Aktuelle Ausschreibungen in Horizon 2020

Innerhalb des EU-Rahmenprogramms zu Horizon 2020 wurden drei folgenden Schwerpunkte festgelegt: Wissenschaftsexzellenz; Führende Rolle der Industrie; Gesellschaftliche Herausforderungen.

Zu den vollständigen Teilarbeitsprogrammen mit allen Ausschreibungen von 2018-2020

Ausgewählte aktuelle Ausschreibungen sind unten aufgelistet.

 

Gesellschaftliche Herausforderungen/ Societal Challenges

1. Gesundheit, demografischer Wandel und Wohlergehen

Digital diagnostics – developing tools for supporting clinical decisions by integrating various diagnostic data

Proposals should develop tools, platforms or services that will use information provided by most relevant diagnostic means for a particular area, resulting in an accurate, detailed, structured, systemic and prioritised assessment of the health status in a patient. The proposed solutions should integrate various data sources such as medical records, in vitro and/or in vivo diagnostics, medical imaging, -omics data, functional tests (lab-on-a-chip) etc., while taking into account the actual needs of healthcare practitioners, and should be tested and validated in real-life settings in pilot centres, facilitating future Health Technology Assessment. These tools/platforms/services should contribute to improving diagnosis and clinical decision, not only integrate existing data, and should involve intelligent human-computer interface solutions to facilitate its daily use in clinical practice. Any medical data relevant for a particular disease (textual data, numerical measurements, recorded signals, images etc.) may be considered. The aim is to steer the development of solutions towards concrete patient and public sector needs, having the citizen and healthcare providers at the centre. Careful attention should be paid to appropriately addressing ethical and legal concerns, providing adequate information to health professionals and patients to support informed decisions, and ensuring data safety and privacy, in line with existing European and international standards and legislation. Gender and sex differences should be taken into consideration when relevant.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 8 and 15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting different amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Increase EU's capacity to innovate in the area of medical instruments technologies through the development of new diagnostic tools, platforms or services integrating various diagnostic data and providing quick, detailed, accurate and highly personalised diagnostics for optimal decision in clinical practice.
  • Improve the quality and sustainability of healthcare systems through quicker and more encompassing diagnosis of medical conditions, leading to quicker and better clinical decisions and timely delivery of effective personalised treatments, with reduction of errors and delays (and costs associated to them).
  • Contribute to the growth of the European diagnostics sector, in particular for SMEs.
  • Reinforce EU's role among world leaders in the production of medical diagnostic devices.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time                                                                                                                                                    

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Advancing the safety assessment of chemicals without the use of animal testing

Proposals should consider integrative approaches that build on advances in all relevant fields of science and technology, including elements such as novel in vitro[ and in silico tools and the understanding of human biology and related toxicity pathways, with the aim of proposing and demonstrating scientifically valid means for comprehensive safety assessment of chemical substances without resorting to animal testing. Priority should be on systemic health effects in humans. Exploitation of qualitative and quantitative information and knowhow from animal, clinical, epidemiological, exposure and biomonitoring studies is encouraged where appropriate to inform research strategies and to establish the scientific credibility of the approaches proposed for relevant decision-making contexts. In addition, attention should be given to establishing and pursuing concrete measures to seek acceptance and uptake by end-users striving to address safety assessment challenges in support of product development and addressing regulatory information requirements.

Proposals could consider the involvement of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) to provide add-value regarding such aspects as supporting validation of emerging approaches, promotion of research results, and the interfacing with the regulatory community. In this respect, the JRC is open to collaborate with any successful proposal after the selection process has been completed.

As a way to facilitate progress and to accelerate the harmonisation, acceptance and promotion of new approaches worldwide, applicants are encouraged to seek cooperation with industry and collaboration with any relevant complementary initiatives as well as with regulatory bodies.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 10 and 20 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Scientifically sound, practicably implementable non-animal solutions readily deployable to aid in meaningful safety assessment of chemicals.
  • Recognition from regulatory bodies and their engagement to translate results, methods and solutions into safety assessment practice.
  • Uptake and commercial exploitation of the developed safety assessment approaches, products and services.
  • Contribution to the Three Rs (3Rs) principles (‘Replacement’, ‘Reduction’, ‘Refinement’), with a particular emphasis on the ‘Replacement’ opportunities.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                     

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Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) - Prevention and/or early diagnosis of cancer

Proposals should focus on implementation research for the prevention and/or early diagnosis of cancer on in LMIC and/or in vulnerable populations in HIC. Proposals should build on interventions with promising or proven effectiveness (including cost-effectiveness) for the respective population groups under defined contextual circumstances. For promising interventions, a limited validation period can be envisaged. However, the core of the research activities should focus on their implementation in real-life settings. The proposed interventions should gender-responsive.

The aim should be to adapt and/or upscale the implementation of these intervention(s) in accessible, affordable and equitable ways in order to improve the prevention and early diagnosis of cancer in real-life settings. Interventions should meet conditions and requirements of the local health and social system context and address any other contextual factors identified as possible barriers.

Each proposal should:

Focus on implementation research addressing prevention, and/or early identification strategies derived from existing knowledge about effective and/or promising interventions.

For screening interventions, the pathway to referral for positive cases should be included.

Include a strategy to test the proposed model of intervention and to address the socioeconomic and contextual factors of relevance to the targeted region and community.

Lead to better understanding of key barriers and facilitators at local, national and international level that affect the prevention and/or early diagnosis of cancer.

Include health economics assessments as an integral part of the proposed research, including considerations of scalability and equity.

Propose a pathway to embed the intervention into local, regional or national health policy and practice, addressing:

A strategy to include policy makers and local authorities (possibly by being part of the consortium), as well as other relevant stakeholders such as community groups, patient groups, formal and informal carers and any other group, where ever relevant from the beginning of the project, which will contribute to the sustainability of the intervention, after the end of project.

Relevance of project outcomes/evidence for scaling up the intervention at local, national and international level and then scaled-up appropriateness with respect to the local social, cultural and economic context.

Research under GACD involves regular exchange of research findings and information across participating projects by means of cross-project working groups and annual joint meetings. Wherever feasible, projects should harmonise and standardise their data collection and exchange data. Applicants must budget for annual costs of having two team members participate in one annual face-to-face meeting of the Annual Scientific Meeting (location to vary annually). Applicants must budget their involvement in GACD working groups and other GACD wide activities, beyond their projects.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 to 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The proposals should address one of or combinations of:

  • Advance local, regional or national cancer prevention and/or early diagnostic health policies, alleviating the global burden of cancer;
  • Establish the contextual effectiveness of cancer intervention(s), including at health systems level;
  • Improve tailored and affordable prevention and/or early diagnosis;
  • Provide evidence and recommendations to national programmes and policies focusing on prevention, screening, and/or early diagnosis;
  • Inform health service providers, policy and decision makers on effective scaling up of cancer interventions at local, regional, and national levels, including affordability aspects for users and health providers;
  • Reduce health inequalities and inequities, including due consideration of socio-economic, gender and age issues where relevant, in the prevention and/or early diagnosis of cancer at both local and global levels;
  • Provide pathway to cancer care for the patients diagnosed with cancer;
  • Maximise the use of existing relevant programmes and platforms (e.g. research, data, and delivery platforms);
  • Contribute to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 3.4.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                      

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Addressing low vaccine uptake

Proposals should work to increase understanding of the determinants of low vaccine uptake in specific contexts situated in the EU and/or Associated Countries (AC) , and should develop strategies to increase vaccination rates of essential vaccines within these contexts. From this work, proposals should aim to develop a series of recommendations that national and regional public health authorities in the EU and/or Associated Countries could implement in order to increase vaccine coverage. Proposals should build on existing research, findings and available information in this domain, as well as existing guidelines and recommendations from public health authorities, including those from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and WHO/Europe (such as ECDC reports and guidance on vaccine coverage and hesitancy, "WHO/SAGE Working Group on Vaccine Hesitancy", WHO/Europe "Guide to tailoring immunization programmes (TIP)".

The approach taken should include a detailed examination of the causes of reduced vaccine uptake, and the design and testing of one or more interventions to improve vaccine uptake. Factors influencing vaccine uptake such as access, inequality, social/cultural influences and vaccine/vaccination-specific issues in specific population(s) that are identified as having lower than average vaccination coverage should be examined. Interventions to improve vaccine uptake should be based on existing high-quality research findings, with a sound hypothesis for why the chosen intervention(s) could be effective at increasing vaccine coverage in the target population(s). These interventions could be made in a wide variety of ways, for example content and style of online or offline media, educational material, modification of primary healthcare practices, access to vaccination, incentivisation, or any other strategies that are supported by a strong hypothesis. Also, the proposals should include a strategy for measuring the impact/success of the proposed interventions.

Finally, the findings of the project will be gathered into a clear and coherent set of recommendations that can be readily utilised by public health authorities in Europe to improve vaccine coverage. Proposals should include in their work the development of a strategy to ensure the implementation of these guidelines.

Proposals should take into account the specific contexts of the population(s) that they are studying, including factors such as age, sex/gender, religion, politics, geography, and socio-economic situation. Proposals should include partners from social science and public health-related disciplines. Proposals will also be expected to create links with other existing initiatives, both in Europe and internationally. This should include specific budget for networking, travelling to or organising meetings for researchers and other stakeholders that work on vaccine uptake challenges.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Contribute to increasing vaccine coverage in Europe, in particular in specific populations with low vaccine uptake and in specific contexts.
  • Develop practical and readily implementable guidelines to aid national and regional public health authorities in the EU and Associated Countries to increase vaccination rates.
  • Work towards meeting the goals on vaccination set out in President Juncker’s State of the Union address in September 2017, the EC Communication on strengthened cooperation against vaccine preventable disease (COM/2018/245) and the Council Recommendation on strengthened cooperation against vaccine preventable diseases).

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                      

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New approaches for clinical management and prevention of resistant bacterial infections in high prevalence settings

Proposals should focus on the identification of best practices, and the development and validation of interventions, infection prevention and clinical management plans for dealing with resistant bacterial infections in high prevalence settings. The research needs to take into account the variety and capacities of local health care/nosocomial infrastructures, and the trends of resistance patterns on local, national and international level, as well as sex and/or gender differences, when relevant. Furthermore, research needs to lead to management plans that take into account commonalities as well as differences between different pathogens and resistance determinants.

The costs and benefits of the infection prevention and clinical management plans to be developed should be assessed as well as the feasibility of their implementation. Research into the practicalities and challenges to introduce such novel infection prevention and management plans is essential and their practical implementation, as pilot actions, in 2 or more European regions with high prevalence levels is strongly encouraged, while taking into account that the infection prevention and clinical management plans to be developed should be applicable for large geographical areas. The potential challenges in the uptake of interventions/management plans by national health systems should be researched and addressed and cooperation with the Joint action AMR and healthcare-associated infections (JAMRAI), ECDC and the EU Health Security Committee is recommended.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a EU contribution of EUR 10-15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Availability of tested cost effective models for prevention and treatment of bacterial infections in health care settings with high prevalence levels of resistant infections.
  • Reduced spread of resistant hospital acquired infections in these settings.
  • Knowledge that can be of use for other countries around the globe, including low and middle income countries, benefitting their local population and diminishing the global spread of resistant bacteria.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                     

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Creation of a European wide sustainable network for harmonised large-scale clinical research studies for infectious diseases

Proposals should set up a European-wide multidisciplinary network able to provide a platform for a rapid response in the conduct of clinical studies in relation to any severe infection. The initial clinical studies to be performed should be included in the proposal, whereas criteria and processes for including further clinical studies in the project should be clearly described. This should include provisions for flexibility (including re-allocation of budget and de-prioritisation) in case of new scientific developments and in particular the need to address newly or re-emerging infectious diseases.

The proposed consortium should comprise expertise of stakeholders from academic organizations, SMEs, larger industry, patient organisations, ethics committees, public health bodies and regulators. It is expected to perform clinical studies and further advance clinical research in the field of infectious diseases. It should develop new, or make use of existing, standardised methodological approaches to rapidly perform large-scale clinical trials with the view of delivering optimal diagnosis and preventive or therapeutic interventions to patients affected by infectious diseases, taking into account sex and gender differences when relevant. Applicants should build on the results of successful European collaborative initiatives such as PREPARE and COMBACTE. Proposals should build on established structures for infectious disease clinical research at national or regional scales. To ensure the common benefit of the outcomes, it should also work in cooperation with existing global experts networks and infrastructures such as ECRIN and BBMRI. Proposals should in particular take into account the available result of the H2020-funded project ECRAID Plan (project resulting from SC1-HCO-08-2018). The network should address all aspects of clinical trial conduct, from study preparation and design, trial management and reporting. It should develop and allow for innovative research approaches and enable flexibility in responding to unpredictable events during its implementation. The sustainability of the network should be carefully worked out in the proposal. Furthermore, the network should create synergies with global initiatives, enabling quick and smooth interactions and collaboration across the world.

Special attention should be given to EU Member States and Associated Countries with currently limited capacity to perform clinical trials.

The Commission considers that a proposal requesting an EU contribution between EUR 25 to 30 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amount.

Expected Impact:

  • Reduced cost and time through efficiently implemented clinical trials for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infections.
  • Create and strengthen the operational capacity and the infrastructures for providing real-time evidence for optimal medical intervention and practice in infectious diseases.
  • Contribute to existing EU policies, including the Council Recommendation on strengthen cooperation for vaccine preventable diseases, and the Communication "A European one health action plan against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)”.
  • To ensure the EU´s worldwide leadership in controlling and responding to infectious diseases.
  • Foster links between existing networks in Europe and other countries/regions in the world to optimise a coordinated response to infectious diseases for innovation and delivery of new preventive and therapeutic technologies.
  • Foster collaboration between stakeholders from academic organizations, SMEs, larger industry, patient organisations, ethics committee, public health bodies and regulators.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                      

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Micro- and nano-plastics in our environment: Understanding exposures and impacts on human health

Proposals should use innovative approaches to provide policy relevant scientific data in support of improved human health hazard and risk assessment of micro and/or nano-plastics.

The following research priorities on micro- and/or nano-plastics, inter alia, can be considered:

  • Environmental/food/water sources for micro- and/or nano-plastics and transmission to humans;
  • Methods for identification and quantification of micro and/or nano-plastics in foods, environmental media and tissues;
  • Exposure levels of humans to micro- and/or nano-plastics and methods for human biomonitoring;
  • Analytical methods for detection of micro- and/or nano-plastics particles and contaminants;
  • Microbial colonisation of micro- and/or nano-plastics as vectors for potential pathogens;
  • Micro- and/or nano-plastics as condensation nuclei and/or carriers for airborne particulate matter and chemicals harmful to health;
  • Toxicology and uptake of micro- and/or nano-plastics and additives/adsorbed contaminants;
  • Fate of micro- and/or nano-plastics in the gastro-intestinal or respiratory tracts and secondary organs;
  • Effects and transport of micro- and/or nano-plastics across biological barriers, and bioaccumulation and cell uptake of micro- and/or nano-plastics, including studies at the cellular and molecular levels;
  • Consideration of the effect of shape (as well as size) of micro- and/or nano-plastics, and comparison with the behaviour and effects of non-synthetic homologues, e.g. wool fibres;
  • Immune responses;
  • Preliminary investigations into long-term effects of micro- and/or nano-plastics.

Sex and gender differences should be investigated, where relevant.

This topic is in support of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. Selected projects under this topic as well as projects selected under other topics in Horizon 2020 supporting the Plastics Strategy are strongly encouraged to participate in joint activities as appropriate. These joint activities could take the form of clustering of projects, participation in workshops etc. The proposals will also be expected to demonstrate support to common coordination and dissemination activities. Applicants should plan the necessary budget to cover those activities without the prerequisite to define concrete common actions at this stage. The details of these coordination activities will be defined during the grant preparation phase with the Commission.

The Commission considers that a proposal requesting an EU contribution between EUR 4 to 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Proposals could consider the involvement of the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) to provide added value regarding a number of aspects, e.g. interfacing between the scientific and regulatory communities, advancing the regulatory assessment frameworks, coordination of the development of relevant guidance documents, guidelines and international harmonisation. In this respect the JRC is open to collaborate with any successful proposal.

Expected Impact:

  • Better understanding of health impacts of exposure to micro- and/or nano-plastics, including preliminary investigations into long-term impacts.
  • Innovation in human health hazard and risk assessment methodologies of micro- and/or nano-plastics.
  • Contribution to the health-relevant aims of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy and of the Bioeconomy Strategy.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Towards the new generation of clinical trials – trials methodology research

Proposals should focus on methodology research and develop innovative solutions to improve the design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials. Proposals should identify and validate methods that will improve the generalizability of evidence generated through differently designed trials, including personalized medicine approaches and combinatorial interventions[7]. In order to draw meaningful conclusions following state of the art of statistical analyses, applicants need to demonstrate access to adequate clinical trial data sets that will be included into the proposed research.

The proposed methodology should allow sound extrapolation in various subgroups of disease of high public health burden as well as integration of RTC data and post-approval evidence generation. Furthermore, applicants should identify best practices to prevent bottlenecks in execution of clinical trial, including issues related to patient recruitment, adherence and compliance, governance, ethics, sex and gender-based analysis as well as data sharing.

The special attention should be put on non-commercial trials, including quantifiable indicators to measure the qualitative improvement in terms of trial management, data processing, and reporting. Whenever relevant, proposals should cover different aspects of training exercises, including hands-on trainings and closer monitoring of the scientific and technical staff involved in the conduct, management and analysis of the trial.

All literature analyses to define the current state of the art in the clinical trial methodology research must be completed at the time of submission of the proposal. Methodology research related to clinical studies exclusively on medical devices is not in the scope of this topic.

In this topic, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Commission Expert Group on Clinical Trials will support the selected applicant consortium in the implementation of the action. Successful applicants under this topic are also expected to liaise with the successful applicants of the relevant coordination and support action (CSA) topics, in order to exchange information, avoid potential overlapping activities, create synergies and support the CSA goals. To maintain the interactions with the CSA consortia, specific tasks and a dedicated budget should be foreseen in the proposal. Additionally, consultations with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control should also be envisaged as additional relevant activities of the successful proposals.

Please note that this topic will take the form of lump sums as defined in Commission Decision C(2017)7151 of 27 October 2017. Details of the lump sum funding pilot scheme are published on the Funding & Tenders Portal together with the specific Model Grant Agreement for Lump Sums applicable.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Improved relevance, quality and efficiency of clinical trials conducted with public funding.
  • Potential to establish a novel clinical trial methodology supported by regulatory authorities.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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Use of Real-World Data to advance research on the management of complex chronic conditions

The topic will support clinical research integrating Real World Data from clinical practice or from patient’s daily life and linking them with data collected with a research purpose if relevant.).

The research focus will be on the use of real world data, either newly acquired or from existing sources (such as data from clinical professional societies/associations, cohorts, registers, biobanks or collected through genome research initiatives) to improve the clinical management of adults with complex chronic conditions. The use of new technologies for data analytics and interpretation such as artificial intelligence and computer modelling are encouraged.

The proposed intervention should allow better treatment or monitoring of the person and thus changes in disease progression and/or therapy response. Quality of life, patient safety, psychosocial aspects and well-being are important determinants of complex health conditions and should be addressed whenever relevant. The research should also assess the potential and use of RWD for different health authorities like regulators of safety and quality or health technology assessment bodies. Nevertheless, research has to take duly into account sex and gender differences.

The proposed intervention must add clinical value as well as societal benefits and show feasibility and sustainability in real-life settings. In order to ensure acceptability and sustainability of the intervention early involvement of patients and care providers in the design of the research is considered essential. Similarly, proposals should duly take into account the diversity of health systems in different regions of Europe.

Data protection, data privacy and ethical issues have to be carefully considered as personal data from different sources are to be linked in the course of the proposed research. Data sets assembled under the project, including the linkage to ‘real world data’ should be preserved in a sustainable and accessible way so as to enable future research on the targeted CCC, thus contributing to the overall imperative of Open Science.

Research that focuses on self-management only is not in the scope of this topic. Research on rare and/or infectious diseases are supported through other sections of the programme and are excluded from the scope of this topic.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Demonstrate the potential of the use multi-disciplinary multi-source Real World Data to advance clinical research on complex chronic conditions;
  • Demonstrate potential and use of RWD, in particular RWD from disease-specific professional societies/associations, by health authorities to understand safety, quality and effectiveness of therapies;
  • Improve the clinical outcomes as well as quality of life of patients living with CCCs;
  • Advance the understanding of management of complex diseases including the interdependence of co-morbidities, thus underpinning evidence based therapies and prognostic approaches;
  • Further development of new technological tools and platforms for advanced data management;
  • Contribution to the cross-border health data exchange and to the goals of the Digital Single Market.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                      

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Pre-commercial procurement (PCP) for integrated care solutions

PCP actions targeting consortia of procurers with similar procurement needs that want to procure together the development of innovative integrated care solutions to modernize public services whilst creating growth opportunities for industry and researchers in Europe in addition to new markets. These can include, but are not limited to formal or informal organisational solutions, personal-health and self-care solutions, professional care solutions and ICT-based solutions. This topic is open to proposals for PCP actions in all areas of public sector interest requiring innovative integrated care solutions. It is open both to proposals requiring improvements mainly based on one specific solution/technology field, as well as to proposals requiring end-to-end solutions that need combinations of different innovative solutions from the healthcare point of view.

Proposals should demonstrate sustainability of the action beyond the life of the project. Activities covered should include cooperation with policy makers to reinforce the national policy frameworks and mobilise substantial additional national budgets for PCP and PPI, collaborating with respective EU funded projects in the area, as well as awareness raising, technical assistance and/or capacity building to other procurers beyond the project to mainstream PCP implementation and to remove obstacles for introducing the innovative solutions to be procured into the market.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 5 to 6 million (corresponding up to 90% of the total budget) would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Specific requirements for PCP actions are described in part D and E of the General Annexes of the Work Programme.

Expected Impact:

  • Reduced fragmentation of demand for innovative solutions in the area of integrated care;
  • Increased opportunities for wide market uptake and economies of scale for the supply side through the use of joint specifications, wide publication of results and where relevant contribution to standardisation, regulation or certification.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Public procurement of innovative solutions (PPI) for diagnostics for infectious diseases

This topic will contribute to the EU One Health Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and should specifically consider the following:

  • Development of proposals for ‘Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions’ for the implementation of rapid diagnostic tools for infectious diseases in clinical practice. Proposals should be driven by clearly identified procurement needs of the participating organisations. In order to ensure compatibility and interoperability between infectious disease diagnostics and avoid technical/technology standardisation issues, public health procurers should also develop specifications that are applicable for EU-wide deployment of the innovative diagnostics.
  • Applications should be driven by public and/or private procurers from each participating country (at national, regional or local level) that have responsibilities and budget control in the relevant area of supply of health and care services. They should demonstrate the applicability of the ‘Most Economically Advantageous Tendering’ approach in cross-border collaboration of public procurers in the EU, defining specific outcome criteria of importance for patients well-being, and for innovation of public procurement in the area of infectious diseases and AMR, taking also into account overall economic and societal benefits, and sex and gender differences when relevant..
  • Proposals should include clear communication and outreach strategies aiming to actively promote and support public health procurement organisations and health care providers across regions and borders of the EU in adopting relevant innovation procurement approaches. They should specify measures that will ensure the sustainability of solutions beyond the lifespan of the proposed project.
  • Synergies with the Structural Reform Support Program and the European Structural and Investment Fund are encouraged.

Activities covered should include cooperation with policy makers to reinforce the national policy frameworks and mobilise substantial additional national budgets for PCP and PPI, searching support and collaborating with respective coordination and networking projects, e.g. PIPPI and HCO-12. Likewise, awareness raising, technical assistance and/or capacity building beyond the project to mainstream PPI implementation and removing obstacles for introducing the innovative solutions to be procured into the market could be included.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Specific requirements for PPI actions are described in part E of the General Annexes of the Work Programme.

Expected Impact:

  • Implementation of innovative procurement practices for diagnostics for infectious diseases in the EU, based on the ‘most economically advantageous tendering’ approach and involving newly acquired rapid diagnostic tests in hospital and ambulatory settings.
  • Contribute to the EU One Health Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, in particular in relation to ‘Better Prevention and Control of AMR’ and the goal to address patient safety in hospital environments by supporting good practices in infection prevention and control.
  • Create new opportunities for market uptake and economies of scale for the supply side of rapid diagnostics in the area of respiratory tract infections across the EU.
  • Reduced fragmentation of demand for innovative solutions.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                      

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Towards a Health research and innovation Cloud: Capitalising on data sharing initiatives in health research

The successful project should bring together data-intensive EU health research initiatives to design an implementation roadmap /strategic agenda for a one-stop shop, a HRIC FAIR data portal respecting legal and ethics requirements. It should also define and promote, among research projects, procedures to make data FAIR as well as a standard way of communicating such data, so that any IT-system can easily provide metadata to the portal. This portal would serve as catalogue of all relevant publicly-funded health research databases, registries and infrastructures (e.g., ESFRI) and allow access to high quality health research data. The proposal is expected to build a community (i.e., a wider forum) in order to align strategies and capitalise on the work done by relevant European and international initiatives. The proposal should develop two use cases, where all the aforementioned aspects will be integrated and analysed. These use cases should link health research data, and if relevant, health research data with curated clinical data and health administrative data. The participation of experts in ethics and law as well as patient representatives is strongly recommended.

The proposal should also produce guidelines for researchers to contribute to the proper application of the GDPR regulation, taking into account the specific features of processing personal data in the area of health.

The HRIC should contribute to the European Open Science Cloud.

Project results should be widely disseminated to the relevant stakeholders across the Member States and Associated Countries.

The implementation roadmap of the HRIC FAIR data portal will define how to address the specific requirements of health research data. In this sense, the selected proposal is expected to collaborate with the projects funded under topics 'INFRAEOSC-04-2018' and 'INFRAEOSC-06-2019-2020: Enhancing the EOSC portal and connecting thematic clouds', in particular with those in the health field. Grants awarded under these topics will be complementary. The respective options of Article 2, Article 31.6 and Article 41.4 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 3 million would allow this topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • A HRIC FAIR data portal respecting legal and ethics requirements. This portal should serve as catalogue of all relevant publicly-funded health research databases, registries and infrastructures (e.g., ESFRI) and allow access to high quality health research data.
  • Through use cases, demonstrate the added value of close collaboration of health researchers with healthcare providers and other actors in health care systems.
  • Guidelines on application of the GDPR and the EU Member States and Associated Countries national legislations. The developed guidelines should cover the processing and further processing of health research data.
  • Contribute to the setup of a Health Research and Innovation Cloud, the Health thematic cloud of the European Open Science Cloud.
  • Contribute to the Digital Single Market through piloting IT health research solutions.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                      

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Actions in support of the International Consortium for Personalised Medicine

Each action should focus on one of the following fields:

  1. International aspect: The action should focus on building links with third countries by analysing the potential and advantages of collaboration in personalised medicine (PM) with those countries, studying areas of interest for Europe in PM collaboration and promoting international standards in the field. In particular the uptake of personalised approaches in health systems and healthcare should be addressed, taking into account social, cultural, ethical and legal aspects, health economy issues and equitable healthcare. For the 2018 call, the project should focus on CELAC as a group of countries, and for the 2019 call on China. For the 2020 call, the project should focus on countries in Africa, linking also into the EU-AU (African Union) policy dialogue and taking into account the new Africa-Europa Alliance for Sustainable investment and Jobs. Alignment with activities of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) and The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) activities should be explored. Special attention should be given to prediction and prevention, and to promoting well-being for all at all ages. Furthermore, the project should seek to integrate local knowledge and practice. Data safety and privacy should be addressed in line with existing standards and legislation. The project should have a duration of at least four years and address sustainability beyond that to ensure longer term structuring effect. Due to the specific challenge of this topic, in addition to the minimum number of participants set out in the General Annexes, proposals shall include at least one participant based in the international partner region; CELAC (2018 call), China (2019 call) and Africa (2020 call).
  2. Regional aspect: The action should establish and support networking between regions and interregional cooperation in different European countries, in particular linking remote or sparsely populated regions with regions harbouring critical mass of medical and PM expertise while taking into account broader socio-economic and cultural aspects. The focus of the action can include aspects of genomic analysis, me-Health (mobile and electronic Health), telemedicine etc. but should aim at structuring PM application at regional level. Linkage to existing inter-regional projects (financed by INTERREG programmes) or interregional partnerships of Thematic Smart Specialisation Platforms will be actively encouraged. (2018 call).
  3. Healthcare- and pharma-economic models for personalised medicine, interlinking European public health approaches with medical practice and financing. The action should carry out studies in support of research in and development of new health- and pharma economic models for PM, including prevention, to capture value and to develop relevant health financing models. Analysing mid- and long-term impacts of innovative products designated for sub-sets of patient populations on the patients themselves and on public health systems. Assessing the benefits of personalised medicine development for citizens and their broader social environment while ensuring patient safety, access, equity, solidarity, data safety and financial sustainability of public health systems in the EU. The action should involve different relevant stakeholders and take into account work being carried out by other EU funded initiatives, such as EUnetHTA. SME participation is encouraged. Results of the studies and workshops should be actively disseminated to a wider audience, including relevant authorities, professionals and the wider public. (2018 call).
  4. Standardisation for clinical study design. Establishment of innovative clinical trial design methodology for PM, including guidelines for research and reflection papers. The action should take into account sex/gender differences as well as the work done by relevant stakeholders and authorities such as EMA and the HMA network, as well as the European legal framework. SME participation is encouraged. The results of the studies and workshops should be actively disseminated to a wider audience, including, industry, researchers and other professionals. (2019 call).
  5. ICPerMed secretariat: The project should continue the work done by the secretariat for ICPerMed, e.g. maintenance of existing services, organising the meetings of the ICPerMed Executive Committee, convening dedicated workshops and preparing and issuing updates of the ICPerMed Action Plan. Furthermore maintaining the network of policy makers and funders gathered in ICPerMed and expanding the membership to new interested and complementary partners as well as maintaining communication with all EC funded activities related to ICPerMed (2020 call).

For grants awarded under this topic for Coordination and Support Actions it is expected that results could contribute to European or international standards. Therefore, the respective option of Article 28.2 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Contributing to the implementation and reach of the ICPerMed initiative; furthermore:

  1. International aspect: Integrating the country/group of countries into ICPerMed activities. Support wider adoption of standards developed in Europe. Support the EU-AU policy dialogues relevant to research and health (2020 call). Contribute towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
  2. Regional aspect: Strengthened links between European regions setting up or planning personalised medicine healthcare approaches. Aligning research funding with ongoing and foreseen investments e.g. from Structural Funds. Recommendations on best practice in implementing PM at regional level.
  3. Healthcare- and pharma-economic models: Increased understanding of personalised medicine perspectives on how to capture value, develop institutional support and design relevant payment models. Recommendations for faster translation from discovery to patients'/citizens' access. Contributing to understanding of trends and dynamics in the pharmaceutical markets in relation to increased emphasis of research and development efforts on PM. Suggestions on how savings through prevention can be included in payment and reward models and contribute to the sustainability of public health systems in the EU. Improved knowledge and understanding among healthcare professionals and the wider public of potential benefits of PM approaches.
  4. Standardisation for clinical study design: Contribute to standardisation of PM clinical trial design. Demonstrate feasibility and importance of PM approaches. Underpin accelerated market uptake. Improved knowledge and understanding among healthcare professionals, regulatory authorities and industry how best to adapt clinical trials designs to stratified patient populations.
  5. ICPerMed secretariat (2020 Call): Ensure continuity of the operations of ICPerMed beyond 2020. Increase the visibility of the consortium and ensure openness of the structure. Provide harmonised vision for the further development of personalised medicine. Contribute to the convergence of members' approaches to personalised medicine and further alignment of research efforts in the field.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                      

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Bridging the divide in health research and innovation – boosting return on investment

Applicants should propose actions that would shift benefiting organisations' R&I performance and would eventually increase their participation in EU funded collaborative projects. Proposed activities should aim to strengthen research development; improve governance, managerial and administration practices; increase the organisations' international profile; develop HR policies to attract and retain talents, taking into account gender aspects; and create a culture that rewards scientific performance and innovation. Applicants may propose any actions that contribute towards these goals.

Beneficiaries of the activities should be active in the field of health research and innovation and should come from low performing Member States/regions that have identified health R&I as a priority in their Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3). Applicants shall seek synergies with European Structural and Investment Funds, with European and national research and innovation programmes and if applicable with EEA and Norway grants. Applicants are encouraged to leverage funding of this call with other resources.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

An increased number of organisations from low performing Member States/regions among the top international health R&I institute that are able to attract funding and talents and render these resources into scientific excellence and innovation.

Ultimately, increased participation rate of low performing countries in the EU's Research and Innovation Framework Programme.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                      

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Coordinating and supporting research on the human microbiome in Europe and beyond

Proposals should aim for synergistic collaboration and agreement across various research and innovation programmes on the human microbiome, in Europe and worldwide, dealing with sample collection, processing, standardisation and healthy states references at different sites of the human body (not only one organ), including also interaction with omics, impact of drugs, nutritional and environmental aspects as well as sex and gender differences. In particular, they should support the agreement of concrete references of healthy human metagenomes across various different populations. Proposals should map the progress and the state of play for specific disease and health issues as well as the success and meaningfulness in different countries. They should propose concrete and strategic research actions on the human microbiome addressing gaps, emerging fields and political priorities. They should complement, support and enhance cooperation in similar activities within Europe and beyond. In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged with relevant partners from outside the EU. Proposals should cover the whole spectrum of human microbiome research from patient data collection all the way to study reporting in publications, social, ethical and legal aspects. Proposals should avoid networking without output and provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and impact.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 1.5 and EUR 2 Million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • International agreement on concrete methods, standards, procedures and in vivo models. Harmonisation and increased comparability of metagenomics, metabolomics and human microbiome data in Europe and beyond.
  • International agreement on definitive references of healthy human metagenomes. These references should apply across various different populations and allow end-users and citizens to see which microbiome is clinically healthy.
  • More meaningful results through collaborative synergistic collection of microbiome data from different directions. Improved coherence and reduction of overlap between national, EU and other funding in the area of human microbiome research, thus ensuring an efficient use of the available human and financial resources.
  • Knowledge exchange and enhanced engagement of citizens, scientists and political stakeholders for priority health risks. Validated results will be delivered faster to people.
  • Integration of metagenomics and human microbiome references into other multilateral co-operation areas or personalised medicine approaches.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                      

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Developing methodological approaches for improved clinical investigation and evaluation of high-risk medical devices

To address these challenges, the proposals should focus on i) methods to generate clinical data both within the context of a clinical investigation and in daily practice (i.e. real-world data) so that robust clinical evidence is available for high-risk medical devices, and ii) aggregation methods that will allow to make optimal use of all available data taking into account its heterogeneity (e.g. meta-analysis methods using different statistical approaches, methods to combine data from different types of sources) and iii) promote exchange of best-practices and support network activities among developers. Proposals should in particular:

  • Analyse the particularities of high-risk medical devices and the potential resulting problems with regard to clinical evaluation, carry out a review of the currently used clinical investigation designs for the evaluation of such devices, provide a hierarchy of these approaches, identify gaps to be filled (in particular in view of new developments like e.g. mHealth, artificial intelligence, and combined products) and derive recommendations for the choice of clinical investigation methodology to obtain sufficient evidence.
  • Develop methodologies for generating clinical data on high-risk medical devices enabling to collect sound data and to use data from different sources including real-world data. These methodologies should be adapted for the needs of conformity assessment and for continuous clinical evaluation throughout the lifetime of the device. Proposals should take into account the various specificities of high-risk medical devices and therapeutic areas if relevant.
  • Contribute to the exchange of best practices among notified bodies with regard to the assessment of clinical data as provided by developers of high-risk medical devices.
  • Support networking activities among developers and in particular academic centres with regard to regulatory requirements for assessing high-risk medical devices and foster a pool of scientific expertise on clinical evaluation of high-risk medical devices.

Applicant consortia should bring together partners with relevant expertise from e.g. academia, competent national authorities, centres of expertise for clinical research and care, scientific and medical learned societies. The consortium should also seek input from relevant stakeholders such as technology developers, healthcare providers, health technology assessment agencies and patients, with special regard to endpoints that are relevant for patients. The composition of the consortium should ensure a broad geographical representation of European countries. Sex and gender aspects should be taken into account in carrying out the relevant activities.

Proposals should complement or build on existing work, including results of EU-funded research projects and Joint Actions in the field of medical devices evaluation, and related activities, like e.g. those of the Competent Authorities for Medical Devices (CAMD) and the successor Medical Devices Coordination Group (MDCG).

Proposals could consider the involvement of The European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) to provide added value regarding aspects like interfacing among the different stakeholders (e.g. developers and regulatory bodies) or contributing to European and international harmonization. In this respect the JRC is open to collaborate with any successful proposal.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amount.

Expected Impact:

  • Higher quality and reliability of clinical data needed for conformity assessment and continuous market access
  • Improved knowledge of relevant legislative frameworks and regulatory requirements among all stakeholders involved in the development of high-risk medical devices
  • Improved evidence on safety and efficacy of high-risk medical devices for the benefit of the patient and health systems.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                      

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Reliable and accessible information on cell and gene-based therapies

Proposals should offer well-structured and detailed strategies to convey accurate and up-to-date information on cell and gene-based therapies using multiple contemporary modalities, including a website. The consortium should consist of diverse actors and could include experts in science communication, patients’ representatives, industry, SMEs, clinical and academic researchers as well as the major European learned societies in the field. They should provide expertise across the field of human stem cells, regenerative medicine, genome-editing and gene therapy. All communication material/information should be translated to English and proposals should provide a detailed strategy on the linguistic approach of dissemination in order to reach a large EU audience. The website should be user-friendly and should contain tailored sections dedicated to at least researchers, patients, and the public.

For broader audiences proposals should create a reliable, transparent, accessible resource for patients to make informed decisions and for citizens to have access to scientifically viable information on cell and gene-based therapies, including sex and gender aspects when relevant. Proposals should provide state-of-the-art strategies to engage the public and foresee regular evaluation of whether they reach the targeted audiences. In addition, a series of communication events should be organised, also open to the public, where innovative technologies could be presented and discussed.

