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  1. An institution, body, office or agency established by or based on the Treaty on European Union and the Treaties establishing the European Communities.

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    A microenterprise, a small or medium-sized enterprise (business) as defined in EU Recommendation 2003/361. To qualify as an SME for EU funding, an enterprise must meet certain conditions, including (a) fewer than 250 employees and (b) an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million. These ceilings apply only to the figures for individual companies.

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    Activities focussing on agricultural products, organic farming, horticulture, as well as forest management and wood products; furthermore the development of the food sector, food chains, organic food production, and seafood products and any topics related to animals and fishing.

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    Soil and air quality: Projects that deal with any topic against soil and air pollution, except water pollution, for example, reduction of soil and air contamination, pollution-management systems, but also prevention and eradication of soil erosion, new ways of improving air quality (also indoors) and soil/air knowledge in general.

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    Water management projects about management and distribution of drinking water, integrated sustainable water management, monitoring systems for water supply and improving drinking water quality; also water treatment (wastewater), in particular, innovative technologies to improve wastewater, treatments in the purification of industrial and domestic wastewater and water reuse policies. Waterways, lakes and rivers: This deals with any topics on waterways, lakes and rivers, from improving water quality, protecting and developing of ecosystems or sustainable wetland management.

    Activities that protect, promote and enhance cultural and natural heritage, increase the attractiveness through preservation and valorisation of common cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable manner, and improve and develop cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products. Cultural heritage management, art and culture, (maritime) heritage routes, access to cultural and natural heritage. Also all topics on cultural services such as festivals, concerts, art workshops.

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    Community integration and common identity projects that build identity, create a more cohesive society, promote positive relations through an increased provision of shared spaces and services.

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    All projects where ICT has a significant role, including tailor-made ICT solutions in different fields, as well as digital innovation hubs, open data, Internet of Things; ICT access and connecting (remote) areas with digital infrastructure and services; services and applications for citizens (e-health, e-government, e-learning, e-inclusion, etc.); services and applications for companies (e-commerce, networking, digital transformation, etc.).

    This is about the mitigation and management of risks and disasters, and the anticipation and response capacity towards the actors regarding specific risks and management of natural disasters, for example, prevention of flood and drought hazards, forest fire, strong weather conditions, etc.. It is also about risk assessment and safety.

    Education and training projects on expanding educational opportunities, reducing barriers in the field of education, improving higher education and lifelong learning, training and labour mobility, educational networks, higher vocational education, common learning programmes.

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    This deals with the development of health and social services and improved accessibility and efficiency for different groups (elderly, children, etc.). It is also about new healthcare models and medical diagnosis and treatments (dementia, cancer, diabetes, etc.), hospitals, care management, and rare diseases, as well as improving wellbeing and promoting sports.

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    • rural and peripheral development, referring to remote, sparsely populated areas, rural community development, and rural economics, in particular access to remote areas and policies for rural areas.
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Call key data

Transitioning to a more sustainable and resilient ecosystem – empowering tourism SMEs

Funding Program

Single Market Programme

Call number

SMP-COSME-2023-TOURSME-01

deadlines

Opening
12.12.2023

Deadline
21.02.2024 17:00

Funding rate

90%

Call budget

€ 8,500,000.00

Estimated EU contribution per project

between € 1,700,000.00 and € 2,125,000.00

Link to the call

Link to the submission

Call content

short description

This call for proposals will aim at equipping and empowering SMEs to transition towards more sustainable and resilient practices as prioritised in the Tourism Transition Pathway (under the Industrial Strategy Update (COM(2021)350 final).

Call objectives

The action will contribute to the transition of the European tourism ecosystem by providing direct and indirect support, be it financial or consultative, including with the intermediary of consortia of organisations of the relevant tourism industry stakeholders, to SMEs, including start-ups and entrepreneurs, who wish to develop innovative concepts and projects contributing to the transition of EU tourism. This may also include further development and transfer of best practices and solutions identified through previous calls.

