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Call key data
Improving rural future through better territorial governance and rural-urban synergies
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 6: Resilient, Inclusive, Healthy and Green Rural, Coastal and Urban Communities
70% (NPO: 100%)
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Proposals are expected to support specific projects for developing rural-urban territorial partnerships to enhance the well-being of rural and urban people, increase resilience and favour a more synergistic/interlinked/networked development of rural and urban areas.
Rural and urban areas are interdependent and can mutually benefit from a territorial planning that takes into consideration their interactive relationship.
People, goods, services, information, financial capitals, energy, etc. flow between these areas, but these linkages are often neglected by policy makers that tend to deal with rural and urban issues separately. Proposals should aim at improving rural-urban cooperation, connections and planning for an integrated territorial development that adopts equitable measures to respond to socio-environmental disparities and foster sustainable growth.
Proposal should also prioritise experimentation and innovation in domains that have been demonstrated to favour bi-directional urban-rural synergies and the development of a well-being economy: proximity (shortening distances/value chains including in the agri-food sector with particular attention to organic production), greener economy/society (e.g. ecosystem services and protection and restoration of biodiversity and natural capital, including nature-based solution – NBS), circularity (closing loops/ flows), services (improving social connectivity, new ways of working and living, pooling of and/or itinerant services), culture, landscape and heritage (building territorial identities as well as improving access to a valorised cultural heritage and cultural life) and mobility (sustainable and affordable mobility alternatives for rural residents).
Projects financed under this topic should capitalise on lessons learnt to further upgrade and future-proof policy frameworks and enabling environments.
Proposals should pay attention to the ecological and digital transitions, the potential of digital technologies as well as social inclusiveness, environmental knowledge and access of rural communities to good quality services and opportunities. In addition, they should analyse the impact caused by COVID 19 pandemic on integrated territorial development and address challenges that resulted from it.
Proposals must implement the multi-actor approach and bring together multiple science fields, in particular the social sciences and humanities (SSH) (e.g., economics, human geography, political science, cultural studies, etc.), and actors with complementary roles and experiences (e.g., service providers, transport services, public authorities, associations, innovators, small and medium enterprises -SMEs - etc.).
Proposals should cover a representative variety of European rural areas (e.g. rural-costal areas, mountains areas, remote rural areas) and build on results of relevant Horizon 2020 projects such as RURBAN, ROBUST (e.g., rural-urban learning hub), COASTAL, RURITAGE, RURALURE, SmartCulTour, TExTOUR, and FOODSHIFT 2030 and seek to improve/uptake governance and role models they have identified as promising.
Projects financed under this topic should create synergies with the New European Bauhaus (NEB) projects, facilitating ideas flows from urban to rural settings and vice-versa. For instance, some NEB projects could inspire good practices on the reuse of buildings in rural areas that can function as innovation hubs or build links between urban and rural areas. Proposals should allocate adequate budget and resources to implement this task.
This topic is open to financial support to third parties as an option either to select pilots for developing partnerships or innovative solutions aiming at contributing to integrated territorial development.
Finally, proposals are encouraged to leverage the data and services available through European Research Infrastructures federated under the European Open Science Cloud, as well as data from relevant Data Spaces.
Expected effects and impacts
The successful proposal will contribute to fostering a sustainable, balanced equitable and inclusive development of rural areas, supporting the implementation of the European Green Deal, in particular to the farm to fork and the biodiversity strategies, the organic action plan, the common agricultural policy (CAP), the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas and its objectives (contributing to make rural areas stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous) and to its flagship initiative “Research and innovation for rural communities”, and the EU territorial agenda for 2030.
- Improved connections, strategies and governance arrangements that foster synergistic development and just transition of rural and urban areas and more integrated territorial policies and strategies in a growing number of localities;
- Improved business and innovation opportunities thanks to a more proximate, circular and green economy and renewed vitality of rural places through a better connectivity, improved valorisation of cultural and natural heritage, and stronger innovation ecosystems;
- Improved mutual access of rural and urban actors to services provided by either type of areas;
- Improved social connectivity, social capital, resilience, and capacity to face changes as well as of innovating, and increased understanding of the cultural connections between rural and urban communities and strengthened sense of territorial identity.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
EU Body, Education and training institution, International organization, Natural Person, 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)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- 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 to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
Proposals must apply the multi-actor approach. See definition of the multi-actor approach on pages 21-23 of the work programme.
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)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.
Beneficiaries may provide financial support to third parties. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants. The maximum amount to be granted to each third party is € 60,000.00.