For the research community, proposals should create an information source on the practical steps needed for cell and gene-based therapy development. Proposals should provide a one-stop shop on where to seek further information and guidance relating to manufacturing guidelines, regulatory requirements, intellectual property rights, market acceptability and ethical matters. Proposals should provide a strategy on how they will liaise with regulatory agencies (e.g. national agencies, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Heads of Medicines Agencies (HMA) network, EUnetHTA network). Finally, proposals should include a realistic sustainability plan which explores how the ownership of the information will be structured, and propose a defined organisation to take responsibility, manage and administer the information, and to which authorities/organisations the information will be delivered at the end of the project. Sustainability should be ensured for at least 5 years after the end of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 1.5 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Better informed decision making by patients and the public, due to objective, accurate and transparent communications of the latest developments and actual treatments available in the field in order to avoid misconceptions
  • Better informed decision making by regulatory and healthcare authorities, due to better access to reliable and updated information, and to stronger synergies and knowledge sharing between decision-makers and other stakeholders including advanced therapies learned societies.
  • Improved products development, by providing the research community and patients with a high-quality information source.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                     

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Coordination of clinical research activities of the European Reference Networks

This activity will aim at enhancing research and innovation capacity of the ERNs in view of achieving the goals of the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC) for bringing new diagnostic tools and therapies more efficiently to the patients and for developing methodologies to assess the impact of diagnoses and therapies on rare disease patients, taking into account sex and gender differences where relevant. . Support will be given to identify research priorities and potential synergies among ERNs and coordinate research and innovation activities to be tackled by ERNs. The project should address fostering collaboration in the field of clinical research among ERNs, ERN-independent clinical research collaborations and other stakeholders, such as research infrastructures, industry and patient organisations, as well as international collaboration with other clinical research networks. Close collaboration with the European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases will be necessary to ensure complementarity, to achieve relevant synergies and avoid overlaps. To ensure broad geographical representation and participation across ERNs the proposals shall involve participants from several countries and aim at engaging all approved ERNs and other relevant research networks in Europe.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Along the IRDiRC vision to enable all people living with a rare disease to receive an accurate diagnosis, care, and available therapy within one year of coming to medical attention by 2027.
  • Contribute to the development of a comprehensive European ecosystem for rare diseases and conditions that require highly specialised treatments, which brings efficiently results of research and innovation to the benefit of the patients.
  • Enhance synergy with the Connecting Europe Facility Programme and the EU Health Programme which provides support for the functioning of the ERNs and the development of patient registries for ERNs.

Deadline: 07 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                     

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Coordination and Support to better data and secure cross-border digital infrastructures building on European capacities for genomics and personalised medicine

This action should aim to support the identification of common standards, cross-border digital infrastructures and coordination mechanisms to advance personalised medicine in Europe. It should build on existing initiatives, projects and resources at national, regional and European level.

This CSA should consolidate knowledge from existing initiatives and projects to identify the most appropriate practices, standards and governance models for establishing cross-border digital infrastructures supporting genomics research and personalised medicine in Europe.

In a coordinated effort with national initiatives, Research & Innovation projects, and other stakeholders (among them national authorities, health institutions, standardisation bodies, ICT industry), the action should develop coordination mechanisms for sharing expertise and for securely linking genomic and other health data (eg electronic health records, registries, including rare disease registries etc), respecting legal (including but not limited to similarities and differences in EU Member states and associated countries, standardisation, type approval etc.) and ethics requirements. This CSA should identify and facilitate the exchange of best practices between relevant R&I projects, initiatives and other stakeholders. It should provide an overview of relevant standards for data quality, security, interoperability, privacy and ethics. It should identify critical elements of a system of transparent governance of a digital infrastructure enabling the cross-border linking of genomic and other health data in Europe. It should also develop a quality risk management concept for sustainability and further development.

For grants awarded under this topic, beneficiaries may provide support to third parties as described in General Annex K of the Work Programme either in form of grants or prizes. The respective options of Article 15 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting from the EU up to EUR 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The proposal should provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and specific impact in the following areas:

  • Agreed standards and mechanisms for the cross-border linking and analysis of genomic and other health data with potential for wide-spread adoption across Europe.
  • Adequate basis for developing a cross-border digital infrastructure for linking genomic and other health data in Europe.
  • Best possible and secure use of genomic and other health data for personalized medicine.
  • Adequate basis for investment decisions in personalized medicine (both private and public) based on expected returns.
  • Support Europe’s global leadership in personalized medicine.

Deadline: 13 November 2019 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Support for European eHealth Interoperability roadmap for deployment

Considering and building on outcomes of related activities and projects, the focus is to support deployment and monitoring of eHealth interoperability meaning real life interoperable digital platforms and solutions for use by citizens, researchers, health services and the workforce across borders in the EU Digital Single Market. The support should comprise a coherent package of activities that will improve the deployment of interoperable eHealth solutions and platforms, with a significant number of citizens in several Member States accessing and providing their own health data in platforms. The deployment should consider interoperability of (electronic) Health Records across national borders, the empowered European citizen, compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation, the Network and Information Systems Directive and the operation in a European digital single market. The deployment should build on the Commission Recommendation on the European EHR exchange format and be guided by strong and systemic contributions for better data and better computational approaches to advance disease prevention and personalised medicine. Emphasis should be given to specific fields of high societal relevance and high prevalence. Omics type of information associated to the use and exchange of health datasets should be strongly considered with special regard to analysis and corresponding further health-related data. Relevant activities of the eHealth Network should be taken into account. For all relevant data (e.g. from hospitals, doctors or user-generated) ethics and legal issues should be considered appropriately.

For grants awarded under this topic, beneficiaries may provide support to third parties as described in General Annex K of the Work Programme either in form of grants or prizes. The respective options of Article 15 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The proposal should provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and specific impact in the following areas:

  • Citizen-centred secure electronic health data use across Europe for citizens managing own health data;
  • Support cross-border and inter-institutional interoperability solutions;
  • Specific contributions made for improved health conditions, healthy working conditions and quality of life;
  • Improved efficiency in terms of health economics and occupational health such as on timeliness of intervention or prevention approaches;
  • Extended EU citizens’ management of own healthy life continuum across borders, actors and confinements;
  • Improved level of accessibility, control and portability of health data for citizens;
  • Open, extensible and harmonisation-based citizen health records solution for service and app developers;
  • Easy and safe for citizens to provide and donate their health data for research;
  • Contributions to requirements, specifications and guidelines for the exchange of images, image reports, laboratory results and discharge letters at national and cross-border level;
  • Support integration with tools and services under the Digital Service Infrastructure supported by the Connecting Europe Facility.

Deadline: 13 November 2019 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                     

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Personalised early risk prediction, prevention and intervention based on Artificial Intelligence and Big Data technologies

Proposals should build on results of projects and the state of the art in ICT for early risk prediction and introduce innovative ICT solutions through data, data analytics, advanced or novel digital technologies, services, products, organisational changes, and citizens data ownership, that lead to more effective health and care systems. These innovative ICT based solutions may address one or multiple conditions and explore ways of inducing adequate personalised preventive measures (e.g. behavioural change, diet, interventions, medication, primary prevention) from advanced predictive models. Sustainable behaviour change refers to efforts to change people's personal habits to prevent disease, stimulate healthy people to monitor their health parameters and thus lowering the risk of developing (chronic) conditions.

Proposals should build on the use of already existing and/or new data generated by individuals, health professionals and other service providers (including but not limited to data collected through IoT enabled devices, wearables, mobile devices, data source networks or data lakes etc. collected outside the controlled environment of clinical trials) by citizens, healthcare professionals, public authorities and industry, with a view to developing personalised early risk prediction, prevention and intervention approaches that meet the needs of individuals while providing them with adequate information to support informed decision making, improve the uptake of preventive approaches and lead to better health outcomes.

Proposals should also include actions aimed at increasing health literacy, including the role of the citizen as owner of his or her own personal data, as well as advancing health and care professionals' proficiency in novel, data-oriented health services through the use of digital solutions to increase knowledge about diseases and help them in the interpretation of symptoms and effects (e.g. with visualisations like dashboards, etc.), notably of early warning signs and medical information. Early warning signs relay to either healthy people monitoring several body parameters e.g. to conduct healthy life styles and increase physical activity levels or to the detection of the deterioration of the condition of already diseased patients. The latter could include advanced prediction models from aggregated patient data of certain health events/complications.

Proposals are expected to be built on realistic scenarios for new health and care pathways, and should integrate multi-disciplinary research involving behavioural, sociological, medical and other relevant disciplines. Stakeholder engagement (esp. considering vulnerable user groups, i.e. persons belonging, or perceived to belong, to groups that are in a disadvantaged position or marginalised, for example, elderly people, persons with special needs or chronic diseases) should be part of the research design for an agile approach to ensuring that relevant user needs (including social, age and gender aspects) are met and solutions find acceptance by users. Full account should be taken of ethical and legal aspects e.g. data protection, privacy and data security. This action should create a clear and coherent set of recommendations or guidelines for public health authorities in Europe together with a strategy to support their implementation.

No large-scale piloting or clinical trials are expected in this Research and Innovation Action. However, proposals should include validation (testing on a prototype and/or proof of concept) and demonstration of feasibility of their respective models, technologies and scenarios.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Participation of SMEs is encouraged.

Expected Impact:

The proposal should provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and specific impact in the following areas:

  • Evidence of the benefits of delivering adequate information regarding personalised risk prediction, prevention and intervention, based on proof of concept and involvement and specified roles of relevant stakeholders.
  • Clear improvements of outcomes for individuals, care systems and wider society from prevention measures and interventions based on personalised early risk prediction in comparison with current practices.
  • Usefulness and effectiveness of integration and coordination of interventions in new health and care pathways based on person-centred early risk prediction, prevention and intervention models.
  • Realise large-scale collection of user-generated data in compliance with data protection, privacy and security rules and principles.
  • Support integration with tools and services under the European Open Science Cloud.

Deadline: 22 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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International cooperation in smart living environments for ageing people

Proposals should develop and validate new solutions leading to smart living environments for ageing people, supporting independent active and healthy lifestyles.

The proposed solutions should provide personalised advice, guidance and follow-up for key age and health related issues in daily life which impact the person's ability to remain active, healthy and independent. These may include amongst others diet, physical activity, risk avoidance, preventive measures, lifestyle and activity management, leisure, social participation and overall wellness and health. Proposals should pay particular focus to measures aimed at fostering social participation and avoiding social exclusion.

Proposal should convincingly describe the planned progress beyond state of the art in the development and integration of trusted smart living environments for ageing people, which should build upon intelligent and interoperable information and communication technology (ICT) environments, access to relevant physiological and behavioural data, emotional computing, open platform and Internet of Things approaches.

Proposals should be based on trans-disciplinary research, involving behavioural, sociological, psychological, medical and other relevant disciplines, including gender and cultural aspects.

Proposed solutions should make use and further develop user interaction, including voice-based, taking into account Artificial Intelligence methods for understanding the users' intentions, knowledge extraction and learning. It is essential that they build on active user engagement in order to ensure the understanding of user needs. They need to safeguard ethics, privacy, security and regulatory aspects and take gender issues into account appropriately. The proposed solutions should be unobtrusive and avoid attention theft.

Proposals should include validation in realistic test sites, such as at home or at care centres, in order to demonstrate the expected benefits and impacts.

The proposed research and innovation actions should address one of the following international collaboration possibilities:

1. Cooperation with Japan

Proposals addressing international collaboration with Japan should ensure the use of generalized infrastructures such as cloud system and open sources.

Without limiting the use of specific applications or hardware systems, platform approaches are required to ensure interoperability and future expandability.

Proposals are recommended to foster the adoption of the existing standards (including de-facto/ consortium standards), contributions to appropriate ongoing standardization work, and suggestions of new standards by an EU-Japan joint consortium in order to accelerate practical introduction of the results into societies.

Proposals should be driven by the needs, interests and lifestyles of older people in order to ensure user acceptance, taking into consideration the relevant cultural aspects.

Proposals are expected to contribute to help ageing people remain active and healthy inside and outside their home, by providing action guidance and decision support derived from personal information such as memories and action histories through progress beyond the state of the art in interaction technology and ICT.

The proposed solutions on an open-platform where data collection by sensors, data analysis by artificial intelligence and user-friendly user interfaces cooperatively work are expected to be naturally integrated into ageing people’s daily life and provide emotional support to ageing people.

Proposed solutions should make use and further develop multimodal interaction including voice-based conversation and gesture in order to help ageing people by the most effective and personalized way.

An amount of EUR 4 million will be reserved for proposals focusing on cooperation with Japan.

2. Collaboration with Canada

In addition to the scope and challenge of this topic as defined above, proposals addressing the international collaboration with Canada need to include the use of ICT-based solutions to support smart living environments that address transitions in care challenges for ageing people. Applications should focus on the development, integration and evaluation of eHealth innovations, in collaboration with stakeholders, including eHealth industry partners, clinicians, patient/family/caregivers and decision makers, in order to improve health outcomes.

In collaboration with stakeholders, applicants should consider ways to improve the quality of outcomes and the cost-effectiveness of smart living environments that support care transitions. This call supports the integration of smart living environment solutions which are ready to progress beyond the prototype stage for use into care delivery programs and undergo pragmatic evaluation. Applicants are required to use strong research designs; and should provide a clear description and justification of the proposed research methodology to be used.

Funding of the Canadian component of the proposal requires that a proposal also includes one or both of the following research areas as relevant to aging people.

Areas:

1) Changing health status or care: Individuals facing changes in their health status or living with chronic or complex health conditions. These individuals experience several handovers among health providers, institutions, hospital units and/or have a change in their care location (e.g., home vs. hospital; community care vs. tertiary care).

2) Key populations to optimize transition in care outcomes: Populations at increased risk of adverse transition in care outcomes include but not limited to: First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples; individuals residing in rural and/or remote communities; individuals who are transgender; individuals with an intersex condition; older adults and new aging populations (i.e., survivors of diseases/conditions that previously led to early death); new immigrants; and those who experience systemic, cultural and/or language barriers.

The consortium should also have the capacity to:

• Establish productive partnerships with eHealth innovation industries to co-design eHealth-enabled smart living environments to improve transitions in care;

• Evaluate the impact, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of eHealth innovations in addressing gaps and inefficiencies using smart living environments in servicing the identified research areas. The evaluation will utilize rigorous research design(s) to generate high-quality (valid and reliable) evidence that will assist in the subsequent spread and scale (sharing) of successful innovations; and

• Integrate successful eHealth innovations into care delivery programs and promote their uptake and use to support effective and efficient smart living environments.

Example of potential topics may include, but are not limited to the following:

• Ageing patients/survivors patients with acute, chronic or complex health conditions that are transitioning from hospital to home and supported by Information and Communication technology (ICT)-based solution (i.e. sensors monitoring their vitals and providing feedback to themselves and providers).

• Ageing patients/survivors of chronic conditions transitioning into a smart living long-term care facility.

• Implementing smart living environments for managing care transitions of ageing people within different culture and social groups, and/or geographic regions.

• Evaluation of smart living environment solutions that address transition in care challenges for ageing patients with the capability to progress beyond prototype stage, into care delivery programs for pragmatic evaluation. In alignment with the CIHR Sex, Gender and Health Research policy, all proposals requesting funding from the CIHR are expected to consider how sex and/or gender might shape eHealth innovations to support transitions in care for ageing populations.

An amount of EUR 4 million will be reserved for proposals focusing on cooperation with Canada.

At least one proposal collaborating with Japan and at least one proposal collaborating with Canada should be funded under this action. The evaluation of proposals will be jointly carried out by the Commission and the relevant Japanese and Canadian funding organisations as applicable.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Participation of SMEs is encouraged.

Due to the specific challenge of this topic, in addition to the minimum number of participants set out in the General Annexes, proposals shall include at least one organisation as partner in the consortium from Japan or Canada .

Expected Impact:

The proposal should provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and specific impact in the following areas:

  • Independent living, and quality of life of older persons compared to current state of the art;
  • Usefulness and effectiveness of personalized recommendations and follow-up in terms of the goals of preserving physical, cognitive, mental and social well-being for as long as possible;
  • Evidence of user-centred design and innovation, effective ways of human computer interaction, and user acceptance;
  • Fostering social participation and reducing social exclusion’s risks;
  • Validation of non-obtrusive technology for physical, cognitive, social and mental well-being;
  • Strengthened international cooperation in Research and Innovation on ICT for AHA.

Deadline: 22 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Accelerating the uptake of computer simulations for testing medicines and medical devices

Proposals will develop innovative scientific and technological computer modelling solutions for testing medicines and/or medical devices. The proposed computer modelling solutions will be the result of a multidisciplinary effort (e.g. within the fields of computational modelling, chemo/bio-informatics, systems biology, pharmacology, -omics (genomics, epigenomics, metabolomics), tissue mechanics, biology, pharmaceutics, medicine, physiology, toxicology, social science aspects such as gender) and should also explore and inform of the reasons for failure should the drug or medical device be found not efficient or safe and will suggest improvements. To help adopt such in-silico methods, measures for validation (human trials, animal studies, in vivo and in vitro validation, including the use of biobanks if appropriate) of the in-silico results should be included in the proposed projects. The benefit for human health, environment and animal welfare should be analysed and quantified. Engagement with regulators and consideration of the regulatory framework issues for computer simulations are highly recommended. Participation of SMEs is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The proposal should provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and specific impact in the following areas by contributing to:

  • Accelerating the adoption of computer simulations for testing medicines and/or medical devices, their translation into the clinic and the market.
  • Increasing the trust of users (healthcare professionals and patients), investors and stakeholders at industry and academia to adopt computer simulations for testing medicines or medical devices as a substitution or complement of current clinical trials when appropriate.
  • Contributing to redesigning current drug clinical trials by integrating in-silico methods for testing medicines or medical devices and creating a unique, digitised, personalised testing environment.
  • Engagement with regulators and consideration of the regulatory framework for computer modelling solutions.
  • Contributing to reducing the size and the duration of the human clinical trials and/or contributing to significantly reducing animal testing in clinical trials.
  • Contributing to increased efficacy and patient safety in clinical trials.
  • Contributing to reducing development costs and/or shorter time-to-market for new drugs or new medical devices.
  • Contributing to setting standards for computer modelling solutions for testing.
  • Contributing to the European Cloud Initiative, notably by providing open, reusable data and in silico models for clinical trials.

Deadline: 22 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Pre-commercial Procurement for Digital Health and Care Solutions

Support the health and care service provider to procure the development of digital services that can facilitate the transition to integrated care models across health and social services and country-specific cross-institutional set-ups, including decentralised procurement environments and collaboration across institutions. Key challenges that could be addressed are patient empowerment, self-management, patient safety, patient involvement, chronic disease management, diagnosing, hospital logistics, skills and independent living. These challenges could be addressed by ICT-based solutions such as, e-Health, telemedicine, and mHealth, to be defined through the market consultation process. This should result in early adoption and demonstration of the potential for scaling-up the services and positive impact with evidence of appropriate incentives of various actors. Legal, ethical, gender and socio-economic issues should be addressed as appropriate.

Proposals should deliver and:

  • be driven by clearly identified user needs guiding the procurers of the buyers group;
  • be driven by public and/or private procurers from each country participating (at national, regional or local level) that have responsibilities and budget control in the relevant area of supply of health and care services;
  • demonstrate strong commitment of end-users and their communities in the co-creation process;
  • as applicable contribute to the use of interoperable solutions based on open platforms and take into account existing best practices and standardisation initiatives;
  • validate the benefits (both clinical and financial) of ICT-based services in comparison to traditional healthcare services;
  • provide robust safeguards to ensure compliance with ethical standards, patients’ rights and privacy protection;
  • include clear time-lines, a well-structured work-plan aligned to the objectives of the different phases and according particular importance to the role played by the preparatory phase; (templates made available by the Commission are strongly recommended to be used in particular as concerns the call for tender) and;
  • address training aspects, digital health literacy and new collaborative innovation principles and practises, management, and retention of healthcare staff under this topic.
  • build on expertise from and align with other relevant actions such as PIPPI and EURIPHI.

The procurers, hospital clusters, care services providers and other parts of the regional ecosystems should share knowledge, test results and needs to better coordinate the primary and community care, and stimulate local responsibility for care services, monitoring and rehabilitation. This may include aspects such as organisational processes, digital health literacy, workforce training, e-health workforce, financing and business models, hospital and telemedicine services, home care, patient centeredness, development of shared open source IT-based platforms, data integration, standards (supporting interoperability) and regulatory issues, management and retention of healthcare staff.

The service innovation should facilitate the early adoption and transferability (to other local contexts) of successful solutions addressing the innovation gap. Multi-policy/strategy collaboration across institutions (hospitals and institutions under the responsibility of municipalities or regions), industries, academia and user communities capable of establishing dedicated operational programmes are necessary to safeguard both the service and business performance metrics and the growth potential in the innovation chain.

The proposals should include the methodology foreseen to measure progress and validation process applicable in the tendering phase, towards the key performance areas of quality of care, sustainability and economic value within the selected key area of intervention, see e.g. MAFEIP. Sufficient travel allowances for regular information days concerning the procedures and thematic networking events (e.g. related to relevant co-ordination and support actions including SC1-HCC-04-2018) should be foreseen. A plan to implement the services should be included. In that context investigation of complementary procurement approaches (see e.g.) including value based procurement are encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Proposals for this topic should follow the specific requirements for pre-commercial procurement (PCP) supported by Horizon 2020 grants as set out in Annex E of the WP.

Expected Impact:

The proposal should provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and specific impact in the following areas:

  • Established path to innovation, evidence of benefits of disruptive technologies that can support the development of sustainable business models, improved user and market engagement, strengthened procurement community, evidence of healthy innovation ecosystem including researchers, users, eHealth and other solution providers and procurers. Evidence in key performance areas i.e., quality in health and care, sustainability of the delivery system and economic value.
  • Increased opportunities for solution uptake across wider international procurement markets by aiming at interoperable solutions that are validated through field testing by participating procurers in multiple countries across Europe and contribution to standardisation where relevant.

Deadline: 22 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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Scaling up innovation for active and healthy ageing

Proposals are expected to define mechanisms to facilitate further uptake by actively involving partners from the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy ageing as well as other relevant stakeholder groups (e.g. Joint Programming Initiative on More Years Better Lives, Active and Assisted Living programme, EIT Digital and EIT Health), and research and innovation projects, at European, national and regional levels.

The work will build on previous actions and have a clear focus on the successful support to supply and demand sides in implementing scaling up strategies for innovative solutions (technology, integration of health and social care, systemic change). In particular, complementarity and consistency should be ensured with the outcomes, guidelines and strategies delivered in projects funded from SC1-HCO-17-2017 (“Support for large scale uptake of Digital Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing”), SC1-HCC-01-2018 ("Supporting investment in smart living environments for ageing well through certification") and SC1-HCC-05-2018 (“Support to a Digital Health and Care Innovation initiative in the context of Digital Single Market strategy”).

A particular focus should be on the development and implementation of a long-term investment strategy, which would leverage and blend funding sources, from European, national and/or regional programmes/promotional banks as well as private investments, and involve new players and partners.

Financial support for upscaling measures and large-scale deployment should be considered in the tasks to be defined for the Coordination and Support Action. These should include twinning programmes and capacity building for local and regional authorities. This action should create a clear and coherent set of recommendations or guidelines for public health authorities in Europe together with a strategy to support their implementation. Proposals are also expected to set up a cooperation mechanism facilitating regular exchanges between the demand (both public and private procurers) and supply (including SMEs and start-ups) sides to identify the difficulties innovators may experience in scaling up solutions across borders in the EU and define measures to improve cross-border deployment of these solutions.

The Action is expected to develop and apply user-centred strategies for implementation of transformative solutions and change management, in particular in the following fields:

  • mHealth solutions for active and healthy ageing
  • smart age-friendly homes and independent living
  • chronic disease management

For grants awarded under this topic, beneficiaries may provide support to third parties as described in General Annex K of the Work Programme either in form of grants or prizes. The respective options of Article 15 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up between EUR 1.5 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The proposal should provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and specific impact in the following areas:

  • Accelerated progress on scaling-up digital innovation for active and healthy ageing across the EU.
  • Contribution of the policy activities to i) The Quality of Life of the EU population, ii) The Sustainability of Health and Care delivery and iii) Economic growth and job-creation in the EU.
  • Increased levels of investment by public authorities and private investors in digital innovation for health and active ageing that result from policy activities.
  • Wider commitment to investment leading to successful and cost-effective implementation of digitally-enabled, person-centred care solutions.
  • Enhanced market conditions that can facilitate economies of scale for the suppliers of technology and services.

Deadline: 22 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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Supporting deployment of eHealth in low and lower middle income countries in Africa for better health outcomes

The aim is to support the coordination of a registry of relevant existing e-Health solutions describing their services and potential for low and lower middle income African countries[1] or regions together with a roadmap and strategic implementation plans building on the requirements of end-user communities and policy makers in the target countries. The action should take into account national and regional policies and (best) practices regarding health and care services and health infrastructures and also include lessons learned from existing eHealth policies and programmes at all levels of the health system. It should take into account the new Africa-Europa Alliance for Sustainable investment and Jobs as relevant.

It should identify and build on and identify relevant existing and emerging initiatives and capacities in Europe and Africa which can form the basis for future cooperation and deployment.

The action should make use of and contribute to standardisation as appropriate. Proposals should comply with and contribute to the development of the relevant legislation, in particular on ethics and data protection of health data. Socio-economic and gender issues should be addressed appropriately.

The action should also ensure that relevant stakeholders including end-users are engaged during the process through national, regional and international workshops and a set of communication and dissemination actions, aligned to national policies, to support the deployment of e-Health services in low and lower middle income countries in Africa. The action should provide an added value, to the facilitation of the cooperation between European and low and middle income countries in Africa for a better health for all.

For grants awarded under this topic, beneficiaries may provide support to third parties as described in General Annex K of the Work Programme either in form of grants or prizes. The respective options of Article 15 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. At least one consortium partner must come from low and lower middle income countries in Africa.

Expected Impact:

The proposal should provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and specific impact in the following areas:

  • Higher level of international cooperation and networking in eHealth programmes and policies between European countries or regions and low and middle income African countries, focusing on areas that are beneficial to the target countries / regions and their citizens in eHealth;
  • Increased opportunities for e-health innovators, patients, medical staff and health system stakeholders in Europe and Africa;
  • Better accessibility of eHealth Services.

Deadline: 22 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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AI for Health Imaging

This action should contribute to testing and developing AI tools and analytics focused on the prevention, prediction and treatment of the most common forms of cancer while providing solutions to securely share health images across Europe.

Proposals should set up and contribute to populate a large interoperable repository of health images, enabling the development, testing and validation of AI–based health imaging solutions to improve diagnosis, disease prediction and follow-up of the most common forms of cancer.

The repository should include high quality, interoperable, anonymised or pseudo-anonymised data sets of annotated cases, based on data donorship, and should comply with relevant ethics, security requirements and data protection legislation. Gender aspects should be considered appropriately. It should ensure data quality and interoperability based on common standards and open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

Proposers should specify measures for validating AI-based solutions for health images, such as the effectiveness of clinical decision making. There should be rigorous, peer-reviewed scientific evidence establishing their safety, validity, reproducibility, usability, reliability and usefulness for better health outcomes. It is critical to show how AI-based solutions will deal with and inform about possible failures, inaccuracies and errors. Adequate performance metrics, monitoring and evaluation criteria and procedures should be put in place. The reasoning behind AI-based conclusions and recommendations should be explained so that users can understand their situation and be able to consent or challenge any proposed course of action.

The consortium should build on relevant national and EU activities and bring together: 1) expertise to set up the infrastructure, ensuring the appropriate sharing of data quality and interoperability, 2) AI developers/expertise to experiment its content while ensuring compliance with relevant legislations

The Commission considers that proposals requesting from the EUR 8 -10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The proposal should provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and specific impact in the following areas:

  • Contributing towards the creation of a EU-wide repository of health images dedicated to the most common forms of cancer, enabling experimentation of AI-based solutions to improve diagnosis, treatment and follow-up and contribute to a more precise and personalised management of cancer.
  • Contributing to developing technical, organisational and ethical standards for AI for health imaging
  • Promoting access to anonymised health image data sets to be made more openly reusable across the EU for training AI applications.
  • Increasing trust in AI solutions among users (healthcare professionals and patients), investors and stakeholders at industry and academia.

Deadline: 13 November 2019 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                      

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AI for Genomics and Personalised Medicine

Proposals should demonstrate the potential and benefits of AI technologies for advancing research and personalised medicine through the linking of relevant genomics data and repositories, according to adequate organisational, regulatory, security, ethical and technical requirements.

Proposals should develop and test AI solutions for linking genomics repositories across the EU, including banks of "-omics" and health related data, biobanks and other registries (including e.g. rare disease registries), with the view of supporting clinical research and decision making. By combining sequenced genomic data and other medical data, physicians and researchers can understand better diseases at a personal level and can determine the most appropriate treatment for a particular person. The focus should be to reduce the burden of diseases for which a treatment exists and to apply such treatments in a more targeted way, to identify new evidences on the predictive value of the AI solutions and to enhance the diagnostic capacity e.g. for rare or low prevalence and complex diseases.

Proposals should demonstrate a potential to build a large-scale distributed repository of relevant genomic data and other -omics and medical data that will enable to advance validation of the new clinically impactful insights supported trough AI solutions. Proposals should ensure compliance with the relevant privacy, cybersecurity, ethical and legal rules. Sex and gender aspects should be considered appropriately. The European Open Science Cloud Initiative (EOSC) may facilitate the access of researchers to the newest data managing technologies, High Performance Computing facilities to process and analyse data and to a European Open Science Cloud list of ICT services while ensuring the appropriate data safety and protection. Proposals should address technical specifications and standards for the secure access and exchange of cross-border genomic and other health data, and collaborate with actions selected under the topic SC1-HCC-06-2020 as relevant for achieving progress towards the expected impacts.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting from the EU up to EUR 10 Million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The proposal should provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and specific impact in the following areas:

  • Supporting the development and testing of AI technologies on genomics and other linked –omics and health data repositories for identifying new knowledge, support clinical research and decision making, leading to more reliable and meaningful outcomes for advancing research and personalised medicine.
  • Promoting the sharing of data and infrastructure for prevention and personalised medicine research, concretely a European network on genomics, seeking to link it with ongoing '-omics' and human cell mapping initiatives.
  • Effectiveness of AI technologies for genomics and personalised medicine.
  • Measuring patient-based value healthcare outcomes for impact assessment on how genomics, personalised medicine and patient outcomes can help to implement value-based healthcare in Europe.
  • Contributing to developing technical specifications for secure access and cross-border exchange of genomic and other –omics and health datasets in Europe for research purposes.
  • Facilitating interoperability of relevant registries (including e.g. rare disease registries) and databases in support of genomics and personalised medicine research.
  • Supporting the pooling of health data and resources across the EU, and demonstrate the benefits for advancing research, disease prevention and personalised medicine.
  • Contributing to standards for genomic data generation, analysis, privacy and sharing of genomic and associated clinical and other phenotype data, including self-reported data, data from wearables, omics, and imaging.
  • Contributing to the European Cloud Initiative, notably by providing open, reusable data for prevention, genomics and personalised medicine research.
  • Increasing the trust of users (healthcare professionals and patients) and other stakeholders on AI solutions to process and link genomics data with other –omics and health related data for better decision-making and value-based patient health outcomes.

Deadline: 22 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                        

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2. Ernährungs- und Lebensmittelsicherheit, nachhaltige Land- und Forstwirtschaft, marine, maritime und limnologische Forschung und Bioökonomie

Integrated health approaches and alternatives to pesticide use

A. [2019]: Integration of plant protection in a global health approach (RIA)

Activities will test and deliver integrated approaches to advance in the assessment of the impacts of plant protection products and their metabolites (PPPs) on plant, human, animal and ecosystem health. Activities will build on existing data, validated models of PPPs fluxes/concentrations, models for economic analysis, integrated risk assessment tools, running projects and the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) activities. Activities will support new measurements and observations and further develop more comprehensive and reliable models. A synthesis of risks, cost and benefit analysis of PPPs' use at different spatial and temporal scales and their distribution between different stakeholders should be performed (including damages caused by pests, product quality and regulatory costs). Activities will build on representative case studies covering different agricultural products.

In terms of human health, both direct and indirect exposures to PPPs will be taken into account with a particular focus on direct exposure of farmers and the rural population and the exposure of consumers to PPP residues in food. Animal health risk assessment should take into account the exposure to residues of PPPs in feed (aggregating EU uses and residues in imported feed). Work on environmental risks and impacts should consider the diversity of European agricultural landscapes, as well as ecological and environmental variability. It should make it possible to gauge the spatial dimension of impacts and map risks at regional, national, European and global levels while considering other regulatory initiatives, in particular the Common Agricultural Policy, the protection of European biodiversity and the Water Framework Directive.

Proposals will identify lock-ins, develop transition paths towards a sustainable use of PPPs, taking a transdisciplinary approach, and should consider the needs of risk managers for the authorisation/restriction of PPPs as well as of farmers for selecting more appropriate and sustainable products and their optimal use avoiding side effects. Activities will include the development of a research agenda on plant protection in the context of a global health approach.

B. [2020] Alternative to contentious pesticides (IA)

Activities will foster the development and testing of tools, approaches, strategies and/or products to reduce the risks associated with the use of contentious plant protection products and/or biocidal products in conventional and/or organic farming systems and/or the agri-food chain. They will seek for more sustainable alternatives to contentious (or, as appropriate, active substances used in) plant protection product(s) for integrated pest, disease and/or weed management in agriculture and/or biocidal product(s) for preventing and controlling harmful organisms occurring in facilities related to agricultural production and the agri-food chain. Activities should address the development, testing and demonstration of novel, more durable and sustainable approaches, products, strategies and/or tools for their application within a systems approach and cultural practices.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 15 million for scope A and EUR 5 million for scope B would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

All sub-topics (A), (B): Projects should fall under the concept of the ‘multi-actor approach’ including a range of actors to ensure that knowledge and needs from various sectors such as research, farming, advisory services and industry including SMEs are brought together. They should also seek contributions from social and economic sciences to cover the broader economic, social, behavioural and environmental issues associated with the adoption of novel management strategies, including the impact on labour, safety culture and risk management on farms and economic impact for farmers. This will include looking at gender aspects, as appropriate.

Expected Impact:

Activities will contribute to a better understanding of complex, interlinked issues and reduce the reliance on the use of pesticides by helping to:

  • establish the impacts of the use or non-use of pesticides on the environment and human health (consumers, operators, farm workers and residents in agricultural areas);
  • improve farmer, consumer and citizen awareness of and trust in global health approaches through clear and transparent and integrated assessments, pest / disease / weed prevention and control strategies for EU agricultural production and / or the agri-food chain and related communication;
  • contribute to the ongoing collection of harmonised EU-wide datasets in open source collaboration and of indicators to assess and monitor trends over time and support risk management measures (scope A);
  • improve monitoring of pesticide uses and pressures on human and animal health and the environment, by developing appropriate tools and integrated approaches considering various pathways (scope A);
  • foster lasting transdisciplinary cooperation in the fields of life sciences, human, plant and animal health and environmental sciences and strengthen the European scientific community on global health approaches (scope A);
  • introduce alternative approaches, tools, strategies and/or products for prevention and control of pests/diseases/weeds with improved environmental performance (e.g. reduced effects on non-target organisms, natural resources and the environment) in the field of plant protection and/or use of biocides related to agricultural production and activities across the agri-food chain (scope B);
  • assess the potential risks and benefits of the chosen alternatives in a coherent and consistent way in view of safety and sustainability (scope B);
  • improve current agronomic, ecological and cultural practices to increase the resilience of agricultural production and/or the agri-food chain against biotic stresses (scope B);
  • assess the economic, social and environmental impact of the alternative proposals for the farmers and/or consumers (scope B);
  • support relevant EU plant health policies and/or European risk assessments in relation to EFSA and / or ECHA activities (scope B).

In the longer-term results will strengthen an integrated health approach and foster the sustainable use of pesticides thereby reducing the exposure of human and animals, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, drinking water and the food chain to pesticides.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Stepping up integrated pest management

A. [2018] Decision support systems (RIA)

Activities shall bring together the various individual IPM models and decision support systems into a platform to make them available for a wider range of geographic conditions. This user-friendly system shall be developed based on epidemiological parameters of existing decision support systems and made easily accessible to farmers and local advisers. Most processes (such as pest and disease development, crop growth, water balances, etc.) described in models/decision support systems, need detailed climate data and continuous improvement/updates. Therefore, proposals shall integrate the various local agro-meteorological networks across the EU to make it possible for all models/decision support systems offered on the platform to access and use these weather data. Activities should focus on pests and diseases for which IPM solutions are most urgently needed. The platform should enable country stakeholders such as research centres, producer organisations and advisors to select and adapt the relevant individual models/decision support systems to their specific country/region/crop context and make them available to the farmers concerned. Proposals must use an open-source approach and should fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach' including scientists, farmers, advisors and ICT specialists.

B. [2020] European-wide demonstration farm network (CSA)

Activities shall fuel a European-wide network of IPM demonstration farms, which make a direct link between research and practical farm management, thereby facilitating IPM uptake and knowledge-sharing among advisors and farmers. The network should consist of normal farms where farmers can learn in a peer-to-peer mode from their colleagues. Practical information on the farm techniques should be made readily available to all, using open source and open data management to enable wide and long-term sharing, possibly according to specific typologies and areas. Links with administrative databases (e.g. IACS-LPIS system in Member States) and other data sources (e.g. Copernicus earth observations) should be explored. The project should in particular incentivise the uptake of IPM practices by advisors who are using a holistic farm approach. Organic farming practices could also provide a possible source of inspiration, and forestry may be included. Besides making use of the developed decision support tools under scope A and other monitoring and warning systems, the proposals should also help promoting the variety of other existing IPM practices, comparing emerging new IPM techniques, and covering various diagnostic tools and efficient pest monitoring methods. Organic farming practices may provide a possible source of inspiration, and forestry may be included. Proposals will support the development and European-wide sharing of training modules for farmers and for advisors, including from various national/regional sources and demonstration farm programmes. These training modules should feed into the national Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS). Projects shall seek synergies with the national or regional EIP networks and EIP Operational Groups, and provide input to and coordinate their strategy with the SCAR-AKIS Strategic Working Group. Proposals may include other IPM issues covered under the SUD such as application equipment, risk communication to society, etc. All collected knowledge should feed into the existing dissemination channels most consulted by farmers. As many “practice abstracts” prepared in the common EIP-AGRI format should be delivered as possible, including audio-visual material wherever possible. It is strongly recommended to cover as many Member States and regions as possible and to seek synergies with similar activities financed through other sources, e.g. the Common Agricultural Policy. Forestry may also be included. Proposals should fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach', with a consortium based on a balanced mix of actors with complementary knowledge, including participation and activation of farmers, farmers' groups and advisors to create co-ownership. In this way, in the long run, results will contribute to more sustainable agriculture by reducing exposure to pesticides of humans and animals, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, drinking water and the food chain.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 5 million for scope A and EUR 6 million for scope B would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Activities should create added value to existing projects by giving farmers throughout Europe a broader understanding of the existing knowledge on integrated pest management. This will support relevant plant health policies, more specifically the implementation of the SUD by demonstrating that IPM strategies work in a "real world" application, and in particular by

  • helping farmers to incorporate IPM solutions in existing agricultural systems, with a focus on taking into account costs and benefits and interactions / with other aspects of agricultural management, thereby building resilience;
  • supporting European platforms (such as the one created under scope A) for sharing and further developing IPM decision support systems, covering the various bio-geographical areas of Europe;
  • broadening and adding value to the partnerships between actors, which are developing cost-effective IPM decision support systems ready for practice;
  • creating an open European network of IPM demonstration farms in all EU Member States/Associated Countries and regions, sharing data and information with a long term effect available to all, where farmers can learn in a peer-to-peer mode from their colleagues on normal farms;
  • increasing awareness of the available IPM toolbox and extending the range of applications, including by incentivising the take up of IPM techniques and related advisory tools by holistic oriented advisors in their daily services;
  • increasing on-farm use of IPM techniques
  • developing European-wide IPM training for farmers and advisors, with modules adaptable to the regional/national contexts , the various farmers' profiles and advisory services.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Genetic resources and pre-breeding communities

A range of activities implemented by a wide range of stakeholders will seek to enhance management and use of GenRes and implement global commitments in this area. While the focus of activities is on Europe, international resources and activities shall be taken into account.

