1. Background and Primary Objectives
With the ongoing disruption from COVID-19, the CEI is aware of the difficulties this poses for education and working activities in general in the CEI region and beyond, where schools, universities and other working environments are increasingly cancelling most in-person classes and meetings, not to mention medical appointments limiting access to health facilities.
In these difficult times, schools, institutions and operators are focusing on finding alternative ways to transform the current serious emergency into an important opportunity for fostering and disseminating innovation at educational and professional level and enhancing experiences already in place in many schools and health centres, through telemedicine for example, where remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology would be ever more useful today.
On such basis, the CEI intends to contribute to facing the global COVID-19 outbreak through tangible and immediate action addressing its 17 Member States, i.e.: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine, with particular attention to those which are not members of the EU.
2. Areas of Intervention
CEI grants will be allocated for actions in three areas of intervention:
1. Healthcare and telemedicine (MED), taking into account that telemedicine software platforms have become very accessible and useful, and especially helpful in monitoring patients with existing conditions, even at a distance. Telemedicine software allows doctors to reach out to patients via video link, which can be incredibly useful for practices when traveling to the medical facility can be difficult and even dangerous for patients with existing health conditions;
2. Education and e-learning/distance learning (EDU), taking into account that the educational paths that teachers design and develop in virtual environments can be easily accessible to pupils and students through personal devices and can offer valuable help in overcoming the logistical difficulties that can be determined when schools or classrooms are, for various reasons, unavailable and continuity of education in the presence not guaranteed;
3. Support to Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)1, taking into account that smart working may help improve both the performance and the satisfaction that is obtained from the job especially when it is not possible to reach your workplace.
Applications shall be submitted by 9 April 2020 carrying as subject of the email the indication EX. Call 2020 – Country – MED – EDU –MSMEs (to be filled-in as appropriate).
4. Budget of the Call
The overall indicative amount under this Call for Proposals is 600.000,00 EUR that will be made available by the following sources of funding:
• CEI Cooperation Fund, which is financed by all CEI Member States, will provide up to 310.000,00 EUR;
• Know-how Exchange Programme (KEP), which is entirely financed by Italy, will provide up to 290.000,00 EUR. In line with the rules governing the functioning of KEP, its resources shall be spent only for actions targeting non-EU CEI Member States2, regardless of the nationality of the applicant which can be based in any Member Country of the CEI. The CEI reserves the right not to award all available funds.