Strengthening innovation through supporting cluster cooperation and start-up ecosystems in the South Neighbourhood countries

Silvia Weninger

1) Objective

The overall objective of Mayors for Economic Growth is to enhance economic growth and job creation in the region by supporting local authorities in the EaP countries in designing and implementing Local Economic Development Plans (LEDPs) with a view to generating systemic results in line with the principles of good governance and sound financial management, and in coherence with other initiatives.  The global objective of this call for proposals is to support the implementation of municipal pilot projects building on approved LEDPs, and in line with the EU’s targeted support to focal regions.  This call for proposals is divided into two geographic lots and one horizontal lot.

The specific objectives of Lot 1 and Lot 2:
• Invest in local comparative advantages to stimulate business development (e.g. encouraging the formation of new or innovative enterprises; supporting the growth of particular clusters of businesses; supporting informal and newly emerging businesses aiming to improve local value chains, etc.); investments in strategic options for business development or strengthening resilience of local economic models (i.e. reimagining value chains, strengthening and greening local economies).
• Invest in hard (physical) and soft infrastructure to improve the business environment (educational and workforce development, institutional support systems including local business, councils, chambers of commerce, business associations); exploring new business opportunities (i.e. platform economies) that can have a catalytic and systemic effect.
• Attract external investment, increase local access to finance, and increase attractiveness of local authorities for innovative/diverse sources of finance.
• Encourage the participation of beneficiaries who have not yet received a support grant under the previous Call for Proposals “Mayors for Economic Growth pioneer projects” with reference EuropeAid/155272/DH/ACT/Multi.

The specific objectives of Lot 3:
• Disseminate and communicate the results and lessons learnt from existing Local Economic Development Plans, as established under the first phase of M4EG.
• Monitor, follow up on, and increase the sustainability of the existing projects.

2) Eligibility

In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must: (1) be a legal person and (2) be non-profit-making and (3) be a specific type of organisation such as: a local authority and (4) be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary.

3) Location

Lot 1: Actions must take place in one of the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, and Republic of Moldova.
Lot 2: Actions must take place in Ukraine.
Lot 3: Actions must take place in at least one or in more of the following countries : Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

4) Budget

The overall indicative amount made available under this call for proposals is €10,000,000. Any grant requested under this call for proposals must fall between the minimum €100,000 and maximum €1,000,000. Any grant requested under this call for proposals must fall between the minimum (50%) and maximum (90%) percentage of total eligible costs of the action. The initial planned duration of an action may not be lower than 6 months nor exceed 48 months.

5) Application

The concept note together with the declaration by the lead applicant must be submitted online via PROSPECT. The deadline for the submission is 6 April 2021.