A. [2018]: Joining forces for GenRes and biodiversity management (CSA)

Activities will provide a framework in which the existing mosaic of European, national/regional structures can join forces to develop and implement ambitious approaches and strategies for the management of crop, forest and animal GenRes. In addition to advancing individual roadmaps, inventories and information tools for crop, forest and animal GenRes, cooperation between the different communities shall foster GenRes conservation within a wider (agro) biodiversity context. Particular care shall be taken to building and widening capacities across Europe and neighbouring countries (including Mediterranean countries), exchanging best practices, harmonising standards as well as sharing resources and data.

B. [2019]: Adding value to plant GenRes (RIA)

Activities will improve processes, tools and know-how associated with a dynamic management and documentation of GenRes collections (both ex-situ and in-situ, as appropriate). They will add value to the preserved germplasm to promote its use in breeding, farming, forestry and by consumers. Work will enable the development and testing of solutions to enhance quality and efficiency of operations and services across collections. Major efforts should go into capturing and characterising the genetic diversity in germplasm and revealing novel information to users. This will include acquiring comprehensive and more precise genotypic and phenotypic information on GenRes material, understanding the connections between the two, how they vary in different environmental contexts and having in place appropriate (bioinformatic) tools for data processing, exchange and visualisation. Due account shall be given to disclosing the potential of less adapted material from genebanks/in-situ conservation sites in relation to valuable traits associated with resilience, adaptability and quality of crops.

Proposals should foresee a task for joint activities with other projects financed under this topic.

C. [2020]:The GenRes-user interface and pre-breeding activities (IA)

Activities will accelerate the mobilization of GenRes from in-situ and/or ex-situ collections to benefit plant breeding and the delivery of new varieties which are better adapted to variable environments and consumer demands. They will tackle the GenRes-user interface, i.e. propose improvements to the information available to users with regard to characteristics of accessions and also to the visualisation of this information. Major resources shall be devoted to pre-breeding activities implemented in close cooperation between public, private and non-for profit sectors. The involvement of SMEs is crucial and will be fostered through targeted calls and financial support to third parties. Due attention shall be given to pre-breeding activities undertaken across Europe ad covering different pedo-climatic regions

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 3 million for sub-topic A, EUR 7 million for sub-topic B and EUR 7 million for sub-topic C would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Activities will enhance the status of genetic resources and increase effectiveness of conservation efforts, in particular in Europe.

In the short to medium term work will:

  • result in the development and/or implementation of integrated strategies for conservation and use of crop, forest and animal GenRes as well as for wider biodiversity (sub-topic A);
  • enhance user oriented services provided by networks involved in plant (agriculture and forestry), and animal GenRes management (sub-topic A);
  • help establishing high quality, harmonised standards for the management and description of GenRes across Europe (and beyond) (sub-topics A and B);
  • increase the quantity and quality of data in established information systems for crop, forest and animal GenRes (sub-topics A and B);
  • promote innovative ways of sharing resources and services between genebanks/in-situ conservation sites in Europe and beyond (sub-topics A and B);
  • develop methods and tools for greater insight into the characteristics and the value of collections (sub-topic B);
  • create novel services for users within and outside the conservation communities (sub-topic B).
  • improve tools to display user-friendly information on accessions and their characteristics (scope C)
  • speed up the introduction of useful characteristics from GenRes into breeding (scope C)
  • promote the delivery of new varieties which are fit for purpose as regards changing environmental / climatic conditions and consumer demands (scope C)

In the long term activities will allow tapping into the vast potential of GenRes more effectively in order to meet current and future needs of food security, the delivery of non-food products from primary production and support the different functions of forestry.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Biodiversity in action: across farmland and the value chain

Activities will tackle biodiversity from various angles ranging from its supporting functions in agro-ecosystems (e.g. through activities of plant and soil biota), the integration of diversity into farming practices and incentives for wider biodiversity management including native biodiversity. Proposals will consider various temporal and spatial scales when assessing the dynamics of biodiversity and its relationship with farming systems, the surrounding landscapes and throughout value chains.

A. [2018]Small organisms, big effects for plants- Belowground biodiversity interaction with plants (RIA)

Proposals will lay the ground for better understanding and applying the benefits of soil organisms for resource uptake, plant growth, development and health. Activities will explore the processes and interactions between plants and the different plant and soil micro and macro biota. Work will expand knowledge of the impacts of land management on soil biological dynamics and its ecological importance, e.g. for nutrient cycling processes, plant defence mechanisms (i.e. disease prevention/pest control), plant development and growth. Findings on the beneficial effects of functional soil biodiversity for crop production will feed into the development of strategies and tools for sustainable plant/soil management. Proposals should fall under the concept of the ‘multi-actor approach’[3] to ensure that knowledge and needs from various sectors including farming are brought together.

B. [2019]Capitalising on native biodiversity in farmland landscape (RIA)

Proposals will enhance the understanding of the relationship between farm management and native biodiversity in the surrounding landscape, together with the associated ecosystem services. Activities will be developed at different scales and cover different habitats, as well as a diverse range of species (flora and fauna) from having beneficial to adverse effects on agriculture (i.e. from wild plants and wild pollinators to large carnivores). Work will consider both of the contrasting dynamics threatening farmland biodiversity (namely specialisation/intensification and marginalisation/abandonment).

Proposals will support the definition of biodiversity targets at the appropriate scale and design result-based incentives at policy and/or market level taking into account the current regulatory framework. Proposals will look at the synergies between increasing biodiversity awareness/acceptance by farmers and their involvement in the monitoring. They shall develop, test and scale-up existing and new biodiversity indicators taking into account the perspectives of stakeholders and provide integrated information platforms and improved methods.

Work shall build on existing initiatives, provide support for the setting-up of new networks that address biodiversity in farmland landscapes and liaise with relevant European Research Infrastructures such as ANAEE. Proposals should build on the system proposed for in-situ observatories ("Citizen Observatories") and the effective transfer of biodiversity knowledge to farming, research, policy and society. Proposals should fall under the concept of 'multi-actor approach' engaging key stakeholders and experts and ensuring adequate involvement of the farming sector in open source collaboration and data collection covering a wide range of agri-ecosystems. This will include enabling networking on similar issues across Europe. They should also seek contributions from social and economic sciences to cover the broader economic, social, behavioural and environmental issues. Proposals may involve financial support to third parties, particularly for supporting regional/local networks. The proposal will define the process of selecting entities for which financial support will be granted up to EUR 100.000 per party over the project duration.

C. [2020] From agrobiodiversity to dynamic value chains (RIA)

Activities shall release the value of so far underutilised and often genetically diverse crops, (including landraces and varieties) and promote their broader use in breeding, farming and in food/non-food value chains. They will improve the performance of the selected crop(s) in relation to specific characteristics (e.g. agronomic such as adaptability to climate related abiotic stresses or quality related traits) and address the corresponding needs for farm and land management. Activities will feed into the development of value chains, which provide opportunities to diversify farm activities and income as well as meet consumer demands for diversified products and/or for products with a local/regional identity. This will include developing and testing marketing channels with enhanced producer-consumer links.

Proposed work should fall under the concept of 'multi-actor approach', thus allowing for adequate involvement of the farming sector and other relevant stakeholders. Consortia shall build on interdisciplinary expertise and a balanced partnership reflecting a range of geographic and socio-economic conditions.

All scopes (A), (B) and (C): The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 7 million for A, 8 million for B and 6 million for C would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Proposals should include a task to cluster with other projects financed under the same sub-topic.

Expected Impact:

Funded activities will showcase the benefits of agro-biodiversity at various levels and develop solutions and approaches to embed these benefits more effectively into farming and breeding practices.

In the short- to medium term work will

  • expand the knowledge base on the links between biodiversity and agriculture and the use of agrobiodiversity in the context of sustainable farming and breeding practices
  • result in improved methods for assessing and evaluating different levels of diversity (genetic, species and ecosystem) as well as the linkages between agrobiodiversity and ecosystems services
  • deliver strategies and tools for biodiversity focused soil management (scope A)
  • reduce the dependence on external inputs in crop management through effective plant-soil interactions and the use of soil organisms (scope A)
  • deliver methods and tools for monitoring of native and cultivated farmland biodiversity and generate news sets of harmonised data (scope B)
  • develop private and public incentives to foster farmer's delivery of biodiversity as a public good (scope B)
  • develop strategies for an increased and more effective use of genetic diversity in breeding and farming, in particular to introduce adaptive as well as quality and health related traits (scope C)
  • create specific avenues for products, farm income and value chains from underutilised crops (scope C)
  • strengthen producer – consumer links amongst others through new marketing modes (scope C)

In the longer term, funded activities will help to foster the synergies between agricultural production, biodiversity (including genetic diversity) and the delivery of ecosystem services of local, regional and global relevance. They will allow the farming sector to continue fulfilling its multiple functions under predicted, more challenging biotic and abiotic conditions.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Healthy terrestrial livestock microbial ecosystems for sustainable production

Activities shall address relevant microbial ecosystems of terrestrial livestock, and their effects on the production, health and welfare of animals. They should look in a balanced way at the characterisation of microbial ecosystems (including microbial communities and microbe-derived metabolites), assessing variability within and between breeds in relation to variability of production systems and diet; at microbial behaviour (e.g. interactions between microbiota, evolution with age of animals, transmission); at microbial functions and interactions with host, environment and management practices, including feeding where relevant; and at possible ways in which those ecosystems can be managed, including socio-economic aspects, in order to reduce environmental impact, improve production and its quality, and/or health in particular during challenging periods such as early life, weaning or after disturbances. Activities will include the incorporation of data on microbial ecosystems in the models used to analyse phenotypic variability and to perform genetic evaluations. The activities shall address either ruminants, or monogastrics. Gut microbiome of pigs or poultry can be addressed only in so far as the activities are complementary to those in related projects selected under LC-SFS-03-2018. Proposals may cover one or more species and one or more microbial ecosystem.

Research on anti-microbial resistance can be included as long as it is not the main objective of the project (see topic SFS-12-2018/2019). Research on single animal pathogens is not the focus of the topic. The projects are encouraged to interact as appropriate with relevant collaborative projects in Europe as appropriate and with international initiatives such as the rumen microbial genomics network of the Global Research Alliance on agricultural greenhouse gases.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Funding will allow support for at least one project relating to ruminants and one to monogastrics.

Expected Impact:

Funded activities will contribute to deciphering the characteristics and functions of the livestock microbial ecosystems and understand the ways in which they influence production, health and/or welfare of animals. They will provide standardised methodologies for further application in livestock production to the greatest extent possible, including socio-economic aspects.

In the short- to medium term, the application of the knowledge and solutions developed will, as appropriate:

  • enable inclusion of data on microbial ecosystems in the models used to analyse phenotypic variability and to perform genetic evaluations;
  • improve resource use and environmental impact of terrestrial livestock production;
  • improve robustness and health of terrestrial livestock, in relation to productive functions;
  • reinforce collaborations with initiatives in related domains to promote coherence and applicability of research on microbial ecosystems.

In the longer term, the funded activities will contribute to more resilient production systems.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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New and emerging risks to plant health

Proposals will target one or more new or emerging plant pests (the term “pests” includes weeds) and/or diseases (regulated or non-regulated, introduced or native) that are causing, or likely to cause, significant (socio)economic and/or environmental losses to European agriculture and/or forestry. The choice of target pest and/or disease will consider the potential threat in terms of development and spread, its potential exacerbation under climate change as well as the potential impact on agricultural production, forestry, trade and the wider environment. Proposals will increase knowledge of the biology, pathways of entry and spread of pest(s)/disease(s) and clarify the dependencies on abiotic factors. They will improve methods and strategies for early detection, prevention and control as well as enlarge the range of tools for integrated, sustainable and effective pest/disease management. International cooperation with countries affected or threatened by the same pest(s)/disease(s) is encouraged. Proposals should fall under the concept of the ‘multi-actor approach’ including a range of actors to ensure that knowledge and needs from various sectors such as research, plant health services and the farming/forestry sector are brought together.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Activities will contribute to finding adequate responses to new and/or emerging plant pests/diseases. More specifically knowledge and solutions generated by these actions will contribute to:

  • the understanding of drivers of plant pest/disease emergence including the influence of climate change;
  • the development of efficient tools for the prevention, detection and control of pests/diseases;
  • the development of environmentally sound and long-lasting solutions for effective pest/disease management in farming and forestry in line with the principles of Integrated Pest Management within a systems approach;
  • the reduction of economic, social and/or environmental losses for Europe;
  • support for relevant EU plant health data management and policies.

In the longer term, project outputs will help the agricultural/forestry sector to remain productive and contribute to sustainable agriculture and/or forest health.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Epidemiology of non-EU-regulated contagious animal diseases: from integrated data collection to prioritisation

Activities will aim to harvest the knowledge inherently carried in existing data streams on contagious, non-EU-regulated, animal diseases, including diseases with multiple pathogens (disease complexes) and AMR. The proposals should address at least terrestrial livestock, while including marine and freshwater aquaculture whenever relevant, and should investigate the feasibility of addressing relevant wildlife. Data from different production systems should be included. Activities will look for ways to validate, integrate and process these data, including modelling, possibly generating additional useful information inferred from existing data and identifying new data that could be integrated in data streams. They will focus on identifying and characterising relevant data on diseases (including animals, pathogen and environment, including genomic and metagenomic data), context and consequences (e.g. performance), the various components of data streams and will assess opportunities and barriers to utilising or sharing information across countries and stakeholders throughout Europe. This should improve risk identification and determination of the burden and cost of non-regulated contagious diseases and effectiveness and efficiency of control measures. Relevant geospatial information and data on animal welfare and genetics, in so far as they can be connected to animal diseases, can be included in the planned activities.

Work shall explore the potential of precision farming and “big” data, cloud-based integrated data collection for the detection of hitherto undetected relations between symptoms, diagnoses, treatments, risk factors, control measures and spread of diseases as well as their associated burden and economic costs. They should test the feasibility and potential benefits of an integrated approach to knowledge extraction and decision support based on a specific risk scenario for a disease. Decision-makers involved at different levels in the management of diseases should be considered (e.g. producers, private stakeholders supporting diseases control plans at a collective level, public sector). Possible integration with farm management and information systems and (automated) decision support systems, should be explored. Development or refinement of existing risk-based approaches and early warning systems should be explored. The project will provide a coherent blueprint and a framework for the necessary changes to allow improved data utilisation to protect animal health and welfare, human health and the food chain in Europe. Proposals should fall under the concept of 'multi-actor approach´, involving representatives of producers, veterinarians and other professionals from animal production and the food chain, as appropriate, and decision-makers.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Strategic utilisation of existing and development of new data streams will:

  • allow a clear view on occurrence and cost of disease and relation to welfare;
  • enable timely and evidence-based decision-making by stakeholders in public and private sectors, and potentially by producers. It will enable a more focused targeting of resources for controlling diseases;
  • provide a basis for potential rapid and early detection coupled with prediction of consequent losses,
  • facilitate educational strategies for animal disease and animal welfare management; identify gaps in human capital knowledge.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Genome and epigenome enabled breeding in terrestrial livestock

The selected projects will assist in the exploitation of existing knowledge on the genome sequence and its regulation and expression. They will do so by providing (i) analysis of the genome and the epigenome in relation to combinations of traits (including intermediate and/or indicators) important for efficient terrestrial livestock production and (ii) tools to improve breeding schemes, both for cosmopolitan and local breeds of terrestrial livestock, striving to ensure optimal genetic and epigenetic diversity, at least within breeds. The projects will encompass development of methods, tools and models to assist both industry and policy makers as well as to respond to social challenges. Proposals should fall under the concept of 'multi-actor approach', involving representatives of breeders, biodiversity conservation and other relevant professionals from animal production, the food chain and decision-makers, as appropriate.

The activities may address:

  • Study of the genetic relationship between animal performance traits to tackle some potential trade-offs between different phenotypes of interest that may alter long-term selection strategies to improve lifetime efficiency.
  • Assessment of the relevance of (i) epigenetic mechanisms as a potential source of phenotypic variance unaccounted by genomic selection, and (ii) improving genomic prediction models with better integration of environmental and non-genetic inheritance factors.
  • Development of (i) appropriate deep phenotype indicators and their genomic and epigenomic determination that reflect different ways of improving resource-use efficiency, health, welfare, quality and resilience of terrestrial livestock and (ii) multi-trait genomic and epigenomic prediction models that can efficiently utilize these indicators.
  • Assessment of the potential, including benefits and risks, of both (i) genome editing for cross-species and/or inter-breed transmission of specific traits without affecting other selected characteristics or specificities and (ii) targeted epigenome editing for improved animal welfare and/or product quality.
  • Study of the opportunity and feasibility of integration of genome editing in genomic selection (specifics and comparison with introgression: theoretical and practical applications).
  • Development of refined genomic and epigenomic strategies for management of biodiversity.

The projects are encouraged to interact as appropriate with relevant Horizon 2020 projects.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Methods for biology-driven selection of livestock with more balanced performances for production, robustness, and/or quality, taking into account environmental variability.
  • Set of phenotypes as well as the molecular tools available to farmers and farm advisers to assess and simultaneously drive animal traits related to efficiency, for a long-time evaluation of breeding strategies.
  • Set of options for conservation of genetic diversity among and within breeds.
  • More generally, the projects will contribute to the diversity and sustainability of livestock production.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Emerging challenges for soil management

Proposals should address only one of the following sub-topics:

A. [2020]: Emerging challenges for soil management: Soil biodiversity assessment (RIA)

Proposals shall cover soil biodiversity analysis, including relevant microbes and invertebrates for soil-mediated ecosystem services. Proposals shall address soil management, exploring the links between soil biodiversity, its functions and land degradation to increase economic, environmental and social wellbeing of biogeographical regions of Europe. Proposals shall cover ecosystem stressors on soil and more particularly on soil biodiversity and its potential impact on ecosystem functions.

Work shall build on the existing initiatives and provide support to relevant Member State commitments under the Global Soil Partnership. If relevant cooperation and complementarities could also be sought with projects funded by other Societal Challenges. International cooperation is encouraged.

B. [2020]: Emerging challenges for soil management: use of plastic in agriculture (RIA)

Proposals shall cover analysis of the use of plastic in agricultural production and its impact on soil. The particular focus of the proposals should be on the micro-plastic after harvest and its fate in the environment. The potential future impact of micro-plastic on soil biodiversity and its potential transfer to other parts of the environment and beyond should be analysed.

Activities shall also analyse the impact of micro- and nano-plastics on soil properties and its ecosystem services function. In addition the focus of this analysis should be concentrated on the use of plastic during agricultural production at the field level but also at the farm level. Proposals should fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach'

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Understand the current status, challenges and potential of soil biodiversity (sub-scope A);
  • Understand the impact of micro- and nano-plastics on soil biodiversity and ecosystem services (sub-scope B);
  • Understand the impact of micro- and nano-plastics and other stressors in soil on agricultural productivity and ecosystem services (sub-scope B);
  • Understand and assess the chemical changes and disaggregation of micro- and nano-plastics in soils, their impacts and further behaviour in soils (including soil physics) (sub-scope B);
  • Quantify the economic, environmental and social consequences of unsustainable soil management in different biogeographical regions (sub-scopes A and B);
  • Contribute towards understanding, management and conservation of soil biodiversity for the global soil assessment (sub-scope A);

In the long term, funded activities will contribute to European and international soil biodiversity assessments such as initiatives under the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Forest soils Research and Innovation Action

Proposals shall aim at strengthening the knowledge base of forest soil typology and (micro)biological properties including methodologies for soil analysis. They shall address soil functions in relation to their climate change mitigation capacity given by organic carbon stocks and associated fluxes - representative for the variety of forest ecosystems and production systems in Europe. Specific emphasis in the proposal shall be put on several of the following research areas:

Improved, integrated and harmonised methods for estimation of carbon, nitrogen and base cation stocks and fluxes in soils, in relation to forest management systems/practices, land-use history and their impact on greenhouse gas inventories and the corresponding monitoring framework;

Effects of natural disturbances and associated relief measures on carbon and nitrogen stocks/fluxes, including the vulnerability and the upper ecological limit of the soil organic carbon pool (i.e. saturation);

Effects of forest management practices on soil properties, including microbial diversity and activity, nutrient availability (e.g. C, N, P, K, Mg, Ca), organic matter quality, acidity, etc.;

Effects of drainage, rewetting and other management practices in forest-like wetlands on carbon, nitrogen and base cation stocks and fluxes;

Trade-offs and synergies between microbial activity in the soil organic and mineral layers and other ecosystem services, including functional biodiversity[1]water cycles, etc.

National research institutes and other entities looking into forest soils research and mapping, as well as LULUCF sector of greenhouse gas inventories, are specifically encouraged to take part in the Consortia submitting proposals to this competitive call.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of the order of EUR 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

In the framework of SDG 3, 13 and 15, the EU's Bioeconomy Strategy 2012/2018, the EU's Forest Strategy 2013, Paris Agreement 2015, LULUCF Regulation 2018, proposals are expected to assess how they will contribute to:

In the short to medium term, improved and harmonised methodologies for estimation of greenhouse gas emissions and removals in the LULUCF sector Europe-wide;

In the medium to long term, strengthened knowledge base and capacity for forest managers to adopt sylvicultural techniques and forest management practices conducive to enhanced contribution of the sector to the global climate change mitigation objectives whilst enhancing forest biodiversity, resilience and overall ecosystem service delivery;

In the medium to long term, more sustainable forest management and contribution of the forest-based sector to increasing and diversifying societal demands upon forest-based products and service.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Agri-Aqua Labs

A. [2018]: Understanding the genome of farmed animals, its expression and translation into traits (RIA)

For the purpose of sub-topic A, the terms 'animal' and 'farm' apply to both terrestrial and aquatic animals. Research activities should generate experimental data to map out what part of farmed animal genomes are active (whether coding or regulatory), and under which circumstances, characterise the resulting phenotypes and assess how phenotypes are affected by genetic and epigenetic changes. Bioinformatic analyses should support identification of these functional and structural elements in genomes, and enable the development of tools for genotype to phenotype prediction. Work should also help to develop or extend terminologies (ontologies) to describe, represent and standardize annotation. Proposed projects should target one or more farmed animal species with high-quality genome assemblies (in particular cows, chicken, pigs, sheep, salmon and other relevant species), focussing on specific tissue panels, and address correlations between normal and abnormal situations. They may target different physiological and developmental stages and different breeds within the same species, where this brings added value to the understanding of the genotype to phenotype relationship. As regards genome annotation, the proposed projects should use FAANG[1] metadata standards and core assays and coordinate with other projects in order to minimise overlaps. The data should be submitted to relevant European biological data archives in accordance with these standards to ensure they are available to the whole community (EMBL-EBI[2]). The proposed projects should develop and test, where appropriate, innovative tools to measure related phenotypes, including intermediate phenotypes. Activities may include biomarkers and their proxies, as well as sensors, together with ways to record related phenotypes at population level (whether reference populations or not). Proposals should include a task to cluster with other projects financed under this topic.

B. [2019]: Looking behind plant adaptation (RIA)

Proposals shall advance our understanding of the ability of plants to (pre)adapt to specific – often extreme - conditions or to react to sudden changes in their environment.

They will look into the specific mechanisms (genetic, epigenetic, physiological, morphological, metabolic…) and dynamics that underlie adaptive processes of crops and how these responses are modulated by the type and severity of conditions/stresses. In studying adaptation of crops to single or multiple abiotic conditions, work shall also establish potential fitness trade-offs. Proposals are expected to improve capacities for modelling plant adaptation responses in order to better predict changes in plant performance and inform crop improvement and crop management strategies. While taking advantage of findings from (semi) model crops, work shall focus on crop plants and relevant agronomic conditions.

Proposals should foresee a task for joint activities with other projects financed under this topic.

C. [2020]: Plant energy biology (RIA)

Proposals will advance our understanding of the plant energy system in terms of elucidating specific mechanisms as well as the complex processes and interactions that determine overall energy efficiency in plants.

More specifically work will allow to better understand and determine

  • (some of) the various components, processes and interactions of plants’ energy system and their regulation - from energy capture to its conversion, transport, photoassimilate partitioning and use
  • the metabolic reactions underlying particular functions of plants’ energy system
  • responses of the energy system to abiotic changes (e.g. CO2 concentration, light, temperature, water, salinity)
  • the basis of naturally occurring variation of selected components of the energy system
  • the overall energy efficiency in plants at various levels: cell – whole plant – canopy (including leaf anatomy and canopy structure)
  • trade-offs between the efficiency of the energy system and the plant's susceptibility to or tolerance to biotic stresses

The above listed elements provide a framework for action from which proposals can choose a particular scope and approach in line with the broader objectives of the call.

While capitalising on knowledge resulting from work in model species, proposals should also work in crop species taking into account relevant agronomic conditions.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 6 million for sub-topic A, EUR 5 million for sub-topic B and EUR 5 million for sub-topic C would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Results of funded activities will help to create knowledge hubs in their respective domains and develop specific pathways to feed biological insight into agricultural (husbandry, crops) and aquaculture practices.

In the short to medium term work will:

  • deliver comprehensive genome annotation maps of high quality in the targeted farmed animal species/tissues (sub-topic A);
  • progress in understanding genotype per environment interactions and deciphering the mechanisms by which some effects induced by environment/stressors can be transmitted across generations (sub-topic A);
  • pave the way for subsequent use of annotated genomes to improve precision breeding in farmed animal production, by linking genome to phenotype and improving means to measure/record phenotypes (sub-topic A);
  • contribute to international cooperation on genome annotation (sub-topic A);
  • provide insight into the range of mechanisms that underpin plant responses (from single cell to whole plant) to specific and/or multiple environmental changes (sub-topic B);
  • deliver more accurate models for the prediction of crop adaptation in response to environmental stresses (sub-topic B);
  • translate knowledge on the adaptive plasticity of plants and complex genotype by phenotype interactions into crop improvement and management strategies (sub-topic B).
  • allow to better understand the key mechanisms, interactions and control of the various components of plants’ energy biology system as well as their inherent trade-offs at the subcellular and whole plant level (sub-topic C)
  • help to better assess plant responses to abiotic changes (sub-topic C)
  • elucidate energy related traits to feed into breeding and crop management strategies at the level of individual plants and the canopy (sub-topic C)
  • advance knowledge on the relationship between photoassimilate partitioning, plant growth and agronomic yield (sub-topic C)

In the long term activities will enhance the sustainability of farmed animal production (sub-scope A). They will allow making more solid assertions on how crops will respond and can possibly better adapt to changing environments, also by means of enhancing plant energy efficiency to optimise productivity of plants.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Sustainable Intensification in Africa

A. [2019]: African Farming Systems, sustainable intensification pathways (RIA)

Activities shall seek to implement and test systems approaches for the sustainable intensification of primary production in Africa, taking into account its long term economic support to local communities. The proposed research should address the improvement of agricultural practices by tackling land and water management (including land degradation where appropriate) plant protection and pest control (including integrated pest management) and sustainable soil management (including its quality and nutrients uptake) for sustainable intensification. The importance of traditional agricultural practices like grazing methods, livestock, crops and legumes should be duly reflected. Emphasis should be given to farming systems that support restoration of land, increase land productivity and/or bring land back into production. Proper attention should be given to the importance of gender in African agricultural production.

For proper analysis, a range of different systems should be included (e.g. organic farming, agroecology, agroforestry). While presenting results the importance of scale of the analysis and its applicability should be taken into account. The analysed systems should include socio-economic aspects, analyse its resilience to climate change, farm income and where pertinent also cultural aspects of farming. Preference will be given to proposals focusing on specific regions of Africa.

Proposals fall under the concept of the ‘multi-actor approach’. Proposals should include a task to cluster with other projects financed under the topic and with the cooperation platform established under SFS-33-2018.

B.[2019]: Soil system for Africa (RIA)

For the implementation of the EU-Africa R&I Partnership on FNSSA a comparable and open database on agricultural soils information is needed. It is expected that a minimum of 20 000 sampling points will be sufficient to create a database with standard soil properties (a similar procedure to the one used for LUCAS - European database - should be developed).

The soil samples will only be taken from the agricultural land and analysed by one laboratory for the: physical and chemical parameters. As a minimum the following parameters should be analysed: particle size (clay, silt and sand content), pH (acidity and alkalinity), organic carbon, carbonate content, phosphorus content, total nitrogen content and extractable potassium content. In addition an analysis of heavy metal content and other chemical residues in selected sub-samples might be proposed in order to assess the risk of soil contamination. Based on the analysed samples a set of indicators for monitoring of state of land soil, water and ecosystem should be proposed. Other physical, chemical and biological parameters for soil test might be proposed along with the specific indicators for which they will be used. The indicators should be developed as a part of the long-term implementation of FNSSA and its contribution to the SDGs discussion. Presentation of data should be provided in an open data and map viewer and should include four aspect pictures of where the soil sample was taken and should link with open earth data from e.g. the Copernicus programme and the project funded under H2020 topic SFS-43-2017. It is expected that the open database will contain at least a minimum of 20 000 soil sample analysed by one laboratory. The final methodology should be developed in cooperation with and validated by the Joint Research Centre and the Global Soil Partnership – ITPS African members.

Proposals should include a task to cluster with other projects financed under the topic and with the cooperation platform established under SFS-33-2018.

C.[2020]: Vector-borne diseases in Africa (RIA)

The proposals should aim to develop knowledge on selected vector-borne diseases affecting terrestrial livestock, whether they also affect humans or not. The proposals may address one or more diseases. Priority should be given to diseases with either a serious impact in Africa, or a risk of spread to Europe with significant consequences, or both. Activities should cover the ecology of the pathogens and vectors, and epidemiological features, including the risk of short and long distance transmission and the capacity for the disease to establish in and spread to new areas, with potentially features different from the original area. The burden of disease in animals (and humans if relevant), and the socio-economic impact should be further assessed as appropriate. Systems and/or networks to improve epidemiological surveillance strategies in domestic and wild species should be developed/strengthened. Activities should also address detection and control tools, including prevention, monitoring, diagnostics and:

  • Vector competence studies including exploration of vector-pathogen interactions simulating field conditions.
  • Map, explore and predict vector densities and spread and the role of the vector in spreading the disease.
  • Study the relationship between immunity and pathogen spread including the role of pre-existing immunity and the role of vaccinations.
  • Exploration of livestock species, both African and European breed, for susceptibility to the diseases.
  • New diagnostic methods for pathogen or specific antibody detection.

Projects should include capacity-building and training activities. The projects should build on results and experiences from related EU projects and existing networks in this field.

Proposals should include a task to cluster with other projects financed under this scope and with the cooperation platform established under SFS-33-2018.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution form the EU of up to EUR 7.5 million for sub-topic A, EUR 5 million for sub-topic B and up to EUR 6 million for sub-topic C would allow this specific challenge to be addressed properly. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

In the short to medium term:

  • Boost the impact of Africa-EU joint research at local level by addressing the entire value-chain, strengthening capacity-building and focusing on demonstration projects and pilot actions to bring research and innovation results to the users (sub-topic A);
  • Provide simple tools and solutions for preserving and increasing natural resources of specific agro-system (sub-topic A);
  • Identification of methods and tools for improving soil condition for water retention, increase in nutrient and organic matter (sub-topic A);
  • Proposed methods and solutions for different farming systems should include potential of transferability and scale at which solution can be implemented (sub-topic A).
  • Solutions and tools for increasing farm income within sustainability of long term farming (sub-topic A);
  • Based on the soil sample analysis, provide a set of key indicators for soil assessment in Africa (sub-topic B).
  • Funded activities will contribute to better prevention and minimisation and mitigation of selected vector-borne diseases of livestock (sub-topic C). More specifically they will:
    • enable strengthened surveillance systems/networks and allow an improved view on occurrence and burden of selected disease(s);
    • improve assessment of the risks of introduction and spread among livestock and humans of the selected disease(s) in new areas;
    • provide improved tools for rapid detection of selected pathogens, preferably on-site;
    • improve prevention and control of the selected disease(s);
    • enable a more focused targeting of resources for controlling the selected disease(s);

In the long term: for sub-topic A - improve agricultural production potential and income of farmers and for sub-topic B- provide an open soil dataset with a set of key indicators with methodology for which soil samples and the time line of indicators can be independently repeated in support of monitoring of soil and land degradation. The set of indicators should as much as possible support the relevant SDGs implementation discussion.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Diversifying revenue in rural Africa through bio-based solutions

Proposals shall screen existing bio-based technologies that can be adapted and successfully transferred to rural African contexts. The focus should be on simple, robust technologies that can be operated and maintained locally, and suitable for operation at farm, village or rural community level (including mobile systems). A variety of end-products can be considered, and the business models developed should be sustainable and highly circular. Although bio-fuels or bio-energy can be part of the end-products, projects focussing mainly on these outputs are not eligible.

The selected technologies shall be integrated into one existing agri-food system without compromising food production, and without fundamentally changing established agricultural practices, provided that these are sustainable. The integrated value chain should be widely replicable, based on agricultural by-products or dedicated crops that can be incorporated through multi-cropping or intercropping practices, including agro-forestry. It shall be tested and adapted in real productive conditions, in an appropriate number of testing sites. A thorough assessment shall be performed on the agronomic, environmental, social and economic sustainability of the whole model, including gender issues and an assessment of potential risks. The project shall deliver practice guides and policy recommendations for deployment in new areas.

Projects should ensure solid collaboration between farmers, farmers associations, local industry, technology providers, research centres, extension services and policy makers. Development partners and relevant international organisations should be involved as appropriate. Proposals should include a task to cluster with other relevant projects involved in the EU-Africa R&I Partnership on FNSSA and with the cooperation platform established under SFS-33-2018. Activities should also be foreseen to cluster with the other projects financed under this topic.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 9 million would allow this specific scope to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Proposed activities will deliver new and sustainable bio-based value chains that can be plugged into African agri-food systems. This will help rural communities to:

  • Increase and diversify agricultural income and foster savings and investment.
  • Enhance sustainability and reduce the environmental impact of domestic and economic activities, through e.g. reduced logging or nutrient recycling.
  • Develop new economic activities and sectors, thus creating new jobs and opportunities.

In the longer term results will contribute improving livelihoods, enhancing food security, increasing community resilience, and reducing rural migration.

Projects should also contribute increasing the innovation capacities of participating organisations, and reinforcing the scientific collaboration between the EU and Africa.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Healthy soils for healthy food production

The proposals shall analyse soil remediation strategies and assess sustainable use of fertilizers for agricultural production including social-economic and environmental aspects. The evaluation of tools and methods for increasing the quality of soils and of food produced is included in the scope. Proposals shall also address land degradation aspects and prevention of further degradation. They shall cover the evaluation of agricultural systems (e.g. organic farming, agro-ecology, agroforestry) and their suitability to achieve a good status of soils for sustainable food production. The proposals shall build on the past projects financed under the EU-China cooperation on soil. The proposals will fall under the concept of ‘multi-actor approach’. Proposals shall promote balanced research and innovation cooperation between the EU and China. China-based entities that will participate in joint projects with European partners under Horizon 2020 have also the possibility to apply for funding under the Chinese co-funding mechanism.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Contributions for Chinese participants will come in addition and will be made available by China.

Expected Impact:

  • Identification of tools and methods, mainly at the farm level for soil remediation and balanced fertilizers application;
  • Identification of agricultural system approach that can enhance quality of soils for food production;
  • To raise public awareness about soil as a crucial global resource:
  • Enhance EU-China long-term cooperation in land use optimization for global food and environmental security.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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The Future of Seas and Oceans Flagship Initiative

Proposals shall address one of the following sub-topics: blue cloud services, or ocean observations and forecasting[4], or technologies for observations (in 2020). Actions shall demonstrate integration, capacity and (scientific, economic etc) potential. They shall complement and build on existing observation tools and systems such as EuroGOOS/EOOS, IOOS, GEO/GEOSS, COPERNICUS Marine Service or EMODnet, European research infrastructures such as Euro-Argo ERIC and EMSO ERIC as well as funded H2020 projects such as SeaDataCloud[5]. The interdisciplinary and cross-sectorial nature of the proposal should also apply to training activities improving the professional skills and competencies of workers and supporting the creation of new jobs in the blue economy.

[A] 2019 - Blue Cloud services

Activities shall develop cloud services for applications that are specific for oceans, seas and fresh water bodies and are necessary for marine ecosystems research, conservation, forecasting and innovation in the Blue Economy, building and implementing also Blue Cloud demonstrators as needed. Blue Cloud demonstrators should integrate the Essential Ocean Variables[4], notably the biological variables, including plankton biomass and diversity. They shall build on ongoing efforts (data, tools, EOSC, including its Pilot Blue Cloud, Data and Information Access Services (DIAS) of COPERNICUS, etc) and take account of the parallel EOSC thematic initiatives being developed – such as the Food Cloud Demonstrator.[5] The action shall contribute to unlocking the innovation potential of the Blue Cloud, and demonstrate its potential in promoting the blue economy shortening the time span between research and innovation in frontier fields, such as micro-organisms and genomics-enabled innovations[8]. Activities shall build on existing research infrastructures, take advantage of existing data sharing activities (for example EMODnet), and build on relevant results of past and on-going global, national and EU projects such as SeaDataCloud[9], BlueBridge, the EOSC Pilot and other relevant projects funded under Horizon 2020, including those under Information and Communication Technologies[10]. Proposals should include a task to cluster with other projects financed under this topic and – if possible – with other relevant projects in the field funded by Horizon 2020.

