Growing project ideas
Seed money is an interesting concept of looking for new project ideas that are in line with the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. “Seed money projects enable preparatory activities for full-scale projects. For instance, project partners may conduct research or organise meetings for experts to validate if their project idea is relevant and worth developing further,” explains Marina Kislyak, Project Officer at Interreg Baltic Sea Region.
Interreg Baltic Sea Region opened its first seed money call from 21 September to 28 October 2016. Draft applications for seed money projects were assessed by the Policy Area and Horizontal Action Coordinators of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, who eventually selected 36 applicants that were invited to submit an application. The involvement of the Policy Area and Horizontal Action Coordinators was vital because all seed money projects need to directly support the implementation of the EU Strategy, i.e. one of its three objectives: saving the sea, connecting the region or increasing prosperity.
The focus of the Riga seminar was very practical: it aimed to explain further steps of the application process, including by referring to a dedicated online application system BAMOS. Moreover, the applicants learned about specific requirements for the expected seed money project outputs. These include a report on the state of play in the addressed field and a work plan for the main project along with planned activities, outputs and a partnership composition as well as a report on funding possibilities for the main project. What is important is the ability of seed money projects to be developed into full-scale projects financed by sources other than Interreg Baltic Sea Region funding.
During the seminar, a new concept of lump sums was presented. In brief, the three expected project outputs will receive predefined lump sums and project partners will not be obliged to deliver detailed financial statements. After the briefings, the applicants could also approach Project Officers individually and ask detailed questions during a help desk session.
The Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat is currently waiting for the applicants to submit their applications by 15 February 2017. Afterwards, the admissibility check and assessment will start. A final selection of successful applications will take place at the meeting of the Monitoring Committee on 23-24 May 2017.