FAQ

We have collected the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) by our applicants and beneficiaries. If you can’t find the answer to your question here, please contact us. Fill out the questionnaire on the bottom of this page.

Interreg Aurora Programme

Interreg Aurora is a cross-border funding programme of the EU Cohesion Policy objective “European Territorial Cooperation” in the period 2021-27. Funds come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Norwegian Interreg Funding (IR).

Interreg Aurora has two geographical sub-areas, sub-area Aurora and sub-area Sápmi.

SUB-AREA AURORA
FINLAND
Lappi
Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Keski-Pohjanmaa
Österbotten/Pohjanmaa
Etelä-Pohjanmaa
SWEDEN
Norrbotten
Västerbotten
Västernorrland
NORWAY
Troms og Finnmark
Nordland

SUB-AREA SÁPMI
FINLAND

Lappi
Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Keski-Pohjanmaa
In addition to the official area of the Sámi homeland, the geographical area of the sub-area Sápmi covers the entire regions of Lappi, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa and Keski-Pohjanmaa. The Sámi homeland means the areas of the municipalities of Enontekiö, Inari and Utsjoki, as well as the area of the reindeer owners association of Lappi in Sodankylä.
SWEDEN
Norrbotten
Västerbotten
Västernorrland
Jämtland
Idre Sameby in Dalarna
NORWAY
Troms og Finnmark, Nordland and Tröndelag as well as part of Innlandet
(Elgå Reinbeitedistrikt)

The overall goal of the Interreg Aurora programme is to encourage cross-border collaboration, thereby strengthening the programme area’s competitiveness, sustainability and attractiveness through social inclusion, digitalisation and green transition.

The Programme is managed by the County Administrative Board in Norrbotten who has been assigned the task of the Managing Authority for the Programme. The Programme is co-managed with Troms og Finnmark fylkeskommune who is in charge of the Norwegian IR-funding.

The Interreg Aurora Programme is managed and supported by following Programme bodies. 

The programme has four Priorities that are divided into one or more Specific Objectives. The project can only choose one of the Priorities and within that only one of the Specific Objectives. Read more about the different Priorities and Specific Objectives here.

Project must clearly fit under one Specific Objective and the results of the project must always contribute to fulfilling the indicators of that specific objective. However, a project may still include some elements from other Specific Objectives.

The programme has approximately 87,7 MEUR from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and approx 6,4 MEUR from Norwegian IR-funding to allocate to projects.

The co-financing rate for EU-funding for Finnish and Swedish partners is 65% whereas Norwegian partners can receive 50% from the IR-funding.

Projects need to have own financing or apply for external co-financing from other sources corresponding to 35% of the EU-budget and 50% of the Norwegian budget. Funding from other external sources (public and/or private funding) must be applied directly from the intended co-financier. 

The Managing Authority recommends to start by filling in the project idea form that can be found from the project website, and sending it to interregaurora@lansstyrelsen.se. This way you can receive initial feedback and you can agree on a consultation.

No, the funding decisions are taken by the Steering Committés for sub-area Aurora and sub-area Sápmi of the Interreg Aurora Programme.

Project partners can also come from outside of the Programme area. However, as with other partners, their participation must be justified and relevant for the project implementation.

Plan for project

The Managing Authority recommends to start by filling in the project idea form that can be found from the project website, and sending it to interregaurora@lansstyrelsen.se. This way you can receive initial feedback and you can agree on a consultation.

You can apply Finnish co-funding at Regional Council of Lapland. More information including the application form you can find on the webpages https://www.lapinliitto.fi/rahoitus/2021-2027interreg-vastinrahoitus-ja-valvonta/

When can I apply for Finnish co-financing?
You can apply for Finnish co-funding only after your project has received a positive EU-decision.  The co-funding application has to be submitted within 4-months of the EU-decision.

How much is the Finnish co-financing?
The Finnish co-financing can cover up to 70 % of the Finnish project partners own financing portion (non-EU funding part of the budget).

Are there any budget limits in Finnish co-financing?
Yes. The financing will not be granted for less than 4 900 euro per project or no more than 200 000 euro per project.

