation plans should include preliminary plans for scalability, commercialisation, and deployment (feasibility study, business plan, financial model) indicating the possible funding sources to be potentially used (in particular the Innovation Fund).

Data from the pilot structures should be collected to understand the performance and behaviour of the structure and the surrounding environmental condition to optimise the concept and understand the environmental impact of wave energy harvesting.

The selected projects are expected to contribute to the BRIDGE initiative[1], actively participate to its activities and allocate up to 2% of their budgets to that end. Additional contributions to the ‘Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation’ (AIOTI) and other relevant activities (e.g. clusters of digital projects and coordinating actions) might be considered, when relevant.