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COSME – Supporting European SMEs to participate in public procurement outside EU – 2020

Grants for projects which aims to boost the competitiveness of enterprises and SMEs

2 million euros

Appeal framework

Institution European Commission
Regions European Union

EU Member States
Participating countries

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Priorities and funded actions

* To support SMEs’ internationalisation and participation in public procurement;
* To enable business organisations to develop their capacities to help SMEs in this respect and offer more targeted and better support to SMEs;
* To prepare and help different business support organisations to become aware, understand and build knowledge on certain public procurement markets

* Sectors where European SMEs are highly competitive, and/or hard hit by the crisis. Such sectors could be smart health, digital technologies, low-carbon industries, etc.

Amongst financed actions
* Preparatory phase:
– While many of these elements have to be presented already in the proposal, the consortium shall fine-tune: the identification of the sectors of interest in the target countries, the main buyers, the categories of European SMEs to be targeted, the benefits of the project and the intervention logic for the second phase;
– The development of a fully-fledged internationalisation strategy and a roadmap for implementation;
– The dissemination of all the project activities, news, events, testimonials and results through a project dedicated website as well as through social media and other suitable channels, including the partners’ websites and networks, the Enterprise Europe Network, and where appropriate the European Commission website;
– The development of synergies with other projects/initiatives developed under COSME or under other EU-funded programmes that could generate mutual benefits. If possible, synergies should go beyond the ones presented / envisaged in the proposal. The setup of the cooperation mechanisms must be described in detail

* Implementation phase:
– Training and advisory services to SMEs on the opportunities of participating in procurement procedures outside the EU and on the specificities of such operations;
– Supporting target SMEs to find partners in the EU/COSME countries and in the target countries, supporting the building of consortia, etc.;
– Organisation of company missions in the target countries focused on the benefits of the European SMEs;
– Organisation of face-to-face or virtual match-making or B2B events with participants from the EU/COSME countries and from the target countries and business-to- procurers (B2P) events;
– Assistance for bidding to specific calls for tenders outside the EU;
– Dissemination of all the project activities, news, events, testimonials, interviews and results to be channelled through the project website/webpage, the Enterprise Europe Network and, if appropriate, the website of the European Commission;
– Presentation of the internationalisation strategy and of other activities carried out throughout the project to Network Thematic Groups on Public Procurement and Internationalisation of the Enterprise Europe Network;
– Developing detailed lessons learned and potential recommendations for future actions in the area of public procurement at EU level;
– Developing an exit strategy with follow-up activities in order to make sure that the efforts carried out in the project will continue to pay off

Additional information
* This call for proposals is an open call for proposals

* Initial duration of the action: between 30 and 36 months 

* Eligibility:
– Legal entities:
> Forming a consortium;
> Representing business support organisations (Chambers of Commerce, federations, etc.) cluster organisations, non-profit organizations (public or private), public bodies (national, regional, local), universities or educational institutions, research centres
– Natural persons and profit-making organisations are not eligible;
– Linked third parties, i.e. legal entities having a legal or capital link with applicants, which is neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation, may take part in the action as applicants in order to declare eligible costs;
– Only applications from legal entities established in the following countries are eligible:
> EU Member States;
> Countries participating in the COSME programme pursuant to Article 6 of the COSME Regulations
– Proposals must be presented by consortia composed of at least three legal entities from at least three different EU Member States or COSME participating countries


* Grant amount: up to 400,000 euros

* Co-financing rate: up to 75% of the total eligible costs

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