Danube-INCO.NET — Advancing Research and Innovation in the Danube Region


Danube Strategic Project Fund (DSPF)

  • Posted on: 31.05.2016
  • Abbreviation: DSPF

The Danube Strategic Project Fund is a facility aiming at supporting the implementation of transnational strategic projects aligned with the objective of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), with a specific added value at the interfaces between cohesion and enlargement/neighbourhood policy. It will be co-financed with funds provided to the EC by the EP and managed by the City of Vienna (PA 10 EUSDR).

The Project Fund will build upon the experience gained during the implementation of the pilot actions* in the framework the Danube Implementation Facility, carried out by the City of Vienna in its capacity as Priority Area 10 "Institutional Capacity and Cooperation" of the EUSDR. Moreover, it shall refer as appropriate to the results, conclusions and recommendations of the "Socio-economic assessment of the Danube Region", which was implemented by Priority Area 8 "Competitiveness" and finalised in November 2015.
It shall primarily focus on innovative pre-mature projects which could not be funded so far and respond to the actual needs in the Danube Region functional area. Moreover, it will provide support for projects and initiatives which do not fit into a programme or funding scheme (or which need a combination of several funding instruments). The EUSDR provides an appropriate framework for the identification of such strategic projects, with all countries acting on a level-playing field.
Particular attention will be paid to projects that:

  • Have a strategic impact, especially in view of Enlargement and Neighbourhood policies;
  • Include cross-cutting and/or horizontal measures covering several Priority Areas of the Strategy;
  • Follow a multi-level governance approach;
  • Support the establishment of economic and social cooperation;
  • Foster integration and reconciliation of Danube countries, with a particular focus on the role of young people

  *Technical Assistance Facility for Danube Region projects (TAF-DRP), Seed money Facility (START I and II), Danube Financing Dialogue, on-line search funding tool (EuroAccess)

II. Main activities of the action
The main activities will be carried out in the Danube Region and are the following:

  • Setting up the advisory committee and jury as indicated in section III below.
  • Provide advice and support to the above during the selection process
  • Assessment of the needs of the selected projects: consultancy, financial support, technical assistance, etc.
  • Presentation of the selected projects in the framework of a conference
  • Support to the implementation phase
  • Presentation of the results in a final conference

III. Methodology
The selection procedure for projects will consist of the following steps:

  1. Setting up of an advisory committee to make a recommendation of a limited number of projects, fulfilling a set of criteria2 jointly developed by the European Commission and the City of Vienna.
  2. Setting up of an international jury (consisting of regional initiatives/international organisations) to rank the best project proposals.
  3. Assessment of the needs of the project (consultancy, financial support, technical assistance)

The following project holders are to be considered:

  •  National, regional and local authorities;
  • SMEs (start-ups);
  • Academies and Universities (in particular applied research and development units);
  • Social partners and relevant associations.

Criteria for the identification of projects should include:

  • Complementarity with other existing funds
  • Project sustainability: follow-up investment or policy perspective
  • Spill-over effects/impact in particular to the enlargement and neighbourhood countries
  • Synergies with other (macro)- regional strategies, in particular EUSAIR
  • A social impact element including young people and
  • A capacity building element

The needs of the project shall include:

  • consultancy in project management and financial management;
  • Information on possibilities for funding and assistance in view of financial support

Financial contributions to third parties:

  • Max € 100.000,00 / project
  • Form of financial support: unit costs, lump sums or in the form of a prize (payment arrangements or conditions for participation in a contest will be defined in WP1 in coordination with the European Commission).

IV. Expected results and their use

The political character of the project and the involvement of young people from the Danube Region shall lead to an increased visibility of the Strategy, support its sustainability, and make it more known also at the margins of the macro-region.4 The focus on projects with the potential of follow-up initiatives shall also sustain this approach. The implementation of the project shall support the governance of the EUSDR, deliver an enhanced interaction among relevant stakeholders and thereby support the cross-sectorial approach of the Strategy. An innovative combination of a top-down and a bottom-up approach between the project and the political level will also ensure vertical consistency.

V. Project Management and implementation
The City of Vienna, in its role of the Priority Coordinator 10 is responsible that the grant will be used in accordance with its work plan and budget plan.

VI. Planned duration of the Action

Start: 01.06.2016
End: 31.05.2019