Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in ERA-NET Cofund Urban Transformation Capacities

The ERA-NET Cofund Urban Transformation Capacities (ENUTC) invites researchers, urban government authorities, – including cities and municipalities, – businesses, civil society and other stakeholders to build transnational consortia to create innovation and research projects that enable and support capacity building for urban transformations.

This is a collection of the frequently asked questions (FAQ) about this call. It includes questions that have been posed in connection to and during our webinars. Please note that it is the call text available at the call page that is the guiding document for your proposal. This FAQ only includes short answers related to specific questions. If you can’t find the answers you need amongst these questions or from reading the call text, please contact the international call secretariat (see call page) or your national or regional funding agency (see call text, available on the call page).



1. Elements of the proposal
2. The Consortium
3. Call topics
4. Funding
5. Other

1. Elements of the proposal

Q: What level of success rate do you expect between pre-proposal and full proposal stage?
A: This will depend on the number of pre-proposals, and their ranking after evaluation. The selection of pre-proposals will also be based on available budgets as well as a balance in countries. The agencies aim to invite no more than three times the number of consortia that can be funded based on their committed budgets and the top-up budget from the European Commission. Successful consortia will then be invited to elaborate their ideas to full proposals. Unsuccessful consortia will be provided with an overall assessment of the quality of their pre-proposals.

Q: If a project foresees 4 partners, will the same project be submitted 4 times?
A: There is only one transnational application submission made by the Main Applicant for all the consortium using the call submission platform –

Some national and regional funding agencies may also require applicants from their countries to make an additional submission via their own submission platforms. Please check this with your national or regional funding agency, outlined in Annex A in the call text.

Q: How can I include dissemination in the proposal?
A: Dissemination and communication is assessed according to the evaluation criteria outlined in the call text. There are several examples of how you can include dissemination in your proposal, for example through participation in JPI Urban Europe Policy Conferences and other programme events, or other events connected to the topic approached by your project.

2. The Consortium

Q: Is it necessary to look for partners and create a consortium prior to the application/proposal?
A: Yes. Please check section 3.1 Consortium: who can participate and apply in the call text.

Q: Does the consortium need to be formalised prior to pre-proposal (e.g. in an intention letter)?
A: It is not compulsory to submit documents such as a letter of intention for the pre-proposal stage since the intention letters will not be directly assessed by the experts at this stage. The collaboration must be explained in the scientific document (12 pages maximum), describing the role of each partner. You will have the possibility to submit documents such as a letter of intention at full proposal stage.

Q: Are the potential partners to be contacted only from eligible countries?
A: There are 16 national and regional funding agencies from 14 countries contributing to this co-funded call with a budget of 18.4 million EUR. Some of these national and regional funding agencies cannot support specific types of partners or applicants. Please see Annex A in the call text for funding agency requirements and contact information, and contact your national or regional funding agency for more information about this.

Actors from other countries outside of these 14 countries can participate in the call. However, they cannot directly receive funding from the call budget, and therefore they will have to contribute funding from elsewhere or provide in-kind contributions to ensure they can contribute effectively to the project and achieve their tasks in the project. If funding appears to be an issue for a specific partner that is not from one of the 14 participating countries in this call, consider whether this partner should be a cornerstone in your project plan or not.

Q: How do I collaborate with cities and companies? What level of cooperation is foreseen?
A: In the call text it is outlined how different actors could and should be included in consortia and projects and as is written in section 3.1 Consortium: who can participate and apply  “consortia must include at least one urban government authority partner, and preferably at least one representative from companies and commercial organisations, consumers or civil society, either as a Main Applicant, Co-applicant, or Cooperation Partner, depending on the national eligibility criteria. Please see the definitions and descriptions of roles in Figure 1 and Table 1.”

Q: Can the Principal Investigator (PI) take part in more than one proposal? What is exactly the difference between the PI and the Main Applicant?
A: In the call text it is written that “each PI must only participate in a maximum of two proposals, and only once as a Main Applicant. Some countries only allow the participation of a PI in one proposal, please check the regional/national eligibility guidelines in Annex A for further requirements”.

This is only on the individual level. There is no limit for how many times an organisation can be represented in different applications by different PIs and Main Applicants.

As is outlined in section 3.1 Consortium: who can participate and apply of the call text, “Applicants are defined as organisations/institutions/companies (i.e. legal entities). The Principal Investigator (PI) is defined as the person who is the lead investigator for an Applicant. Therefore, a consortium has the same number of PIs as applicants. The Main Applicant coordinates the whole project”.

For further descriptions of project consortium roles, see section 3.1 in the call text.

Q: Who are the experts and stakeholders referred to in the call text?
A: The “experts” referred to in the call text are the people from relevant fields, academics as well as practitioners and innovators, who can assess the scientific as well as the innovative and practical value of the submitted pre-proposals and full proposals. Stakeholders are people/organisations which should be engaged with as part of projects (e.g. government authorities, civil societies and the private sector).

Q: Is it possible to create a consortium which consists exclusively of research institutions (universities)? Or is the participation of municipalities or companies needed?
A: You must involve partners other than research institutions in the project. For more details, please see the call text and 3.1 Consortium: who can participate and apply.

Q: When building a transnational partnership, should each of the partners contact their respective funding agency in their own country?
A: This is recommended if uncertainties about eligibility or funding rules exist. This is also a request of some funding agencies. Please see Annex A in the call text for the list of participating funding agencies and their contact points.