[B] 2019 - Observations and forecasting

The action shall contribute to the development and demonstration of the feasibility of the European component of a future Global Ocean Observing System in line with the G7 Tsukuba Communiqué[4]. It will support activities in the different EU sea basins and the Atlantic Ocean, including the deep sea (below 2000 m), also supporting the needs of food security and safety as outlined in Food 2030[5]. It will also support the future Collaborative Research Action on Oceans of the Belmont Forum[8]. It will underpin forecasting of the state of the ocean, climate change impact and weather. Activities shall include the demonstration of methods and technologies and their integration in existing systems to collect information on the state and variability of European seas and the Atlantic Ocean, including the impact of stressors and marine litter, and underpin sustainable management of the marine environment and its resources (e.g. the effect of networks of protected areas and other spatial protection measures). They shall take account of the needs deriving from the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative[9], from actions such as the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance and its related South Atlantic Flagship, the BLUEMED Initiative, and notably common priorities with the WestMED Initiative[10]and the EUSAIR[16], and actions addressing other European regional seas. The inclusion of forecasting tools (for example to protect aquaculture installations or to inform fisheries decision making) shall be an advantage. Similarly, the sustainability of the approach selected, the integration of innovative observations solutions and existing systems, the smooth storage of data in open access data centres and the improvement of the predictive capability shall be demonstrated. Observations and data handling may also include pilots for Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs)[17] under consideration (for example, nutrients, carbonate, sound and microbes/omics) and variables that are of importance in European regional seas as well as the integration of “augmented” observatories (i.e. genomic-enabled multidisciplinary observatories)[18]. Flow of information across variables and disciplines shall be included. Data collected shall be in line with agreed standards, be openly available via portals (including EMODnet) and feed into the Pilot Blue Cloud (part of the European Open Science Cloud). International cooperation with Third Country partners is encouraged.

Proposals shall include a task to cluster with other projects financed under this topic and – if possible – with other relevant projects in the field funded by Horizon 2020. Possible links with related research and innovation activities supported by the Belmont Forum[19] on Ocean sustainability shall also be considered.

[C] 2020 - Technologies for observations

Proposals shall address i) the demonstration of new and innovative technologies to measure the Essential Ocean Variables (EOV) at all depths, and ii) sensors to measure variables for aquaculture, fisheries, micro and nanoplastics, and marine litter and micro-litter, iii) the demonstration of novel approaches to observe the ocean with multiple underwater, surface, and air vehicles (surface and air vehicles are optional, but underwater must always be included) with a view to realizing the digital ocean. Optional air vehicles could potentially, among others, contribute to the development of fully documented fisheries.

Sensors should measure in-situ biogeochemical and biological EOVs and may include new or emerging EOVs (possibly defined at OceanObs19 or those needed for MSFD Descriptors) as well as technologies needed for “augmented” observatories (i.e. genome-enabled multidisciplinary observatories) to allow deeper investigation of marine biology and ecology and as sites to test the new technology. Demonstrations to advance deep sea oceanography, notably biological oceanography, by combinations of fleets of gliders, fixed stations, research vessels, etc. should reach TRL 6 or higher. Proposals may also cover the standards, protocols and communications needed for the observations, for open access to data, standards for data management and communication. Activities to transfer technologies from other sectors (for example combinations with data from satellites) will also be considered. The proposals shall also address issues such as low-power, miniaturisation, modularity, interoperability and low-cost. The proposals shall take agreed standards (for example Open Geospatial Consortium standards) into account. The development of new vehicles or other platforms are excluded from this call. Data collected (except data for testing) must be prepared in line with commonly agreed standards and be made available in a form suitable for EMODnet and clouds.

This topic is in support of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. Selected projects under this topic as well as projects selected under other topics in H2020 supporting the Plastics Strategy are strongly encouraged to participate in joint activities as appropriate. These joint activities could take the form of clustering of projects, participation in workshops, common exploitation and dissemination etc. The projects should describe how they will be complementary with already existing relevant national activities or other multilateral activities funded by the EU or funded jointly by several Member States. The proposals are expected to demonstrate support to common coordination and dissemination activities. Therefore, the proposals should foresee a dedicated work package for this purpose and earmark appropriate resources. Further details of these coordination activities will be defined during the grant preparation phase with the Commission.

Please note that this topic is part of the lump sum funding pilot scheme. Funding for grants awarded under this topic will take the form of lump sums as defined in Commission Decision C(2017)7151 of 27 October 2017. Details of the lump sum funding pilot scheme are published on the Funding and Tender Portal together with the specific Model Grant Agreement for Lump Sums applicable.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 6 million for sub-topic [A], EUR 12 million for sub-topic [B] and EUR 9 million for sub-topic [C] would allow this specific challenge to be adequately addressed. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Contributing to the ongoing implementation of the Galway and Belèm Statements and of EU policies such as the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, the Circular Economy Strategy, the European Open Science Cloud Initiative, the Blue Growth Strategy, the Common Fisheries Policy, the EU Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the International Ocean Governance Communication and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, activities will:

In the short-term:

  • Support the implementation of the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans initiative, the Paris Climate Agreement, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and the needs of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
  • Deliver cloud services with work starting at technology readiness level (TRL) between 4 and 5 and achieving TRL between 6 and 7 or higher (sub-topic A).
  • Achieve at least TRL 6 for ocean observations' systems and tools (sub-topic B and C).
  • Contribute to regularly measure 50% of biological and biogeochemical EOVs, including in the sea below 2000 m, and predict negative impacts of ocean acidification and other selected stressors to take timely preventive measures, notably to protect aquaculture resources (sub-topic B and C).
  • Lay the foundations for and contribute to the sustainable management and protection of marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts (UN SDG 14).

In the medium-term:

  • Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health (UN SDG 14).
  • Improve forecasting of climate changes, weather and ocean conditions to protect human activities, in support of UN SDG 14 and other relevant goals, and of the objectives of related conventions (for example on biodiversity).
  • Shorten the time span between research and innovation and foster economic value in the blue economy.
  • Improve the professional skills and competences of those working and being trained to work within the blue economy and in the context of open data sharing.
  • Contribute to policymaking in research, innovation and technology.
  • Increase data sharing and increase integration of data.
  • Contribute to determining the distribution and fate of marine litter and microplastics (sub-topic C).

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Fisheries in the full ecosystem context

Building on related work done in previous research and innovation framework programmes and in other EU-funded programmes, research activities shall fill in knowledge gaps which hinder an efficient, ecosystem-based approach to the management of fisheries (e.g. biological characteristics and assessment of marine habitats; links of environmental factors and abundance, health, growth, reproduction etc. of fish stocks and human health and consumption etc., taking into account sex and gender differences if and where relevant; relations of different trophic levels in the food chain; efficiency of management measures protecting the ecosystem, interactions with and impacts from/on other uses of the sea). The proposals shall integrate existing and new knowledge in modelling or other applied tools/methods which can be used by scientific advisory bodies in sustainable fisheries management.

Following the principles of responsible researchand innovation, proposals will ensure that societal players work together during the whole research and innovation process. Proposals should also test the efficiency of the proposed solutions across Europe.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 8 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

In the framework of UN SDGs (1, 2, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14), the Common Fisheries Policy, the Food 2030 policy blueprint for food and nutrition security, the BLUEMED strategic research and innovation agenda and the Atlantic research and innovation cooperation, proposals will:

  • Improve integrated understanding of environmental impacts on marine ecosystem and food web structure and reduce uncertainties in future projections;
  • Improve fisheries management assisting EU Member States to comply in a meaningful way with the requirements of European and international marine related legislation;
  • Contribute to conserve and restore fish stocks, and to regulate harvesting of fishing and end overfishing including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices, and to contribute to the conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems;
  • Provide improved tools for ecosystem-based fisheries management which are tested, effective, discussed with scientific bodies in charge of advising on stock, fisheries and ecosystem dynamics and that are fit for the 21st century;
  • Ensure that the ecosystem-based approach to the sustainable use of seas can be applied by different public bodies and in the framework of different public policies;
  • Provide improved alignment of research and innovation processes and their outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of society;
  • Contribute to a thriving fishing sector and to a thriving European blue economy, including improved professional skills and competences;

In the medium term:

  • Improve the professional skills and competences of those working and being trained to work within the blue economy.
  • Contribute to policymaking in research, innovation and technology.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Towards a productive, healthy, resilient, sustainable and highly-valued Black Sea

Proposals shall provide solutions for accurate predictive tools and capabilities to tackle the increasingly complex array of multi-stressors and their poorly understood interactions, including their connection with rivers flowing into the Black Sea.

Proposals shall address the fundamental Black Sea research challenges, that have been identified so far and others that may be defined as the priority-setting work proceeds, taking into account policy documents such as the MSFD reports of Romania and Bulgaria and the Strategic Action Plan of the Bucharest Convention. Proposals shall:

  • Develop innovative multi-disciplinary research, building on past and on-going regional, international, as well national and EU projects/initiatives, including research infrastructures, data sharing mechanisms that will generate the knowledge needed to increase ecosystem resilience (e.g. SEAS-Era ERA-NET, PERSEUS, COCONET, SENTINEL, Marine Copernicus Monitoring Environment Service, European research infrastructures such as EMBRC, Euro-Argo ERIC, ICOS ERIC and EMSO ERIC, Black Sea Economic Cooperation, DANUBIS-RI etc.);
  • Provide new knowledge to assess and mitigate the impacts of global climate change and the multiple natural and human-induced stressors in the Black Sea from land-sea interface to the deep basin.

Furthermore, proposals should provide scientific support to very early development of emerging start-ups in the region.

All data collected must be handled in line with commonly agreed standards and be compatible with EMODnet and clouds.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 9 million would allow this specific challenge to be adequately addressed. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Activities will support the implementation of the MSFD and the Bucharest Convention, marine and maritime research and innovation to create synergies, increase economic benefits, and reduce hazards for prosperous, resilient and empowered communities deriving interest from the Black Sea basin.

In the short term, activities will develop:

  • sustainable smart observation and monitoring systems, and assessment frameworks promoting governance for a sustainable ecosystem, mitigation of climate change impact and other stressors, and accurate forecasting for adaptive management;
  • a harmonised set of working methods, standards and procedures on all aspects of coastal and marine research. This would provide compatible data, information and knowledge at the sea-basin level;
  • facilities for promoting start-ups oriented towards the circular and blue economies in the region and
  • new marine-based technologies by harnessing the Industry 4.0 for the Black Sea to promote safe and sustainable economic growth of the marine and maritime sectors, the conservation and valorisation of marine cultural heritage.

In the medium term:

  • Improve the professional skills and competences of those working and being trained to work within the blue economy.
  • Contribute to policymaking in research, innovation and technology.

Activities will promote education and capacity building:

  • training and utilisation and transfer of technologies and knowledge for established and new marine and maritime-related jobs;
  • educational and vocational youth mobility related to the blue economy among the countries in the region;
  • enhanced science-policy dialogue in formulating coastal and marine policies and programmes;
  • ocean-engaged citizens and policy-makers by providing high-level scientific output, contributing to a clean, plastic-free, healthy and productive Black Sea.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Connecting consumers and producers in innovative agri-food supply chains

Activities should look into concrete ways for producers to collaborate on opportunities which are both consumer driven and conducive to improving farmers' incomes (e.g. economies of scale, smarter distribution, reduction of environmental footprints, territorial approaches etc.), building on a set of good examples of efficient and applicable approaches to do so. Proposals shall collect and develop good practices for mutually beneficial cooperation, integrating the needs of primary producers and consumers in a hands-on approach. Proposals shall pay particular attention to the calculation of costs and margins for each link in the supply chain. Activities may cover infrastructure and logistics for efficient access to consumers such as smart joint logistics of producers' groups, outsourcing of transport to entrepreneurs sharing the values of the producers, optimising sales order picking and transport routes, regaining consumers' trust by shortening chains, direct sales and collaboration, etc. This should lead to a collection of good examples showing efficient access to markets, with a view to reducing costs for intermediaries as much as possible. Proposals should help to develop identity of primary producers and market position e.g. through unique selling points. They may touch upon on incentives from grassroots' initiatives like local food communities, agri-food clusters or food policy councils, the role of communities of practice and of knowledge hubs and even deal with legal constraints in so far as they support the envisaged impacts of this topic. Simultaneously, educational aspects may also be covered, such as connecting producers with consumers via open days, producer events, culinary events with local producers, food education in school curricula, celebrating local food heroes, promotion of local food labels, etc., leading to a set of concrete examples of education and awareness raising activities. Moreover, activities should support development of new public procurement approaches for offices, schools, hospitals, etc. interactively building smaller tenders to enable provision of local and seasonal food. Activities should make contracting authorities share experiences, create a dialogue with suppliers to attune supply and demand, and develop support mechanisms for smaller suppliers to meet tender requirements. Proposals shall fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach' with a consortium based on a balanced mix of actors with complementary knowledge clearly including farmers/foresters, farmers' groups, advisors, contracting authorities and policy makers. The project's strategy, as well as related projects RUR-06-2020 and RUR-07-2020 should be coordinated with the SCAR AKIS Strategic Working Group (SWG) with a view to cross-fertilise between projects under this topic, in order to help sharing conclusions of the project with the competent policy makers and national or regional authorities. Projects should deliver a substantial number of "practice abstracts" in the common EIP-AGRI format, including audio-visual material as much as possible.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Developing tailor-made and practical support to set up innovative supply chains creating win-wins for producers and consumers, including through a collection of examples of good practices, illustrating mutually beneficial cooperation and a fair share for primary producers;
  • Integrating the needs of primary producers and consumers in a hands-on approach in particular by minimising margins taken by intermediaries;
  • Improved sharing of experience between contracting authorities on tendering healthy and fresh food, with a view to connecting consumers with producers in a mutually beneficial way for the longer term.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Innovative agri-food value chains: boosting sustainability-oriented competitiveness

Building on the state of the art, the proposals shall map and assess existing innovations, and (re)design and pilot innovative systemic approaches to agri-food value chains that unlock their full potential to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability and foster cooperation, notably involving farmers. The innovative approaches to agri-food value chains should combine diverse forms of innovation, for instance, technological, social, organisational, managerial and institutional, etc.

Activities shall assess and validate the benefits of pilot activities for actors involved with a view to promote them as examples of best practice. Proposals shall apply comprehensive methods, quantitative and qualitative, to assess and benchmark economic, environmental and social performance of the innovative approaches along entire agri-food value chains. Particular attention should be paid to the potential of the innovative agri-food value chains to reduce trade-offs and to boost synergies between the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability as well as to the fair distribution of costs, benefits and risks among all actors involved in the agri-food value chains. Activities should scrutinize factors enabling and hindering innovative approaches. Recommendations, best practice guidelines and toolkits for promising innovative approaches to agri-food value chains shall be developed and disseminated to reach broad audiences likely to take up and adapt the identified innovative approaches to agri-food value chains.

Proposals shall fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach', engaging relevant actors (including those traditionally less involved in research and innovation), such as farmers and farmers’ organizations, input and food industry, in particular SMEs, traders and distributors, food related services, consumers, environmental and social non-governmental organisations as well as public authorities, in collaboration on redesigning the agri-food value chains towards common sustainability objectives.

To maximize impact across Europe and to ensure wide dissemination of the project results, proposals should foresee a dedicated work package for cooperation with other selected projects under topic RUR-06-2020 and earmark appropriate resources. Cooperation with other selected projects under topic RUR-07-2020 is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The innovation action will result in:

  • long-term, win-win economic relationships between actors from agri-food chains which effectively collaborate towards common sustainability objectives;
  • better understanding and fairer distribution of costs, benefits and risks amongst the actors involved in the innovative agri-food chains which are piloted, tested and demonstrated;
  • a portfolio of innovative sustainable business models well-functioning in operational environment;
  • strengthened farmers' position in agri-food value chains through innovative approaches that enhance transparency, information flow and management capacity;
  • enhanced positive socio-economic and environmental impacts of agri-food value chains.

In the long term, the innovations action will contribute to more competitive, efficient, resilient, sustainable and better performing agri-food value chains.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Reducing food losses and waste along the agri-food value chain

Building on the state of the art, proposals shall identify, validate and demonstrate innovative, effective ways to reduce food losses and waste, with a focus on preventing avoidable losses and waste of perishable products, all along the agri-food value chain from primary production down to final household consumption and disposal. Proposals should consider diverse forms of innovation, e.g., technological, social, organizational, managerial and institutional, etc. that allow actors to better organize and coordinate their activities, to monitor conditions, to eliminate the many intricate direct and indirect causes of inefficiency, and, hence, to discard as little food as possible all along the agri-food value chains without compromising on food quality, including safety, and sustainability. When applicable, proposals should address requirements from relevant EU regulatory frameworks, including pre-market approval.

In order to test and demonstrate efficacy of the introduced innovative approaches and to further improve understanding of the root causes behind the current situation, proposals shall include a task to measure and monitor food losses and waste (and associated economic and environmental costs) along the agri-food value chains. Any methods used for this purpose should be compatible with the EU legislation on measurement and reporting data on food losses and waste (to be adopted by the 31 of March 2019), but may be complemented with measurement of materials not covered by the legislation (e.g., farm losses). Activities should scrutinize factors enabling and hindering innovative approaches. Recommendations, best practice guidelines and toolkits for promising innovative approaches to the reduction of food losses and waste shall be developed, taking into consideration the underlying socio-cultural factors and gender aspects, when relevant.

Proposals should foresee activities to inform diverse actors along the agri-food chain, including consumers and policymakers, about the innovative solutions to food losses and waste, influencing their behaviour in relation to this issue, and supporting policy development and implementation. Proposals should seek complementarities with selected projects under topic RUR-07-2020 and other relevant EU projects, as well as contribute to relevant initiatives at EU level. To maximize impact across Europe and to ensure wide dissemination of the project results, proposals should foresee a dedicated work package for cooperation with selected projects under topic RUR-07-2020 and earmark appropriate resources. Cooperation with other selected projects under topic RUR-06-2020 is also encouraged.

Proposals shall fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach', ensuring solid collaboration between relevant actors, such as farmers or farmers associations, agri-food industry (including small businesses), wholesalers and retailers, food related services, consumers and policymakers.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

In the short and medium term, proposed innovative activities will lead to a significant reduction of food losses and waste along the entire agri-food chain, and:

  • increase the capacity and engagement of actors along the agri-food chain to collaborate with each other towards the common objective to reduce food losses and waste;
  • raise awareness on the value of food and increase shared responsibility for food losses and waste prevention among all actors of the agri-food chain;
  • expand the portfolio of innovative technologies, added-value products, business models and modes of cooperation between actors across the agri-food chain with large potential for market replication and reduction of food losses and waste; the TRL of the innovative solutions can vary at the start of the project, but should achieve at least TRL 6-7;
  • contribute to and/or improve understanding of the root causes behind the current situation and measurement of food losses and waste to be taken by Member States as laid down in the recently amended Waste Framework Directive.

In the long-term the innovation action will:

  • identify adequate measures to promote the reduction of food losses and waste;
  • increase resource use efficiency and reduce adverse environmental impacts, including emissions of greenhouse gases;
  • reduce economic costs associated with food loss and waste, create jobs and increase competitiveness of the agri-food chain.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Closing nutrient cycles

Proposals shall address inter-regional and intra-regional imbalances through effective nutrient recovery from by-products of the agri-food or forestry sectors, or from waste water and sewage sludge, and conversion into novel fertilisers.

Proposals should address only one of the following sub-topics:

A.[2018] Understanding properties and impacts of bio-based fertilisers (RIA)

The project shall generate a knowledge basis that could support policy decisions related to novel fertilisers based on organic resources. On the basis of products that are currently available or under development, a comprehensive set of potential environmental impacts shall be identified and assessed across the fertiliser value chain, along with criteria related to their agronomic performance, safety and quality. Parameters and reference values shall be proposed as a basis for future policies related to new organic-based fertilisers. The project shall also propose reliable analytical measurement and testing methods for future compliance checks. An analysis of nutrient imbalances between regions in the EU shall be carried out, and the viability and sustainability of nutrient flows between regions through new organic-based fertilisers (including the understanding of logistic costs) shall be assessed.

B.[2019] Bio-based fertilisers from animal manure (IA)

Projects shall demonstrate processes for recovery of mineral nutrients and production of novel fertilisers from animal manure. Proposals shall perform a thorough analysis of the state of the art, and demonstrate that the activities proposed go beyond past or ongoing research, without overlaps. Technologies that are currently under development shall be further improved, and possibly integrated, to produce high quality end-products. Proposals shall address end-product marketability, safety, sustainability including emissions of greenhouse gasses and pollutants, and compliance with relevant EU regulations. Their suitability and acceptability under the organic farming regulatory framework shall also be analysed. An integrated assessment of the business model (economic, agronomic, social and environmental) shall be performed. The whole value chain shall be demonstrated to a near-commercial scale (TRL 6-7). Proposals shall fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach'[5] including relevant actors such as agri-food industries, technology providers, research centres, end-users (farmers and farmer associations), or public administration.

C.[2020] Bio-based fertilisers from by-products of the agri-food, fisheries, aquaculture or forestry sectors (IA)

Projects shall demonstrate processes for recovery of mineral nutrients and production of novel fertilisers from by-products of the agri-food, fisheries, aquaculture or forestry sectors, excluding animal manure, water and sewage sludge (covered in scopes B and D). Proposals should demonstrate that the activities proposed go beyond past or ongoing research, without overlaps. Technologies that are currently under development should be further improved, and possibly integrated, to produce high quality end-products. Proposals shall address end product marketability, safety, sustainability including emissions of greenhouse gasses and pollutants, and compliance with relevant EU regulations. Their suitability and acceptability under the organic farming regulatory framework should also be analysed. An integrated assessment of the business model (economic, agronomic, social and environmental) shall be performed. The whole value chain shall be demonstrated to a near-commercial scale (TRL 6-7). Proposals shall fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach', including relevant actors such as agri-food industries, technology providers, research centres, end-users (farmers and farmer associations), or public administration.

D.[2020] Bio-based fertilisers from waste water and sewage sludge (RIA)

Projects shall develop techniques for nutrients recovery from waste water streams such as urban and industrial waste water, sewage sludge from waste water treatment plants, brine from water desalination or demineralisation plants. Building on related work under previous research framework programmes and other EU-funded programmes, projects should design and test techniques for nutrients recovery and subsequent mechanical, chemical or biological processes to upgrade recovered nutrients. The monitoring and removal or mitigation of contaminants affecting food safety, human and ecosystem health (e.g. pharmaceuticals in sewage sludge) in recovered nutrients should be key in the process design. A life-cycle assessment should be carried out in order to evaluate the environmental impacts of processes along the whole value chain, including waste/residues, and products’ environmental performances. Regulation issues should be part of the investigation. Involvement of governments at different levels as regards regulation issues, regional/local strategies and territorial development plans is an asset.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 6 million for sub-topic A and D and EUR 8 million for sub-topics B and C would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Proposals for sub-topics A, B and C should include a task to cluster with other projects financed under this topic, under topic SFS-39-2019 and - if possible - with other relevant projects in the field funded by Horizon 2020 (including under the BBI JU). For sub-topics B and C, participation of partners from CELAC countries is encouraged.

Expected Impact:

Proposals are expected to provide the technologies needed to develop a new generation of commercial, sustainable and safe fertilisers based on organic by-products, and the scientific knowledge needed to frame their use. This will help to:

  • set up a coherent policy framework for the sustainable production and use of organic-based fertilisers (sub-topic A);
  • replace non-renewable mineral fertilisers, hence reducing external dependence and risks related to depletion (sub-topics A, B, C and D);
  • balance nutrient concentrations between or within regions, thus increasing resource efficiency (sub-topics A, B and C);
  • reduce the environmental impacts linked to the dispersion of nutrients present in waste flows, to the emissions of greenhouse gases, or to the production of fossil-based fertilisers (sub-topics A, B, C and D);
  • develop new business models creating value from agri-food, fisheries, aquaculture or forestry by-products (sub-topics B and C) and from water sector and the industrial sector subject to waste water treatment, including desalination or demineralisation plants (sub-topic D).

In the long term, this should contribute to a thriving, sustainable and circular bio-economy, the development of new business models that are synergic with other economic sectors, and therefore to the creation of wealth and quality jobs in rural areas.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Thematic networks compiling knowledge ready for practice

The themes must focus on the most urgent needs which farmers and foresters experience. The activities of thematic networks are summarising, sharing and presenting, - in a language that is easy to understand and is targeted to farmers and foresters - existing best practices and research findings that are close to being put into practice, but not sufficiently known or used by practitioners. The specific themes of the networks can be chosen in a 'bottom-up' way. First and foremost, they must tackle the most urgent needs experienced by farmers and foresters. If it is appropriate to solve these needs, the themes can cover sectoral or cross-sectoral issues, organisational or management solutions. The activities should pay attention to the cost/benefit aspects of the specific practices collected and summarised. A comprehensive description of the state of current farming practices relative to the chosen theme should explain the added value of the proposal and the relevance of the theme for the farmer. The proposal should also explain how it avoids duplication with ongoing or completed projects and networks. In order to better reach and capture knowledge from the targeted farmers/foresters, the networks may organise 'cross-fertilisation' through sub-networks covering, for example, a region, a language or a production system.

The result of the project should be an extensive range of useful, applicable and appealing end-user material for farmers and foresters. This information should be easy to access and understand, and feed into the existing dissemination channels most consulted by farmers and foresters at national or regional level. It should also be provided to the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) 'Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability' in the common "practice abstract" format. Proposals should fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach'[1], with preferably a project duration of three years and a consortium based on a balanced mix of actors with complementary knowledge clearly activating farmers/foresters, farmers' groups and advisors. Wherever possible, details on the synergies with relevant EIP Operational Groups and interactive innovation groups operating in the context of the EIP-AGRI are expected, and, if useful, with other European Structural and Investment Fund projects. In the exceptional event that minor testing of specific solutions would be needed, a maximum of 20% of the project budget may be used for this purpose.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 2 million per project would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Activities must

  • contribute to the collection and distribution of easily accessible practice-oriented knowledge on the thematic area chosen, including delivering as many “practice abstracts” in the common EIP-AGRI format as possible and as much audio-visual material as possible.
  • conserve the practical knowledge for the long term - beyond the project period – in particular by using the main trusted dissemination channels which farmers/foresters consult most often, and also serve education and training purposes;
  • increase the flow of practical information between farmers/foresters in Europe in a geographically balanced way, creating spill-overs and taking account of the differences between territories;
  • achieve greater user acceptance of collected solutions and a more intensive dissemination of existing knowledge.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Closing nutrient cycles

Proposals shall address inter-regional and intra-regional imbalances through effective nutrient recovery from by-products of the agri-food or forestry sectors, or from waste water and sewage sludge, and conversion into novel fertilisers.

Proposals should address only one of the following sub-topics:

A.[2018] Understanding properties and impacts of bio-based fertilisers (RIA)

The project shall generate a knowledge basis that could support policy decisions related to novel fertilisers based on organic resources[1]. On the basis of products that are currently available or under development, a comprehensive set of potential environmental impacts shall be identified and assessed across the fertiliser value chain[2], along with criteria related to their agronomic performance, safety and quality. Parameters and reference values shall be proposed as a basis for future policies related to new organic-based fertilisers. The project shall also propose reliable analytical measurement and testing methods for future compliance checks. An analysis of nutrient imbalances between regions in the EU shall be carried out, and the viability and sustainability of nutrient flows between regions through new organic-based fertilisers (including the understanding of logistic costs) shall be assessed.

B.[2019] Bio-based fertilisers from animal manure (IA)

Projects shall demonstrate processes for recovery of mineral nutrients and production of novel fertilisers from animal manure. Proposals shall perform a thorough analysis of the state of the art, and demonstrate that the activities proposed go beyond past or ongoing research, without overlaps. Technologies that are currently under development shall be further improved, and possibly integrated, to produce high quality end-products. Proposals shall address end-product marketability, safety, sustainability including emissions of greenhouse gasses and pollutants, and compliance with relevant EU regulations. Their suitability and acceptability under the organic farming regulatory framework shall also be analysed. An integrated assessment of the business model (economic, agronomic, social and environmental) shall be performed. The whole value chain shall be demonstrated to a near-commercial scale (TRL 6-7). Proposals shall fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach´ including relevant actors such as agri-food industries, technology providers, research centres, end-users (farmers and farmer associations), or public administration.

C.[2020] Bio-based fertilisers from by-products of the agri-food, fisheries, aquaculture or forestry sectors (IA)

Projects shall demonstrate processes for recovery of mineral nutrients and production of novel fertilisers from by-products of the agri-food, fisheries, aquaculture or forestry sectors, excluding animal manure, water and sewage sludge (covered in scopes B and D). Proposals should demonstrate that the activities proposed go beyond past or ongoing research, without overlaps. Technologies that are currently under development should be further improved, and possibly integrated, to produce high quality end-products. Proposals shall address end product marketability, safety, sustainability including emissions of greenhouse gasses and pollutants, and compliance with relevant EU regulations. Their suitability and acceptability under the organic farming regulatory framework should also be analysed. An integrated assessment of the business model (economic, agronomic, social and environmental) shall be performed. The whole value chain shall be demonstrated to a near-commercial scale (TRL 6-7). Proposals shall fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach', including relevant actors such as agri-food industries, technology providers, research centres, end-users (farmers and farmer associations), or public administration.

D.[2020] Bio-based fertilisers from waste water and sewage sludge (RIA)

Projects shall develop techniques for nutrients recovery from waste water streams such as urban and industrial waste water, sewage sludge from waste water treatment plants, brine from water desalination or demineralisation plants. Building on related work under previous research framework programmes and other EU-funded programmes, projects should design and test techniques for nutrients recovery and subsequent mechanical, chemical or biological processes to upgrade recovered nutrients. The monitoring and removal or mitigation of contaminants affecting food safety, human and ecosystem health (e.g. pharmaceuticals in sewage sludge) in recovered nutrients should be key in the process design. A life-cycle assessment should be carried out in order to evaluate the environmental impacts of processes along the whole value chain, including waste/residues, and products’ environmental performances. Regulation issues should be part of the investigation. Involvement of governments at different levels as regards regulation issues, regional/local strategies and territorial development plans is an asset.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 6 million for sub-topic A and D and EUR 8 million for sub-topics B and C would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Proposals for sub-topics A, B and C should include a task to cluster with other projects financed under this topic, under topic SFS-39-2019 and - if possible - with other relevant projects in the field funded by Horizon 2020 (including under the BBI JU). For sub-topics B and C, participation of partners from CELAC countries is encouraged.

Expected Impact:

Proposals are expected to provide the technologies needed to develop a new generation of commercial, sustainable and safe fertilisers based on organic by-products, and the scientific knowledge needed to frame their use. This will help to:

  • set up a coherent policy framework for the sustainable production and use of organic-based fertilisers (sub-topic A);
  • replace non-renewable mineral fertilisers, hence reducing external dependence and risks related to depletion (sub-topics A, B, C and D);
  • balance nutrient concentrations between or within regions, thus increasing resource efficiency (sub-topics A, B and C);
  • reduce the environmental impacts linked to the dispersion of nutrients present in waste flows, to the emissions of greenhouse gases, or to the production of fossil-based fertilisers (sub-topics A, B, C and D);
  • develop new business models creating value from agri-food, fisheries, aquaculture or forestry by-products (sub-topics B and C) and from water sector and the industrial sector subject to waste water treatment, including desalination or demineralisation plants (sub-topic D).

In the long term, this should contribute to a thriving, sustainable and circular bio-economy, the development of new business models that are synergic with other economic sectors, and therefore to the creation of wealth and quality jobs in rural areas.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Sustainable wood value chains

A. [2019] Building with wood (IA)

Proposals shall develop and test new technologies and environmental friendly solutions for the use of wood-based materials in the (re)construction and/or retrofitting of buildings. Proposals should also explore options for building with wood in combination with composite/hybrid materials, linkages with other nature-based solutions, make use of ICT, and consider LCA and carbon accounting, ‘environmental documentation’ (i.e. product definitions, standards and construction codes), performance standards, public policies and regulations, consumer perception and engagement/co-creation. Activities could include limited research and shall produce plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services. For this purpose they may include prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, large-scale product validation and market replication. Proposals shall ensure that relevant actors (researchers, citizens, policy makers from urban/rural areas, businesses, architects, site-managers, etc.) work together during the whole research and innovation process in order to better align the process and its outcomes with the societal values, needs and expectations.

B. [2020] Resilient forest systems (RIA)

Proposals shall aim at enhancing the adaptation of forest ecosystems (both primary and secondary) and forest production systems to the growing societal demands for forest products (i.e. wood and non-wood) and ecosystem services, considering trade-offs, climate change and vulnerability to natural disturbances (e.g. storms, droughts, pathogens, wild fires). Restoration of degraded ecosystems and natural expansion of forests, considering the long-term rural development, climate change mitigation objectives and biodiversity enhancement are also in the scope. Proposals shall encompass a varied range of forest and site types and tailored forest management systems representative of Europe's biogeographic regions. Proposals shall cover multiple parts of the production cycle and related operations, from regeneration/planting to harvesting, shall consider jointly supply (i.e. primary production) and demand (i.e. socio-economic) factors, and are expected to be interdisciplinary[4] in nature.

Both sub-topics (A and B) are suitable for INCO and SMEs participation, and are expected to integrate technology with SSH and RRI aspects.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of the order of EUR 10 million for sub-topic A and 5 million for sub-topic B would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

In the framework of SDG 9, 11, 13 and 15, , the EU's Forest Strategy 2013, the Circular Economy Package 2015, the Paris Agreement 2015, the EU's Bioeconomy Strategy 2018, and the EU Action Plan for Nature, People and the Economy, proposals are expected to assess how they will contribute to:

Increased resource and/or energy efficiency and added value and minimising pollution and the environmental footprint (emissions of GHG and air pollutants included) in the construction sector in the cities, by specific amounts/proportions to be specified in the proposals, by 2030 [sub-topic A];

Enhanced connectivity of rural-urban areas and their overall contribution to a resilient, circular and competitive, forest-based bioeconomy, by 2025 [sub-topic A];

Increased long-term resilience of forest production systems and associated value chains to climate/environmental change and societal demand [sub-topic B];

Protection and restoration of biodiversity of primary and secondary forest[sub-topic B];

Enhanced contribution of the forest-based sector to long-term climate change mitigation, adaptation and rural development objectives [sub-topics A & B];

Also in the long-term, prompt a sizeable positive change to European landscapes and economies, by keeping the countryside green and serving to make cities greener, and increasing the share of both decent and green jobs [sub-topics A & B].

Advance available solutions from TRL 4-5 to TRL 6-7 for sub-topic A and from TRL 3-4 to TRL 5 sub-topic B.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Agricultural markets and international trade in the context of sustainability objectives

Proposals will analyse and further develop robust methods and related indicators to assess the impacts (positive and negative) of agricultural international trade on the environment and society. It will include analysis of options through which trade policies can contribute to achieving the SDGs and implementing climate and biodiversity agreements while securing the achievement of EU objectives regarding a fair standard of living for farmers and poverty eradication, which remains the primary objective of development policy under the new European Consensus. Work will look in particular to relevant supply chains in the agriculture sector involved both in import and export for the European Union in relation to its major agricultural trading partners. In addition, a contrasting analysis from the African continent perspective - the world’s poorest continent (Sub-Saharan Africa was hosting more than half the world’s poor in 2013) – could be proposed. Environmental impacts as carbon leakage and other concepts will be analysed regarding agricultural trade. Activities will build upon previous studies including the work done on the impact of EU consumption on deforestation and related to the target 6 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy (action 17b) regarding the enhanced contribution of trade policy to conserving biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services. Projects will design transition paths in order to develop trade relations in sustainable and fair ways and as “equals” (SOTEU2018) while considering the role that labour plays in overall production cost and the impact of the internalisation of environmental costs on the competitiveness of agricultural productions.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of 4 million EUR would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • More evidence-based policies and improved civil society dialogue building on improved data, analysis, and methods;
  • Improved coherence between EU policies (Agriculture, Environment, Trade, Climate, Food security, Development…);
  • Best practices and policies for multilateral trade contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals and global agreements on environmental and climate challenges.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Strengthening the European agro-ecological research and innovation ecosystem

Proposals shall develop the framework for a European network of agro-ecological living labs (LL) and research infrastructures (RI). Such a framework should make it possible to grasp long-term agro-ecological processes at landscape level and would accelerate the transition to sustainable farming practices by promoting place-based innovation in a co-creative environment. Proposals shall map existing European RI, LL and similar research or open innovation activities that contribute to knowledge creation and further deployment in practice of agro-ecological production processes. They should build on the work of past and ongoing RI and LL initiatives, in and outside of the agricultural domain, and analyse how to develop relevant approaches for agro-ecological production systems. Proposals should take into account the results of national and regional projects, networks or LL launched under Horizon 2020 and previous European research and innovation framework programmes and RI related to agro-ecosystems. They should describe in detail the functioning of these initiatives and their existing capacities. They should analyse the potential to create new initiatives as well as the various methods and approaches followed, and identify potential synergies and trade-offs between RI and LL in order to propose a common set of activities to connect them. Proposals should also analyse how various stakeholders (such as farmers, up- and down-stream businesses, consumers and citizens) are engaged in these initiatives and make recommendations regarding their engagement in future initiatives. Knowledge and data management issues will be taken into consideration in particular to enable comparison and exchanges at European level.

Proposals should analyse how existing funding sources (including Horizon 2020, rural and regional development funds) are mobilised to support agro-ecological research and innovation initiatives approaches.

They should explore the interest of regional and national funders in supporting such activities in the long run and provide recommendations on the funding sources that could be combined and under which conditions (e.g. application requirements, monitoring and evaluation), looking for synergies and coherence. Proposals shall identify needs for training on LL/RI methods. They should prepare a training package matching the needs of various actors and pilot training activities for potential actors to be involved in future activities.

Involvement of Member States’ authorities is encouraged in order to ensure a strategic and long-term approach, along with a broad coverage of Europe. Transdisciplinary and integration of SSH and RRI are also encouraged. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU up to EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

This topic aims at mapping, analysing and providing recommendations to strengthen the European agro-ecological research and innovation ecosystem. In the short term, the project should:

  • provide a structured framework for the development of an initiative that develops synergies in this area at European level;
  • increase connections in the agro-ecological community and, if mature, prepare the community for the implementation of this initiative;
  • prepare the funders and raise their capacity to mobilise complementary funding sources;
  • improve the human and social capital as well as skills and methods for the development of living labs and research infrastructures in the field of agro-ecology;
  • improve capacity to tailor policy interventions to specific situations based on stronger evidence.

In the medium/long term, the project should provide for research and innovation projects and initiatives to benefit from the work of the network in terms of engagement of the relevant actors as well as availability of long-term-series and landscape level data regarding agro-ecological processes.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Developing long-term monitoring and evaluation frameworks for the Common Agricultural Policy

The project will support the long-term development of monitoring and evaluation frameworks for agricultural policy. Insofar as it is possible these frameworks will be based on context, results and impact indicators and reflect the need for modernisation, simplification and accuracy. The project will establish an inventory of indicators, proxies and data needs which would allow for a better targeting of agricultural policy, in social, environmental and economic terms. The consortium will rely on the input of the relevant scientific disciplines and administrations.

The project should explore how the identified data needs can be met. A strong scientific basis, combined with technical knowledge and support from the ICT and other relevant sectors should allow the exploration of advanced and innovative data capturing methods. These methods will: (a) rely on a combination of different sources, for example combining satellite data with on the ground sensors or data captured by drones; (b) where possible be automated and/or rely on platforms, sensors or other systems already in place, while anticipating future needs; (c) respect other economic or social needs such as a good cost-benefit ratio and respect for privacy.

