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ASSOCIATE REGIONS FUNDING CALL

What is the Call for Associated Regions?

The solutions developed and demonstrated within the EU project “ULTFARMS”, grant agreement number 101093888, involves the implementation of low trophic aquaculture farms within offshore wind developments to evaluate the environmental and economic suitability of such efforts. These solutions include industry standard as well as novel constructions, and take into consideration nature inclusive design parameters.

To assure the commercially feasibility of the demonstrated solutions and continue research and innovation in the field of LTA, regions and countries outside of those represented by main partners In the ULTFARMS project are sought to become Associated Regions (ARs) within the Project, affiliated entities with a budget of up to 100.000 Euros to carry out an array of activities proffered within a proposal submission at local or regional levels. 

The ARs will attend trainings and participate in project wide discussions in terms of technical, operational, and planning requirements and developments undertake within the ULTFARMS project in order to co-deisgn, and co-develop the activities within the AR projects, making use of the skills and knowledge present in the consortium. To assure the commercially feasibility of the demonstrated solutions and continue research and innovation in the field of LTA, regions and countries outside of those represented by main partners In the ULTFARMS project are sought to become Associated Regions (ARs) within the Project, affiliated entities with a budget of up to 100.000 Euros to carry out an array of activities proffered within a proposal submission at local or regional levels. The ARs will attend trainings and participate in project wide discussions in terms of technical, operational, and planning requirements and developments undertake within the ULTFARMS project in order to co-deisgn, and co-develop the activities within the AR projects, making use of the skills and knowledge present in the consortium. This will allow for the novel methods and developments realized through the project to reach a wider audience both the primary results and roadmap for roll-out of these solutions In both the Baltic and North Seas to reach early adopters at regional and local levels beyond those already represented in the project. As ULTFARMS will demonstrate and aim to provide supporting evidence that the Implemented solutions and concepts are viable both from a technological and commercial standpoint, the adoption and transfer of these methods to other regions will help to hasten the Impact this research and development will have on the Blue Economy.

Associated regions will closely follow the project and its demonstration activities, sharing in the outcomes and knowledge developed by project partners through information exchange and support offered by partners to the ARs. This will be carried out through meetings, workshop and trainings. Associated regions will be provided technical assistance from project partners and connected entities to build their own capacity and implement solutions for low-impact marine aquaculture and multi-purpose use of marine space in their regions. This can be accomplished through an array of activities listed below, and is not limited to the direct actions of the regional or local authorities submitting the proposal, but can include consortia efforts or subcontracting. Furthermore, ARs, through their co-design and co-development of activities with project partners and beyond, will contribute to a general project wide roadmap for the roll-out of solutions realized within the ULTARMS project, outlining an approach to realizing similar LTA efforts in the associated region is a required output of each project which addresses feasibility and possible barriers. Finally, each associated region project must plan to execute a side event within their activities for either societal engagement or industry engagement. The event intends to engage the public, raise awareness to the challenges through a workshop, media coverage, best practice competition, community building event or others, connected to our dissemination and public-engagement strategy.

Objectives and results to be obtained

The ULTFARMS project will launch an open call, reviewed and adapted by the Commission, to select Associate Regions (ARs) based on specific criteria. This call, part of the Horizon Europe Portal’s cascading funding, aims to share knowledge, provide technical assistance for low-impact marine aquaculture, and promote multi-use marine space. Published on the EC’s Funding & Tenders Portal and the project website, the call emphasizes transparency, equal treatment, and confidentiality, remaining open for at least two months with rolling evaluations. A minimum of five ARs will be selected, with up to 100,000 Euros funding per proposal. Changes in submission deadlines or guidelines will be promptly announced, with registered applicants notified. The outcomes, including project details and awardees, will be publicly disclosed, underscoring the call’s European focus.

