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Call: BUILD UP Skills – Strategies and training interventions enabling a decarbonised building stock

Programme
Acronym LIFE-CET
Description of programme
"LIFE - sub-programme “Clean Energy Transition”"

The specific objectives of the sub-programme "Clean Energy Transition" are the following:

  • to develop, demonstrate and promote innovative techniques, methods and approaches for reaching the objectives of Union legislation and policy on the transition to sustainable renewable energy and increased energy efficiency, and to contribute to the knowledge base and to the application of best practice;
  • to support the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of relevant Union legislation and policy on the transition to sustainable renewable energy or increased energy efficiency, including by improving governance at all levels, in particular through enhancing capacities of public and private actors and the involvement of civil society;
  • to catalyse the large-scale deployment of successful technical and policy-related solutions for implementing relevant Union legislation on the transition to renewable energy or increased energy efficiency by replicating results, integrating related objectives into other policies and into public and private sector practices, mobilising investment and improving access to finance.

This sub-programme will fund the activities responding to the specific topics defined in the annual calls for proposals which are based on the list of priority topics. Other activities related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, which do not address the specific requirements of the calls defined under this sub-programme can be submitted to the calls under the Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation sub-programme.

The sub-programme will aim at facilitating the transition toward an energy-efficient, renewable energy-based, climate-neutral and -resilient economy by funding coordination and support actions across Europe. These actions aim at breaking market barriers that hamper the socio-economic transition to sustainable energy, typically engaging multiple small and medium-size stakeholders, multiple actors including local and regional public authorities and non-profit organisations, and involving consumers.

The sub-programme will contribute to the implementation of the energy-related actions of the European Green Deal, including the ‘Renovation wave’ initiative for the building sector and will give due consideration to territories not connected to the European grids such as the EU outermost regions. It will contribute to the Just Transition objectives by accompanying the territories and the groups of citizens negatively affected by the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, by building capacity of actors and fostering clean energy investments, mainly in energy efficiency and locally available, sustainable, renewable energy sources. Activities related to technology development will not be included.

A significant part of this budget will be used to finance Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) under OAs grants for the four year period, whereas the possibility to finance SAPs is only foreseen as from 2023.

It will cover the following areas of intervention:

  • Building a national, regional and local policy framework supporting the clean energy transition:

Increasing coherence of energy transition governance at different levels by enhancing multi-stakeholder dialogue and building the capacity of public authorities to deliver under the national energy and climate plans and/or other plans and strategies (e.g. just transition plans, long-term renovation strategies, strategies for the electrification of the transport system). Supporting the development and effective implementation of clean energy policies, including the relevant Union legislation on products and energy consumers, in the EU and third countries. Supporting actions that put into practice the enabling provisions included in the European legislation on clean energy.

  • Accelerating technology roll-out, digitalisation, new services and business models and enhancement of the related professional skills on the market for the clean energy transition:

Providing support for the decarbonisation of the buildings, industry and tertiary sectors, by fostering market uptake of innovative solutions, including digitalization and circular design in line with the climate neutrality target. Accelerating the clean energy transition by enabling the development of new added-value services and innovative business models. The roll-out of technologies and innovative solutions needs to be accompanied by measures addressing market barriers including support to the development and deployment of new skills and frameworks (labels, certificates, technological and non-technological standards, e.g. for interoperability, etc.).

  • Attracting private finance for sustainable energy:

To upscale investments in sustainable energy, different capital flows need to be made available by addressing both supply and demand of finance, and by using public funds effectively. Supply side activities include: data collection, methodology and evidence-based risk management; harmonisation of definition and measuring of sustainable investments; development of innovative financing mechanisms, products, services and practices; standardisation and aggregation of projects and investments; simplification of the process for investors; capacity building and dialogue. Activities should contribute to EU policy and legislation in the field of sustainable finance.

  • Supporting the development of local and regional investment projects:

Build capacity of local public authorities and private investors, notably community collective investors. Facilitate dialogue with the financial sector to deliver sustainable energy investments, including tailored actions contributing to a fair society and to a just energy transition in EU regions most dependent on fossil fuels or carbon intensive processes. Promote public procurement of energy and resource efficient works, supplies and services. Support tailored approaches for local actors to develop investment concepts, implement organisational innovations and aggregate projects. Improve market conditions and develop new integrated services offers for sustainable energy in buildings, transport, ports, and SMEs.