Q: Can a consortium continue with one member less at second stage if a national or regional funding agency has a negative assessment?
A: The assessment/evaluation for all consortia/projects is made by experts, not by funding agencies. National and regional funding agencies check projects against their eligibility criteria: it can happen that a partner/applicant is ineligible for funding from their national or regional funding agency, but the proposal is still eligible according to the transnational eligibility criteria.

Q: Is it possible to add a partner from an EU country that is not included in the ERA-NET, as a sub-contractor?
A: Yes, but usually funding agencies limit such possibility: please check with your funding agency if this is possible.

Q: In how many project proposal/consortia can a company be? As a Lead Partner or/and Partner?
A: The number of project proposals/consortia a person can be part of as Principal Investigator/Main Applicant/Co-Applicant is outlined in the call text. There is no limit to the number of times an institution or company can participate in project proposals/consortia, unless this is outlined in the funding agencies’ requirements (see Annex A in the call text for further information).

3. Call Topics

Q: Which topics are most relevant in the call?
A: There is no thematic priority among the three topics of the call. Please explain how your project is related to a minimum of one of the three topics, stated in the call text.

Q: What does connection to other projects mean?
A: In the call text it is specified that “projects resulting from this call are expected to…connect to earlier transnational, European, national and regional research and innovation actions…be grounded in successful European and global research and/or innovation and clearly build upon and make use of previous results and policy objectives to enable synergies with projects funded by (but not exclusively) JPI Urban Europe, Horizon 2020 or other transnational, national or regional programmes. See Annex B for further reference to policies and initiatives that projects should create synergies with and contribute to” (section 2.1.1.).

Therefore a consortium/applicant is also eligible to apply for the call, if they have a connection to earlier transnational, European, national and regional programmes and actions, even though they may not have already been funded in a previous JPI Urban Europe call specifically (if this is not a requirement in the national eligibility guidelines, see Annex A in the call text for further information).

4. Funding

Q: A startup might struggle to prove financial solvency. How can start-ups participate?
A: How start-ups can participate in project proposals/consortia, depends on the eligibility rules of the funding agencies. Please see Annex A in the call text for the specific funding agencies’ rules of eligibility.

Q: Are national agencies only funding partners in their national territory OR all consortium partners involved in the project proposal?
A: A funding agency only funds partners from their country or region (and that are eligible for funding from the funding agency). Not all funding agencies can fund all types of partners. Please note that both national funds and the European Commission top-up are managed through the funding agency in your country or region.

Q: Can the availability of budget and budget limits for a certain participating country affect the granting of the proposal?
A: Each funding agency only funds eligible partners from their country. For instance, in France, Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) will only fund eligible partners from France. Some countries have limits to how much funding applicants can apply for. You can also compare the amount that your national or regional funding agency has budgeted for this call with the number of projects they have the possibility to fund to get an idea of what would be a reasonable amount of budget to apply for in your proposal. Please see Annex A for the national available budgets and aimed number of projects.

Q: Do the partners apply separately for funding? What happens if in one country the project gets support and, in the other, it doesn’t?
A: Partners apply for funding as a consortium of a project. Project proposals are evaluated and ranked by an expert panel. The Call Steering Committee made up of the funding agencies makes a recommendation of which projects should be funded based on the expert panel’s ranking list. When a funding agency is lacking resources to fund all their projects on this list, they can top-up their budgets, or alternatively the projects can receive top-up funding from the European Commission’s co-funding.

Q: Do we supply budget for another participant’s partner?
A: No, each partner has its own budget and has to declare it separately to the dedicated funding agency in the case of partners from participating countries. Partners from non-participating countries will need to secure their own funding before the pre-proposal stage, if this is relevant for the project.

Q: If one of the partners is a company, does its funding constitute state aid? Are there any call specific regulations or should general EU rules apply?
A: The rules are specific for each funding agency. Please see the funding agencies rules that are detailed in Annex A of the call text.

Q: Can a project get funding if one of the national or regional funding agencies assess that a project is ineligible? Would the project be conducted without the partner of the corresponding national or regional funding agency? What if the partner is responsible for relevant milestones/workpackages that are a prerequisite for other work packages (WP)?
A: The Call Secretariat will verify the eligibility of the pre-proposals/full proposals according to the transnational eligibility criteria described in the call text. The participating funding agencies will perform a check for compliance according to their funding rules. Both transnational and funding agencies’ eligibility criteria must be met. If either the Main Applicant or the proposal does not meet the eligibility requirements, the proposal will not be admitted to the evaluation procedure. In case (a) Co-applicant(s) is (are) ineligible, the proposal may still be eligible if and when the eligibility criteria are met by the proposal without this (these) partner(s). In both cases, this will be communicated to the Main Applicant. If a proposal is “eligible”, this does not mean that it will be awarded funding, but only that the proposal will be admitted to the evaluation procedure. Pre-proposals and full proposals including work packages should be built around the requirements of the call. For further information regarding transnational and funding agencies’ eligibility criteria, and requirements, see the call text.

Q: What costs can be included in the investment / equipment / etc. framework? What happens after the project?
A: Each case is unique, so please contact your national or regional funding agency for further information regarding their eligibility rules.

5. Other

Q: Where can I find an overview of the projects that were approved in previous calls?
A: On the JPI Urban Europe website, there is a summary of the projects already funded in previous calls ( If you would like more information on a specific project you can also contact the main applicant (email addresses are provided on project webpages).

Q: How similar are criteria for selection when compared with H2020?
A: The selection criteria for this call have been approved by the European Commission and are comparable to other Horizon 2020 criteria for ERA-NET cofund calls.


>> Read more and access the call text on the call page




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