EU Call Invests 8 Million For Innovation And Digitalization In The Tourism Sector

February 12, 2021 is the deadline to apply for the call for proposal “Innovation uptake and digitalisation in the tourism sector” published by the European Commission under the COSME Programme – Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium sized Enterprises 2014-2020. 

The general objective of this Call is to boost tourism SMEs’ uptake of digitalisation and innovation through transnational cooperation and capacity building, while the specific objective is to develop and put in place transnational and cross-ecosystem support schemes to build capacity for digital transformation, innovation and smart tourism solutions by SMEs in the tourism ecosystem. 

Eligible proposals must be presented by consortia gathering from 5 to 10 partners of various nature and located in a minimum of 5 different eligible Countries, including at least one and no more than two public authorities and bodies and at least one business supporting organization. Each consortium/network will directly support (including financial support) a minimum of 60 tourism SMEs in total, from a minimum of three eligible Countries. 

A transnational consortium/network of public and private stakeholders will act as an intermediary organising specific activities for tourism SMEs in different Countries. The consortium will organise and provide direct support to companies in order to build their capacities in developing and implementing new, innovative services and operations with the help of digital technologies. Furthermore, it will also facilitate cross-border/transnational cooperation to foster peer to peer learning as well as to share knowledge and good practices in boosting the uptake of digitalisation, innovation and new technologies in tourism. 

EASME – Executive Agency for SMEs is delegated for the implementation of the call. It foresees to finance 8 to 11 projects which have to last 25-36 months. Every project can be granted with up to 75% co-financing of eligible costs, up to € 1.000.000 funding, and the total budget is € 8 million. 

Competitive proposals will be evaluated according to the relevance and the quality of the proposed activities, along with their impact and cost-effectiveness. 

At Twissen we observed that, in order to face challenges posed by the pandemic, digitalization skills are necessary. Proposals must address the needs of the SMEs, that are protagonists of this call as they represent the backbone of the travel and tourism industry. This action will surely contribute to a faster recovery of the sector. 

Author: Francesco Redi
President and founder at Twissen. Manager in Local Development, Tourism Policies,  EU Funds. He cooperates with several European universities, public bodies, development agencies, DMOs and enterprises.

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