Eligible partners

Interreg Aurora projects:

     ⦁  shall involve partners from at least two participating countries (Sweden, Finland, Norway) and at least one of which shall be a beneficiary from a Member State (Sweden, Finland).

     ⦁ may be implemented in a single country, provided that the impact on and the benefits for the programme area are identified in the operation application.

Partners shall cooperate in the development and implementation of Interreg operations, as well as in the staffing or financing, or both, thereof.

Lead partner 
Where there are two or more partners, one of them shall be designated by all the partners as the lead partner.

A cross-border legal body or an EGTC may be the sole partner of an Interreg Aurora project, provided that the members thereof involve partners from at least two participating countries. A sole partner shall be registered in a Member State participating in the Interreg programme.

Location of partners in Sweden, Finland, Norway
The main rule is that all partners shall be located in the programme area.

The Norwegian Lead partner must be in the programme area.

An exception can be made for organisations based outside the programme area but having the responsibility for the whole nation regarding specific issues. As for Norway, those organizations are eligible for funding as long as the activities are not ordinary activities already funded by the national budget. And if there is an organisation from outside the programme areas in Sweden, Finland and Norway with branch offices within the programme area, they are seen as a partner within the programme area and can make use of any competences within that organisation even though the competence is based outside.

However, other partners outside the programme area (but inside Sweden, Finland or Norway) can also be eligible for funding if there is as well a partner from within the specific programme sub-area in respective country. Justification should outline the added value of external cooperation and a description of how the project and the programme area will profit from the cooperation. Examples of circumstances that may permit the use of geographical flexibility:

  • The specific expertise of a certain partner from outside the eligible area is deemed crucial for the project and the expertise cannot be found in the programme area, or the project would not be able to fulfil its objectives without participation of the external partner
  • The external cooperation adds value to the project and the benefit accrues within the programme
  • The addition of the partner enhances the results of the project in a clear and easily justified

A maximum of 20% of the Norwegian budget can be allocated to partners outside the programme area under the circumstances explained above.

Associated partners from other countries than Sweden , Finland and Norway
Partners from outside Sweden, Finland or Norway are welcome to participate as associated partners. They are not a part of the formal project partnership but nevertheless directly involved in the project’s implementation but with other funding sources than Interreg Aurora i.e they cannot receive EU-funding or IR-funding from the Aurora programme.

Eligible organisation types
Organisations that are legal entities from the public and private sectors can participate in projects. Organisations run by one person and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity are not eligible for funding.

NOTE! If one partner in the partnership is found ineligible – the application as a whole will be rejected on formal grounds. 

The programme recognizes the valuable contribution that the private sector can make to a project. The involvement of the private sector, primarily small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), is encouraged. Private sector partners can participate as full partners and their match funding can generate ERDF and IR financial support. SMEs can be recipients of aid under the so called de minimis rules or under the General Block Exemption Rules (GBER). Please read more about these rules under the section regarding State Aid.

Examples of project partners:

  • National, regional and local authorities, public sector, public organisations, public actors,
  • Regional and local development agencies, chambers of commerce, sectoral agencies and business support organisations, business promotion actors
  • Universities, colleges, higher education, research institutions, polytechnics, academia, research and education actors, private, public, and civil society organisations linked to and/or providing educational services and/or learning opportunities
  • Industry associations, business communities, regional tourism, culture and creative clusters and platforms
  • Micro, and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Economic associations
  • Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • Civil society and voluntary sector organisations
  • Cross-border entities

Programme manual