EXTENDED DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION Due to the new situation related to the Covid 19 pandemic , the deadline for applying on the call O2 Challenge 2 – Action for Climate Positive Change is extended until 03.06.2020. Last year Europe was the first continent to declare a state of emergency regarding the climate. In the summer of 2019, heat records have been recorded across the European continent, and we are witnessing extreme natural disasters resulting from climate change.
The world is in the middle of the warmest decade since 1850, when temperature data began to be kept. According to the forecasts of the London Meteorological Office, temperatures are expected to be a degree higher in each of the next five years and the decade from 2014 to 2023 is expected to be the warmest in the period of 150 years of record keeping.
The rising average temperature is a result of the increasing greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere that retain the heat.
Climate change is actually a long-term change in the climate pattern and the average climate values that include changes in temperature and precipitation. Climate has been changing in the past centuries, but nowadays, climate is changing rapidly.
According to the scenarios of intergovernmental and international scientists working on and dealing with climate change, it is predicted that in the next 30 to 50 years in North Macedonia and the region, there will be higher temperatures and long droughts, but also heavy rains. There will also be frequent storms with electric discharges and hail, which can adversely impact the soil and make it unfit for agriculture and for living.
Scientists warn that the devastating effects of climate change will affect everyone, regardless of location, economic development and the size of the community in which the people live.
Therefore, climate change shall be perceived as a serious threat to the environment, the human health and wellbeing, the availability of natural resources and food, the economy, the built infrastructure and the quality of life.
Public opinion polls conducted by the United Nations Development Program, UNDP and the Ministry of the Environment show that Macedonian citizens consider climate change as the third most serious threat to society, but they do not have enough knowledge about adaption to climate change.
The Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning creates climate change policies based on the greenhouse gas emissions, assesses the potential for their mitigation or “climate change mitigation” and based on future climate change scenarios, conducts analyzes and adopts adaptation measures.
Given that climate change is a global problem, there is a need for additional effort and attention as to promote adaptation of positive examples and best practices and support the development of concrete measures to overcome these problems through innovative ideas and actions, thus stimulating resolution of the problem. The Fund for Innovations and Technology Development (the Fund) invites you to participate in the second “O2 CHALLENGE 2″in the realization of which, the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning (MoEPP), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the City of Skopje, Macedonia 2025, the Eco-Svest Association and other partner organizations and experts will take part.
The second O2 Challenge enables a wider scope of competitors to participate with their own ideas in action for climate positive change, and this call opens the possibility of establishing partnerships in the region of Western Balkans (WB6) that includes North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania.
At the same time, this is the basis for designing and introducing a new regional Instrument of the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development aimed at organizing competitions and challenges for finding innovative solutions of social interest in the region.
Competitors should offer solutions contributing to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions or enhancing resilience to climate change (climate change adaptation measures) in one of the following areas, either at national or regional level:
The list of areas is not exhaustive.
The solutions can target the following phases of the climate change problem solving process:
The support will be granted to projects that comprise research and development of innovative solutions that are at an advanced stage of technological readiness, having at least a “proof of concept” and a clear commercial ambition.
The proposed projects shall contain a system solution, a product, a service, or an innovative methodology contributing to addressing one or more of the above specified challenges that contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions or improving the resilience to climate change.
The proposed projects shall result in viable results, such as a new service for the citizens, new efficient and environment-friendly product, more efficient public service, or change in the citizens’ behavior.
The O2 Challenge II – Action for Climate Positive Change call is intended for micro, small and medium-sized companies seeking to develop an innovative product, service or process, independently or in cooperation with an institution carrying out a higher education or research activity, or another company and/or association from the country or the region of the Western Balkans (WB6) – North Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania.
The project proposals may be submitted by a single competitor or by a consortium led by a leading competitor. When applying in a partnership/consortium, the lead competitor shall be considered to be the Project leader.
It is a company incorporated and operating based on the Law on Trade Companies and is registered in the Central Register of the Republic of North Macedonia;
If the project proposal involves cooperation of the competitor with a higher education or scientific research institution, an association and/or a company, the requirements for the partner/member of consortium are as follows:
The project proposal involving partners/consortium members from the Western Balkans region will have advantages when point scoring.
Activities eligible for funding are:
The abovementioned list of activities is not limiting.
Cost eligible for funding:
t is recommended that at least 10% of the total project budget is allocated to: business plan development, market research and marketing strategy, market validation and industrial property rights protection.
Only the costs incurred for activities carried out for the duration of the project, which are in accordance with the approved Project Budget and the Rules for organizing and conducting competitions and challenges to encourage innovation in the priority areas of science and technology will be considered as eligible costs.
The Fund reserves the right to negotiate with the winners on defining the project activities and budget based on the recommendations received from the Evaluation and Selection Committee (hereinafter: the Committee), prior to the signing of the Award Granting Contract.
In case the project is based on already existing intellectual property rights, the competitor is obliged, before signing the Contract for Awarding Funds, to submit proof of the right to use the intellectual property in a form of a licensing agreement, “in-kind” contribution agreements or other type of agreement that confirms that the competitor has the right to use the intellectual property on which the results of the project are based.
The duration of the project for which funds shall be awarded can be up to 12 (twelve) months.
A total of 5.000.000 (five million) MKD have been provided to fund projects under this call.
Through this instrument, the Fund provides funding of up to 85% (eighty-five percent) of the total project budget, the maximum amount being EUR 30.000,00 (thirty thousand) in MKD counter-value.
The remaining amount of the total project budget i.e. at least 15% of the total project budget shall be provided by the competitor.