  • Involving and empowering citizens in the clean energy transition:

Support citizens in taking an active role in the clean energy transition, including targeted support for collective actions, community and citizen-led initiatives and development of new energy services and social innovations. Strengthen collaboration between local authorities and citizen-led initiatives. Support actions that contribute to alleviate energy poverty. Foster energy literacy and sustainable energy behaviour of citizens, in particular younger generations.

Link Link to Programme
Call
BUILD UP Skills – Strategies and training interventions enabling a decarbonised building stock
Description of call
"BUILD UP Skills – Strategies and training interventions enabling a decarbonised building stock"

Objective

Launched in 2011, the BUILD UP Skills initiative is supporting the upskilling of building professionals across Europe, to deliver building renovations offering high energy performance as well as new Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (nZEBs). This effort needs to be sustained through the development of strategies and the rollout of ambitious training and qualification interventions aligned with the EU Green Deal, the EU’s 2030 climate objectives as well as the EU’s long-term strategy of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

The first objective (Scope A) is to support the revitalisation of the National Platforms created in the first phase of the BUILD UP Skills initiative (2011-2012, ‘Pillar I’), gathering all key national stakeholders. Since the first platforms were established ten years ago, projects should aim at expanding their scope by involving new stakeholders. The rebooted National Platforms should update the Status Quo Analyses and National Roadmaps to reflect the new realities of the building sector. This should be done by addressing the necessary skills development activities related to e.g. digital technologies, smart buildings including e-mobility, resource efficiency, circularity, integration of renewable energy technologies, heating and cooling, industrialised deep renovation, Life Cycle Carbon Assessments, etc., while taking into account the wider EU recovery context.

The second objective (Scope B) is to increase the number of skilled building professionals at all levels of the building design, operation and maintenance value chain. There is a need to increase efforts in upskilling and reskilling professionals on the critical skills needed for, e.g. the successful uptake of (nearly) Zero Energy Buildings, the upscaling of ambitious renovation interventions, the roll-out of efficient renewable-based heating and cooling, in particular heat pumps, the phasing-out of fossil fuels-based boilers as signalled in the framework of the REPowerEU plan to phase out EU dependence on fossil fuels imports, while achieving a holistic vision of the decarbonisation of the building stock. This calls for the upgrading of existing training and qualification schemes or the development of new ones.

Scope

Proposals should address one of the two scopes below. The scope addressed should be clearly specified in the proposal's introduction.

Scope A: Rebooting the BUILD UP Skills National Platforms and Roadmaps

With a view to ensure sufficient traction at national level, Scope A is expected to be addressed through applications covering a single eligible country. One action per country is expected (exceptions possible). Proposals under scope A may be submitted by a single applicant.

While prior involvement in BUILD UP Skills funded projects is not a requirement, applicants should demonstrate a good knowledge of the initiative as well as the ability to mobilise relevant stakeholders and target groups.

Proposals submitted under this topic should be supportive of the work done within the European Construction Blueprint, which focuses on vocational education and training primarily for ’blue-collar’ professionals (targeting a level up to 5 in the European Qualification Framework). In case an application under this topic focuses on one of the countries covered by the Blueprint initiative, applicants should demonstrate complementarity and added-value of the proposed activities with those being developed under the Blueprint.

The focus of this topic is on all relevant skills needed to enable the Clean Energy Transition, in particular the EU Renovation Wave, the mainstreaming of nZEBs, and the inclusion of resource efficiency considerations. The initial BUILD UP Skills Status Quo Analysis and Roadmaps focussed on on-site workers and craftspeople (‘blue-collar’ professionals). These documents need to be updated as regards ‘blue-collar’ professionals and upgraded with new content mapping the skills needs for ‘white-collar’ professions (e.g. architects, designers, engineers, building managers, product manufacturers, etc.), thus reflecting the reality and needs of the entire building value chain.