Expected effects and impacts

  • Enhanced resilience and competitiveness of tourism SMEs through better uptake of sustainability principles, accessibility aspects, innovation, and digitalisation (i.e. use of new technologies, greening, data) and through increased capacity to track the footprints;
  • New business models in tourism building on digitalisation, new technologies, sustainability, accessibility, services for all types of customers, circularity, involvement of local communities and long-term visitors;
  • Enhanced cooperation along the tourism value chain;
  • Improved transnational and cross-border cooperation, knowledge transfer and peer learning;
  • Support to recovery of the tourism ecosystem from the shocks caused by COVID-19 and the Russian military aggression in Ukraine by developing and providing best practices for recovery investments with long-term effects for green and digital transition.

Expected results

The activity will aim to provide:

  • Direct support to innovative projects presented by third parties, e.g. SMEs,
  • Technical support, advice and capacity building to the highest possible number of SMEs based on their needs, attempting to cover a wide geographical scope,
  • Collection of best practices with the purpose of providing policy makers with updated, empirical evidence of the implementation of the priorities set out in the Transition Pathway for Tourism.

Eligibility Criteria

Regions / countries for funding

EU Member States, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Liechtenstein, Montenegro (Црна Гора), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна)

eligible entities

Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Mandatory partnership

Yes

Project Partnership

Proposals must be submitted by a consortium of applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities), which complies with all following conditions:

  • minimum five (5) and a maximum eight (8) independent entities from minimum three (3) different eligible countries
  • minimum two (2) business support organisations (BSO) from two (2) different eligible countries
  • minimum two (2) destination management organisations (DMO) from two (2) different eligible countries
  • minimum one (1) training institution with training or research as principal function, such as an education institution, university, training centre or research centre.

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:

  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
    • non-EU countries: 
      • listed EEA countries and countries associated to the Single Market Programme or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature (list of participating countries)

Specific cases:

Exceptional funding — Entities from other countries (not listed above) are exceptionally eligible, if the granting authority considers their participation essential for the implementation of the action. 

Natural persons — Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of selfemployed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person). 

International organisations — International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them. 

Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees for the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons. 

EU bodies — EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.

Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’ . Please note that if the action will be implemented by the members, they should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible). 

Countries currently negotiating association agreements — Beneficiaries from countries with ongoing negotiations (see above) may participate in the call and can sign grants if the negotiations are concluded before grant signature (with retroactive effect, if provided in the agreement).

other eligibility criteria

Financial support to third parties is allowed under the conditions set out in section 2 and 10 of the call document. The proposal must clearly specify why financial support to third parties is needed, how it will be managed and provide a list of the different types of activities for which a third party may receive financial support. The proposal must also clearly describe the results to be obtained.

The costs for providing financial support to third parties will be reimbursed at a funding rate of 100%.

Additional information

Topics

Air Quality, Biodiversity & Environment, Climate & Climate Change, Water quality & management, 
Arts & Culture, Cultural Heritage, Tourism, 
Competitiveness of Enterprises, Employment/Labour Market, SME & entrepreneurship, 
Disaster Prevention, Resilience, Risk Management

Relevance for EU Macro-Region

EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region

UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)

project duration

between 30 and 36 months

Additional Information

Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System (accessible via the Topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.

Proposals (including annexes and supporting documents) must be submitted using the forms provided inside the Submission System ( NOT the documents available on the Topic page — they are only for information).

Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:

  • Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants (future coordinator, beneficiaries and affiliated entities) and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
  • Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded)
  • mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded):
    • detailed budget table/calculator (template available to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed, assembled and re-uploaded – use and upload only ‘Detailed Budget Table SMP COSME GFS 90 template’)
    • CVs (short outlines) of core project team (to be uploaded in the Submission System)
    • list of previous projects (key projects for the last 4 years) (template available in Part B)
    • supporting document related to the operational capacity (see section 7 Financial and operational capacity and exclusion – template available on EISMEA website)
    • activity reports of last year: not applicable.

Your application must be readable, accessible and printable. Proposals are limited to maximum 50 pages (Part B). Evaluators will not consider any additional pages.

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