Expected Activities of Associate Regions

The five selected Associate Regions (ARs) will join the ULTFARMS AR-Working Group, led by Deltares and DTU, to integrate and support AR activities within the project. ARs are expected to actively participate in ULTFARMS’ communication, training, and stakeholder engagement activities, including meetings, workshops, and congresses. They will also collaborate with the Blue Mission Banos Project to provide insights into local blue economy activities. ARs will co-develop offshore multi-use Low Trophic Aquaculture (LTA) systems, tailoring solutions to local needs and participating in governance, legal barrier identification, and permit requirements. They will consult with local entities to transfer ULTFARMS solutions to their regions, supporting integrated networks for LTA system production, operation, and decommissioning. ARs will also facilitate technology tests, initiate local activities to increase societal acceptance and policy awareness, and build a database for LTA planning. Lastly, ARs will collaborate with all project partners to co-develop a roadmap for transferring project approaches, including hosting a mandatory side event to engage the public and raise awareness aligned with the project’s dissemination strategy.

Evaluation

Independent Evaluation: Three experts from the ULTFARMS Associate Region Working Group will assess the proposals based on the award criteria: Impact (8 points), Excellence (6 points) and Implementation (6 points) and will record their individual opinion on each proposal using the evaluation form. An average is taken among experts’ scores, with a minimum threshold of 14 points required to be eligible for funding through the call;

  1. Evaluation Committee Consensus: Based on the ranking results of the independent project partners responsible for evaluations, at the end of month 2 of the call being open, a ranked list of eligible candidates will be generated
  2. Less developed Regions will receive particular attention to ensure inclusion of such regions as candidates within the call to ensure replicability in a full spectrum of ARs, as requested by the European Commission
  3. From the end of month 2 of the call’s publications, once evaluated, the top ARs eligible will be notified and contracts generated.
  4. This will be done on a rolling basis until the minimum threshold of 5 ARs has been achieved or other instructions have been received by ULTFARMS from the granting authority, European Commission, or Project Administrator.

Eligibility Criteria and Reimbursable Costs

Entities from the following countries do not qualify for this call as project partners are already based In these regions, and therefore exclude the potential for AR partners also from these countries as dictated by European Commission provisions on the call. The full list of Member States and Associated Countries can be found via the European Commission documentation :

Belgium
Denmark
Germany
The Republic of Ireland
The Netherlands
Portugal
Spain
Sweden


A list of countries eligible for cascade funding has been updated as of 1 January 2024. Please check the following list of beneficiaries outside of European Union Member Countries which are eligible for funding by following the link . Read More Here.


EU restrictive measures also applicable for financial support to third parties In relation to this call EU Sanctions Map. The financial support to third parties may only be awarded to local and/or regional authorities from an ‘associated region’, there the applicant body must be a local and/or regional body.

For a submission to be eligible, either the lead partner or the sole applicant must be a regional or local authority. This means that the lead or sole applicant must be a qualified as a entity which is an administrative entity for regional or local purposes or whom acts in the interests of local and regional interests and is a publicly funded body. Specifications on eligibility may be requested and will be validated by the funding authority.

All potential Associate Regions must ensure that their contractual obligations under Articles 12 (conflict of interest), 13 (confidentiality and security), 14 (ethics), 17.2 (visibility), 18 (specific rules for carrying out action), 19 (information) and 20 (record-keeping) also apply to the third parties receiving the support (recipients) as outline In the ULTFARMS GA. The beneficiaries must also ensure that the bodies mentioned in Article 25 (e.g. granting authority, OLAF, Court of Auditors (ECA), etc.) can exercise their rights also towards the recipients; the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)) have the right to carry out checks, reviews, audits and investigations on the recipients, and in particular to audit the payments received. If access is denied by the recipient, the costs will be rejected.

Call for Associated Regions

Apply now!

 

 

Key dates

Call Opening
Jan 15th
2024
Call Closing
May 31
2024
Contact for Contracting with ARs
June
2024
Completion of AR Contracting
June
2024
Onboarding Meeting with All ARs
June
2024

Call for Associated Regions

Apply now!