Proposals should be comprehensive in terms of the professions addressed, covering level 1-8 in the European Qualification Framework.

The proposed activities should align with the “Pact for Skills in Construction by the EU sectoral Social Partners, EFBWW and FIEC in cooperation with EBC” as part of the European Skills Agenda.

Proposals should address the need for reskilling workers and professionals previously or currently active in fossil fuel related sectors and regions.

Proposals are expected to consider measures to make the renovation and construction sectors more attractive for women.

The updated National Status Quo Analysis must be delivered within the first 9 months of activity of the rebooted National Platform. Each Status Quo Analysis should compile all the necessary information on the current situation of the national building sector regarding continuing education and training, energy performance and contribution to the EU’s 2030 targets as well as existing barriers and gaps, thus providing a sound basis for an informed discussion among the stakeholders.

The updated National Roadmap should explain how to overcome barriers and identified skills gaps in the various professions in such a way that the EU’s 2030 targets in the building sector can be met. Each National Roadmap should notably provide: a set of priority measures related to the various professions to meet the defined targets; an action plan for the identified measures until 2030; an identification of actors and resources needed to drive the implementation; measures to monitor the progress of the proposed activities.

To ensure long-term sustainability, projects should seek formal endorsement of the updated Roadmap by relevant national stakeholders, including public authorities, and promote these results widely.

Projects are expected to carry out at least the following activities, as far as they are not already addressed through the European Construction Blueprint for the country covered in the application:

  • Relaunching of the National Platform, through dedicated communication channels and regular meetings.
  • Market research and data collection (Status Quo Analysis).
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of the first National Roadmap implementation.
  • Targeted interviews with relevant national stakeholders and target groups.
  • Participatory workshops with relevant national stakeholders and target groups.
  • Updating of the National Roadmap, including measures to 2030 and policy recommendations; endorsement by relevant national stakeholders.
  • Promotion and communication of the results.
  • Active participation in European exchange activities.

Applications addressing a country represented in the European Construction Blueprint should also focus on further expanding the activities developed in this frame and supporting their long-term implementation, while also covering the areas, skills and professions not being tackled by the Blueprint.

The expected project duration is 18 months, to ensure that results are available sufficiently early to support the next phases of BUILD UP Skills.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 0.4 million would allow the specific objectives to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Scope B: Upskilling and reskilling interventions enabling a decarbonised building stock

Proposals should develop new and/or upgrade existing training and qualifications for all types of professionals involved in the building value chain ('blue collars' and/or 'white collars'), addressing one or several of the following focus areas:

  • Skills for delivering building deep renovation, including through modular and industrialised solutions.
  • Skills for new and existing nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEBs) and bridging the gap towards Zero Emission Buildings (ZEBs).
  • Skills for integration of renewable energy and efficient heating and cooling technologies, including in particular heat pumps roll-out; skills for installers to deliver heating and cooling upgrades as part of renovation projects.
  • Skills related to whole life carbon (via the assessment of Global Warming Potential), circular construction and resource efficiency, and leveraging the Level(s) framework.
  • Digital skills supporting greater energy performance of buildings, in particular through an enhanced use of Building Information Modelling.
  • Skills for upgrading the smartness of buildings for greater energy performance (based on the Smart Readiness Indicator), looking in particular at sensors, building controls and building management systems.

Activities should also include the training of trainers, as well as the development of mechanisms ensuring the recognition of trained professionals.

All professional profiles involved in the building value chain, at all educational levels (European Qualification Framework levels 1-8) can be validly addressed. Proposals do not need to address all profiles and educational levels but should clearly justify the choice of the profile(s) and educational level(s) targeted.

The main focus of proposals should be on continuous vocational education and training (or professional training) of professionals, i.e. after their initial, compulsory education and training or after they have entered working life. This can include the retraining of professionals from other sectors with skills transferable to construction. Proposals may however address other parts of education and training (e.g. initial education and training, higher education), provided this is justified based on needs detected in the countries targeted.

Proposed activities should contribute to an increased understanding between different trades and professional groups, by promoting a vision of the building as a system.

