Following discussions in the Innovation, Transnationality and Mainstreaming sub-committee and with the European Commission, it has been agreed that:
- all dedicated innovative projects will have a transnational or inter-regional dimension (i.e. at least one partner from another EU Member State);
- innovative and transnational activity will be delivered through direct bidding outside of Co-financing;
- up to 2% of regional Priority 1 and 2 allocations for 2007-2010 will be available for innovative and transnational activity; and
- there will be up to three innovative and transnational projects per region.
The maximum amount of ESF funding available for innovative and transnational activity in 2007-2010 in the West Midlands is £1,996,703 in Priority 1 and £1,094,966 in Priority 2. ESF funding will contribute up to 50% of the costs of each project with applicants providing at least 50% match funding. It is expected that up to around £1 million ESF funding will be available per project.
The region has selected the themes for innovation by aligning the selection to current regional strategic priorities, including the Regional Economic Strategy and the European Strategy. The themes (including priorities) are:
Active Inclusion (Priority 1)
Engaging with Employers (Priority 1, 2)
Meeting New Challenges – Skills for Climate Change and Sustainable Development (Priority 2)
An information meeting will be held in early November and applicants will be required to submit project proposals to the Co-ordinating Body by 12 December 2008.