The project will identify the most promising pathways for managing future data flows between the private sector, Member States and the EU (a) aiming at a mutualisation of resources and (b) allowing for a better use of the data and information beyond policy monitoring and evaluation. Needs at farm level should also be covered, for instance enhanced possibilities for e-declarations, one-stop data entries, integration of field and administrative data, or on-the-fly automatic information retrieval from clouds.

The project will take into account existing relevant initiatives and methods and consider what is developed by the following projects: Recap, BEACON, CAPSELLA, SENSAGRI, Sen4Cap, as well as the projects selected under RUR-03-2018: Contracts for effective and lasting delivery of agri-environmental goods, RUR-20-2018: Digital solutions and e-tools to modernise the CAP and DT-ICT-08-2019: Agricultural digital integration platforms.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Support the development monitoring and evaluation frameworks of the CAP but also of other EU and national policies (e.g. environmental policies):

  • in order to achieve a better targeting of policy measures;
  • establish an inventory of data needs and potential solutions to fill in these needs;
  • develop a roadmap and explore a potential initiative with Member States on research and innovation in the domain
  • further harmonise Member States monitoring and evaluation frameworks, including indicators, the underpinning data flows and measuring methods.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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A comprehensive vision for urban agriculture

The proposals should build on knowledge and data created through recent studies and former projects and address the exchange of knowledge and experience in urban farming. In line with the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation, the proposals shall bring together actors (academia, municipal and regional authorities, urban farmers, businesses, citizen associations, etc.) representing various approaches to urban agriculture across a representative set of urban locations and countries (including least developed countries). Proposals should consider the variety of contexts and motivations that exist, and encompass all the dimensions of urban agriculture, such as:

  • Role in urban development and landscapes, and potential synergies and conflicts with other land uses and economic activities, including notably urban sprawl;
  • Environmental benefits (biodiversity, green infrastructure, climate, etc.);
  • Social benefits, including income generation, development of social capital within cities, effects on gender balance, or improved urban-rural connections;
  • New business models based on urban agriculture;
  • Improvements on food security, accessibility, safety and quality as well as food literacy and diets.

The formulation of guidance and recommendations to stakeholders and policy makers, including on means to engage European citizens in urban agriculture, are included in the scope.

Cooperation with relevant projects in this domain under Horizon 2020 (including notably the project funded under FNR-07-2020) or other programmes is essential. Where relevant, the consortium should establish links with actors and networks around the world that are active in this domain.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts

Expected Impact:

Activities should contribute creating a community of stakeholders, fostering a structured dialogue and developing a holistic and balanced vision of urban agriculture. In the short term, this will help to:

  • Develop and deploy urban agriculture initiatives by urban stakeholders adapted to a variety of contexts;
  • Inform the development of policies supporting the development of urban agriculture and facilitate harmonisation and coordination between decision-making levels.
  • Develop suitable R&I programmes to deliver the knowledge, technologies and practices needed to achieve the objectives set out in the vision.

In the longer term, this should contribute exploiting the full potential of urban agriculture to improve the quality of life, wealth, health, diets and food security and safety of urban dwellers.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Towards a European research and innovation roadmap on soils and land management

Activities will create an effective framework for action which will allow pooling resources, coordinating efforts and developing a coherent portfolio of R&I activities (programme) in the wider area of soils and land management. This will include

  • mapping and assessing existing soil/land related European and international R&I activities and promoting their coordination
  • analysing the needs for R&I on soils/land management as expressed through stakeholder/citizen consultation and on-going research projects
  • identifying gaps, priority areas and types of action for intervention
  • proposing methodologies to monitor and review a portfolio of soil related R&I activities

The details of coordination activities will be defined during the grant preparation phase with the Commission.

Proposals fall under the concept of the "multi-actor approach", thus bring together main players such as from research, research funding, policy and land management and land. Transdisciplinary and integration of SSH and RRI are also encouraged. Activities will be implemented in close cooperation with EU Commission services. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU up to EUR 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Funded activities will increase European capacities (technical, organisational) for implementing a major R&I programme on soil/land management. This will result in

  • a roadmap for R&I on soils/land management developed following the concept of "co-creation" with a wide range of stakeholders
  • improved coordination with existing activities in Europe and globally, thereby raising visibility and effectiveness of R&I funding
  • identification of potential "flagships" for testing and demonstrating solutions on key strategic domains such as boosting organic carbon content of soils in agriculture and forestry

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Defossilising agriculture – solutions and pathways for fossil-energy-free farming

Proposals shall address only one of the following sub-topics:

A. [2020] Pathways for a fossil-energy-free agriculture (CSA)

This coordination and support action (CSA) shall provide a framework in which policy makers, scientists and other stakeholders can join forces to conceive and implement ambitious approaches and strategies towards a fossil-energy-free agriculture. The action shall setup a knowledge and policy hub to take stock of past and on-going research, to inventory and benchmark policies and technologies at the interface of agriculture and energy, and to identify good practices.

The outcomes should be translated into attractive and easily understandable materials for policymakers, farmers and rural communities. Such materials should include roadmaps for particularly energy-intensive farming systems (e.g. greenhouses), practices (e.g. ploughing or irrigation) or inputs (e.g. fertilisers or plastics). In this exercise, proposals should consider both direct and indirect fossil energy uses, as well as the possibility of integration with the upper scales of the energy systems (groups of farms / rural communities / rural-urban). The sustainability of proposed approaches shall be assessed from the economic, social and environmental perspectives, including land use considerations.

The consortium shall develop a vision on the de-fossilisation of agriculture, identify enablers, bottlenecks and lock-ins in this transition, and provide a set of policy recommendations and a research roadmap. Interlinkages and synergies with the forestry sector should be considered where common approaches are possible.

B. [2020] Close-to-market solutions for fossil-energy-free farming (IA)

Proposals shall test cost-effective technical solutions for reducing the dependence on fossil energy sources in agriculture, and demonstrate whether renewable energy produced on-farm can be a reliable source to cover the needs of agricultural operations. Proposals shall tackle both renewable energy production on farm(s) and the adaptation of machinery and buildings to these new energy sources, and consider fuel, heat and electricity production and storage as appropriate.

Proposals shall focus on a specific on-farm practice, provided that it is common in Europe and highly dependent on fossil energy consumption. The sustainability of the solutions developed shall be assessed from social, economic and environmental perspectives. Such assessment should consider indirect fossil fuel consumptions and impacts on agricultural land use. At the end of the project, the TRL will range between 6 and 7 (see part G of the General Annexes). Proposers will indicate the estimated levels of TRL at the beginning and at the end of the project.

All sub-topics: The proposals funded under this topic (sub-topics A and B) should include a task to cluster with other projects financed under the same topic and potentially other running projects dealing with energy systems (e.g. LC-SC3-ES-3-2018-2020 Integrated local energy systems) and climate change mitigation. This cluster will in particular identify the lock-ins, barriers and path dependencies regarding the fossil-energy uses (including fiscal policies) in order to map out the transition pathways for a fossil-fuel-free agriculture in the CSA (scope A). Proposals should fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach' , with a consortium based on a balanced mix of actors with complementary knowledge clearly activating farmers, technology providers, researchers and advisors.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 2 million for scope A and 5 million for scope B would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Proposed activities will provide policy and technology solutions paving the way towards a fossil-energy-free agriculture. In the short term, this will help to:

  • Develop appropriate, coherent policies and strategies at EU and national level.
  • Reduce farm costs, increase competitiveness and improve farm resilience.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to agricultural activities.
  • Raise awareness and help increase the outreach and impacts of European R&I outcomes and initiatives.

In the longer term, this should contribute to the EU commitments on climate change mitigation and the objectives of the EU Energy Union.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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FOOD 2030 - Empowering cities as agents of food system transformation

Proposals shall support cities and their peri-urban interface to develop and implement urban food systems policies delivering on the four FOOD 2030 priorities accompanied by the deployment of concrete actions. Innovation shall be fostered via the establishment of FOOD 2030 living labs as open innovation ecosystems.

The proposals shall draw key learnings from existing good practices in cities that have already engaged themselves in food policies and practices (e.g. the signatories of the MUFPP). Proposals shall include a wide diversity of cities (e.g. in terms of size and geography) that also ensure a good pan-European coverage. Furthermore, proposals shall include cities that have a 'good track record' in food systems transformation, as well as less experienced cities which aspire to put food systems transformation at the heart of their policy agenda.

In line with the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), proposals shall support urban participatory policy processes that convene a wide variety of public and private stakeholders throughout the whole food system from farm to fork to gut and back.
These shall include, for instance: food producers, processors, retailers, procurers, food service industry, nutritionists, universities, SMEs and local/regional business, educators, behavioural and social scientists, museums/science centres, professional associations, innovative ICT companies, banks, venture capitalists and other sources of investment, NGOs, media and citizens and taken into account gender aspects. The set-up of a living lab in each city is required. In particular, proposals shall collaborate with local authorities with a view of creating political commitment and institutionalising the expected food policy for a long-term deployment.

Proposals shall also deploy a compelling communication and dissemination strategy to share best practices throughout a broader network in order to inspire, share learnings and mobilise other cities, regions and national governments. Finally, proposals shall dedicate resources to attract additional financial investments and opportunities to ensure the long-term sustainability of the planned actions. Proposals shall require a strong centralized professional coordination to ensure cities are assisted in implementing a harmonised approach, to allow comparability assessment and to develop an aligned overarching communication strategy.

Proposals shall also foresee the inclusion of a specific and budgeted work-package in view to cooperating closely with other projects funded under this topic and with the European Commission, in particular to align with the FOOD 2030 framing, for consistent communication and dissemination, monitoring and comparability of outcomes. Furthermore, proposals shall foresee cooperation with relevant projects in this domain under Horizon 2020 (e.g. with the projects funded under CE-SFS-24-2019) and other programmes.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 12 million would allow this specific challenge to address at least 10 cities. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts and number of cities.

Expected Impact:

In the framework of the objectives of FOOD 2030, as well as of the New Urban Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 11 on “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, this topic is expected to support the development of sustainable, healthy and inclusive food systems policies in city-regions, where system thinking, institutional innovation and participatory planning are at the core.

In particular, the expected impact includes the following:

  • the creation of new and sound evidence for policy makers in relation to urban food systems in support of policy development;
  • the building up of political commitment and capacity for multi-objective coordinated strategies, roadmaps and actions between different government departments, jurisdictions and stakeholders that aim at delivering co-benefits relevant to FOOD 2030 priorities;
  • the creation of a wide network of pilot European cities of different sizes and geographical settings that will develop and implement food system policies and actions including living labs, act as demonstrators of good practice, and become ambassadors for the transferability of the food system model all over Europe and beyond;
  • the reconnection of citizens with food fostering behavioural change towards healthy sustainable diets and nutrition, responsible production and consumption;
  • increased food and nutrition security for urban and rural dwellers;
  • improved social inclusion and equity of all actors of the food systems;
  • the creation of innovation opportunities, jobs and growth relevant to city region livelihoods and economic development for all actors of the food systems.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Supporting the food safety systems of the future

Proposals shall aim at developing a research and innovation platform for collaboration and coordination across food safety stakeholders in Europe. Actions shall engage key stakeholders such as National Food Safety Authorities, relevant EU Agencies, Commission Services, policy makers, scientists and civil society with the objectives to: i) map the state of play in food safety research and innovation in the different Member States and Associated Countries; ii) strengthen research and innovation capacity to ensure that Europe continues to be the global leader on food safety standards; iii) exchange of knowledge and data across the scientific community and policy actors including relevant EU Agencies; iv) improve coherence and reduce the overlap between national and EU funding in Food safety research. v) develop innovative approaches to communicate both on food safety research and innovation as well as on risk assessment procedures in the area of food safety in a manner that citizens are properly informed and engaged in taking into account gender aspects, thus contributing to boosting consumers' confidence on the evidence-base for food safety systems and vi) explore avenues for long-term science- policy-society interfaces.

In agreement with the Commission services, proposals should ensure appropriate flexibility so as to respond in real time to potentially fast-changing policy scenarios.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

In line with principles, requirements and procedures of the General Food Law, in the short/medium term proposals will:

  • Deliver a platform for European cooperation at multi-partner level on food safety that builds on research and innovation (R&I) and policy coherence, exploits synergies and capabilities between countries and regions and enhances public confidence.
  • Develop innovative models for collaborations and knowledge exchange across food safety actors and develop networks to promote coherence and harmonisation across the food safety stakeholders throughout the Member States.
  • Identify integrated and reliable resources (e.g. data repositories, accredited laboratories, individual roadmaps, inventories) accessible for the food safety stakeholders.
  • Deliver the basis for the development of joint trans-national research programmes and alignment of national research agendas.
  • Develop a coherent Food Safety Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) which shall also address consumers' expectations, emerging technologies and policy priorities.
  • Deliver models to inform civil society of the science-based risk assessment process providing clear guidance on dissemination models.
  • Deliver logistic and technical support for permanent structure in the future ensuring that research and innovation will support food safety policies.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Pilot action for the removal of marine plastics and litter

The overall goal of this topic is the demonstration of approaches or technologies to improve marine spatial planning and conservation (or even restoration) of coastal ecosystems. More specifically, this topic is for the demonstration of technologies to clean the seafloor and the surface of nearshore waters, and possibly the water column, from historically accumulated plastics and micro-plastics as well as from other accumulated marine litter and the assessment of effectiveness and impact. Accompanying research will have to address impacts on coastal ecosystems’ food chains, biodiversity and functioning, fisheries, aquaculture, Marine Protected Areas, wild life and local economies (all of these) 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after the (start of the) cleaning. At the end of the project, the consortium is expected to identify a way forward and lay the foundations for upscaling with a view to a future potentially automated removal of historically accumulated marine litter (legacy), in particular at hot-spots of accumulated marine litter.

The inclusion of actions to reduce other pollutants and effects of stressors is an advantage.

Projects shall demonstrate the effectiveness of an (or several) automatic or remotely controlled wireless device(s) capable of collecting plastics and other marine litter of reasonable size (larger micro-litter and macro-litter up to a meter or so). The proposed solution must be able to work at the sea surface and on the seafloor/beach. The demonstration has to be for longer periods of time (several months on one site; several sites at the same time are acceptable). The marine litter must be sorted and reused (project must include demonstration of feeding of litter into reuse/recycling chains) in line with the circular economy and the plastics strategy .

The environmental impact, notably on biota, has to be minimized and assessed.

The project must include demonstrations in different sites, including beaches, harbours and shallow seafloor.

This topic is in support of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. Selected projects under this topic as well as projects selected under other topics in H2020 supporting the Plastics Strategy are strongly encouraged to participate in joint activities as appropriate. These joint activities could take the form of clustering of projects, participation in workshops, common exploitation and dissemination etc. The projects should describe how they will be complementary with already existing relevant national activities or other multilateral activities funded by the EU or funded jointly by several Member States. The proposals are expected to demonstrate support to common coordination and dissemination activities. Therefore, the proposals should foresee a dedicated work package for this purpose and earmark appropriate resources. Further details of these coordination activities will be defined during the grant preparation phase with the Commission.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 6 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Contributing to the ongoing implementation of EU Policies such as the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, the Circular Economy Strategy, the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, the European Integrated Maritime Policy, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, activities will:

In the short-term:

  • Support the implementation of the UN Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and the needs of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
  • Achieve at least TRL 6.
  • Achieve a removal of 90% of macro-plastic litter and a substantial fraction of micro-litter in the demonstration areas reducing the clean-up cost to the local blue economy.
  • Increase availability of efficient and environmentally sustainable technologies to remove existing marine litter.
  • Contribute to awareness rising of citizens about the importance of prevention to avoid environmental damage and high costs (for the community and the tax payer instead of the polluter).
  • Contribute to the sustainable management and protection of marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts (UN SDG 14).

In the medium-term:

  • Obtain no more damage from marine litter to the local blue-economy and marine ecosystems services.
  • Achieve 80% reduction of micro-plastics in shellfish in treated areas (or other locally important small marine animals).
  • Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health (UN SDG 14).
  • Ensure that collected marine plastics are reused or reconverted in a way that is in line with the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy.
  • Shorten the time span between research and innovation and foster economic value in the blue economy.
  • Improve the professional skills and competences of those working and being trained to work within the blue economy and in the context of open data sharing.
  • Increase data sharing and increase integration of data.
  • Contribute to determining the distribution and fate of marine litter and microplastics.

In the long-term:

  • Achieve 80% reduction of micro-plastics and plastics in non-migratory birds species in the areas where cleaning technologies are being used.
  • Achieve substantial reduction of micro-plastics originating from macro-plastics locally.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Public engagement for the Bioeconomy

Proposals will build upon sectoral communication activities at national, regional and local level through awareness raising about the bioeconomy at large for European citizens. The actions shall promote the environmental and socio-economic benefits of bioeconomy areas through awareness-raising and education on sustainable production, consumption and lifestyles.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

In the framework of the UN SDGs, this action will contribute to the implementation of the updated 2018 EU Bioeconomy Strategy. It will also contribute to the overall awareness by European citizens about the bioeconomy.

In particular, this action will help European citizens (including young people) to:

  • Be aware of the bioeconomy and all its areas;
  • Be knowledgeable on sustainability and environmental protection;
  • Raise awareness on sustainable production, consumption and lifestyles;
  • Make more informed choices in the future when buying and consuming products;
  • Encourage the deployment of Bioeconomy Strategies at local level;
  • Contribute to the European Bioeconomy Network.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Innovative textiles – reinventing fashion

Activities should address:

  • the development of innovative, techno-economically feasible materials and processes for the production of resource-efficient, sustainable and functionally performing bio-based textiles;
  • the technical, environmental and economic aspects of bio-based textile recycling, focusing on quality, i.e. targeting up-cycling, or at least, recycling into the same or similar quality applications; and;
  • the use of new bio-based materials and the design of textiles that are either biodegradable or do not shed microfibers and have the properties needed for performance applications.

Work on the sustainability and safety of end products should embrace the use of resources as a whole and incorporate the established standards for products with a small environmental footprint, from life-cycle assessment to eco-labelling. In addition, activities should investigate the elements needed for the development of innovative circular business models for bio-based textiles.

In line with responsible research and innovation principles, activities should support the development of international fora and platforms that facilitate systemic innovation and uptake by enabling actors in the value chains, from industry to civil society and public authorities, to cooperate to improve circularity in the bio-based textiles economy. The interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral approach should also apply to training activities to improve professional skills and competencies, and to support the job creation in the bioeconomy.

Proposal should deliver solutions with work starting at technology readiness level (TRL) 5 and reaching TRL 6 or higher, where technological innovation is involved.

Cooperation with other selected proposals under this topic is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting an EU contribution of around EUR 7 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • foster innovations that enable bio-based textile value chains to become more resource efficient, circular, and reduce their carbon, greenhouse gas and water footprint, in line with climate, energy and sustainable development goals (e.g. UN SDG 14);
  • prevent and significantly reduce plastic microfibre pollution;
  • improve the efficiency and technological performance of bio-based textile recycling;
  • strengthen the market position and increase the market share of bio-based textiles;
  • deliver results in a form that allows for efficient feedback into policymaking in research, innovation and technology, in particular in the EU circular economy;
  • demonstrate solutions and develop strategies for the circular innovation of the whole innovative bio-based textile system, building on a shared vision and enhancing cooperation between all stakeholders; and;
  • raise awareness and create a better framework for systemic innovation and uptake of results through broad stakeholder engagement.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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A network of European bioeconomy clusters to advance bio-based solutions in the primary production sector

The action will stimulate adoption of the business models by the relevant stakeholders (especially primary producers), with a clear emphasis on agriculture and forestry. It will achieve a sound geographical balance, and may cover all primary biomass sectors. Proposals should establish a pilot network of national/regional ‘bioeconomy clusters’ gathering relevant actors in the bioeconomy (e.g. EU, national/regional policy and funding bodies, industry, academia, farmer associations and cooperatives, industry, researchers, civil society and NGOs). These clusters should develop appropriate strategies for the deployment of bio-based solutions involving the primary production sector, tailored to regional conditions and assets, and exploiting synergies between policy instruments, such as the common agricultural policy, regional funds and relevant national programmes.

At a minimum, the action should help address:

  • lack of awareness and practical knowledge among stakeholders (especially primary biomass producers) as to the potential of sustainable business models in the bio-based sector to create economic, environmental and societal value through the production and/or use of hitherto unexploited bio-based resources;
  • low degree of cooperation and networking at all levels; and;
  • inadequate transfer of technology and exploitation of innovation, which too often impede uptake of these business models.

To avoid overlaps, this action will build on the state of the art including past and ongoing EU-funded projects.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting an EU contribution of around EUR 2 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The action will implement the 2018 EU bioeconomy strategy.

More specifically, it will:

Short/medium term:

  • contribute to the establishment of fully integrated and diversified business models and value chains in ‘bio-based sectors’ by mobilising a wider and more inclusive set of primary biomass actors;
  • develop and disseminate practical recommendations based on concrete success stories from agriculturally diverse areas of Europe;
  • raise awareness among the stakeholders in the bio-based sector (including primary producers) of sustainable, inclusive and circular bioeconomy objectives including the underpinning EU policy objectives on climate targets and biodiversity protection, of opportunities linked to the sector;

Long term:

  • contribute to the creation of skilled jobs in rural economies, and increase and diversify income for primary biomass producers, thus raising awareness among policymakers and in society at large of the opportunities in the bio-based sector;
  • stimulate local value creation, circularity and environmental and socio-economic sustainability for easy replication in rural areas; and
  • establish a dynamic enabling framework for the deployment of bioeconomies, combining the sectoral and territorial dimensions.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Pilot circular bio-based cities – sustainable production of bio-based products from urban biowaste and wastewater

Proposals shall provide Project Development Assistance (PDA) to a pilot group made up of at least 5 European cities (and/or clusters of cities) to build their technical, economic and legal expertise needed for leading to concrete investments in projects to valorise urban biowaste and wastewater through the production of safe and sustainable bio-based products, including the innovative ones. The valorisation of urban biowaste and wastewater solely in the form of compost, biogas and biofuels is not part of the focus of this topic. PDA shall support each city of the pilot group to bridge the gap between their plan/strategy to valorise urban biowaste and wastewater and the concrete investments for the launch and implementation of the respective projects. PDA should include feasibility studies, stakeholder and community mobilisation, financial engineering, business plans, technical specifications, procurement procedures, etc. Proposals shall justify the budget for the PDA provided to each city (and/or cluster of cities) based on the expected amount of investments to be triggered and the respective leverage factor to be achieved, where these expected investments and leverage factors shall also be justified. Projects and related investments shall be embedded in urban circular bio-based economy strategies embracing a wider sustainable and circular approach of the entire urban metabolism, where urban waste and wastewater are prevented, reduced and their recycling improved. Each city (and/or cluster of cities) shall include an agglomeration of a population equivalent generating a critical amount of urban biowaste and/or wastewater as feedstock for biorefining. The composition of the pilot group of cities (and/or clusters of cities) shall reflect a geographical spread within Europe and represent cities of different sizes and socio-economic structures to the largest extent possible. The involvement and proof of formal commitment of local and/or regional authorities at proposal stage is a precondition for the success of the project. An already existing practice of the separate collection of urban biowaste is an asset. The pilot circular bio-based economy cities should act as demonstrators with a view to transferring urban circular bio-based economy models all over throughout Europe and beyond. Proposals should support the creation of a European network to facilitate the exchange of good practices and lessons learned among circular bio-based cities. Cooperation with selected proposals under topic CE-SFS-25-2018 "Integrated systems innovation in valorising urban biowaste" is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting an EU contribution of up to EUR 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

This action will contribute to the implementation of the 2018 EU Bioeconomy Strategy (Action 2.2. Pilot actions to support local bioeconomy development (urban) via Commission instruments and programmes) and the 2018 EU Circular Economy Package. Proposals are expected to demonstrate the following impacts using quantified indicators and targets when possible:

  • delivery sustainable circular bio-based economy investments and support the launch of the related projects embedded in urban circular bio-based economy strategies to valorise urban biowaste and wastewater through the production of bio-based products, including the innovative ones;
  • creation of a European network to facilitate the exchange of good practices and lessons learned among circular bio-based cities;
  • contribute to increased recycling of urban biowaste and wastewater, avoid landfilling and cut the respective associated greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • contribute to the creation of jobs in local economies.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Sustainability of bio-based products – international governance aspects and market update

Building on the state of the art, including past and ongoing EU-funded projects, this action will bring together global sustainability experts in bio-based innovation (focus on bio-based products) to strengthen the common understanding of sustainability goals and green innovation, and to provide reliable and easy-to-use data for policymakers, consumers and end-users. Cooperation with key European and non-European bioeconomy leaders and international organisations, and the bio-based industry is strongly encouraged.

The action will:

  • address the main issues concerning the sustainable bioeconomy and its practical implementation in global value-chains;
  • promote the sharing of best practice as regards corporate responsibility; and
  • deliver specific recommendations taking account of existing standards and the life cycle assessment (LCA) approach, enriched by specific challenges and the potential of renewable, innovative and safe bioproducts 

The Commission considers that proposals requesting an EU contribution of up to EUR 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

In the framework of the renewed 2018 European bioeconomy strategy related to voluntary guidance on bio-based innovations, proposals are expected to:

Short/medium term:

  • contribute to the global discussion on efficient, implementable and fit-for-purpose sustainability schemes, criteria and indicators;
  • feed into ongoing international efforts in this regard (e.g. OECD);
  • support dialogue between regulators and the bio-based industry;
  • improve understanding of the international dimension of the guidance and identification of bottlenecks, enablers and gaps that influence synergies and the deployment of bio-based innovations;
  • strengthen corporate responsibility and awareness as regards bio-based innovations, circularity and sustainability, building trust between stakeholders;
  • widen the use of bio-based standards and certification schemes and increase the role of bio-based products in sustainability schemes, e.g. (eco)labelling; and

Long term:

  • support the creation of a market pull for European and global bio-based products.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Husbandry for quality and sustainability

Proposals shall address only one of the following sub-topics:

A. (2020) Husbandry for sustainability (RIA)

Proposals should undertake a comprehensive assessment of the sustainability and potential delivery of ecosystem services, social services, resilience, competitiveness and possible trade-offs of diverse EU livestock production systems, covering all the EU’s major types of production systems and most important species.

The assessment should be holistic, encompassing the main facets of the concerned systems, and their role in a circular economy. These facets will notably include: environmental impacts (incl. impact of feed production, climate change, (indirect) land use); economics and supply chain dynamics (incl. international trade, demand, market power and farm income); territorial dynamics (incl. socio-geographic and demographic changes of the concerned farming community, areas with little alternatives to livestock production); animal welfare; as well as food and nutrition security (extended to the place of animal products in the society and diets in the future).

Activities will build on existing Life Cycle Assessment data and perform new measurements where necessary. Work on emission factors should be included and the development of new comprehensive models should be supported.

The assessment should form the basis for a coordination of further action in response to the major challenges of the respective production and consumption systems, in the domains of research, innovation, policy-making and business development. A wide range of alternative development scenarios will be used to identify the most appropriate coping strategies and future development scenarios within planetary and nutritional boundaries and may propose policy options. The analyses will include (indirect) effects on related production systems.

Proposals should fall under the concept of 'multi-actor approach', representing a broad and diverse range of public and private interests and actors. This will provide insights on how sustainable livestock management can be translated into practice and propose holistic solutions and policies to tackle the multiple societal requirements related to livestock production.

B. (2020) Husbandry for quality (RIA)

Proposals should undertake an assessment of the intrinsic quality of livestock products stemming from different production systems. They should study the relation between intrinsic quality and husbandry (e.g. breeding, feeding, management), taking into account the processing methods and means to ensure authenticity along the food chain. Where considered appropriate, proposals will dedicate resources to the assessment of claims on the relation between intrinsic quality of products and extrinsic factors (e.g. sustainable production systems, traditional production systems). Proposals may work on one or more species but shall, within the same species, assess at least differences between extensive and intensive production systems. Proposals should fall under the concept of 'multi-actor approach', representing in particular farmers, the food industry and consumers.

The intrinsic qualities covered will at least encompass: (i) food safety (ii) nutritional value, (iii) organoleptic quality and sensorial features of animal products.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 9 million for scope A and EUR 6 million for Scope B would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Proposals should contribute in achieving the following impacts:

  • Incorporation of societal demands in livestock production
  • Increasing the added value of livestock products, via higher quality and/or more sustainable production processes
  • (Scope A) Development of pathways for action in research, innovation, policy and business development, in support of a sustainable development of the EU livestock sector
  • (Scope B) Understanding of the relation between intrinsic quality and husbandry

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Prospecting aquatic and terrestrial natural biological resources for biologically active compounds

Proposals should cover the entire development pipeline with a focus on:

  • biodiscovery (prospecting natural biological resources from land and sea), i.e.:
    • identifying suitable molecules;
    • verifying their claimed benefits;
    • optimising technological exploitation, including cultivation strategies for selected production systems and metabolic engineering to ensure high productivity and purity;
    • assessing safety, and
    • developing products (final formulation) and their commercialisation, in Europe.

Proposals should focus on small molecules, with novel bioactivities, qualities and applications, in particular from unusual or underutilised sources, and on our understanding of their relevant chemical, genetic, physiological and environmental make-up. Special attention should be devoted to ensuring sustainable sourcing from the raw feedstock, to avoid overexploitation, taking into account recent technical advances in molecular biology (e.g. metabolomics, new gene mining and optimisation techniques, development of suitable host production platforms). Proposals could explore in vivo or in vitro approaches to study the interactions between various biological entities (e.g. through symbiotic or defence relationships) as a source of interesting bioactive properties. They should:

  • prove the techno-economic feasibility and effectiveness of a chosen production route;
  • commit to assessing, as part of the project, the environmental and health impacts of the developed products or processes, using life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies based on available standards, certification, and accepted and validated approaches, and
  • guarantee biodiversity preservation and comply with relevant international rules on access to biological resources, their sustainable use and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from their utilisation, with the national regulations in the source countries and with the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Nagoya Protocol.

In line with the EU’s policy on responsible research and innovation, dissemination and public engagement via modern communication and dissemination tools will be an essential element of the projects that are funded. Projects should involve an analysis of the state of the art to avoid duplications and overlaps with past or ongoing research. Cooperation with other selected proposals under this topic is encouraged.

Proposals should address one of the following sub-topics:

A: Prospecting terrestrial natural biological resources for biologically active compounds

Actions must focus on land-based biological natural resources.

B: Prospecting aquatic natural biological resources for biologically active compounds

Actions must focus on marine and fresh-water biological natural resources.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting an EU contribution of around EUR 7.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Activities will support the sustainable biodiscovery and use of natural biological resources from diverse environments and ecosystems, allowing better assessment of the selected bioactivity potential. This will increase capacity in the European biotechnology sector and other industries to respond to society’s needs. Specifically, activities will contribute to:

Short/medium term:

  • developing novel natural, sustainable and ‘eco-friendly’ products with significant bioactive properties, especially as relevant for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, agrochemical or marine sectors and applications. These will deliver clear-cut benefits for consumers by being more effective and/or eco-friendly, cheaper, and more readily accessible than existing alternatives;
  • developing sustainable exploitation, cultivation and processing methods based on promising species/organisms, and chosen production routes;
  • increasing public-private cooperation in European biotechnology, while integrating its sectors e.g. ‘green’ (plant), ‘blue’ (marine), and ‘white’ (industrial); and;
  • increasing public knowledge of biodiversity potential and, if relevant, ecosystem interactions, and their impact on bioactive response;

Long term:

  • reducing the pressure on the harvesting of wild populations; and;
  • ensuring the environmental and economic sustainability of the entire process, inter alia by reducing and extracting waste via the efficient use of biomass (cascade approach).

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Industrial microbiomes – learning from nature

Proposals should focus on concrete bio-based processes and/or products. They should embrace an understanding of natural consortia mechanisms and their transposition to industrial environments, and involve the engineering of synthetic microbial consortia inspired by the metabolic interaction found in nature. Proposals should employ the use of -omics tools to understand, monitor and exploit microbial communities in the industrial environment. Activities should focus on the optimisation of existing industrial processes or on the design and development of wholly new ones, in order to improve process and product quality and safety.

Activities should optimise the use of pre-existing databases and research infrastructures (including distributed and virtual ones) and the opportunities offered by big-data management tools, thus ensuring interoperability, standard methods and enhanced networking. Multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral experts should cooperate, share standards across borders and disciplines and integrate resources. The interdisciplinary, cross-sectorial approach should also apply to training activities to improve professional skills and competencies, and support job creation in the bio-based and bioeconomy sectors. Cooperation with other selected proposals under this topic is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting an EU contribution of around EUR 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

In the framework of the renewed 2018 EU Bioeconomy Strategy, proposals are expected to:

  • raise awareness of microbiomes’ potential to transform and future-proof the bio-based economy;
  • improve overall knowledge of the industrial microbiome with a view to responding to market needs;
  • improve the bio-based sector’s overall sustainability (including climate change mitigation) and innovation capacity by using microbiome applications and knowledge;
  • strengthen the market position and increase the market share of bio-based solutions;
  • deliver results in a form that allows for efficient feedback into policymaking in research, innovation and technology;
  • demonstrate solutions and develop strategies for innovation based on the microbiome approach, building on enhanced cooperation between all stakeholders and exploiting the opportunities offered by big data; and
  • raise awareness and create a better framework for systemic innovation and uptake of results through broad stakeholder engagement.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Bio-based industries leading the way in turning carbon dioxide emissions into chemicals

Proposals should address one of the following mutually compatible concepts:

- innovative technologies for converting CO2 from industrial plants processing biomass into bio-based products, as direct feedstock for the production of added-value chemicals and their integration into the plants’ flowchart; and

- biotechnological processes for the conversion of CO2 into added-value chemicals.

Proposals should include a life cycle assessment of the environmental performance of the concept. This should go beyond impacts in terms of climate change. Proposals should address business models, operations and logistics, considering also the possibility of industrial symbiosis if relevant. They should also explore the socio economic and regulatory measures required to support the use of CO2 as a raw material for the production of chemicals. In order to avoid duplication of previously EU-funded projects, the development of algae-based concepts is excluded. The technology readiness levels (TRLs) covered by the projects should range from 3 to 5. Cooperation with other selected proposals under this topic is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting an EU contribution of around EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Short/medium term

  • development of breakthrough technologies for the conversion of CO2 into high added-value chemicals;
  • design of an integrated process with zero or negative greenhouse gas emissions;
  • new business models and value chains in the CO2 utilisation sector;
  • definition of targets of the conversion process including energy requirements, production costs and product yields; and

long term

  • diversification of the economic base of bio-based industries.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Enzymes for more environment-friendly consumer products

Proposals should address the development of novel or improved enzyme(s) for the processing and/or the formulation of one or more of the following consumer products: washing agents, textiles, personal care products, cosmetics and nutraceuticals. The approach could involve bioprospecting or the exploitation of existing databases. Activities should include assessment of the environmental impact of the developed approach. They should aim at a strong improvement of environmental performance, against the state of the art, linked to enzyme functionality. In line with the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation, close research collaboration with all relevant stakeholders is needed to ensure future industrial implementation and market uptake.

Proposals should:

  • involve the development of an efficient production system of the enzyme(s) in question, together with downstream processes and methods for enzyme formulation and inclusion in the consumer product(s);
  • (where they concern the development of enzyme-containing consumer products) cover the management of safety aspects, including appropriate risk assessment;
  • combine the development of the targeted enzyme(s) with the development of generic platform technologies with a view to faster transition from lab to market. This should be based on an interdisciplinary approach and could involve: novel technologies and methods such as the screening, design, creation or optimisation of novel high-performance enzymes as well as computational methods and tools for effective big-data analysis.

Cooperation with other selected proposals under this topic is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting an EU contribution of around EUR 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

short/medium term

  • broaden the range of enzymes used in the production or formulation of consumer products;
  • reduce the environmental impact of those consumer products;
  • improve the overall sustainability and innovation capacity of the bio-based sector through the use of innovative enzymes;
  • develop strategies to speed up the transition from lab to market for the development of enzyme-based innovation, on the basis of closer and interdisciplinary cooperation;
  • deliver results in a form that allows for efficient feedback into policymaking in research, innovation and technology, in particular in the 2018 EU bioeconomy strategy;
  • raise awareness and create a better framework for systemic innovation and uptake through broad stakeholder engagement; and

medium/long term

  • enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of European industry, including the biotechnology and consumer products sectors.

Deadline: 22 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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3. Sichere, saubere und effiziente Energie

Big data for buildings

Actions should focus on developing and demonstrating large-scale pilot test-beds for big data application in buildings.

More specifically actions should:

  • define a reference architecture for buildings data; and
  • develop and pilot an open, cloud-based data analytics toolbox.

The reference architecture should ensure compatibility with existing dataset formats across Europe, allow integration with legacy architectures, encourage replication and scale-up and be compliant with applicable EU standards (e.g. privacy, security, intellectual property). The data architecture should be modular in order to accommodate data from various sources including dynamic data from Smart Meters, Sensors and other IoT devices, Building Management Systems (BMS), energy market prices, weather data, currency exchange rates, as well as static data from existing databases such as consumer consumption data, Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) repositories and Building Stock Observatory.

Proposers should perform an extensive review of existing datasets across EU and take into account ongoing initiatives such as:

  • EC Directives and initiatives (e.g. EPBD, EED, Ecodesign, INSPIRE, Digital Single Market);
  • Reports and studies commissioned by EC on relevant topics (e.g. EU Building Stock observatory, Data Exchange Study);
  • Existing frameworks and architectures (e.g. Level(s), SAREF, BIM, legacy formats).

The data analytics toolbox should be able to process big and diverse sets of data and perform Statistical Analysis, Data Visualisation, Business Intelligence (BI) and Predictive Modelling. The tools used should enable the integration of state of the art data science technologies like Statistics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL).

The data analytics toolbox should support third party development of a wide range of services and business models with the objective:

  • to monitor and improve the energy performance of buildings;
  • to facilitate the design and development of building infrastructure (e.g. district heating and cooling networks);
  • to support policy making and policy impact assessment; and
  • to de-risk investments in energy efficiency (e.g. by reliably predicting and monitoring energy savings).

The toolbox should foresee communication protocols to be able to pull data from and push data to existing datasets (e.g. the EU building stock observatory) in an automated way without manual intervention (e.g. using APIs). The toolbox should be built on state-of the art technologies and be hosted at a well-known, stable, secure and scalable cloud service provider (IaaS/SaaS/PaaS).

Proposed actions should demonstrate that they have access to existing large-scale real datasets and should engage as many as necessary of the following actors: national and local governments, network operators, suppliers, ESCO’s, building managers & facilitators, the construction & renovation sector and software developers with proven experience in data collection and data analysis. Projects are expected to collaborate with EU-funded projects on big data as well as the contractor in charge of Maintenance and Update of the EU Building Stock Observatory. Proposers are expected to implement large-scale communication and dissemination campaigns in order to engage public authorities and the market actors.

