APEC administers two project approval sessions per year for APEC member economies to apply for funding. Project sessions are very competitive – there are more applications than there is funding available. Members are encouraged to think deeply about their project, and consult widely with their colleagues, to ensure that they have the best possible chance of receiving funding. Funding is approved by APEC’s Budget and Management Committee (BMC).

There are two stages to each project approval session:

  1. Concept Note Stage: The process starts with the submission of a three page Concept Note outlining the intention of the project by the dates specified below. Only approved Concept Notes proceed to the next stage.
  2. Project Proposal Stage: This stage only applies for approved Concept Notes. A Concept Note is developed into a longer and more detailed Project Proposal that specifies precisely how the project will work. Project Proposals must be submitted for BMC approval by one of the dates specified below.

The way APEC Projects are selected will change with the first Project Session of 2018. Concept Notes will no longer be scored by both the proposing APEC forum and the relevant APEC Committee; instead all Concept Notes will be scored in a one-stage process by the APEC forum assigned with oversight for the particular funding source nominated by the Project Overseer (PO). POs will need to use a revised Concept Note template when applying for funds in 2018. This can be found here, and a copy of the Concept Note template is also located at Appendix A of the Guidebook on APEC Projects, which can be found here.

Dates for Project Session 1, 2017
1. Concept Note Stage Submission Date Notification Date of BMC Decision

Internal Submission Deadline (Submit to Your Group)

7 March N/A 
Final Submission Deadline (Submit to APEC Secretariat) 28 March 11 May
What does this mean?

By the Internal Submission Deadline*, submit your Concept Note to your group through your Program Director, so that it can be:

  • endorsed by your forum;
  • circulated for co-endorsement by other fora, where co-endorsement is required by the eligibility rules of certain ASF sub-funds; and
  • checked for compliance with the Guidebook on APEC Projects (eg sufficient co-sponsors; maximum number of pages not exceeded)

By the Final Submission Deadline, submit your Concept Note to the APEC Secretariat’s Project Management Unit through your Program Director. It must be endorsed (and co-endorsed where required), and be compliant with the Guidebook on APEC Projects.

Concept notes can’t be accepted after the Final Submission Deadline.

2. Project Proposal Stage Submission Date to APEC Secretariat Notification Date of BMC Decision

First Submission Deadline

12 May 25 May
Second Submission Deadline 22 May 9 June

Final Submission Deadline 

2 June 29 June
What does this mean?

You can submit your Project Proposal to the APEC Secretariat through your Program Director by any one of the submission deadlines advertised above. The deadline when you submit will affect the date when you can expect to be notified about BMC’s decision on your project. Please take this into consideration when planning you project activities.

By the submission deadline, your project proposal must comply with the requirements in the Guidebook on APEC Projects, including endorsement of your proposal by your group.

Project Proposals can’t be accepted after the Final Submission Deadline.


Please note:        

  • All deadlines above expire at midnight, Singapore time.
  • Dates are subject to change, upon approval of the APEC Budget and Management Committee.
*For the Energy Working Group (EWG) consult the Program Director for EWG-specific internal submission deadlines.
Dates for Project Session 2, 2017
1. Concept Note Stage Submission Date Notification Date of BMC Decision

Internal Submission Deadline (Submit to Your Group)

21 June N/A 
Final Submission Deadline (Submit to APEC Secretariat) 14 July 19 September
2. Project Proposal Stage Submission Date to APEC Secretariat Notification Date of BMC Decision

First Submission Deadline

8 September 9 October
Second Submission Deadline 10 October 1 November

Final Submission Deadline 

26 October 29 November

Concept Note Development

A project originates from an economy or economies, and is considered and delivered through an APEC forum (such as working group or a committee, etc.). Individuals affiliated with APEC fora are eligible to apply for APEC funding, provided their Concept Note and Project Proposal are endorsed by their forum. This individual, called a ‘Project Overseer’ (PO), will lead the design and delivery of the project on behalf of their economy.

The PO must prepare a three-page Concept Note describing the project’s objectives, relevance, methodology and alignment to APEC’s goals. POs must also clearly identify the specific funding source to which they are applying – see APEC Project Funding Sources. The project must secure the requisite number of co-sponsors (check with the Program Director for your forum for the required number). Concept Notes then need endorsement by the forum.

Some funding sources require that Concept Notes be endorsed by a specific forum other than your own. Your Program Director will assist where such co-endorsement is required. The Concept Note must be submitted to the APEC Secretariat Project Management Unit (PMU) by the Final Submission Deadline, for the next stage in project selection.

Concept Note Approval

PMU sorts all Concept Notes according to the project funding source nominated by the PO. Each project funding source has been assigned to a specified fora for the purposes of Concept Note eligibility assessment and scoring. In some cases, such as SOM, CTI and SCE, more than one funding source has been assigned to a responsible APEC forum. PMU will send Concept Notes to the responsible APEC fora, who will assess whether the Concept Note meets the eligibility criteria for the funding source in question, and will also score the Concept Note against pre-determined scoring criteria. All economies participate in the eligibility and scoring process. PMU then processes the results and will make a funding recommendation to BMC, based on eligibility outcomes and the scores of each Concept Note. BMC will then make an in-principal funding decision.

Project Proposal Development

Once Concept Notes are approved by BMC, the Secretariat will notify POs of the outcomes. Successful POs will be invited to expand their Concept Note into a full Project Proposal. As with the original Concept Nots, the proposal must be endorsed by the relevant forum. The PO must then submit the proposal and peer review to the APEC Secretariat. PMU also assesses project proposals according to the Quality Criteria for Assessing APEC Projects: relevance, impact, effectiveness, sustainability and efficiency. The Secretariat provides advice and assistance, as needed, until the proposal meets satisfactory quality on all criteria.

Final approval

Once proposals have reached satisfactory quality, the Secretariat recommends them to BMC for approval. Proposals that are over $200,000 in value are also approved by SOM. If the proposal is approved, the project moves to the implementation stage. 

For further information on specific projects and the process for applying for APEC funds, please review the Guidebook on APEC Projects or contact the relevant APEC Secretariat Program Directors.