Questions

Answers

To what extent does the project needs to link up with the EPRM Theory of Change?

The Theory of Change (ToC) is the backbone of the EPRM, so it is very important that your proposal is related to the ToC. Especially the outputs and outcomes described in the right column of the ToC (upstream side) is very relevant for this call for proposals. Make sure your proposal contributes to these outcomes and motivate how: 1) Mines have access to markets and improved technical and financial ability to produce responsibly and 2) Pooled financial and technical resources to support mine improvement via strategic partnerships in targeted countries.

What are the thresholdcriteria and where do I find them?

These criteria describe the type of organisation, its size, the requirements for partnerships, years of experience, organisational capacity, financial independence, grant size, project duration. See section 11.2 of the English translation in the Government Gazette (available as a download here).

What are the assessment criteria and where do I find them?

These criteria describe the policy relevance of the project, the quality of the applicant and/or consortium, and the technical quality of the proposal. See section 11.3 of the English translation in the Government Gazette (available as a download here).

Can the project be implemented in any country of the world or is there a geographical limitation?

This call gives preference to proposals focusing on countries of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), even though proposals directed at other areas and countries may also be eligible for a grant. ICGLR countries are: Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic (CAR), Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Is it possible to apply for EPRM funding without partners from the Netherlands?

Yes. Applications can be made by individual organisations or by a lead party on behalf of a consortium. Applicants may be companies, knowledge institutions, public or semi-public bodies, or non-governmental organisations (NGOs), regardless of the country in which they are registered and, in the case of a consortium, in any combination. The applicant, the lead party and any co-applicants have legal entity and are a company, a knowledge institution, a public or semi-public body, or a non-governmental organisation.

Can the project be focused on just any ‘conflict mineral’?

The present call for proposals focuses exclusively on activities aimed at or linked to improving the conditions in and around 3TG (gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten) mines. The activities for which grant funding is sought must meet both of these criteria.

Can we submit a full proposal all at once?

No. The quick scan is compulsory before you can submit a full proposal. It allows you to pitch your project and partnership ideas in an easy and accessible way. The EPRM will provide you with feedback including a recommendation (positive or negative) on whether or not to go ahead with developing your ideas. It may also include recommendations on how to do this. We aim to provide our feedback on the quick scan within two weeks after submittal. Upon receiving a positive advice from the EPRM/RVO.nl, it is possible to submit a full proposal.

How many applications is an organisation allowed to submit?

The number of applications by a single organisation is not limited. Nevertheless, there are some indirect rules, obligations and criteria which may limit this number:

  • The EPRM must respect and address the issue of state aid. Based on actual plans, project activities versus applicants organisation profile & objective, state aid - as laid down in De Minimis regulation - may be applicable. If so, the amount of funding per applicant is limited. As a service during the quick scan phase, we can perform a (non-binding) scan on this issue. State aid will be an element in the official assessment under the EPRM tender.
  • If an organisation submits multiple applications we will check to see of the organisation has sufficient organisational capacity. The applicant/lead party should be capable of proper financial management and its expertise should ensure effective and efficient implementation of the activities for which grant(s) funding is sought.
  • For those applicants who already receive Dutch support: during the period 2012-2017 at least 25% of its annual income should have come from sources other than Ministry of Foreign Affairs grants or contributions (including from missions). If the applicant is the lead party of a consortium, this criterion applies to the consortium as a whole. Consequently, if one organisation derives less than 25% of its total annual income from sources other than Ministry of Foreign Affairs contributions, this may be offset by another party in the consortium.

 

Will the requested budget be entirely (100%) supported by EPRM or is there a requirement for the principal applicant to co-finance the project?

You are not obliged to co-finance project activities. Though one of the assessment criteria reaches out to the extent to which the applicant or lead party and co-applicants make a contribution of their own towards covering the costs of the activities’ implementation. Applications that have meet the threshold criteria will be assessed further against different assessment criteria. Co-financing is one of these ranking criteria.

Is it possible to submit a project with a focus on fighting non-occupational health issues in the mineral extraction?

The present call for proposals focuses on activities aimed at contributing to an increase in the proportion of responsibly produced 3TG minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. An important element in the Theory of Change of the EPRM concerns the improvement of mining practices and the link the project activities have with supply chains of 3TG minerals. Therefore, the activities for which grant funding is sought should focus on improving mining practices and the linkage with 3TG supply chains. A project mainly focusing on fighting non-occupational health issues in the mineral extraction does not seem to fit within the scope of this fund.

How does the De Minimis Regulation apply to us as an applicant/company?

The EPRM grants to businesses may constitute state aid. Such support is permissible as long as a grant remains within the parameters of the De Minimis Regulation. To avoid exceeding the De Minimis ceiling, we ask therefor the EU company for a declaration, in which the company reports all support and the De Minimis that was provided during the two previous fiscal years and the current fiscal year. Financial support for a company outside the EU is not covered by the state aid prohibition and therefore not under the De Minimis Regulation. Only when the non-EU company is affiliated to an EU-company the De Minimis Regulation might applicable, i.e. all or part of the grant to non-EU Company is to be credited to the EU company (check User Guide to the SME Definition).

Is it a problem when the budget mentioned in the quick scan differs from the budget in the final full proposal? 

The quick scan is mandatory so that the EPRM Secretariat can assess the eligibility of your envisioned formal proposal. Therefore the information submitted within this form must be as up-to-date, accurate and complete as possible. The format of the ‘project proposal’ will to a large extent require similar information as provided in the quick scan. 

Can you apply as an applicant if the parent organisation meets the threshold criteria for the applicant outlined in Section 11.2.I, but not the subsidiary, which will be the main applicant of the EPRM?

 No. The applicant or lead party must fulfil the following criteria:
- The applicant/lead party has at least three employees (including managers).
- The applicant/lead party's average annual turnover over the last three calendar years preceding the year in which the application is submitted is a minimum of €200,000.

In this case, it would be an option that the parent organisation will become the lead party and the subsidiary will be a participant in the partnership.