Projects are required to follow the H2020 guidance on ethics and data protection, taking into account digital security, privacy and data protection requirements including the compliance with relevant directives/regulations (e.g. NIS, eIDAS, GDPR) and relevant National Legislation.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between 3.5 and 4 million EUR would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

This topic contributes to the roadmap of the Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) cPPP.

Expected Impact:

Proposals are expected to demonstrate the impacts listed below, using quantified indicators and targets wherever possible:

  • Significant and measureable contribution to standardisation of European buildings data;
  • Demonstrated interoperability with data hubs at national or supranational level;
  • Creation of new data-driven business models and opportunities and innovative energy services based on the access and process of valuable datasets;
  • Better availability of big data and big data analysis facilities for real-life scale research, simulation and policy-making;
  • Tangible engagement of key stakeholders in building the database and contributing with real data;
  • A growing up-take of innovative data gathering and processing methods in the monitoring and verification of energy savings;
  • Effective integration of relevant digital technologies in the buildings sector, resulting in integrated value chains and efficient business processes of the participating organizations;
  • Strengthened links with the relevant programmes and initiatives aiming at building data collection and storage, supported by regional, national and European policies and funds;
  • Emergence of sustainable ecosystems around big data platforms.

Deadline: 15 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Consumer engagement and demand response

The proposals will develop and test novel solutions and tools for demand response and energy services, using real consumption data and feedback from the testing of services with the objective to improve predictability of consumption and consumer behaviour (aiming to create a digital twin of the consumer). The main focus will be on households, but other types of consumers (residential, industrial, commercial and tertiary, including prosumers who are self-consuming part of the energy they produce) may be included. Proposals will demonstrate services that bring a fair share of benefits to consumers and to the energy system, in particular the electricity grid. The proposals should take into account the existing EU framework and the proposed measures under the Clean Energy for all Europeans Package, including the relevant measures on demand response, active customers, energy communities and dynamic price contracts.

Proposals can target one or multiple types of loads (e.g. appliances, electric vehicles, power to heat / cool, etc.) as well as (small-scale) production (e.g. PV), include energy storage and one or several methods of aggregation (e.g. citizen energy communities). Preferably they should rely on advanced automation, advanced ICT tools and approaches (e.g. IoT, Big Data, AI, blockchain, etc.), communication protocols and interoperability.

Proposals are encouraged to include energy vectors other than just electricity (e.g. heating, cooling, water, wastes, etc.) , and are encouraged to include other services than energy (e.g. mobility, health, etc.).

Proposals should not only bring a perspective from the grid and the power system on consumers but also a perspective from consumers on the grid and the power system. For this purpose, social science and humanities-related work will be closely associated with the development of technological solutions from the beginning of the project (e.g. co-creation process involving both technology/ service providers and consumers) and not as an isolated task/work-package.

Privacy, consumer and personal data protection and cybersecurity should be addressed by the proposed solutions.

Proposals will demonstrate how they will use interoperable digital communication solutions, make use of existing standards, study what is the information that shall be exchanged and contribute to open platforms and market places that can be integrated with other services based on platforms.

Services, customer information, engagement strategies and contracts should be designed, tested and conclusions should be drawn to improve predictability of consumption and consumer behaviour, based on the different types of consumers (e.g. segmentation along different categories, e.g. social category, age, technology literacy, gender, etc.) on the considered location and climatic conditions and on the type and magnitude of incentives, putting the citizen at the centre of the proposed approach.

The participation of local energy communities, energy cooperatives, aggregators and local actors is encouraged. The participation of consumer associations in the project is an added value.

Proposals are expected to include clear business model development and a clear path to finance and deployment as a dedicated task, which confirms delivery of affordable energy in no more than 5 years, as well as a clear strategy for managing cybersecurity. Key partners should have the capability and interest in making the developed solution a core part of their business/service model to their clients. Proposals are expected to demonstrate knowledge of the relevant EU’s policies on smart homes and buildings, interoperability, Internet of Things and platforms for data exchange.

Proposals should include tasks or a specific work-package on the analysis of obstacles to innovation under the current context but also under the future market design context and foresee the coordination on policy relevant issues and obstacle to innovation (e.g. regulatory framework, business models, data management, consumer engagement) with similar EU-funded projects through the BRIDGE initiative. An indicative budget share of at least 2% of the EU contribution is recommended for the research work associated with these issues.

Proposals should build upon the insights and results of projects that have already been selected in this field under Horizon 2020 (information can be found on the BRIGDE web site) and demonstrate their innovative character.

Projects will cooperate with at least one of the projects supported under the topic LC-SC3-ES-5-2018-2020 that approach the challenge more from a grid perspective. Therefore, proposals will foresee a work package for cooperation with other selected projects and earmark appropriate resources (indicatively 5-10% of the requested EU contribution) for coordination and communication efforts and research work associated with cross-cutting issues. Regarding data handling, data management and standardisation issues, proposers should comply with the requirements stated in the section 'Common requirements' of the introduction to the part on the Smart citizen-centred energy system.

TRL will range between 5 and 8 (see part G of the General Annexes). Proposers will indicate the estimates levels of TRL at the beginning and at the end of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 to 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The supported projects are expected to contribute to the following impacts:

  • Increased use of demand response across the European energy system;
  • Increased number and types of consumers engaged in demand-response across Europe;
  • Demonstrated and improved viability of innovative energy services, best practices and effective incentives that can be replicated at large scale;
  • Increased uptake of services that combine energy efficiency with other energy services, technologies and non-energy benefits;
  • Increased reliability of innovative energy services and accessibility to them Developed and demonstrated viable solutions for customers: best practices and effective incentives that can be replicated at large scale;
  • Increased predictability of consumption patterns and consumer behaviour;
  • Increased data protection and privacy for customers;
  • Improved modelling of the flexibility levers from the new energy services;
  • Increased share of energy or power that can be mobilised to provide flexibility to the grid and increase the hosting capacity for RES.

Proposals are invited to address at least 7 of the above impacts, substantiate them and include ad-hoc indicators to measure the progress against specific objectives of their choice that could be used to assess the progress during the project life. Indicators are expected to have clear and measurable targets.

Deadline: 29 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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European building stock data 4.0

Proposals should involve relevant stakeholders (national, regional and local authorities, property management companies, technology providers and stakeholder associations from relevant sectors: construction, facility management, real estate) to stimulate and enable a comprehensive and long-lasting community committed to improve, standardise and strengthen data collection on building stocks across the Europe, bringing together potential data providers and, building on technology innovation that can support wide-scale data collection and processing. Such data is useful for different purposes: for policy monitoring and development of new policies (at any level), to provide information to users or as a tool for the industry to develop new products and solutions.

To this end, proposals should develop strategies to encourage/support collection of data on buildings and convergence of data collection practices, within the community and beyond. This concerns but is not limited to the scope of data collection (which data are collected), the form of data (e.g. formatting) and the role that different actors can play in collecting and providing data (local authorities, private landlords, citizens, etc.). Proposals should also support/promote wherever possible wider availability of data (open access to data). Proposals should ensure that the scope of data collection includes, but is not limited to, data on buildings energy performance and related building characteristics (e.g. type and characteristics of building systems, type of insulation and glazing, etc.).

Projects are required to follow the H2020 guidance on ethics and data protection, taking into account digital security, privacy and data protection requirements including the compliance with relevant directives/regulations (e.g. NIS, eIDAS, GDPR) and relevant National Legislation.

Proposals may use the "Building Stock Observatory" as an example and reference of data collection, monitoring and evaluation of the building stock. Proposals could also clarify how they would support and link to the “Building Stock Observatory” and other relevant initiatives, emphasizing how they could contribute to expanding and strengthening the data feeding of the observatory.

Proposals should also develop and disseminate a vision and roadmap for a more advanced “big data” approach to buildings data collection in Europe (“European building stock data 4.0”). The aim is to propose a roadmap towards a more dynamic and automated collection of data on buildings, eventually leading to a “live” picture of the building stock. In developing and disseminating this vision, proposals will make connections with other relevant initiatives, in particular actions aiming at developing innovative big data applications in buildings. Due to the existence of several initiatives in this area, coordination between actions should be a key element for successful proposals. In particular, proposals should liaise and coordinate with related initiatives supported under LC-SC3-B4E-6-2020 (‘Big data for buildings’) and LC-SC3-B4E-4-2020 (‘Next-generation of Energy Performance Assessment and Certification’), also providing support to communication and dissemination activities.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Proposals are expected to demonstrate the impacts listed below, using quantified indicators and targets wherever possible:

  • Building a large community for buildings data collection in the EU, ensuring tangible and long-lasting engagement of key stakeholders across all MSs and Associated Countries;
  • Increasing/extending/strengthening data sources for buildings data collection in the Europe;
  • Improving data feeding to the building stock observatory;
  • Increased convergence/standardisation towards high-quality and reliable data collection practices;
  • Increased data use by researchers and the general public;
  • Simplified data access and sharing;
  • Convincing vision and roadmap towards innovative big data approaches for the collection of buildings data in the Europe;
  • Coordination with, and support for the communication and dissemination activities of related innovation actions;
  • Strengthened links with programmes and initiatives, supported by regional, national and European policies and funds.

Deadline: 15 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Demonstration of advanced biofuels production from aquatic biomass

Proposals will demonstrate aquatic advanced biofuel pathways which improve the economic viability of the subsequent energy production, including the upgrading technologies and valorisation of co-products. Proposals will address processes and technologies for advanced biofuels at a scale of 100-1000 tonnes from seaborne aquatic biomass such as macro-algae and/or fish residues in an energy-driven integrated biorefinery concept. Projects will demonstrate the full value chain with achievement of at least 70% energy output (fuel, heat and power) and environmental sustainability based on a life-cycle assessment. Long-term potential for large scale biofuel production should be considered.

Proposals are expected to bring the technology from TRL 5 to 6-7 (please see part G of the General Annexes).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 6-10million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Supported projects are expected to enlarge the feedstock basis and improve the viability of technologies for sustainable fuels and energy production.

Deadline: 11 December 2019 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Market Uptake support

The proposal will develop solution(s) addressing one or more of the identified challenge(s), for the entire renewable energy sector or focusing on a specific energy market, such as electricity, heating, cooling or renewable fuels. The proposed solution can be developed to address a local challenge but should have wide potential for reapplication. The solution must have a long term viability and not be limited to an ad-hoc fix. The methodologies applied may be inspired by successful approaches already tested in other fields or contexts.

For all actions, the consortia have to involve and/or engage relevant stakeholders and market actors who are committed to adopting/implementing the results. The complexity of these challenges and of the related market uptake barriers may call for multi-disciplinary approaches, which should include contributions from the social sciences and humanities. Where relevant, regional specificities, socio-economic, gender-related, spatial and environmental aspects will be considered from a life-cycle perspective.

Where relevant, proposals are expected to also assess the legal, institutional and political frameworks at local, national and European level and examine how, why and under what conditions these (could) act as a barrier or an enabler.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 to 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

It is expected that the solution proposed will facilitate the wider uptake of renewable energy generation in the energy and industrial sectors leading to an increase share of renewable energy in the final energy consumption by 2030. The solution will contribute to substantial and measurable reductions in the project development timings and efforts, whilst fully addressing the needs for environmental impact assessments and public engagement. It will also contribute to provide a basis for the development of more informed policy, market support and financial frameworks, notably at national, regional and local level, leading to more cost effective support schemes and lower financing costs for RES facilities.

Deadline: 11 December 2019 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Developing the next generation of renewable energy technologies

Support will be given to activities which focus on converting renewable energy sources into an energy vector, or the direct application of renewable energy sources.

This topic calls for bottom-up proposals addressing any renewable technology currently in the early phases of research. Activities also might include energy materials, catalysts, enzymes, microorganisms, models, tools and equipment, as long as those are strictly connected to the energy conversion process.

Developments in sectors other than energy may provide ideas, experiences, technology contributions, knowledge, new approaches, innovative materials and skills that are of relevance to the energy sector. Cross-fertilisation could offer mutually beneficial effects.

Proposals are expected to bring to TRL 3 or TRL 4 (please see part G of the General Annexes) renewable energy technologies that will answer the challenge described. Beside the development of the technology, the proposal will have to clearly address the following related aspects: lower environmental impact, better resource efficiency than current commercial renewable technologies, issues related to social acceptance or resistance to new energy technologies, related socioeconomic and livelihood issues.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 4 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The concepts proven or validated within the projects are expected to contribute to accelerating and reducing the cost of the next generation of sustainable renewable energy generation. In addition, the project is expected to advance the knowledge and scientific proofs of the technological feasibility of its concept including the environmental, social and economic benefits. The proposal should show its contribution towards establishing a solid European innovation base and building a sustainable renewable energy system.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Development of next generation renewable fuel technologies from CO2 and renewable energy (Power and Energy to Renewable Fuels)

Proposals will develop next generation renewable fuels for energy and transport, which improve substantially (beyond the state-of-the-art), the performance regarding energy efficiency as well as cost of the conversion of direct renewable energy (e.g., sunlight) or renewable electricity and /or heat to liquid or gaseous renewable fuels from CO2. Targeted fuels should also provide very low engine-out emissions.

Proposals are expected to bring the technology from TRL 3-4 to 4-5 (please see part G of the General Annexes).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 to 5 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The supported projects are expected to reduce conversion energy losses and production costs of algal fuels/power to gas/liquid and heat to gas/liquid renewable fuels respectively, as well as improving performance of these fuels as regards the efficiency, the environment and society.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Combined clean biofuel production and phytoremediation solutions from contaminated lands worldwide

Proposals will bridge the gap between phytoremediation strategies and clean liquid biofuel production. They will optimise energy crops for phytoremediation by targeting different classes of known soil pollutants and integrate in the conversion process to biofuels a strategy to extract these pollutants in concentrated form. The overall process will be optimized in terms of cost and sustainability. Pilot-scale, small trials are expected for both clean biofuel production and phytoremediation processes.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), and given the world-wide applicability of this specific challenge, international cooperation is encouraged.

Proposals are expected to bring technologies from TRL 3-4 to TRL 4-5 (please see part G of the General Annexes).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 4 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

It is expected that a win-win situation will be created for bringing polluted land back to agricultural production and for low-iLUC risk liquid biofuel production from energy crops. Through cost reduction and improved phytoremediation, contribution to several sustainable development goals (SDGs) beyond the Energy is anticipated.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Enabling next-generation of smart energy services valorising energy efficiency and flexibility at demand-side

Actions should take up and advance smart energy services concepts which have evolved in the market, in parallel with the progressive deployment of new technologies, including concepts which have been developed, proved and tested under Horizon 2020. Proposals should demonstrate that they gather and help converge innovative, successfully tested service elements which are well adapted to the needs of the market and of the potential users and which are compatible with on-going technological innovation.

While the scope is based on the areas identified in the topic LC-SC3-EE-13-2018-2019 for the years 2018 and 2019, actions should focus clearly on new revenue streams, the use of innovative monitoring and verification schemes and the consideration of contractual aspects.

More specifically, actions should further develop, adapt and refine concepts for smart energy services that

  • integrate energy efficiency services with other energy services like distributed generation, demand response, e-mobility and including storage/hybrid energy systems building on contractual arrangements across different actors (ESCOs, aggregators, DSOs, energy cooperatives, obliged parties under the Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes implementing art 7 EED and eventually the consumers) and/or
  • integrate energy efficiency services with non-energy related services such as comfort, health and safety and/or
  • enhance and refine successful energy performance contracting models that engage new sectors and actors and/or include pay-for-performance schemes and/or
  • factor in include customer individualized energy services as a result of better understanding of customer behaviour and needs derived of new data analytics tools.

These concepts should

  • use and apply more accurate and dynamic measurement and verification of energy savings and flexible consumption, also in order to ex-ante identify and develop business opportunities; in this use 'big data' generated by smart meters, equipment, sensors and tools for standardised processes;
  • address potential legal and contractual aspects (e.g. in relation to existing contracts or warranty, safety and data security issues linked to existing and newly deployed equipment).

Given that the service models will have advanced and matured, project results are, even more strongly than under the preceding calls, expected to be considered and endorsed by key market stakeholders. They should take into account any relevant results from concluded or existing projects that are (gradually) available. Projects are expected to consider those elements that promise to yield a particularly high level of business innovation. Energy efficiency should constitute a core aspect of the service models.

Projects are required to follow the H2020 guidance on ethics and data protection, taking into account digital security, privacy and data protection requirements including the compliance with relevant directives/regulations (e.g. NIS, eIDAS, GDPR) and relevant National Legislation.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 million and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Proposals are expected to demonstrate the impacts listed below, using quantified indicators and targets wherever possible:

  • Primary Energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year);
  • Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (in million Euro);
  • Improved viability of innovative energy services.

In addition, proposals are expected to demonstrate the impacts listed below, using quantified indicators and targets wherever possible:

  • A growing offer and up-take of services that combine energy efficiency with other energy services, technologies and non-energy benefits;
  • A growing up-take of innovative data gathering and processing methods in the monitoring and verification of energy savings and flexibility;
  • The application of methods and concepts to ensure that: (i) innovative energy services are reliable and verifiable, (ii) service providers are trustworthy and accessible.

Additional positive effects can be quantified and reported when relevant and wherever possible:

  • Reduction of the greenhouse gases emissions (in tCO2-eq/year) and/or air pollutants (in kg/year) triggered by the project;
  • Increase of flexibility in the energy system.

Deadline: 10 September 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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The role of consumers in changing the market through informed decision and collective actions

2019 and 2020:

The proposed action should set up and/or support energy communities (consumer cooperatives, consumer collective purchase groups, and/or other consumer driven collective actions) to increase energy efficiency and/or optimise energy management to integrate a higher share of renewable energy (generated locally or provided from the grid) within the community by, for example, combining collective solutions to distributed generation, distributed storage, and/or demand-response aggregation. The focus of the proposed action should be on households, however, this does not preclude the complementary involvement of non-residential buildings.

The proposed action should cover the following points:

  • Identify and address regulatory barriers and contractual conditions with utilities, suppliers, grid operators, technology providers etc. for cooperative actions, possibly linking activities with structural solutions involving public authorities;
  • Demonstrate that collectively organised energy-related actions are financially viable and attractive to the consumer-members of the energy community.

In addition, the proposed action could cover the following points, as relevant:

  • Identify and implement solutions to address split incentives (e.g. allowing tenants to set up/join the consumer driven collective action);
  • Demonstrate collective actions of energy consumers based on the solutions and business approaches using digital tools and technologies (such as digital platforms or blockchain transactions). If the proposed action includes smart home/IoT solutions, it should link to the developments under the call DT-ICT-10-2018: Interoperable and smart homes and grids.

Relevant for the three years:

The proposed actions should address the risk of "rebound effects" and propose measures to counteract them, where relevant. All relevant stakeholders necessary for the successful implementation of the action should be involved and relevant consumer organisations, in particular, should be either directly involved or their support demonstrated in the proposal. Proposed actions should also take issues of consumer data ownership and data privacy into account, where relevant. The proposed actions are invited to build on experiences and lessons learned in other relevant projects and programmes.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Proposals are expected to demonstrate, depending on the scope addressed, the impacts listed below using quantified indicators and targets, wherever possible:

  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year);
  • Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (in million Euro);
  • Contribution to reducing regulatory barriers and improving contractual conditions;
  • Increase domestic uptake of energy efficient products and services;
  • Involvement of at least 5.000 consumers per million Euro of EU funding.

Additional positive effects can be quantified and reported when relevant and wherever possible:

  • Reduction of greenhouse gases emissions (in tCO2-eq/year) and/or air pollutants (in kg/year) triggered by the project.

Deadline: 10 September 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Socio-economic research: non-energy impacts and behavioural insights on energy efficiency interventions

a) Modelling multiple non-energy impacts

Actions are required to explain the transition of energy efficiency from a "hidden fuel" to the "first fuel" and make the value of the externalities triggered by energy efficiency investments more visible across a variety of areas. The analysis should go beyond the traditional measures of reducing energy demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; it should include positive and negative externalities relating to other policies such as public health, air quality, impact on ecosystems, etc.

Actions should build upon the existing methodological frameworks and the work already developed in this field in order to:

  • create econometric models and other instruments able to quantify and when possible monetise direct and indirect non-energy impacts (both positive and negative) of energy efficiency investments, taking into account all possible challenges (e.g. rebound effect, double counting, etc.);
  • provide a simplified and evidence-based tool which can help policy makers at local, regional, national and European level in defining optimised short-term cost-effective policies and measures as well as long-term strategies in the energy domain;
  • disseminate the concept to households, businesses and financing institutions in order to increase awareness, information level, and investments in energy efficiency improvements.

b) Behavioural insights for energy efficiency interventions

Actions should test energy efficiency behavioural change interventions through field trials informed by behavioural science. These trials should be aimed at selecting effective approaches to deliver the largest impact and should be targeted to specific energy behaviours.

Research may involve a mix of methodologies including different qualitative and quantitative research methods (e.g. RCTs, A/B testing, before-and-after trials, observation, focus groups, surveys, exploitation of existing datasets, quasi-experiments, etc.).

Consortia should include, on the one hand, behavioural experts and, on the other, public authorities, DSOs and/or relevant civil society organizations (NGOs, associations, local energy communities, etc.) implementing energy efficiency related interventions.

Proposals should describe how the role and tasks of the various Consortia’s members will be coordinated. They should place emphasis on the European added-value of their outputs and the comparability of the results of different pilots in order to be relevant for European policy makers. The theoretical and empirical research chosen by the consortium should allow to draw conclusions regarding the best policy instruments (e.g. push and pull measures, price mechanisms, incentives, the leveraging on social norms, the provision of simplified real-time and possibly comparative information about one’s own consumption pattern, etc.), the relevant contextual aspects determining the efficiency of the intervention and, where possible, the long-term impacts of behaviourally informed policy interventions.

Proposals should build on relevant national and international projects and initiatives.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Depending on the scope addressed, proposals are expected to identify the impacts listed below using quantified indicators and targets, wherever possible:

  • Support policies, at all governance levels, aiming to foster investments in Energy Efficiency improvements and best practice development (scope a and b);
  • Increased awareness among households, businesses and financing institutions (scope a and b);
  • Number of public officers, private actors and other stakeholders involved and reached out to, number of peer-reviewed articles produced, or references to impact assessments, strategy papers or other policy documents (scope a and b);
  • Increase awareness on multiple benefits among policy makers in other-than-energy policy departments e.g. using a simplified language in order to allow their inclusion in future policy developments and monitoring, impact assessments and policy evaluations (scope a);
  • Number of analysed scenarios, energy efficiency measures and of non-energy benefits (scope a);
  • Number of interventions designed using behavioural levers and relevant behavioural biases and elements identified (scope b);
  • Number of consumers adopting a more sustainable energy consumption behaviour (scope b);
  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year – scope b);
  • Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (million Euro – scope b).

Additional positive effects can be quantified and reported when relevant and wherever possible:

  • Reduction of greenhouse gases emissions (in tCO2-eq/year) and/or air pollutants (in kg/year) triggered by the project (scope b).

Deadline: 15 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) aspects of the Clean-Energy Transition

Energy citizenship: SSH research offers many insights into the conditions favouring civic engagement, active participation and interaction with institutional or corporate actors. Such “energy citizenship” is not limited to early technology adopters or environmental activists, and it goes beyond (but also encompasses) mere “consumer involvement”. Rather than using SSH research as an instrument to achieve particular outcomes (e.g., social acceptance) it can help to understand in what kind of environments collaborative goal setting and commitment can take place, how relevant decisions are made and any trade-offs between competing goals are addressed. This has important implications for EU energy policymaking. Proposals are expected to examine the factors affecting the emergence and effectiveness of energy citizenship and its potential for achieving the decarbonisation of the energy system. This should include factors such as digitalisation, social media, social group dynamics (e.g. creating trust, finding shared goals), societal factors (e.g. institutional, corporate or legal environment), demographics and social justice. It should result in practical recommendations for policy-makers. Specifically, proposals are expected to focus on one or several of the following questions:

  • Is energy citizenship more likely to emerge locally, or at regional, national or supranational levels? For what reasons?
  • What is the relative importance of processes internal to relevant social groups (e.g., creating trust and connection, finding shared goals and solutions, building coalitions), as opposed to external environmental variables (e.g., relative openness of institutional or corporate environments, availability of sympathetic interlocutors, access to financial or other sources of support, legal or other obstacles)?
  • What impact does the digitisation of the energy system and the proliferation of social media have on the emergence and consolidation of energy citizenship?
  • Under what conditions is energy citizenship conducive to reaching broader policy goals, particularly the decarbonisation of the energy system, and under what conditions does it have the opposite effect?

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The proposed research will:

  • provide a better understanding of socioeconomic, gender, sociocultural, and socio-political factors and their interrelations with technological, regulatory, and investment-related aspects, in support of the goals of the Energy Union and particularly its research and innovation pillar;
  • Energy citizenship (2020): based on a better understanding of socio-economic, gender, socio-cultural, and socio-political factors, their interrelations with technological, regulatory, and investment aspects, yield practical recommendations for harnessing energy citizenship to achieve the energy and decarbonisation goals in the European Union and Associated Countries.

Deadline: 01 September 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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International Cooperation with USA and/or China on alternative renewable fuels from sunlight for energy, transport and chemical storage

Proposals will aim at international cooperation with the USA and/or China on targeted research activities for obtaining advanced biofuels and alternative renewable fuels for energy and transport through photochemical/ photobiological or electrochemical reaction. The ranking of the successful proposals will ensure that a balanced portfolio of activities is covering both cooperation with USA and China (please see call conditions).

The proposals will develop breakthrough artificial photosynthesis technologies in terms of sunlight conversion efficiency for the production of energy carriers (other than electricity) with either de-novo synthetic biological and artificial/biochemical hybrid systems or novel photo-catalysis or photo-electro catalysis coupled with CO2 reduction.

At least one of the following technology-specific challenges has to be addressed:

  • Improved light-harvesting and efficient charge separation in photocatalytic systems;
  • Photoelectrochemical cells – PECs and catalyst development
  • Improved light harvesting coupled with improved CO2 reduction efficiency in synthetic biological systems

Use of external renewable electricity or electricity generated by sunlight with PV or CSP to produce the carriers is excluded from this topic.

Proposals are expected to bring technologies to TRL 3-4 (please see part G of the General Annexes).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 4 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

It is expected that the exchange of knowledge through the targeted research activities with USA and/or China will progress the scientific understanding and the technology state-of-the-art and in addition strengthen the European and international partners’ technology base. At the same time, it is expected that the development of renewable fuels that outperform the best fossil fuel alternatives is accelerated.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), actions will contribute to implementing Mission Innovation Challenge 4 and 5.

Deadline: 01 September 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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International cooperation with Japan for Research and Innovation on advanced biofuels and alternative renewable fuels

Proposals will aim at international cooperation with Japan involving Japanese organisations in the consortia for the development of disruptive catalytic technologies, by developing novel catalysts and linked lab-scale components/systems with significantly improved performance for conversion efficiency and specific marginal cost reduction for obtaining low-cost bioenergy carriers, non-food/feed based advanced biofuels and alternative renewable fuels (excluding hydrogen) and maximizing GHG abatement.

Proposals are expected to bring technologies to TRL 3 (please see part G of the General Annexes).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 5 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

It is expected that the exchange of knowledge through the targeted research activities with Japan will progress the technology state-of-the-art and in addition it will strengthen the European and Japanese technology base. At the same time, it is expected that the development of renewable fuels that outperform the best fossil fuel alternatives is accelerated.

Deadline: 01 September 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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International cooperation with Canada on advanced biofuels and bioenergy

Proposals will aim at international cooperation with Canada for fostering the deployment of advanced biofuels and bioenergy while substantially decreasing the costs of the feedstock supply or the conversion process.

Proposals should address at least one of the following issues:

  • Development of the full supply chain of biomass-to-bioenergy applications including intermediate bioenergy carriers, advanced biofuels, heat and power generation. Sustainable biomass production and collection strategies that facilitate sustainable bioenergy production and decrease feedstock supply costs will be included. All types of non-food/feed biomass including forestry, agricultural and their residues, organic fractions of municipal and industrial wastes can be targeted.
  • Thermochemical, biochemical and chemical processing of sustainable biomass to advanced biofuels focusing on the pre-treatment and the conversion process and in particular on reducing the respective marginal cost.

Proposals are expected to bring the technology from TRL 3 to TRL 5 (please see part G of the General Annexes).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 to 5 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

It is expected that the exchange of knowledge through the targeted research activities with Canada will progress the technology state-of-the-art, strengthen the European and Canadian technology base and accelerate the development of sustainable fuels to replace the fossil fuel alternatives. At the same time, it is expected that the development of secure, long‐term supply of sustainable feedstock and/or the technology advances will also significantly contribute to increase the viability of advanced biofuels and bioenergy in the EU and Canada.

Deadline: 01 September 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Geological Storage Pilots

The objective is to carry out the identification and geological characterisation of new prospective storage sites for CO2 (including the 3D architecture of the storage complex) in promising regions of future demonstration and deployment (onshore or offshore) through the implementation of new CO2 storage pilots. This will result in new data, knowledge and detailed models of potential storage complexes and their response to dynamic pressurisation. Important aspects include (but are not limited to): detailed geological characterisation, including faults and facture systems; analysis of initial stress field and geomechanical behaviour of the storage formations and seals under varying stress and pore-pressure conditions; estimation of storage capacity; accurate modelling of injectivity; overall storage risk assessment, including induced seismicity and blow-out or blockage during injection, and including proposed mitigation action. Detailed plans should propose site-specific solutions for CO2 injection strategies, pressure management, mitigation of induced seismicity, and MMV (measurement, monitoring and verification).

For geological storage, in particular onshore, public acceptance is paramount. Therefore projects are expected to identify and engage relevant end users and societal stakeholders and analyse their concerns and needs using appropriate techniques and methods from the social sciences and humanities, noting the significant differences in potential regional consequences where the CO2 stored comes from power versus industry.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 7 to 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Detailed geological characterisation and development planning of promising and safe storage sites and successful realisation of storage pilots will facilitate the subsequent application for storage permits and the kick-start of CCS in the concerned Member States and Associated Countries. Such a ‘pipeline of sweet spots’ can provide a baseline for estimation of storage cost, increase public awareness and help prepare the ground for full and active development into operational storage sites in the mid 2020's.

Deadline: 01 September 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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4. Intelligenter, umweltfreundlicher und integrierter Verkehr

Cities as climate-resilient, connected multimodal nodes for smart and clean mobility: new approaches towards demonstrating and testing innovative solutions

This topic is divided in 3 sub-topics.

Innovation Action:

The first part of this topic invites for proposals that combine new technologies and non-technological innovations, more effective forms of governance, and accompanying (policy-based) measures for all modes of transport.

The proposed projects should be carried out by local/regional authority-led consortia, covering three different urban or inter-urban areas that have a connection with the TEN-T network or an equivalent size, major transport corridor, each of them facing different spatial, social and/or economic challenges and/or experiences with the organisation of large/sport events.

Each urban area should establish a living laboratory where under real life-conditions a set of innovative, complementary and reinforcing scalable mobility solutions, centered around a principal solution can be developed, tested and implemented in an integrated, multimodal approach. The participating urban areas, which may have a geographical coverage that goes as far as the full functional urban area, should demonstrate their common interests and outline how they will ensure a meaningful and close cooperation. Proposals should outline how the proposed approach meets the needs of an efficient, flexible and accessible TEN-T urban node or a city located at an equivalent sized transport corridor, which in turn delivers an optimal use of the transport network and the integration of cost-effective solutions for energy supply/storage (with use of renewable energy as much as possible) and recharging networks for transport, and ICT networks for all modes of transport. The work of relevant Horizon 2020-funded projects, such as VITALNODES, could provide a useful starting point.

Proposals should explain how the proposed work will support the public authorities' efforts to implement their Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, in combination with urban (land) planning and development, and infrastructure planning and operations. Attention should be paid to issues related to vulnerable groups of citizens, gender issues and health impact of mobility. Actions may include research activities, and some preparatory, take up and replication actions, as well as the development of tools to support planning and policy making. Work may also include demonstration of a resilient urban mobility system, capable to address particular challenges in the organisation of large/sport events. Proposals are encouraged to incorporate new approaches to increase the availability and integration of data to support policymaking and business activities in smart, zero and low-emission mobility and to explore innovative ways of increasing the share of active modes of transport.

To capture impacts, the activities should include monitoring, for example, aspects such as modal share, energy intensity, level of emissions, impact on health, transport network performance (demand and supply) and connectivity through interoperability and multimodality. Projects are expected to collaborate with the established impact evaluation framework (using both clear baselines and measurable impact indicators), as well the dissemination and information exchange framework put in place in the field of urban mobility by the Commission.

Additionally, proposals should seek to establish financial and institutional/organisational cooperation models to enable seamless transport across the TEN-T urban node area or equivalent.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 7 to 9 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Typically, projects should have duration of 48 months and foresee sufficient time for evaluation, dissemination and exploitation activities.

Coordination and Support Action: fast-track and mainstream the replication of innovative, urban, peri-urban and rural mobility solutions

The second part of this topic is a Coordination and Support Action that aims to fast-track and mainstream the replication of innovative, tested urban, peri-urban and rural mobility solutions (e.g. technological, non-technological, services, goods and infrastructure). Proposals are expected to set up and run a 'Fast-track to innovative sustainable motorised and non-motorised mobility' action (working title – proposers are invited to choose an appealing title), which offers support and services to at least 20 cities and municipalities or their organisational/functional groupings. A 'staged approach' is possible – taking into account mobility, investment or geographical needs as well as delivering the project efficiently. At least one-third of these 20 locations should be located in areas experiencing rapid economic and social change.

The proposal should include all of the following actions:

  • Support for the development and towards implementation of innovative mobility solutions in 4 broad areas:
    1. Investments in and management of the transport network
    2. Supporting modal shift towards more energy-efficient, safer and active (whenever possible) modes for transport of freight and/or passengers
    3. New operating and business models in collective public and private transport (in any transport mode).
    4. Supporting mobility actions within the scope of the European Innovation Partnership in Smart cities and communities (or its successor working on smart cities).
  • Development and implementation of a programme of tailored actions to deliver capacity building and institutional networking by:

a. Supporting staff exchanges, expert visits, and short term training.

b. Supporting the identification and access to financial and legal expertise, to define the feasibility to replicate an innovative mobility solution and to develop an innovation deployment programme of scale, notably: meetings with (potential) investors, opportunities for follow-up investments and identification of synergies with European funding and financing.

c. Providing matchmaking services for innovative mobility solutions establishing the link between "suppliers" that may be both public and private organisations, or groupings thereof (such as Horizon2020 funded projects) and "customers" that are mainly public organisations (such as city councils, regional authorities, transport operators or their groupings).

d. The project should deliver a set of recommendations to bridge the gap in the research and innovation performance and the deployment of the innovative mobility solutions across EU Member States.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 1 to 1.5 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Coordination and Support Action: prepare for the deployment of Urban Air Mobility in urban and peri-urban areas

The integration of vertical urban mobility solutions (drones, and other forms of low-aerial mobility, as well as services) into existing surface multimodal transport (both freight and passenger) systems will add further complexity to the organisation of the urban and peri-urban transport and mobility services. It will require changes in public/shared transport management, logistics operations and infrastructure operations. With rapid technological progress in urban air mobility, especially local and regional public sector authorities are faced with challenges such as in financing, procuring, planning (infrastructure, systems), transport operations, safety, noise, security and public acceptance of these solutions.

The proposal should include all of the following actions:

a) To provide a knowledge base (dynamic updated, with a "brand") and to deliver a set of policy recommendations (in at least 8 languages – for use by local, regional, national and European public authorities, businesses and other organisations) for measures to (seamlessly) integrate the vertical and horizontal dimensions in urban and peri-urban mobility systems. These are notably:

  • Minimum required standards for products and processes in for ITS-type applications, urban planning (SUMPs), data-exchange, energy infrastructure, payments, environmental objectives, travel information and possibly other sectors such as building, construction, health care, retail etc.
  • Foresight deployment scenarios of up to 10 possible use cases in 5 to 15 years; public acceptance, governance, mobility systems, energy supply systems, infrastructure, investment opportunities, funding and financing needs, and land-use. An approach to set up these scenarios with wide consultation should be included in the proposal to ensure that social acceptance aspects are fully understood.
  • Tools for exchange and learning of urban air mobility with and to public authorities (notably local and regional), businesses civil society and research organisations.

b) To provide specific project development support and technical assistance for up to 10 deployment 'use cases' in locations (or groups thereof) with a demonstrated commitment from public and private organisations that are planning to start testing urban air mobility applications in the next 3 years. The type of support should as minimum include feasibility and market studies, programme and urban planning actions (for example procurement strategies).

This proposal should work closely together with the ongoing actions of the European Innovation Partnership in Smart cities (or its successor) and CIVITAS (or its successor) and possibly other networks with a strong participation of local and regional authorities.

The proposal should propose actions for cooperation with EASA, the SESAR Joint Undertaking, EUROCONTROL and the European U-Space Demonstrator network to ensure that project results are fed into developments in the institutional, regulatory and architectural frameworks for a competitive U-space services market.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 1 to 1.5 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

For the Innovation Action:

Projects should act as European demonstration-type ("lighthouse") examples for integrating new scalable technologies and measures into city transport operations and existing transport infrastructures at real-life scale in order to achieve long-term decarbonisation impacts; reliable solutions for a more sustainable, inclusive, safe and secure mobility system, including for the secure mobility of people and freight during major/sport events; clear improvements of the efficiency and accessibility of the transport networks/systems covering the TEN-T urban nodes or equivalent, and their access to the relevant TEN-T corridor(s) or equivalent transport corridors for transport of freight and/or passengers. Positive long term impacts on social cohesion, economic development and public perception – resulting in behavioural change and policy change - are anticipated.

Projects will contribute to the development of the existing European knowledge base on the effectiveness and impacts resulting from the implementation of innovative mobility solutions.

Clear commitments and contributions to Europe-wide take up during and beyond the project are expected, which could for example be in the form of follow-up actions funded by CEF or similar programmes.

This topic complements CEF-funded activities.

For the Coordination and Support Action: fast-track and mainstream the replication of innovative, urban, peri-urban and rural mobility solutions.

The following three main impacts are foreseen:

Firstly, proposals are expected to demonstrate how their activities will lead to fast-tracking and mainstreaming the replication of innovative, urban, peri-urban and rural mobility solutions. Proposals should as a minimum requirement provide; the expected number of people involved in the activities that will be undertaken in at least 20 cities/municipalities addressed by the project, information as to how their capacity will be improved to develop urban mobility and investment plans for deployment of innovative transport solutions. Secondly, the CSA is expected to lead to new research and innovation collaborations in sustainable urban mobility between organisations (public/ private), especially those located in countries that are more advanced and those located in countries lagging behind in the deployment of urban mobility innovations.