If the EU-funding is granted on the basis of the state aid rules, do this affects the Finnis co-financing amount?
Yes. If the EU-funding is granted on the basis of the state aid rules, then the Finnis national co-financing will be based on GBER rules. The combined EU-fund and national co-financing cannot exceed the 80 % of budget.

Do all Finnish partners send their own applications for the Finnish co-financing?
No. If there are more then one Finnish partner, then the Finnish lead partner applies for the national co-financing on behalf of everybody.

Norwegian regional co-funding can be applied from Troms og Finnmarks fylkeskommune via regionalforvaltning.no at the same time as the application of funding from the Aurora programme is submitted in Min ansökan. Applicants are to provide the planned amount of co-financing from Norwegian regional budget in the application form for Aurora.  The funding from Norwegian regional co-financing can be no more than 20% of the total Norwegian budget. If, for some reason, Troms og Finnmarks fylkeskommune cannot approve the applied amount of Norwegian regional co-funding, the partners must cover the lack of external funds with own financing or other funding. Beneficiaries can usually find external co-financing from the different regions, municipalities or other organisations having sources to finance Interreg projects.

In Sweden there is no ear-marked co-financing for Interreg programmes. Beneficiaries can usually find external co-financing from the different regions, municipalities or other organisations having sources to finance Interreg projects.

It depends on how the project is structured, i.e., the project’s content, objectives, and the role of the companies in the projects. Generally, a separate effort from the companies is positive, but the size can vary. This is a signal that the need comes from the business community and that the project idea is anchored. If the company is a project partner or active recipient of the project results, private co-financing may be required based on the regulations.

Programme officers might ask for additional information concerning funding from companies.

Apply for project

The application system will open 21 June 2022.

The Programme has prepared a guide that explains the structure of an Aurora-application in the Min-ansökan system, while waiting for the system to open.

Yes, if you already have an existing account in Min ansökan you can use the same account for an Interreg Aurora application.

The amount of support from Interreg Aurora is 65% of the budget. Please see respective call announcement to check if there are limits in the euro-amount.

There is no project budget limitation in the Aurora programme. It is mainly the project content that determines what is realistic to apply for. As an applicant, you must keep in mind that your project budget must be cost-effective and realistic in relation to the project’s activities, goals and expected results.

No, this is not possible. When the Joint Secretariat is assessing a phase 2-application they must know the results from phase 1, what have the project achieved and what is left to do.

Yes, it is possible. Make sure that you have a strong motive to why the project duration needs to be longer. It will be a factor taken into consideration once assessing the project application.

Yes
• Small scale projects (budget max 20 000 EUR per particpating country) will be granted a lump sum based on a draft budget.
• Projects with a budget above the small scale limit but not more than 200 000 EUR for the whole project needs to use the 40%-method (Staff + 40%).
• Projects with a budget above 200 000 EUR can choose the 40%-method (staff + 40%) or reporting on all cost types.

One simplified cost option is the lump sum method for small-scale projects where the project will be paid a lump sum if the final report is approved and does not need to report costs at all. Another simplified cost option is the 40%-method where the project only needs to report staff costs and will receive a 40% flat rate on top of the approved staff costs.

All small-scale project must use the lump sum method. The project will be granted a lump sum of EU-support based on a draft budget. The lump sum will be paid if the final report is approved and the project does not need to report costs at all.

No, letters of support are not mandatory. It is expected that the project application has a clear description on how companies will be involved. Keep in mind that the applied support can be considered as state aid depending on the activities and involvement of companies. Programme officers might ask for additional information due to weak descriptions in the application.

Implement your project

Reporting periods will be flexible based on the need of the project, normally 2-3 times a year (ie 4-6 months periods) in agreement with the JS. The periods will be set out in the grant decision but can be changed in agreement with the Joint Secretariat.

Finish your project

Project documents and project accounts with supporting documentation should be kept available for a period of seven years following the end of the calendar year when the project was formally closed by the Managing Authority, or longer if it is stipulated in other rules applicable to the project partner.

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