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Information sessions Malta and Gozo - Upcoming CIP Calls for Proposals

The European Union's (EU) Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) aims to encourage the competitiveness of European enterprises. It is managed by the European Commission and is one of the EU's centralised competitive funding programme. With small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as its main target, the programme supports innovation activities (including eco-innovation), provides better access to finance and delivers business support services in the regions. It also encourages a better take-up and use of information and communications technologies (ICT) and helps to develop the information society. Furthermore, it promotes the increased use of renewable energies and energy efficiency. The calls for proposals are issued yearly.

The Malta CIP National Contact Point at Malta Enterprise shall organise two free information sessions this month, providing the necessary information and practical examples to participate in this programme's new rounds of calls in 2013. The sessions will be held on the 29th November in Gozo and on the 30th November in Malta.

Participation in CIP: requirements and objectives

Practically any public and private entity can participate, including NGO's and associations, however it must have the technical and financial capacity required to meet the particular objectives of the call. The application is - in most of the cases - done by a consortium, with a minimum number of participants from different Member States and associated states. The number of participants depends on the respective call and/or objective. The CIP co-funds part of the project, the consortium the remaining part.

The CIP funds mainly 'soft measures', for example: training, exchange of best practices, reports, feasibility or other studies, information dissemination, development of educational structures, monitoring of the impact of EU legislation, preparation for investments, deploying innovative solutions in real life settings, etc. It does not fund infrastructure, hardware or R&D, nor can this funding be used to cover costs for purely commercial projects.

The aim of this programme is to tackle the non-technological barriers that exist in the EU for the market uptake of innovative solutions to societal challenges. It aims to create the right market conditions for innovative products, systems and processes by bridging the gap between R&D and the market.

Highlight of the main upcoming CIP calls 2013

In this article we would like to highlight the main three calls under the CIP: the calls for proposals for the Intelligent Energy Europe programme (IEE), the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) and the Eco-Innovation. The IEE call for proposals is expected to open in January 2013 and the ICT PSP call is expected to open in February or March 2013. Later on in the year, the Eco-Innovation call should open for applications. It is important for stakeholders to be aware of these and other upcoming opportunities, so to prepare their potential participation in the areas of their interest and accordingly start with searching for relevant partners. In the following a short description will be provided about these three important CIP calls and their respective objectives.

IEE 2013

The Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (IEE) helps deliver on the ambitious climate change and energy targets that the EU has set for itself. The programme supports concrete projects, initiatives and best practices.

In short, IEE fosters energy efficiency and the rational use of energy sources; promotes new and renewable energy sources and energy diversification; and promoting energy efficiency, the use of new as well as renewable energy sources in transport.

Examples of projects funded under this programme include: Training on new construction techniques that can lead to 50 percent or more energy savings compared with traditional buildings; improving the effectiveness of support schemes for electricity generation from renewable energy sources across Europe; or helping Europe's cities to develop more energy-efficient and cleaner transport.

The IEE 2013 call is expected in January 2013. For more information please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/intelligent/

ICT PSP call

The Information and Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT-PSP) aims at stimulating a wider uptake of innovative ICT based services and the exploitation of digital content across Europe by citizens, governments and businesses, in particular SMEs.

The focus is placed on driving this uptake in areas of public interest while addressing EU challenges, such as moving towards a low carbon economy or coping with an ageing society. The programme contributes to a better environment for developing ICT based services and helps overcome hurdles such as the lack of interoperability in the EU and market fragmentation.

Funding goes mainly to pilot actions, involving both public and private organisations, for validating in real settings, innovative and interoperable ICT based services in areas such as: ICT for health, ageing and inclusion; Digital Libraries; ICT for improved public services; ICT for energy efficiency and smart mobility; Multilingual web and Internet evolution.

Networking actions for sharing experiences and preparing the deployment of innovative ICT based solutions in such areas are also supported, as well as the monitoring of the Information Society through benchmarking, analyses and awareness raising actions.

In short, the ICT-PSP helps in developing a single European information space and strengthening the European internal market for ICT and ICT-based products and services; stimulates innovation through the wider adoption of and investment in ICT; and develops an inclusive information society and more efficient and effective services in areas of public interest, improving quality of life.

The ICT PSP 2013 call is expected February 2013. For more information please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/ict_psp/index_en.htm

Eco-Innovation

The European Union's Eco-Innovation funding call is addressed mainly to organisations that have developed an environmental product, service, management practice or process which has a proven track record, yet is not fully marketed due to residual risks. The Eco-innovation initiative is intended to overcome those barriers to further market penetration and turn these products and processes into Europe's future eco-innovation successes. Applications from SMEs are particularly encouraged. The Commission will fund up to 50% of the project's eligible costs.

Projects submitted under this call will have to:

Have an innovative character and substantial positive impacts on the environment;Provide significant replication, wider application and broader marketability;be relevant for and show clear and substantial benefits in support of Europe's environmental policy objectives;Demonstrate a European added value and an international project dimension;Be well thought-through from a technical and project management perspective;Be cost-effective delivering higher quality through appropriate effort levels.

This call supports Eco-innovative projects in different sectors which aim at the prevention or reduction of environmental impacts or which contribute to the optimal use of resources. However, more specific priorities have been set up considering its important environmental impact. The five priorities are: Recycling materials; Sustainable building products; Food and drink sector; Greening business; and water.

For more information kindly visit: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eco-innovation/about/index_en.htm

The Malta National Contact Point

The CIP Malta National Contact Point (NCP) at Malta Enterprise is your local 'helpdesk' for CIP. The NCP's main role is to provide all the information necessary about the programme and its upcoming calls to promote, encourage and support participation by all relevant stakeholders - including public bodies, private companies, education establishments, NGOs and SMEs. We know what opportunities are available under this programme and hence encourage potential beneficiaries to take full advantage of these, whilst guiding them on how to go about participation.

Your National Contact Point can assist you finding suitable partners and/or consortiums who can participate in your project proposal or, if you do not have a project idea yet, who have a project proposal of their own which addresses your organisations' needs and objectives. We send regular emails out with foreign partner searches for the various calls as well as circulate the profiles and partner searches of local organisations amongst our contacts and our counterparts in the other EU countries.

For more information or to apply for the information sessions, kindly contact us on info@cipmalta.com , phone us on (+356) 2542 3214 or visit www.cipmalta.com .