For the Coordination and Support Action: prepare for the deployment of Urban Air Mobility in urban and peri-urban areas

This action is expected to address the Amsterdam Drone Declaration which "called upon urban transport actors, policy makers and associations to pioneer cases demonstrating which systems, solutions and services seamlessly integrate smart multimodal solutions" and which "invited cities and regions to co-create with the citizens the public conditions and the infrastructure for integrated air and ground smart mobility solutions to flourish, where new and clean technologies, big data, real-time information and corresponding business models converge towards the enablement and realisation of “mobility as a service”.

The expected impact of this CSA project is to provide especially cities and regions with better planning tools and knowledge to integrate new applications of urban air mobility in their passenger and freight systems. This topic complements topic 'MG-3-6-2020: Towards sustainable urban air mobility'.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time (CSA Coordination and support action) and 09 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time (IA Innovation action).

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Decarbonising long distance shipping

All following aspects should be addressed:

  • Working together with, for example operators, ship builders, marine equipment manufacturers, fuel and energy suppliers and others research will address the development of technologies combined with operational practices to substantially reduce GHG emissions from long distance shipping in line with the IMO target and without increasing other forms of pollution.
  • Excluding fuel development, a wide range of potential solutions can be proposed including the use of wind and solar assistance combined with efficiency improvements and other alternate energies. Solutions can be proposed in combination and should take into account the likely availability of infrastructure (including bunkering) on long distance routes.
  • Solutions should also take into account the CO2 equivalent from any reduction of black carbon emissions.
  • Costs, GHG reductions and any other potential waste streams shall be convincingly analysed using real data and testing programmes in addition to theoretical analysis.
  • Implications for the provision of new infrastructures shall be quantified and assessed.
  • To at least TRL5, technologies, systems and practices shall be tested at full scale on operational shipping. The differences between predicted and measured data should be identified.
  • Any reduction in GHG emissions that are founded upon innovative operational practices must be robustly benchmarked against the current state of the art, for example concerning ship routings and speeds through the use of “big” AIS “data“ and/or other satellite data.
  • A robust communication strategy should be developed and implemented so as to ensure wider public engagement as well as a strong engagement with the global shipping sector and its customers.
  • Cooperation with IMO and EU activities and fora concerning the decarbonisation of shipping is encouraged. Build upon and cooperate with any related activities and research.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 to 10 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Expected Impact:

Development of innovative solutions to decarbonise shipping that exceed the IMO’s 2050 target to decarbonise by 50% and which are applicable to ship types that are the largest emitters of GHGs such as: bulk carriers, tankers, container ships, cruise ships and passenger liners. Establishment of robust benchmarks and methods which will provide wide confidence of the “real world” impacts from any specific GHG reduction measure including potential scalability and any secondary environmental impacts. Improve the competitiveness of European maritime industries and shipping companies within the field of green shipping. Increase the awareness and take up by end users. Provide evidence to policy makers within EU and globally concerning infrastructure requirements necessary to meet the 2050 decarbonisations target.

Deadline: 09 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Understanding and mitigating the effects on public health of emerging non-regulated nanoparticle emissions issues and noise

Proposals can focus on one or both of the following subtopics, but must be ready to work in cooperation and share results with other selected or running proposals particularly as far as data and material for experimentation (particle samples for health testing, for instance) are concerned:

1) Transport nanoparticles

All bullet points within this subtopic must be addressed:

  • Assessing and understanding the biological processes leading to negative effects on human beings and animals (including sex and gender differences, when relevant) in particular impacts of nanoparticles below 100 nm on carcinogenesis in multiple organs including both inflammation effects and the "Trojan Horse" effect of the different chemicals constituting or absorbed on the particles, as well as combined effects of the various components of exhaust gases. Work should consider both aged and fresh aerosols, include primary and secondary volatile and not volatile particles, in particular considering the significant emerging component of extremely fine nanoparticles (below 23 and even 10 nm) constituting a large share of exhausts from certain types of engines like gasoline and natural gas ones.
  • Assessing if and what variability of these effects exists with size, chemical composition and morphology, linking as far as possible the impacts with specific emission sources and leading to an understanding and quantification of the risks posed by different types and sources of particles. This research should cover all types of transport-related particles sources (both exhaust and non-exhaust, from road, rail, aviation and shipping) taking into account results from previously funded research projects in the same areas.
  • Evaluating the possible future impact of new policies in this area on public health and well-being of citizens and acceptance of the negative economic impacts that could derive from them.

2) Reduction of noise and particles emissions from tyres

All bullet points within this subtopic must be addressed:

  • Assessment and characterisation (respectively for at least one representative car and truck tyre size), of the amounts of tyre particles emitted in different driving conditions (acceleration, braking, different constant speeds, corner driving) both in laboratory and on real roads with on-boards system, by implementing sensors and analysing nanoparticles characteristics (size, distribution, chemical composition) determining in particular the number and mass shares of particles contributing to PM10, PM2.5 and PM0.1. The effects of chemical transformations of these particles in the air, if any relevant ones are possible, should be assessed to verify if any other negative health effect can be defined and quantified.
  • Evaluation of traffic noise effect on the cardiovascular system, assessing which type of noise (impulsive or background) has the most consequence on health taking into account sex and gender differences when relevant, in order to influence the development methodologies for limiting noise, and to anticipate future legislation and emerging issues.
  • Develop innovative tyres of heavy-duty freight transport optimised for low noise, rolling resistance, wear and therefore particles emissions, particularly in cruise conditions, while keeping a sufficient level of all other relevant performance parameters (traction, skid resistance, etc.). Due consideration should be taken of all road surface types in Europe present on extra-urban roads, and potential for co-optimisation should be considered if this can deliver global benefits without compromising the specific design features of tyres and road surfaces in the different environments for which they have been developed and for other types of vehicles (i.e. an improvement of road surface for trucks should not lead to worsening performances for other vehicles).
  • From the above experience, development of reliable and repeatable methodologies for the assessment and comparison of tyre emissions and tread wear for potential future legislation.
  • Particles tracing and quantification of the contribution of tyre wear to the microplastics issue in water bodies (rivers, lakes, seas..) and in the ground.
  • Evaluating the possible future impact of new policies in this area on public health and well-being of citizens and public acceptance of the negative economic impacts that could derive from them.

Proposals in all areas could foresee international cooperation and experience and exploit synergies in view of establishing future international standards and regulations, including contributing to risk governance in the emerging field of nanomaterials (from which some input from relevant research projects could be gained as well).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 to 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Expected Impact:

The project resulting from these areas shall deliver the following impacts:

  • Enhanced understanding of the health threats posed by particles and noise.
  • Guidance for developing and prioritising mitigation measures in future legislation on air quality and emissions, taking into account social aspects.
  • European and possibly global standards in critical industrial areas like engines and wear components (brakes, clutches and tyres).
  • At least 6dB(A) truck tyre noise reduction in areas which will not benefit from zero emissions vehicles low powertrain noise, i.e. along motorways and urban/periurban thoroughfares at speeds between 50 and 90 kph, where truck tire noise is very relevant.

Deadline: 09 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time

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Enhancing coordination between Member States' actions in the area of infrastructure research with a particular focus on biodiversity and ameliorating environmental impacts and full automated infrastructure upgrade and maintenance

1. CSA subtopic: Substantial national and EU funds are spent on transport infrastructure development in all modes of transport. The efficiency of these expenditures is closely related to the level of use of modern innovative and sustainable solutions and on coordination among Member States. In order to facilitate continuous cooperation and coordination among public and private actors and to improve the uptake of new sustainable solutions, a structured dialogue between relevant stakeholders should be initiated and sustained with the key objective of successful deployment of research results.

2. RIA subtopic: An area where research and coordination is needed is the use of robotised equipment, drones or other (semi)-automated remote-piloted solutions, offering significant potential to reduce workers exposure to live traffic and construction machines, to increase the availability of the transport network, as well as to automate and reduce the cost of repeatable tasks and safety upgrades. Significant advances in robotising the upgrade or maintenance of network infrastructures based on standardising, modularising and industrial prefabricating of large percentage of the infrastructure will ease the way to automate most construction, repair and retrofitting projects.

Scope:

In order to meet these large challenges this topic will be implemented through two types of actions

1. Coordination and Support Action

Transport infrastructure can result in significant and lasting degradation of ecosystems and habitats. Considering Europe has the highest transport infrastructure density in the world, there is an urgent need to address this rapidly increasing challenge.

Stronger cooperation should be developed between national, regional, European and international supporting programmes and initiatives on research, innovation and deployment, aimed at improving transport infrastructure performance on environmental and social sustainability. For instance, synergies with Horizon 2020 and CEF projects, as well as with the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 should be established, while building as much as possible from relevant existing proven structures and platforms of infrastructure stakeholders. In order to ultimately ensure sufficient deployment impact, the proposals should include the national transport infrastructure authorities with responsibility for managing their national networks from at least 10 countries (Member States or Associated Countries), ensuring strong engagement in relevant European platforms and wider reach.

Proposals should cover all the following issues:

  • Successful roll-out of a Strategic Research and Deployment Agenda (SRDA) endorsed by the national transport infrastructure authorities and the public innovation programme owners, representing the societal and environmental needs and requirements for infrastructure innovation. The agenda will take input from the relevant industry stakeholders, in close cooperation with the research community as well as environmental agencies which will supply innovative solutions. and developing alternative and more-biodiversity-friendly transport modes (e.g. bicycle paths and highways).
  • Particular focus should be on innovative solutions in the planning and design stage of the infrastructure life cycle as this stage offers the best opportunities for achieving environmentally sustainable transport infrastructure network for Europe’s citizens reducing the harmful impact on the environmental and social sustainability.

The proposal should include opportunities for adapting transport infrastructure in view of changing demand, social changes, climate, biodiversity, technology and digitalisation. The work will feed into the strategic research and innovation (R&I) agenda of the relevant stakeholders, which should be jointly developed and implemented by the transport authorities, the research community, the infrastructure operators and civil society. Clear priorities should be agreed and widely communicated so they can reflect an aim for building sustainable and environmentally-friendly infrastructure.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU for sub topic 1 (CSA) of between EUR 2.5-3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. There shall be only one project selected for the sub topic 1.

2. Research and Innovation Action

This topic should be considered as a follow-up of previous calls on remote sensing, monitoring and decision support to maintenance planning, and should be taken into consideration to develop the phase of intervention, to achieve the maximum automation possible in physical interventions to maintain the integrity, performance and safety levels of the infrastructure.

Proposals should cover all the following issues:

  • Application of robotics and remote piloted systems to infrastructure upgrade or maintenance works to push the transport sector in the automated era and increase the overall productivity and efficiency of the transport infrastructure, thus relieving the burden of the costs on the users.
  • Development of robotized equipment to perform routine, periodic or emergency maintenance works; adequate connections with the structural and functional monitoring sensors and traffic management system to deploy automatic intervention of robots and remote piloted systems while respecting safety operations and personnel.
  • Development of robotized equipment for larger interventions of maintenance or upgrading to be remotely controlled in non-routine circumstances avoiding disruption of other routine operations and increasing coordination between them and other involved agents.
  • Proposals should foster the development and use of industrial-prefabricated infrastructures and modularising the planning, designing, and construction phases for retrofit projects using robotised equipment to perform automated construction or maintenance tasks.
  • Possibilities for utilising V2I communication for capturing data and processing by AI for predictive maintenance should also be considered. New technologies, such as for instance AR and VR modelling, AI and drone technologies should be taken into account.
  • Projects must consider a pilot demonstration in operational environment (minimum at TRL7 level). Testing and deployment on CEF corridors and possible synergies with CEF innovation projects is to be considered.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU for sub topic 2 (RIA) of between EUR 4 and 5 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

1. Coordination and Support Action

  • Improved environmental performance of Europe’s transport infrastructure and networks (e.g. reduction of habitats' fragmentation).
  • Targeted research and deployment actions and efficient use of resources within a coherent innovation strategy
  • Strengthened lasting synergies between relevant national, regional (European) and international innovation programmes and initiatives.
  • Widespread awareness of European efforts, as well as increased visibility of R&I outcomes and their contribution to improving environmental performance and biodiversity in a safe transport infrastructure network.
  • Increased take-up of innovation outcomes by market, national authorities and relevant national platforms, while strengthening the alignment of innovation deployment of national infrastructure authorities in Europe.

2. Research and Innovation Action

  • Reduction of fatal accidents due to maintenance works of road users and deployed personnel by 50%
  • Reduction of traffic disruption due to maintenance works by 20%
  • Reduction of routine maintenance costs by 20%
  • Improvement of network capacity by 20%, based on the levels measured at the beginning for the project.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time (CSA Coordination and support action) and 09 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time (RIA Research and Innovation action).

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Network and traffic management for future mobility

In order to meet this challenge, proposals should build on existing state-of-the-art and address at least 6 of the following aspects:

  • Analyse the requirements for a next-generation multi-modal network and traffic management capability (incl. intra-modal optimisation and development of cross-modal interfaces), which would enable the integration of smart infrastructures, connected and automated vehicles, systems and services into a truly multi-modal network.
  • Design an architecture and concept of operations for an efficient, resilient and adaptable multi-modal network and traffic management system, using innovative data collection/fusion techniques and leveraging where possible existing standards/methods for data exchange.
  • Assess the relevance, differentiation and preference for a centralised versus a decentralised approach towards network and traffic management in the presence of connected and automated vehicles. Existing work in this area, including from the Joint Research Centre should be taken into consideration.
  • Develop multi-actor organisational and business models with shared responsibilities, which would enable effective network and traffic management by designing appropriate interfaces and interactions between the different traffic management systems of stakeholders.
  • Develop tools for dynamic transport demand management and dynamic transport supply optimisation, enabling demand-capacity balancing for efficient journey management (for passengers and freight taking into account men’s and women’s needs).
  • Design and calibrate arbitration models for complex network and traffic management scenarios and multi-actor settings, including disaster management (optimising multiple performance targets, enabling triggering conditions and balancing individual versus collective needs).
  • Perform simulations for traffic optimisation under various scenarios (e.g. large/sport event) involving smart infrastructures, conventional as well as connected and automated vehicles, in urban / non-urban settings, considering foreseen (e.g. roadworks) or unforeseen circumstances (e.g. accidents), within a multi-modal network and traffic management system.
  • Develop and test traffic management systems for connected and automated vehicle fleets, enabling the efficient operation of such fleets on open roads and thereby, contributing to smart, energy efficient, multimodal mobility concepts.
  • Design a classification index for smart infrastructures, according to their capability to effectively support optimised network and traffic management for connected and automated vehicles.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 4 to 5 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Actions are expected to address all of the following aspects:

  • Accelerate the transition towards connected and automated mobility and the development of new services;
  • Facilitate the integration of transport modes into a multimodal network for passengers and freight;
  • Reduce capacity bottlenecks and, traffic jams, thereby saving time (for passengers and freight) and reducing pollutant emissions, leading also to positive health effects in Europe;
  • Improve safety and security in all transport modes, in line with the Transport White Paper (e.g. Vision Zero);
  • Reduce the cost of mobility for all (incl. industry, public authorities and citizens).

Deadline: 09 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Improving road safety by effectively monitoring working patterns and overall fitness of drivers

Develop and test in at least 3 different sites innovative technological solutions for evaluating a driver’s fitness. These should include for example:

  • Methods and practical solutions for evaluating driver’s performance and cognitive load, physical fatigue and reaction time. These solutions should go beyond the current state of the art and be suitable for roadside tests with particular focus on commercial drivers, whose working patterns could influence their driving performance. Transitional aspects with regard to automation should be considered and training actions for drivers should also be foreseen. Sex and gender differences should be considered when relevant. The proposed solutions should be interoperable and standardisation possibilities should be explored.
  • Develop efficient, reliable, cost-effective and socially acceptable solutions for detecting impairing psychoactive substances (e.g. alcohol, prescription medicines, illicit or medicinal drugs etc) for which driving under their influence poses a road safety risk. The proposed drug screening devices should fulfil practical and scientific requirements and display at least 20% higher sensitivity (how often the test is positive when the condition of interest is present) and specificity (how often the test is negative when the condition of interest is absent) than the current state of the art.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 to 3.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Expected Impact:

  • Practical onsite or affordable screening devices that reliably measure the driver’s fitness and detect the existence of impairing substances.
  • Countermeasures to combat driving impaired by medicines or excess fatigue.
  • More consistent implementation across Member States of fitness to drive regulation and driver training, contributing to EU road safety targets.
  • Standardised solutions for evaluating fitness to drive.

Deadline: 09 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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EGNSS applications for public authorities' pilot

The objective is to launch demand-driven actions by public authorities aiming at customising EGNSS applications for their needs. Transnational cooperation has a key role to play in this context, as it can facilitate knowledge transfer and optimisation of resources for public authorities. Proposals should be building on procurement needs of the participating organizations. The proposals should support the EGNSS market take-up across Europe and demonstrate a sustainability of solutions beyond the lifespan of the proposed project. The choice of EGNSS market segment and application is left to the proposer. A non-exhaustive list of possible applications is presented below:

  • EGNSS for mobility as a service, cooperative ITS, public transport and smart cities,
  • Implementation of Performance Based Navigation procedures,
  • Integration of EGNSS into U-Space concept for drones,
  • Helicopter emergency medical services with EGNOS capabilities (operations and equipment).
  • Public rescue services with Galileo SAR capable helicopters, boats and drones
  • EGNSS to support port operations,
  • Monitoring of infrastructure with EGNSS (rail, road, critical infrastructure)

The consortium should engage public procurers from each country represented in the consortium (at national, regional or local level) that have responsibilities and budget control in the relevant EGNSS market segment.

Proposals should be built on the exploitation of the distinguishing features of EGNOS and Galileo signals and operational advantages in downstream applications.

EGNSS should be part and parcel of the envisaged solution(s). However, where a combination of EGNSS with other technologies is required to make the application(s) work, this is not excluded from the scope.

Proposals addressing PRS (Public Regulated Service) related applications are not in the scope of this topic.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Activities related to this topic should contribute to:

  • The establishment of buyer groups for EGNSS application;
  • Creation of EGNSS-enabled national, regional or local applications in support of public authorities;
  • Fostering the emergence of similar EGNSS actions in smart specialisation strategies;
  • Establishment of sustainable supply chains for delivery of downstream EGNSS applications to public authorities;
  • Smart use of the procurement budget to remove supplier lock-in and obtain more open, standardized and better “value for money” solutions;
  • Increase in quality, and decrease in prices, of EGNSS products and services;
  • Increased exploitation of IPRs and R&D results;
  • Creation of growth and jobs in Europe.

Deadline: 05 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Efficient and safe connected and automated heavy-duty vehicles in real logistics operations

The focus of this topic is to develop, test and demonstrate connected and automated systems for heavy commercial vehicles in real logistics operations.

Proposed actions should include all the following aspects:

  • Identify logistics operational needs and analyse new, emerging business and operating models and related technologies for efficient, high capacity and safe connected and automated heavy commercial vehicles (preferably low-emission vehicles) and optimised links with other parts in the logistics chain.
  • Develop, design, test and validate enhanced connected and automated vehicle technologies for heavy commercial vehicles for improved perception and localisation, vehicle control, connectivity (vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-cloud and vehicle-infrastructure), system resilience and dependability, functional safety, cyber security, interoperability and system cost optimization, reduced emissions and fuel consumption at fleet level.
  • Test and demonstrate innovative, efficient and safe connected and automated heavy commercial vehicles for real logistics operations on hub-to-hub corridors, on open roads in mixed traffic or in confined areas addressing mixed traffic capabilities to prepare for operation in real road conditions..
  • Enhanced interaction between connected and automated heavy commercial vehicles and their users and other (vulnerable) road users. Innovative services for automated freight logistics of individual transport units.

A cost-benefit analysis will demonstrate the added value and economic viability of automated systems in real logistics operations for users and stakeholders.

The active involvement of shippers, freight forwarders and truck manufacturers is strongly encouraged. The cooperation with organisations linked to actions of the TEN-T network is encouraged.

In line with the Union's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation, international cooperation is encouraged. In particular, proposals should foresee cooperation with projects or partners from the US, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and/or Australia. Proposals should foresee twinning with entities participating in projects funded by US DOT to exchange knowledge and experience and exploit synergies. Twinning with Japan is also encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 15 and 20 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Actions are expected to contribute to the accelerated deployment of innovative connected and automated freight transport solutions in Europe. Actions will show that they will help to increase the overall safety and efficiency of freight operations of individual trucks or fleets (emissions/freight ratio, fuel consumption, road occupancy, vehicle utilization, capacity of transport network) in confined areas and in mixed traffic (hub to hub) through innovative connected and automated driving systems. Actions will show the uptake of new business models and seek to reach a total cost reduction of operations and logistics and supply chain leading to improved competitiveness of the European transport and logistics industry.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Large-scale, cross-border demonstration of connected and highly automated driving functions for passenger cars

The proposed actions should include all the following aspects:

  • Demonstrate the robustness and reliability (functional safety) and user acceptance of connected and highly automated driving technologies and systems for passenger cars (SAE level 4) for different use cases in particularly challenging and complex environments that are expected to be introduced into the market after 2020.
  • Test innovative connectivity technologies for connected and automated driving since communication and cooperation of automated vehicles with other vehicles, infrastructure and other road users has the potential to increase the safety, comfort, productivity and the enabling of innovative business models of automated vehicles and to improve the efficiency of the overall transport system.
  • The use of the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems (Galileo and EGNOS) should be encouraged to achieve the full potential of advanced satellite positioning for automated driving functions.
  • Optimised use of digital technologies such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data for automation should be considered.
  • Conduct cross-border demonstrations to ensure that new services and systems are compatible and interoperable at European level, to optimise the use of digital technologies for automation between countries, to coordinate investments towards reliable communication coverage and to exploit the full potential of hybrid communications between short-range and long-range technologies and technologies within the 5.9 GHz spectrum band.
  • Develop and test solutions for smooth communication and interaction between automated vehicles and their users and other (vulnerable) road users, taking into account gender differences, when relevant.
  • Holistic concept for cybersecurity to protect automated driving systems (and its connectivity points) to avoid any (conscious) manipulations of the information enabling automated driving functions and to assure confidentiality, availability and integrity of data. This concept should also include the protection of the information collected by the automated vehicles and the external data transferred to the vehicles. Provide support to the development of testing and validation procedures of connected and automated driving functions, including their performance related to cyber-security.
  • Evaluate effects of connected, cooperative and highly automated driving systems on transport system efficiency, safety, security, environment as well as on user behaviour and user acceptance, taking into account gender differences and other intersectionalities, when relevant.

Lessons learned (data, knowledge and experiences from the project, including disengagements and edge cases) should be provided. Consortia should commit to make the data collected during the pilots available through common data sharing frameworks in order to foster further research.

In line with the Union's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation, international cooperation is encouraged. In particular, proposals should foresee cooperation with projects or partners from the US, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and/or Australia. Proposals should foresee twinning with entities participating in projects funded by US DOT to exchange knowledge and experience and exploit synergies. Twinning with Japan is also encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 15 and 30 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Actions are expected to demonstrate at large-scale the technological readiness, reliability and safety of the connected and highly automated driving functions for different use cases in particularly challenging and complex environments. They will show that highly automated driving systems for passenger vehicles can increase road safety and transport efficiency, reduce energy use, pollutant emissions and traffic congestions, and therefore support climate action and sustainable development objectives. Better protection of connected and automated vehicles against any type of cyber threats to guarantee safe operations. Actions will seek to improve user acceptance of innovative connected and highly automated driving systems and the uptake of new business models. They will contribute to a better understanding of viable business and operating models that could lead to private and/or public private investments in communication infrastructure.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Next generation and realisation of battery packs for BEV and PHEV

Proposals will have to address all of the following technical areas for passenger car applications (developed module concept scalability to delivery vans, heavy duty vehicles or busses would be beneficial, but not obligatory. Same applies to concept transfer between BEV and PHEVs):

  • Design of advanced battery packs and systems satisfying lightweighting, crashworthiness, electrical and thermal requirements using advanced lightweight materials improved packaging, integration and modularity while considering aspects of ecodesign for manufacturing and dismantling (including their automation), reuse (second life) and recycling/sustainability, leading to a global LCA improvement.
  • Development of specific solutions and processes for the sustainable dismantling and recycling of battery pack/modules and their materials, components and sub-systems taking into account safety and automation.
  • Flexible advanced battery management systems capable of being used on different types of packs and mid-sized vehicles with different use patterns, and underlying provision to be used in second life applications.
  • Advanced functionalities of battery management systems to enable control of modules and packs and their remote maintenance and troubleshooting, software updating and other functions. Safety and modularity aspects must be taken into account when increasing battery pack energy density. In addition, health and environmental aspects of advanced battery pack materials shall be considered over the lifecycle including cases of failure, and reuse/recycling.
  • Development of high voltage systems compatible with high-power ultra-fast charging and related implications, including high and low temperature charging, insulation, advanced models (including for instance data mining and big data on existing databases) for monitoring thermal state and estimation of application-dependant State of Health (i.e. in first and second use).
  • Development and qualification of future performance-related test procedures of developed functionalities under real-world conditions, incl. extreme environmental conditions.
  • Concept validation of battery performance functionalities at full scale should be demonstrated through pack integration into an existing vehicle (no vehicle development can be included in claimed costs) which should also serve as a benchmark of achieved performance.
  • Development and qualification of future safety related test procedures e.g. venting/management of gases, battery failure warning signals, thermal propagation.

The combination of achieved improvements with new components and functionalities on the vehicle and infrastructure sides coming from topics LC-GV-01-2018, LC-GV-02-2018 and LC-GV-03-2019) should allow the development of new concepts for affordable FEVs which enable long duration trips (e.g. 700-1000km day trips across different Member States) with not more than respectively 60-90 minutes additional travel time in comparison with ICE vehicles and without additional degradation impact on the FEV powertrain including the battery when used for max 10% of the charging events.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 8 and 10 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.​ Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Considerably improved performance of the EV through reduced battery system weight by 20% at constant electric vehicle range for mid-size battery electric car.
  • Overcome the uncertainty of range by achieving 25% shorter recharging time with a 150kW charger compared to best in class electric car available on the market in 2018. The demonstrator must have the same battery capacity as the reference car and meet the useful battery life mentioned below.
  • Improved attractiveness of the EV through achieving extended useful battery life to 300 000 km in real driving referring to a mid-size passenger car using improved battery management, balancing and thermal management during high-power charging/discharging.
  • Contribution to Circular Economy goals through a minimum 20% Life Cycle Analysis improvement compared to existing products.
  • Considerably improved knowledge on module and pack sensorisation and thermal management.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Reducing the cost of large batteries for waterborne transport

Proposals can address either the battery cell or the battery system (racks, battery management system, fault detection and any integrated fire suppression) or both the cell and battery system.

All of the following aspects should be addressed:

  • With respect to waterborne transport, research and develop a large battery system and/or specific battery cells that are substantially cheaper on a total cost basis with respect to existing system.
  • Work should be applicable to battery systems of at least 1 MWh capacity.
  • Prove the technology and manufacturing processes through system trials and testing.
  • Address production process efficiency.
  • Address the requirements for type approval from relevant authorities including a comprehensive risk based safety assessment.
  • Development of a marine battery certification methodology with the objective of: validating and verifying safety (with consideration of air, liquid or passive cooling), including the standardisation of test methods and tools for certification cost reduction.
  • Considering of different vessel types, address the integration of battery systems into Energy/Power management system of vessel.
  • Undertake a cost benefit analysis to convincingly demonstrate the cost savings in comparison to current state of the art waterborne battery technology.
  • Assess end of life and disposal strategies.
  • Develop a convincing business case and consider potential financing models.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 8 and 12 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Expected Impact:

The principal impact should be to substantially reduce the lifetime cost of large waterborne battery systems and to enhance the competitiveness of European industry within the waterborne battery market. Cut greenhouse gas emissions from waterborne transport. Increase the European skills base in large battery technology and manufacturing processes. Support European jobs and growth. Increase confidence in waterborne battery technology investment. Speed up the transition of most short range freight and ferry services towards zero emission.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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Advanced light materials and their production processes for automotive applications

Proposals will have to address at least one of the two following technical areas:

  • Lightweight materials and design (both bullet points hereunder must be addressed):

- Lightweight materials (both metallic and reinforced plastics) for automotive applications which are economically-viable including multi-material concepts that allow cost-effective material separation, recycling and recovery, taking into account environmental impact through Life Cycle Assessment;

- Manufacturing and assembly methods and tools to guarantee structural integrity, reliability and long service life by design for lightweight materials (e.g. through understanding of failure mechanisms, of impact of ageing phenomena and the effects of manufacturing processes on a microstructure level) including their experimental and model-based characterisation;

  • Cradle-to-cradle approach both bullet points hereunder must be addressed:

- Methods for the adoption of the circular economy and eco-design approach from the earliest stages of vehicle development, integrating product design and sustainable manufacturing, and including the optimal use of recycled and/or bio-ressourced materials;

- Implementation of advanced methodologies for improved design capabilities via numerical simulation, virtual and physical testing and validation, for the lightweight design of different vehicle types. These methodologies will not cover batteries.

The primary focus of the activities is on light-duty electric vehicles, where weight minimisation and its impact in terms of improving vehicle efficiency and range is top priority; nevertheless proposals can investigate and exploit, where it can be demonstrated to be appropriate, the potential benefits of application to a wide range of road vehicles including heavy-duty.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 and 5 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Expected Impact:

  • Demonstrated affordable and sustainable vehicle weight reductions of at least 10% with respect to the results already achieved by previous projects in the same area, through the optimised deployment of advanced light materials;
  • Reduction in vehicle development and hence in the lead times for the market introduction of new, more energy-efficient vehicles, through the use of advanced methodologies and numerical simulation tools;
  • Widespread deployment of procedures to ensure structural integrity and safety of components made of advanced light materials while promoting their efficient repair and reuse through in-service health-monitoring and inspection;
  • Effective solutions for reuse, recycling and/or energy recovery of all materials, components and sub-systems in line with forthcoming ELV legislative requirements;

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Reducing the environmental impact of hybrid light duty vehicles

Proposals will have to address all the following technical areas:

  • Advanced energy generators in hybrid electric applications (excluding therefore simple derivatives of existing engines) to minimise total environmental impacts.
  • Evaluation and optimisation of related hybrid driveline technologies and topologies matching the characteristics of the innovative systems if these are significantly different from current implementations, based on real world operation.
  • Holistic management and optimisation of thermal functions of vehicles and systems in both battery- and engine-based operation. This includes battery thermal management, passenger comfort and safety functions (like demisting/defrosting) and real-world operation of after-treatment. The latter, for instance, could be achieved by storing and using available heat or electric energy to improve catalysts efficiency by maintaining them close to or above light-off temperature. Heat to power technologies that convert waste heat into electricity or useful work for driveline and ancillary systems can also be researched if a sufficient energy availability and cost-effectiveness can be proven.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 and 5 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Expected Impact:

  • Each developed technology should be implemented in an existing demonstrators vehicle (no vehicle or hybrid powertrain development is foreseen except as mentioned above for innovative technologies for which this is impossible) and independently tested in real driving conditions according to the methodologies developed for PHEVs in RDE regulation, with the following more stringent requirements:

- 15% higher V x apos values in urban, extraurban and motorway real driving segments;

- Use of raw emissions with no weighting;

- A 2000m limit on altitude gain;

- No time limit on 165 km/h maximum test speed.

  • Engine peak efficiency shall reach at least 47% to guarantee high efficiency also in areas not covered by battery propulsion (particularly in motorway driving).
  • A battery consistent with a WLTP range of at least 80km shall be incorporated or its mass simulated for RDE testing, which will however be performed in charge sustaining mode, with a full passenger load.
  • The resulting technology shall demonstrate a reduction of the real world environmental impacts of vehicles consistent with the level of ambition defined for the European Commission Horizon Prize for cleanest engine of the future (with a minimum score of 3 for each main pollutant PM/PN, NOx and hydrocarbons, and 1 for “other pollutants” i.e. ammonia, formaldehyde, nitrous oxides and carbon oxide) thus simulating compliance with possible future regulation and ensuring a low impact also when running on the combustion engine.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Next generation electrified vehicles for urban and suburban use

Proposals should address only one of the following subtopics (except in the case of modular concepts capable of addressing subtopics 2 and 3 respectively with the same platform

  1. Urban light personal mobility - The success of vehicles such as monowheels, electric scooters and hoverboards suggests to explore innovative microvehicle designs suitable for urban/sub-urban dweller and commuter’ needs with the option for usage within shared mobility schemes.​These vehicles will be aimed at improving specific urban usage needs such as decreased congestion, elimination of parking and recharging need in case weight and volume are low enough to allow the user to carry them at all times. Such microvehicles would also have the capability of interfacing with urban collective transport systems (i.e. easy access to buses, trams and trains for “last mile” transfers to achieve full intermodality). Concepts to improve safety of users and of pedestrians (if these vehicles were used on sidewalks) are an added bonus. The proposals should develop a solution up to TRL 8-9 and must include a detailed exploitation strategy and a draft business plan for the product to be developed. The proposers should demonstrate their capacity to have a market ready product by the end of the project. Regulatory aspects shall also be covered, in particular about the integration of these new concepts in road codes.
  2. Light and flexible multipassenger vehicles (e.g. collective or individual, owned or shared up to M1 category) with high safety for passengers and vulnerable road users and specific features to facilitate shared use such as autonomous-capable vehicles with automated relocation to charging points or areas with insufficient vehicle density. An added dimension of flexibility and modularity (e.g. including reconfigurable interiors) can also be considered to support the ability to adapt and upgrade in order to move from one application to the next, and cater, if relevant, to the needs of different users and uses as required for shared mobility scenarios). Gender aspects should be considered in the design of the vehicles, when relevant, for instance in the case of crashworthiness.
  3. Rightsized vehicles for commercial uses (up to N1 category) such as last-/first-mile delivery, construction and maintenance support (masons, plumbers, HVAC technicians etc.), that are suitable specifically for urban scenarios. Affordability will be aimed at achieving an acceptable acquisition cost and significantly lower operational expenditure while specific tailoring to particular urban usage needs will aim at ensuring high transportation and charging efficiency and optimised land use (e.g. “right-power” DC-charging at pre-defined locations - home base, customer/delivery points etc. - might be sufficient).

For all these subtopics, fully integrated safety should be considered as a priority, including crash resistance (in case of three and four wheels urban vehicles) providing equivalent occupant safety and vulnerable road user protection as the M1/N1 vehicle they would replace; in the case of micro vehicles, safety innovation should be targeted at reducing their vulnerability in traffic.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 2 million for sub-topic 1 and of between EUR 4 and 6 million for sub-topic 2 and 3 would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • For completely new microvehicle concepts and configurations (subtopic 1), proposers should demonstrate benefits on a mission/range basis in comparison to current types (monowheels, hoverboard, e-bikes or electric scooters) as appropriate in the foreseen applications.
  • Next generation vehicles concepts in sub-topics 2) and 3) shall demonstrate in real testing ambitious targets of up to 10% energy efficiency improvement in comparison with existing electric vehicles of the same class.
  • Price will be on a par with current vehicles used for similar missions (minicars, vans of similar payload to be used as benchmarks for subtopic 2 and 3, while current hoverboards and scooters are the benchmark for subtopic1).
  • These vehicles will inherently benefit local air quality and promise rapid implementation due to their holistic and design-for-purpose approach.
  • The perception of low safety of the smaller categories of vehicles should be dispelled by proving their resistance in crash (on real vehicles, achieving EURONCAP 4 star car crash standards for subtopics 2 and 3). Lower probability of having an accident is a desired but not mandatory outcome for subtopic 1.
  • Increased acceptance of single purpose design vehicles is expected due to physical demonstration of the feasibility (both technical and economical) of equivalent or superior performance, upgradeability and operational safety in relevant environment particularly for light and flexible transport.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                           

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Setting up a common European research and innovation strategy for the future of road transport

Proposals should take a comprehensive approach ranging from components up to system integration, and include enabling technologies where relevant. Both passenger mobility and freight transport should be addressed and covering urban mobility as well as inter-urban and long-distance transport. They should address all the following aspects:

  • Updating of research agendas and roadmaps developed by the European Technology Platform ERTRAC (European Road Transport Research Advisory Council) and supporting the definition of research priorities of future Horizon Europe Partnerships relevant to road transport, covering all transport research fields.

  • Facilitating cooperation between cities in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Actively support policy and knowledge exchange and establish a peer-to-peer exchange and capacity building programme that takes advantage of the results of a large number of relevant cities. Cooperation between EU and international projects on urban mobility. Develop implementation concepts for sustainable mobility including shared private vehicles (e.g. light-duty vehicles and 2-, and 3-wheelers), logistics (e.g. e-Trucks, cargo bikes), public transport systems (e.g. Bus Rapid Transit Systems, buses, soft modes) and new mobility services.

  • Liaise with international financing institutions to foster the take-up and implementation of the concepts developed, support the European Commission in international discussions and specialised sectorial Fora related to Mobility for All, Climate Change and the New Urban Agenda. Track global progress on urban electric mobility and support UN activities, such as the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI).

The implementation requires close collaboration with the leading European stakeholders in transport research, including vehicles manufacturers, supply industry, and research and engineering organisations, as well as strong links with other relevant European initiatives and associations. In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation, international cooperation is encouraged with key emerging countries, in particular with Asia, Latin America and Africa.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 0.8 to 1 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

This action will bring together the leading European stakeholders in road transport research to develop roadmaps and support international cooperation. It will contribute to a further harmonisation of research and innovation, and therefore contribute to the European Research Area, in particular also in the view of innovation, as well as to the European strategies for a future transport system.

Proposals are expected to contribute to:

  • The objective of the European Union for climate action and sustainable development.
  • The objectives set by the Paris Agreement (COP21) and the New Urban Agenda.
  • The fulfilment of post 2020 emission targets in road transport (at least 30% by 2030 compared to 2021)
  • The EU's long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 ("Vision Zero")
  • UN's Sustainable Development Goals 11 "Sustainable cities and communities" (with particular attention to 11.2) and 13 "Climate Action"
  • Strengthening the collaboration of the European Union with Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Cities as climate-resilient, connected multimodal nodes for smart and clean mobility: new approaches towards demonstrating and testing innovative solutions

This topic is divided in 3 sub-topics.

Innovation Action:

The first part of this topic invites for proposals that combine new technologies and non-technological innovations, more effective forms of governance, and accompanying (policy-based) measures for all modes of transport.

The proposed projects should be carried out by local/regional authority-led consortia, covering three different urban or inter-urban areas that have a connection with the TEN-T network or an equivalent size, major transport corridor, each of them facing different spatial, social and/or economic challenges and/or experiences with the organisation of large/sport events.