The funds received from the Fund on any other basis or any other state aid shall not be considered as eligible funds for co-financing by the competitor/awarded beneficiary.
If there are insufficient quality project proposals or the requirements under the Rules for organizing and conducting competitions or challenges to foster innovation in science and technology priority areas, have not been met, the Fund reserves the right not to award any funds.
Special awards have been planned as follows:
For three of the teams that entered the selection phase:
The award will be provided by: Kayama, the Center for Sustainable Design in Israel and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For one of the teams that entered the selection phase
The award will be provided by Macedonia 2025.
The condition for being awarded one of the special awards is that the company enters the final selection stage, and the award and final decision is made by the awarding institution.
It is used in the evaluation of the project proposal in the Evaluation Table form proposals shall be used, containing the following main evaluation criteria:
Most points under this criterion will be awarded to those project proposals that address the priority areas of action as defined in this challenge and those offering measurable indicators of the solution’s contribution to managing climate change on a short and medium term.
Most points under this criterion will be awarded to those project proposals whose solutions are significantly different from the solutions already existing on the market and having a high potential for intellectual property rights protection.
Most points under this criterion will be awarded to competitors with previous experience in developing similar innovative technology/solution, previous experience in the field (managing climate change) and competitor whose members have balanced experience in technical solution development and business development.
The same applies to competitors’ partners (if any). The quality of the cooperation between/among the partners (if applicable) will be particularly taken into account in the evaluation. A project proposals involving partners/consortium members from the Western Balkans region will be given advantage in the point scoring process.
Most points under this criterion will be awarded to innovative solutions that have high and clearly identified market potential.
Most points under this criterion will be awarded to those project proposals that have clearly defined R&D phases with adequate involvement of potential clients and adequate human resources and material costs allocation.
The evaluation, selection and adopting of final decision for selecting the winners is performed by the Evaluation and Selection Committee.
Project evaluation consists of several steps:
The Fund reserves the right to change the above specified deadline.
Each project proposal is evaluated by the Commission, which consists of:
NOTE: At the request of the Committee members, the Fund may hire experts to provide expert opinions on specific applications, in accordance with the area of their expertise. In such case, the expert opinion shall be taken into account by the Committee members when evaluating the application.
In order to apply, the competitor shall:
The Project Application, the Project Budget and the CVs shall be filled in Macedonian and English language and in PDF format, together with the other documentation that shall be submitted only in Macedonian language, should be attached to the application form available at the following link: www.fitr.mk/predizvikklimatski, by clicking the “Apply” button..
The deadline for submitting applications on this public call is July20th 2020, 23:59 pm.
Only those project proposals submitted in the above manner and within the given deadline will be considered for funding.
The rules and procedures for implementation, monitoring and supervision of the project are defined in the document Rules for organizing and conducting competitions and challenges to encourage innovation in the priority areas of science and technology
For all additional information you can:
In order to assist you in preparation of the project proposals during the call, the Fund will organize info events, it will provide free technical assistance from experts and mentoring workshops. All information regarding these activities will be published in a timely manner on the Fund’s website as well as on its official profiles on the social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
Participants at O2 Challenge II – Action for Climate Positive Change will be given the opportunity for mentoring assistance in preparing of their applications. To this end, planed are online mentoring sessions supported by the Ambassador of Israel to the Republic of North Macedonia and Macedonia 2025.
All interested competitors of O2 Challenge II – Climate Change Management, by participating in the mentoring program will have the opportunity:
To register for the mentoring program, please fill out the form at the following link.
All participants in the O2 Challenge II will have the opportunity, during the year 2020, to use the active measure for unemployed people – Training for professional qualifications and skills according to your requirements and needs. The trainings will be implemented with the support of UNDP, in partnership with the Employment Agency of the Republic of North Macedonia (AVRSM), with financial support provided by the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC).
The competitor will get this opportunity regardless of the evaluation of the project proposal. The key factor for utilizing the measure and delivering the training is the competitor’s need to hire skilled and qualified staff.
The realization of the training shall start after identifying the needs of the competitor (as a future employer), and what follows is the identification of potential trainers. The competitor can also be a trainer in this case having the status of a trainer and future employer. The training programme or plan is modified or designed together with the trainer according to the competitor’s needs. In case when the competitor acts as a trainer, it will receive expert support for designing the training plan.
The professional qualification training may be carried out in a period of 2 to 4 months, in the premises of the trainer and/or in the competitor’s premises, in accordance with a pre-established training plan.
The people taking part in the training must be unemployed people, registered in the records of the Employment Agency. The number of people involved in the training will depend on the number of jobs required, i.e. twice as many as the number of future employments.
If all preparatory activities are successfully completed and a training contract is signed, your company would be obliged to employ at least 50% of the unemployed candidates who have successfully completed the training, for a minimum of 6 months.
The selection of candidates interested in training is made by the competitor, based on the criteria previously established in the application (education, previous work experience, etc.). The final selection of people to take part in the training will also depend on the employer’s offer of employment, since the unemployed person who rejects the job offer after completing the training is obliged to return the funds received during the training, except in case of employment with another employer.
Financial support amount
The people attending the training will receive a monthly allowance of MKD 9.000, including workplace accident insurance and personal income tax for the duration of the training (2 to 4 months).
The trainers can receive a total fee of up to MKD 30.000 per person per training.
More information can be obtained by using the following contact information:
Suzana Ahmeti firstname.lastname@example.org 072204140
Urim Kasapi email@example.com 070364775
More detailed information and guidance will be provided during the info-events and consultative meetings organized by the Fund.