Proposals should develop attractive and up-to-date training programmes and demonstrate how low-skilled workers could be motivated to take up training for upskilling. In this perspective, applicants should aim to bring together employers, trade unions as well as education & training providers in order to work on feedback mechanisms ensuring that training programmes and curricula are labour market-relevant and proactively integrate emerging skills.

Proposals should address the need for reskilling workers and professionals previously or currently active in fossil fuel related sectors and regions.

Proposals are expected to consider measures to make the renovation and construction sectors more attractive for women and young talents.

While proposals should foresee a pilot phase for the new or upgraded schemes developed, the actual, long-term, running of training and qualification schemes is not covered by this topic. Thus, a key element of the proposed activities should be a strategy ensuring that the schemes will be sustained after the end of the project, linking to available sources of funding at national and EU level.

The proposed activities should align with the Pact for Skills in construction by the EU sectoral Social Partners, EFBWW and FIEC in cooperation with EBC” as part of the European Skills Agenda, as well as with the European Blueprint for sectoral cooperation in construction.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 1 million would allow the specific objectives to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

With a view to increase mutual learning between countries, applications by a single applicant or applications covering a single eligible country are not considered appropriate under scope B. Therefore, the Commission considers relevant that consortia gather a minimum of 3 applicants from 3 different eligible countries.

Expected Impact

Scope A

Proposals should result in a robust set of measures to upskill building professionals towards the EU’s 2030 targets, endorsed by relevant national stakeholders.

Proposals should quantify their impacts using the indicators listed below, where relevant, as well as other project-specific performance indicators:

  • Upgraded National Platform involving key national stakeholders.
  • Quality of the updated National Status Quo Analysis, identifying current and future skills needs, gaps, barriers and opportunities.
  • Quality of the measures presented in the updated National Roadmap reflecting the new needs and realities of the national building sector by 2030.
  • Number of people directly engaged through the project activities.
  • Number of relevant national stakeholders endorsing the updated Roadmap.
  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year).
  • Renewable energy generation triggered by the project (in GWh/year).
  • Investments in sustainable energy renovation triggered by the project (cumulative, in million Euro).

The impacts of the proposals should be demonstrated during the project and within 5 years after the project lifetime.

Scope B

Proposals should result in an increased uptake of sustainable energy skills in the building value chain.

Proposals should quantify their impacts using the indicators listed below, where relevant, as well as other project-specific performance indicators:

  • Number of professionals with increased qualifications and at which level of the European Qualification Framework (EQF).
  • Number of requalified professionals and at which level of the EQF.
  • Number of trained professionals.
  • Number of trained trainers.
  • Number of training/qualification schemes developed or upgraded.
  • Improved market recognition of skilled professionals in the building sector.
  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year).
  • Renewable energy generation triggered by the project (in GWh/year).
  • Investments in sustainable energy renovation triggered by the project (cumulative, in million Euro).

The impacts of the proposals should be demonstrated during the project and within 5 years after the project lifetime.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Administration & Governance, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Employment & Labour Market
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Andorra
Albania / Shqipëria
Faroe Islands / Føroyar
Iceland / Ísland
Israel / ישראל / إسرائيل
Moldova
North Macedonia / Северна Македонија
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Andorra
Albania / Shqipëria
Faroe Islands / Føroyar
Iceland / Ísland
Israel / ישראל / إسرائيل
Moldova
North Macedonia / Северна Македонија
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Eligible applicants Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Education and Training Centres, Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, Other, National Government, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

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:
      • please see the List of Participating Countries in LIFE for an up-to-date list of countries with which the association agreements have started to produce legal effects (either through provisional application or their entry into force).
  • the coordinator must be established in an eligible country

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

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

Call opens 17.05.2022
Call closes 16.11.2022
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

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 and the summarised budget for the project
  • Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project
  • Part C (to be filled in directly online) containing additional project data
  • mandatory annexes and supporting documents:
    • detailed budget table
    • participant information
  • optional annexes: letters of support

Page limit - Part B: 65 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details

Topic budget: EUR 6,000,000.00

Funding rate: up to 95%
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Contact Details https://cinea.ec.europa.eu/life/about-life/life-contacts_en

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