Each urban area should establish a living laboratory where under real life-conditions a set of innovative, complementary and reinforcing scalable mobility solutions, centered around a principal solution can be developed, tested and implemented in an integrated, multimodal approach. The participating urban areas, which may have a geographical coverage that goes as far as the full functional urban area, should demonstrate their common interests and outline how they will ensure a meaningful and close cooperation. Proposals should outline how the proposed approach meets the needs of an efficient, flexible and accessible TEN-T urban node or a city located at an equivalent sized transport corridor, which in turn delivers an optimal use of the transport network and the integration of cost-effective solutions for energy supply/storage (with use of renewable energy as much as possible) and recharging networks for transport, and ICT networks for all modes of transport. The work of relevant Horizon 2020-funded projects, such as VITALNODES, could provide a useful starting point.

Proposals should explain how the proposed work will support the public authorities' efforts to implement their Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, in combination with urban (land) planning and development, and infrastructure planning and operations. Attention should be paid to issues related to vulnerable groups of citizens, gender issues and health impact of mobility. Actions may include research activities, and some preparatory, take up and replication actions, as well as the development of tools to support planning and policy making. Work may also include demonstration of a resilient urban mobility system, capable to address particular challenges in the organisation of large/sport events. Proposals are encouraged to incorporate new approaches to increase the availability and integration of data to support policymaking and business activities in smart, zero and low-emission mobility and to explore innovative ways of increasing the share of active modes of transport.

To capture impacts, the activities should include monitoring, for example, aspects such as modal share, energy intensity, level of emissions, impact on health, transport network performance (demand and supply) and connectivity through interoperability and multimodality. Projects are expected to collaborate with the established impact evaluation framework (using both clear baselines and measurable impact indicators), as well the dissemination and information exchange framework put in place in the field of urban mobility by the Commission.

Additionally, proposals should seek to establish financial and institutional/organisational cooperation models to enable seamless transport across the TEN-T urban node area or equivalent.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 7 to 9 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Typically, projects should have duration of 48 months and foresee sufficient time for evaluation, dissemination and exploitation activities.

Coordination and Support Action: fast-track and mainstream the replication of innovative, urban, peri-urban and rural mobility solutions

The second part of this topic is a Coordination and Support Action that aims to fast-track and mainstream the replication of innovative, tested urban, peri-urban and rural mobility solutions (e.g. technological, non-technological, services, goods and infrastructure). Proposals are expected to set up and run a 'Fast-track to innovative sustainable motorised and non-motorised mobility' action (working title – proposers are invited to choose an appealing title), which offers support and services to at least 20 cities and municipalities or their organisational/functional groupings. A 'staged approach' is possible – taking into account mobility, investment or geographical needs as well as delivering the project efficiently. At least one-third of these 20 locations should be located in areas experiencing rapid economic and social change.

The proposal should include all of the following actions:

  • Support for the development and towards implementation of innovative mobility solutions in 4 broad areas:
    1. Investments in and management of the transport network
    2. Supporting modal shift towards more energy-efficient, safer and active (whenever possible) modes for transport of freight and/or passengers
    3. New operating and business models in collective public and private transport (in any transport mode).
    4. Supporting mobility actions within the scope of the European Innovation Partnership in Smart cities and communities (or its successor working on smart cities).
  • Development and implementation of a programme of tailored actions to deliver capacity building and institutional networking by:

a. Supporting staff exchanges, expert visits, and short term training.

b. Supporting the identification and access to financial and legal expertise, to define the feasibility to replicate an innovative mobility solution and to develop an innovation deployment programme of scale, notably: meetings with (potential) investors, opportunities for follow-up investments and identification of synergies with European funding and financing.

c. Providing matchmaking services for innovative mobility solutions establishing the link between "suppliers" that may be both public and private organisations, or groupings thereof (such as Horizon2020 funded projects) and "customers" that are mainly public organisations (such as city councils, regional authorities, transport operators or their groupings).

d. The project should deliver a set of recommendations to bridge the gap in the research and innovation performance and the deployment of the innovative mobility solutions across EU Member States.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 1 to 1.5 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Coordination and Support Action: prepare for the deployment of Urban Air Mobility in urban and peri-urban areas

The integration of vertical urban mobility solutions (drones, and other forms of low-aerial mobility, as well as services) into existing surface multimodal transport (both freight and passenger) systems will add further complexity to the organisation of the urban and peri-urban transport and mobility services. It will require changes in public/shared transport management, logistics operations and infrastructure operations. With rapid technological progress in urban air mobility, especially local and regional public sector authorities are faced with challenges such as in financing, procuring, planning (infrastructure, systems), transport operations, safety, noise, security and public acceptance of these solutions.

The proposal should include all of the following actions:

a) To provide a knowledge base (dynamic updated, with a "brand") and to deliver a set of policy recommendations (in at least 8 languages – for use by local, regional, national and European public authorities, businesses and other organisations) for measures to (seamlessly) integrate the vertical and horizontal dimensions in urban and peri-urban mobility systems. These are notably:

  • Minimum required standards for products and processes in for ITS-type applications, urban planning (SUMPs), data-exchange, energy infrastructure, payments, environmental objectives, travel information and possibly other sectors such as building, construction, health care, retail etc.
  • Foresight deployment scenarios of up to 10 possible use cases in 5 to 15 years; public acceptance, governance, mobility systems, energy supply systems, infrastructure, investment opportunities, funding and financing needs, and land-use. An approach to set up these scenarios with wide consultation should be included in the proposal to ensure that social acceptance aspects are fully understood.
  • Tools for exchange and learning of urban air mobility with and to public authorities (notably local and regional), businesses civil society and research organisations.

b) To provide specific project development support and technical assistance for up to 10 deployment 'use cases' in locations (or groups thereof) with a demonstrated commitment from public and private organisations that are planning to start testing urban air mobility applications in the next 3 years. The type of support should as minimum include feasibility and market studies, programme and urban planning actions (for example procurement strategies).

This proposal should work closely together with the ongoing actions of the European Innovation Partnership in Smart cities (or its successor) and CIVITAS (or its successor) and possibly other networks with a strong participation of local and regional authorities.

The proposal should propose actions for cooperation with EASA, the SESAR Joint Undertaking, EUROCONTROL and the European U-Space Demonstrator network to ensure that project results are fed into developments in the institutional, regulatory and architectural frameworks for a competitive U-space services market.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 1 to 1.5 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

For the Innovation Action:

Projects should act as European demonstration-type ("lighthouse") examples for integrating new scalable technologies and measures into city transport operations and existing transport infrastructures at real-life scale in order to achieve long-term decarbonisation impacts; reliable solutions for a more sustainable, inclusive, safe and secure mobility system, including for the secure mobility of people and freight during major/sport events; clear improvements of the efficiency and accessibility of the transport networks/systems covering the TEN-T urban nodes or equivalent, and their access to the relevant TEN-T corridor(s) or equivalent transport corridors for transport of freight and/or passengers. Positive long term impacts on social cohesion, economic development and public perception – resulting in behavioural change and policy change - are anticipated.

Projects will contribute to the development of the existing European knowledge base on the effectiveness and impacts resulting from the implementation of innovative mobility solutions.

Clear commitments and contributions to Europe-wide take up during and beyond the project are expected, which could for example be in the form of follow-up actions funded by CEF or similar programmes.

This topic complements CEF-funded activities.

For the Coordination and Support Action: fast-track and mainstream the replication of innovative, urban, peri-urban and rural mobility solutions.

The following three main impacts are foreseen:

Firstly, proposals are expected to demonstrate how their activities will lead to fast-tracking and mainstreaming the replication of innovative, urban, peri-urban and rural mobility solutions. Proposals should as a minimum requirement provide; the expected number of people involved in the activities that will be undertaken in at least 20 cities/municipalities addressed by the project, information as to how their capacity will be improved to develop urban mobility and investment plans for deployment of innovative transport solutions. Secondly, the CSA is expected to lead to new research and innovation collaborations in sustainable urban mobility between organisations (public/ private), especially those located in countries that are more advanced and those located in countries lagging behind in the deployment of urban mobility innovations.

For the Coordination and Support Action: prepare for the deployment of Urban Air Mobility in urban and peri-urban areas

This action is expected to address the Amsterdam Drone Declaration which "called upon urban transport actors, policy makers and associations to pioneer cases demonstrating which systems, solutions and services seamlessly integrate smart multimodal solutions" and which "invited cities and regions to co-create with the citizens the public conditions and the infrastructure for integrated air and ground smart mobility solutions to flourish, where new and clean technologies, big data, real-time information and corresponding business models converge towards the enablement and realisation of “mobility as a service”.

The expected impact of this CSA project is to provide especially cities and regions with better planning tools and knowledge to integrate new applications of urban air mobility in their passenger and freight systems. This topic complements topic 'MG-3-6-2020: Towards sustainable urban air mobility'.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time (CSA Coordination and support action) and 09 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time (IA Innovation action).

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Towards global environmental regulation of supersonic aviation

Proposals should timely assess the holistic environmental impact of potential supersonic aviation and provide evidence for public acceptance long with suitable international high environmental standards. Proposals should take into consideration the results achieved within the EU projects FP6 HISAC (Environmentally friendly high-speed aircraft) and Horizon 2020 RUMBLE (Regulation and norm for low sonic boom levels). Proposals should also include the latest technological developments and explore potential solutions beyond the state-of-the-art, contributing to two or more of the following areas:

  • Advance further high-fidelity environmental modelling integrated into multi-disciplinary optimization of supersonic aircraft, trajectories and operations.
  • Assess and explore physics-based pathways to decrease noise and emissions at airport/local and global level (i.e. CO2, NOx, water vapour as well as their impact to ozone concentration in the stratosphere). Assess their impacts to trajectory optimization and aeropropulsion technologies to further reduce sonic-boom level and emissions.
  • Quantify the efficiency of sonic boom shaping in terms of various boom effects, and not only in terms of noise (e.g. sleep disturbance).
  • Explore further the characterisation of indoor boom annoyance (relevant metrics, measurements devices and locations), in collaboration with EASA and other national and international agencies.
  • Quantify sonic boom variability due to meteorology, turbulence, urban environment and buildings and address the development of certification processes that take into consideration the stochastic nature of sonic boom.
  • Develop at European or International level, accepted and validated modelling tools that capture the physics of the generation and propagation of sonic booms, towards further contributing at ICAO level, according to the CAEP work programme and agenda.

The proposals may include the commitment from the European Aviation Safety Agency and European national civil aviation authorities to assist or to participate in the actions. In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with countries such as the Russian Federation, United States of America, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Australia and South Africa. International cooperation can include work towards the development of enabling technologies, joint tests, standards and certification, taking into account bodies such as United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Where applicable, proposals are encouraged to join international demonstration campaigns for noise and emissions assessments at all phases, including take-off and landing, provided that meaningful outcomes can be delivered according to CAEP work programme and agenda.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 3 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting lower or higher amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Maintain high level of environmental protection, especially in terms of global and local emissions and noise.
  • Ensure suitable global regulations, standards, operational procedures and recommended practices for the protection of the citizens and of the environment.
  • Contribute to maintain world-class knowledge and skills in Europe in the field of civil supersonic aviation.
  • Contribute to stimulate disruptive innovation in civil aviation with spin-offs into other civil aerospace segments and other civil sectors.
  • Contribute to inspire and engage new generations of students and engineers.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Enhancing coordination between Member States' actions in the area of infrastructure research with a particular focus on biodiversity and ameliorating environmental impacts and full automated infrastructure upgrade and maintenance

In order to meet these large challenges this topic will be implemented through two types of actions

1. Coordination and Support Action

Transport infrastructure can result in significant and lasting degradation of ecosystems and habitats. Considering Europe has the highest transport infrastructure density in the world, there is an urgent need to address this rapidly increasing challenge.

Stronger cooperation should be developed between national, regional, European and international supporting programmes and initiatives on research, innovation and deployment, aimed at improving transport infrastructure performance on environmental and social sustainability. For instance, synergies with Horizon 2020 and CEF projects, as well as with the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 should be established, while building as much as possible from relevant existing proven structures and platforms of infrastructure stakeholders. In order to ultimately ensure sufficient deployment impact, the proposals should include the national transport infrastructure authorities with responsibility for managing their national networks from at least 10 countries (Member States or Associated Countries), ensuring strong engagement in relevant European platforms and wider reach.

Proposals should cover all the following issues:

  • Successful roll-out of a Strategic Research and Deployment Agenda (SRDA) endorsed by the national transport infrastructure authorities and the public innovation programme owners, representing the societal and environmental needs and requirements for infrastructure innovation. The agenda will take input from the relevant industry stakeholders, in close cooperation with the research community as well as environmental agencies which will supply innovative solutions. and developing alternative and more-biodiversity-friendly transport modes (e.g. bicycle paths and highways).
  • Particular focus should be on innovative solutions in the planning and design stage of the infrastructure life cycle as this stage offers the best opportunities for achieving environmentally sustainable transport infrastructure network for Europe’s citizens reducing the harmful impact on the environmental and social sustainability.

The proposal should include opportunities for adapting transport infrastructure in view of changing demand, social changes, climate, biodiversity, technology and digitalisation. The work will feed into the strategic research and innovation (R&I) agenda of the relevant stakeholders, which should be jointly developed and implemented by the transport authorities, the research community, the infrastructure operators and civil society. Clear priorities should be agreed and widely communicated so they can reflect an aim for building sustainable and environmentally-friendly infrastructure.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU for sub topic 1 (CSA) of between EUR 2.5-3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. There shall be only one project selected for the sub topic 1.

2. Research and Innovation Action

This topic should be considered as a follow-up of previous calls on remote sensing, monitoring and decision support to maintenance planning, and should be taken into consideration to develop the phase of intervention, to achieve the maximum automation possible in physical interventions to maintain the integrity, performance and safety levels of the infrastructure.

Proposals should cover all the following issues:

  • Application of robotics and remote piloted systems to infrastructure upgrade or maintenance works to push the transport sector in the automated era and increase the overall productivity and efficiency of the transport infrastructure, thus relieving the burden of the costs on the users.
  • Development of robotized equipment to perform routine, periodic or emergency maintenance works; adequate connections with the structural and functional monitoring sensors and traffic management system to deploy automatic intervention of robots and remote piloted systems while respecting safety operations and personnel.
  • Development of robotized equipment for larger interventions of maintenance or upgrading to be remotely controlled in non-routine circumstances avoiding disruption of other routine operations and increasing coordination between them and other involved agents.
  • Proposals should foster the development and use of industrial-prefabricated infrastructures and modularising the planning, designing, and construction phases for retrofit projects using robotised equipment to perform automated construction or maintenance tasks.
  • Possibilities for utilising V2I communication for capturing data and processing by AI for predictive maintenance should also be considered. New technologies, such as for instance AR and VR modelling, AI and drone technologies should be taken into account.
  • Projects must consider a pilot demonstration in operational environment (minimum at TRL7 level). Testing and deployment on CEF corridors and possible synergies with CEF innovation projects is to be considered.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU for sub topic 2 (RIA) of between EUR 4 and 5 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

1. Coordination and Support Action

  • Improved environmental performance of Europe’s transport infrastructure and networks (e.g. reduction of habitats' fragmentation).
  • Targeted research and deployment actions and efficient use of resources within a coherent innovation strategy
  • Strengthened lasting synergies between relevant national, regional (European) and international innovation programmes and initiatives.
  • Widespread awareness of European efforts, as well as increased visibility of R&I outcomes and their contribution to improving environmental performance and biodiversity in a safe transport infrastructure network.
  • Increased take-up of innovation outcomes by market, national authorities and relevant national platforms, while strengthening the alignment of innovation deployment of national infrastructure authorities in Europe.

2. Research and Innovation Action

  • Reduction of fatal accidents due to maintenance works of road users and deployed personnel by 50%
  • Reduction of traffic disruption due to maintenance works by 20%
  • Reduction of routine maintenance costs by 20%
  • Improvement of network capacity by 20%, based on the levels measured at the beginning for the project.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time (CSA Coordination and support action) and 09 January 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time (Research and Innovation Action).

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Coordination and support for an integrated freight transport and logistics system

Proposals shall address all of the following areas:

  • Perform a reasoned and detailed analysis of the products, services, solutions for business applications and other value added results generated by EU-funded projects (at the level of projects and/or cluster of projects), contributing to the achievement of EU policy objectives (e.g. zero city logistics emissions by 2030, zero logistics emissions by 2050, efficient free movement of goods and services) and a truly integrated transport system. This analysis should possibly cover projects funded since the 5th Framework Programme for Research. Building on previous mapping and benchmarking activities such as the SETRIS project and the pilot action on Implementation of Multimodal Innovative Solutions, evaluate e.g. the level of maturity of the products, services, solutions achieved within the projects and further development carried out beyond the projects, investigate which solutions have been implemented and adopted by the freight transport and logistics stakeholders and compare them with the state-of-the-art in the sector. Assess the barriers to the deployment of R&I results and propose solutions and actions to improve the framework conditions and overcome the identified barriers. Assess the impact of EU-funded R&I projects on various areas of freight transport and logistics (including urban logistics) by establishing possible causal links between public R&I funding and technology innovation in an area. Synergetic impact from regional/national programmes should also be considered. Examine in which areas EU funding had the highest impact, identify the framework conditions and actions which supported this outcome. Propose sectoral-specific impact Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and recommendations to increase the research impact.
  • Identify and prioritise gaps in the research landscape and market needs to be tackled by future R&I actions for an integrated freight transport and logistics system, also via a reasoned analysis of best practices and activities at relevant international level.
  • Support the wider engagement of the freight transport and logistics stakeholders (reaching out to the ones less familiar with European R&I) in order to increase the uptake of research outcomes and innovation by the logistics community at large. Develop an appropriate framework to foster collaboration and exchange of best practices in freight transport and logistics R&I at regional, national, European and global level.
  • Engage with relevant sectors beyond freight transport and logistics to support cross-fertilisation and synergies within multidisciplinary projects (e.g. ICT, Circular Economy, Manufacturing and Supply Chain, Security).

The analysis will extend beyond the work carried out within the projects, clearly evaluating the project outcomes’ impact, as well as the framework conditions and activities which support high impact of public R&I funding. It will also establish possible causal links between public R&I funding and technology innovation in a specific logistics area. The analysis will be complemented by clear recommendations on future R&I activities to achieve an efficient and sustainable freight transport and logistics system.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 1 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. As the focus of this action is on analysing the impact of EU-funded R&I projects, at least 50% of the budget will have to be dedicated to the activities described under the first two bullet points.

Expected Impact:

The action will contribute to achieve the EU policy objectives for freight transport and logistics (e.g. zero city logistics emissions by 2030, zero logistics emissions by 2050, fully integrated multimodal transport system, efficient and sustainable logistic and freight operations) by providing a reasoned and detailed mapping and assessment of the EU-funded R&I project outcomes.

The action will also support technological and organisational innovation uptake and a more efficient use of the available research resources by engaging the wider community of stakeholders, establishing collaboration between industrial stakeholders and the society at large, encouraging exchanges of best practices at regional, national, European and global level, and linking to relevant sectors beyond freight transport and logistics.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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The effects of automation on the transport labour force, future working conditions and skills requirements

Proposals shall address all of the following areas:

  • Assess the impacts of automation and connectivity in all modes of transport on the labour market as a whole, focusing on both direct effects on the transport workforce and indirect / induced effects in other sectors.
  • Review past/contemporary experiences from other automation-driven transitions to derive best practices in the transfer of lessons learned between different environments and social contexts.
  • Review and analyse recommendations/contributions from past/ongoing related studies, activities and H2020 R&I projects. Identify and prioritise relevant targets and elaborate an action-oriented agenda aiming to achieve at least an overall neutral impact of automation at the level of the entire economy.
  • Activate the wider engagement of the social partners and EU Member States in order to validate the agenda, as well as increase their participation and involvement in the implementation of identified actions. Develop an appropriate framework to foster collaboration and exchange of best practices at EU, national and regional level.
  • Provide a forum for EU and international stakeholders (as appropriate) in this field to exchange experiences and knowledge on the effects of transport automation on the workforce and future skills and discuss future challenges. Organise conferences and workshops in this area.

Proposed actions should build on the knowledge and results of past and/or ongoing EU-funded projects (such as SKILLFUL), addressing the socio-economic impacts of automation in transport and/or undertaking related reviews of transport jobs and future skills requirements.

In line with the Union’s strategy for international cooperation in research and automation, international cooperation is encouraged. In particular, proposal should consider cooperation with projects or partners from Canada, Japan and the US.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 2.5 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Demonstrate the expected impacts of automation and connectivity in all modes of transport on the labour market as a whole
  • Inform, mobilise and engage all relevant European stakeholders, including the European, national and regional social partners and EU Member States, in an active dialogue on the socio-economic effects of automation on the present and future transportation workforce
  • Minimise any potential negative effects of automation on the transport labour force
  • Demonstrate the potential to achieve at least an overall neutral impact of automation for the entire society and economy.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Innovative electric network architectures and systems, optimising global energy, electrical power, data and communication for aviation

The main scope of this topic is the development of innovative solutions towards optimising electrical power, data, communication and processing networks in order to achieve weight and cost reduction, harness simplification, versatility and scaling, as well as ensuring high-speed connectivity, without jeopardising safety and security (incl. cybersecurity).

The proposals should address at least two of the following areas:

  • Next generation modular and distributed power data and wireless networks, enabling cable weight reduction and harness optimisation
  • Advanced technologies for electrical heat dissipation
  • Safe, secure, robust and reliable connectivity solutions, including advancements in unified data models, resilience to connection loss and cybersecurity specific barriers.
  • Advancements in interface standardisation with emphasis on software independency, modularity and portability, as well as standard hardware platforms.
  • Research on artificial intelligence and data-driven technologies and their applications for future aircraft electric network architectures and systems.

Proposals are expected to establish synergies with Clean Sky, SESAR, ECSEL, Galileo, EGNOS, HPC, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence R&I initiatives.

The proposals may include the explicit commitment from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to assist or to participate in the actions.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 2 and 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting lower or higher amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Maintaining and extending European industrial leadership.
  • Advance further innovative electric network architectures and systems.
  • Contribute to improved aircraft energy management for incremental as well as revolutionary future configurations.
  • Contribute to further weight reductions, simplicity and scalability, data connectivity while ensuring safety and security (incl. cybersecurity).

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Next generation multifunctional and intelligent airframe and engine parts, with emphasis on manufacturing, maintenance and recycling

The main target will be to further advance the design, production and field operation of multifunctional and intelligent airframe and engine parts, with an emphasis on efficient, cost-effective and ecological manufacturing, maintenance and recycling. The proposals should address three or more of the following areas:

  • Innovative manufacturing technologies and processes for flexible wing with morphing capabilities, for control surfaces such as leading and trailing edge as well as winglets, which can adapt their shape in low-speed aircraft configurations.
  • Innovative joining technologies and damage diagnostics for composites and dissimilar materials in primary and secondary aircraft structures, with high potential to offer substantial benefits towards reduced weight, while allowing for faster and leaner integration and repair.
  • Advanced quality monitoring and on-line process control, applied to flexible automation of the manufacturing/maintenance/repair processes for increased rates.
  • Manufacturing processes for the production of composite, multifunctional and intelligent airframe parts, as well as high-temperature and complex-shaped engine parts, covering the whole production chain – cf. process planning, manufacturing and assembly, quality control – with a view to support activities such as supervision and multi-disciplinary optimisation (process-product-performance) of production, smart tooling and on-line quality control.
  • Multifunctional and intelligent engine parts covering variable geometries in engine structures for optimized performance over the whole cycle, embedded intelligence as well as integrated thermal and electric functionalities
  • Integrated technologies and methodologies towards next generation health management and monitoring, together with sensor development, wireless networks and data-driven fault detection.
  • New MRO and recycling technologies for Multifunctional and Intelligent Airframe and engine parts.

Proposals may tackle pre-standardisation, development of best-practice guidelines and processes for the certification of airframe and engine components and assemblies, with particular emphasis on simulation-assisted certification issues. The proposals may include an explicit commitment from the European Aviation Safety Agency to assist or to participate in the actions.

The implementation of the proposed areas of this topic may cover TRLs between 2-4.

This topic complements (and should not overlap) retained projects from the 2018 and 2019 topics on “multidisciplinary and collaborative aircraft design tools and processes” and “advancements in aerodynamics and innovative propulsion systems” respectively.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 3 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting lower or higher amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Manufacturing next generation multifunctional and intelligent airframe and engine parts
  • New manufacturing paradigm shift with enhanced ecological maintenance and recycling characteristics
  • New/updated technologies that will offer a competitive advantage of European MROs.
  • Maintaining and extending European industrial leadership.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Towards sustainable urban air mobility

Proposals should address novel concepts, technologies and solutions beyond the state-of-the-art. Proposals should address all the following three research areas:

A. Safety and security: particularly when operating over populated areas – including several aspects such as adverse weather and airflow conditions at low altitudes, human factors and automation, collision and avoidance; electro-magnetic compatibility; detection and surveillance of physical and cyber threats, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery from threats, including intentional interference and misuse of urban air mobility; and/or other relevant hazards and threats in a operation centric and risk-based approach.

B. Sustainability with regard to the overall environmental footprint (e.g. energy demand; local emissions and global greenhouse gas emissions); and sustainability with regard to noise and visual pollution, including those aspects dealing with perception, monitoring and mitigation in urban environments..

C. Public acceptance, socio-economic modelling and relevant regulatory and organisational aspects of urban air mobility systems, such as those evolving from noise, visual pollution, privacy, shared-use, land-use, liability, safety (including airworthiness) and security of operations (including enforcement), or dedicated certification schemes. Co-creation and involvement of citizens is key for this area e.g. to anticipate the behaviour, the blocking points, the needs and public tolerance/embracement for such a new mobility. Policy recommendations should also include procurement and deployment strategies

In addition, the proposals will also have to address one or more of the following research areas:

D. Services: new door-to-door or emergency services concepts allowing UAM traffic to be embedded in multi-modal urban transportation environment; new approaches for regulatory due processes associated to the sign-off of urban air services.

E. Operations: new concepts of operations allowing UAM traffic to be interwoven with the multi-modal urban transportation or emergency systems (e.g. ground/air ambulances), with due account of the safe and secure utilisation of the air space.

F. Power-plant/propulsion system development for safe, economic and environmentally friendly UAM. Characteristics shall include high power/weight ratio, fast battery recharge/fuel-cell refill, high level of reliability and fail-safety and low level of noise, emissions and maintenance requirements.

G. Infrastructure adaptation, evolution and integration into transport, energy and ICT networks for efficient and seamless door-to-door mobility.

Particular emphasis should be addressed to potentially early urban air mobility services (e.g. for air medical emergencies, for safety & security services, for logistics, etc).

TRL can reach up to level 6 depending on the level of resources leveraged for the activities.

Proposals should ensure complementarities with the European U-space Demonstrator Network and with SESAR JU U-space activities. In addition to research and industrial involvement, proposals should ensure a strong commitment for collaboration and communication with local authorities and communities as well as with players from other relevant leading-edge industrial and service sectors that can substantially contribute to meet the challenges at stake. Proposals can leverage synergies with other EU activities such as:

  • The European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC), in particular the initiative on urban air mobility, and the CIVITAS initiative.
  • The European Institute of Technology – Knowledge and Innovation Center (EIT-KIC) on Urban Mobility.
  • EU satellite-based systems for navigation (EGNOS/Galileo), observation (Copernicus) and EU communication/connectivity initiatives (e.g. 5G, C-ITS).

The proposals may include the explicit commitment from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to assist or to participate in the actions. This is particularly important in view of the new EU drone regulation.

International cooperation is encouraged in cases of mutual benefit, such as sharing of practices with early adopters of urban air mobility in non-European megacities (e.g. Singapore, Dubai, Sao Paulo, Mexico DF, etc.)

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting lower amounts.

Expected Impact:

The following impacts have to be addressed by all proposals:

  • Contribute to smarter and more sustainable cities and air transport.
  • Contribute to maintain aviation safety levels.
  • Contribute to the development of European / international standards and legislation for urban air mobility.
  • Contribute to increase the capability of public authorities – such as air regulators and urban planners – to handle the regulatory due processes for UAM services.
  • Contribute to decrease the overall environmental footprint.

In addition, when relevant, the following impacts can also be addressed:

  • Contribute to decrease the time in door-to-door travel or in case of emergency interventions.
  • Contribute to reduce the lead time-to-market and de-risk the set-up of UAM services.
  • Contribute to new urban planning tools to integrate UAM services in existing plans, in particular Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) and transport/logistics plans of individual institutions.
  • Contribute to increase the competitiveness and economic growth, as congestion in cities is detrimental to business reactivity.
  • Contribute to inspire and engage new generations of students, engineers and urban planners and mobility managers.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Improved Production and Maintenance Processes in Shipyards

All following aspects should be addressed:

  • The development of innovative technologies and systems to enhance the competitiveness of production and maintenance processes within European shipbuilders and ship yards. Where appropriate, technologies transfer from outside of the marine industry shipbuilding, ship maintenance and ship modification sectors, particularly those with potential to reduce CO2 and/or other polluting emissions.
  • Identification of the necessary related skills development needs and strategies to address these in order to maximise the value from innovative production technologies and practices.
  • Testing and physical demonstration of the developed technologies to at least TRL 5, including the benchmarking of existing practices, consideration of the environmental impacts and quantification of the additional value from the technology and/or system developed.
  • Development of business plans and roll out strategies.
  • IPR and or other measures to reduce leakage of the developed innovations outside of Europe.

Whilst not excluding very large shipyards, an emphasis on the competitive needs of smaller and medium size shipyards across Europe would be welcome in cases where the incremental benefits from Research and Innovation maybe higher.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately

Expected Impact:

With an emphasis on smaller and mediums sized European shipyards and ship builders, to increase competiveness and growth of the European sector, particularly within international markets. Reinforce and grow European employment and the necessary skills development for the successful uptake of innovative production processes and technologies. Improve environmental performance of shipyards and ship builders. Support a multiplication effect within Europe beyond the immediate participants. Maximise EU added value by appropriate means of minimising knowledge and technology leakage.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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'First of a Kind' solutions for sustainable transport and mobility: EU initiative for accelerating EU-wide market access, scale up and derisking

The aim is to develop an EU matchmaking system(both for tools and services) to de-risk large purchasing of first-of-a-kind solutions at European level and accelerate EU-wide market access and scale up of sustainable transport products and services and fostering their de-risking.

Proposals shall address all the following points:

  • The concept of purchase aggregation of innovative zero emission transport solutions (Technology Readiness Level 7 and above) shall be developed, allowing to spread the related risk over a multiple number of regrouped buyers and de-risk purchases of innovative solutions. Proposals shall mobilize main actors such as public and private transport and mobility operators and other main stakeholders, multipliers and platforms (e.g. large public/private fleet users associations, fleet owners and transport and mobility operators, leasing companies, OEMs, tier 1 and tier 2 operators and innovative SMEs). In view of ensuring economic viability and continuation of the planned activities, users of the facility (conceived as a long lasting activity, going beyond the duration of the contract) shall also be involved in the proposal.
  • The facility shall develop activities and offer services aiming at matching supply and demand via off-line and/or on-line tools and instruments, as well as alerts on availability of incoming new solutions. The supply-side of this facility shall regroup and provide visibility and outreach of first-of-a-kind products, technologies and services at European level. It shall offer a wide and regularly updated portfolio of solutions, grouped and listed according to different criteria, such as category, activity, application, area, etc. The demand-side of the facility shall regroup potential buyers and liaise with other existing actors such as large buyers groups, networks and platforms to support critical mass. Potential buyers will also have the opportunity to receive information on innovative solutions, including on an individual case-by-case basis. As an additional challenge, the platform shall regroup and list foreseen replacement plans and schedules of major buyers of transport and mobility products, technologies and services, to allow awareness of opportunities, peer review of such plans and possible purchase aggregations. Finally, the facility should interrelate asset management with risk management to further support the stakeholders.
  • The facility shall also stimulate dissemination of information, exchange of knowledge and good practices on the deployment of innovative solutions, on European and national procurement processes as well as on regulatory issues. Specific services supporting access to innovation finance, on both demand and supply side should be included by building strong connections and synergies with ongoing and future instruments, such as the European Innovation Council (EIC), Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), as well as the wider European financial market.
  • Future sustainability of the system beyond the duration of the CSA is expected to be demonstrated.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 1.5 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately

Expected Impact:

  • Accelerate EU-wide market access and scale up of innovative zero (and near to zero) emission transport and mobility technologies, products and services for both potential buyers and users.
  • Achievement of critical mass for innovative solutions (with specific focus on first-of-a-kind solutions) through market aggregation of multiple buyers, matchmaking activities and other support services on both supply and demand side.
  • Market scaling up of innovative zero emission solutions should support EU competitiveness as well as the reduction of CO2 emissions and pollutants.
  • Amount of the financial resources to be mobilised to scale up innovative solutions for very low and zero emissions in the shortest time possible.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Improving impact and broadening stakeholder engagement in support of transport research and innovation

To address this challenge, three sub topics are proposed and proposals should address only one of the following sub-topics:

1) Innovation awards for students and senior researchers in the context of the Transport Research Arena conference - TRA 2022

The action should focus on organising two competitions for transport research and innovation awards to be assigned at the TRA conference in 2022:

  • A competition for students and young researchers with the goal of stimulating the interest among young researchers/students in the field of transport.
  • A competition for senior researchers in the field of innovative transport concepts based on results from EU-funded projects only.

Both competitions should cover all transport modes and cross-cutting issues (technological, socio-economic and behavioural aspects) in line with the EU policy objectives for smart, green and integrated transport. The organisation of these awards should ensure high-quality competition and very good media coverage before, during and after the TRA conference. The action should give particular attention to gender issues.

The awards shall be widely promoted, including within press articles and via important trade publications. Particularly for the student award, wide pan European participation is expected and should be facilitated through engagement with relevant professional associations, their publications and other related student organisations.

2) Broadening Engagement and increasing impact from Waterborne transport research

The waterborne sector is highly fragmented, with diverse actors and administrative structures, covering ports, maritime and inland shipping. The resulting barriers inhibit innovation and the necessary R&I dialogue to maximise impact. To address this, the following activities should be foreseen:

  • Together with Commission services and the broader waterborne sector, identify the information gaps concerning, innovation needs, awareness of outcomes and opportunities for participation and on this basis devise a communication strategy to be implemented over the course of the project.
  • Develop KPIs and benchmark these at the outset and use to monitor progress throughout the project.
  • Broaden lasting awareness and increase the impact from EU waterborne research through prominent participation within large strategic maritime and inland waterway events such as SMM Hamburg in 2022 and 2024 and for example promote waterborne innovation in overall strategic transport events, stakeholder exercises and the creation of durable engagement with potential public and private users.
  • Produce high quality digital and printed dissemination materials concerning the scope and success stories arising from EU waterborne research. This should include a short video presenting the challenges, innovation needs and successes.

3) Towards an implementation of the future inland navigation action programme

The action should focus on consolidating the Inland Waterways Transport (IWT) knowledge network and partnership, which was previously established with the support of FP7. In this respect, it should ensure a solid knowledge basis for the implementation of any future NAIADES programme. The coordination and support action will build on the results of previous work and will reflect the multi-disciplinary requirements and complexity of the subject, coordinating with the wider waterborne, land transport and logistics communities. The coordination action will be organised around the five NAIADES 2 action areas, but will also take into account the results of the NAIADES 2 progress report (adopted 18.09.2018) and other related activities. The coordination action will, in close cooperation with the European Commission, set up a roadmap for the implementation of actions not yet started or to be finalised and ensure the support to permanent-type of actions. It will identify the appropriate measures and define the necessary means and tools. In coordination with the Waterborne technology platform, the action will further develop a R&D roadmap by integrating all stakeholders and will also develop the implementation plan. Also in coordination with the Waterborne technology platform, the project will also monitor the inland navigation R&D projects and their impacts from relevant European programmes. The project will also identify barriers for the deployment of research results, market uptake and improvement of framework conditions to increase innovation in inland waterway transport. A particular focus will be to address the need to decarbonise and improve the environmental performance of inland waterway transport, particularly when operating close to urban areas, as well as on future-proof infrastructure, compatible with digital and automation developments under a changing climate.

This coordination and support action will ensure an active participation of key industrial stakeholders, the Waterborne Technology Platform, Member States administrations, industry associations and river commissions.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 0.7 million for sub-topic 1); of up to EUR 1.3 million for sub topic 2) and of up to EUR 2 million for sub topic 3) would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Contribute to a wide dissemination of the results of European transport research, broaden stakeholder engagement and raise the visibility and weight of the EU policy in the field.
  • Increase the attractiveness of transport related studies and reinforce the pursuit of excellence and impact in European transport research and innovation, by giving recognition and visibility to the best achievements.
  • Creating links and exchanges between research and innovation stakeholders and policy makers, thus improving the development and deployment of innovative solutions for transport in Europe.
  • Increase the impacts and take up of the outcomes from EU research and innovation and broaden engagement beyond those already familiar with EU research programmes.
  • Promotion and development of the inland waterway sector: increasing awareness so as to increase usage of Inland waterway transport. Identify best practices and increase their take up and faster modernisation of the inland fleet. Provide a knowledge exchange, discussion and promotion platform; strengthen the coordination between national, EU and industrial research across waterborne transport and the wider logistics chain. Working together with the waterborne platform, assist in assessing current/future EU R&I programmes, implementation actions, technology assessments, forecasts and transfer of R&I solutions. Improve the environmental performance of inland waterways and contribute to future-proof infrastructure, compatible with digital and automation developments under a changing climate.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Digitalisation of the transport system: data sharing

The proposals should cover all following aspects:

  • Provide a comparative analysis of the transportation data regulation across all transport modes in the EU;
  • Identify transport flows for which digitalised processes and transport data exchange will make most impact;
  • Identify functional requirements and possible frameworks for data sharing across the transport system and with the public sector where appropriate – in particular through a federation of various cloud solutions (a Transport Cloud), taking into account the FAIR data principles as well as the private data sharing principles, including B2G and B2B data sharing;
  • Building on existing standards / specifications that have been adopted by the EU or nationally e.g. DCAT-AP, propose standards for transport data sharing (including formatting, metadata descriptions, etc.) that would strike an appropriate balance between sharing data and proprietary rights. Proposals should clearly define the field of data, for which a standard shall be considered;
  • Analyse the relationships between private and public stakeholders (on local, regional, national, EU and global level) and their differing approaches to data sharing principles;
  • Examine the role of data sharing culture in the future development of any data sharing cloud based solutions, analyse methods that foster trust in transport data networks;

Consider commercial and competitive risks of data sharing on an international scale as well as the potential for the EU to set global standards for data sharing;

  • Identify main privacy and security issues associated to data sharing, including preventing data misuse;
  • Identify appropriate governance structures and/or processes for the establishment of a possible Transport Cloud building as much as possible on the existing frameworks and initiatives.

Proposals should identify and build on the most relevant previously funded EU and national projects and reports such as Transforming Transport, BigDataEurope, NOESIS, LeMO, OPTIMUM, SELIS, AEOLIX, oneTRANSPORT, EfficienSea 2 etc. A structured method of building up on the achievements of the selected projects should be proposed. Proposals should include an effective mix of private and public actors both from the transport and transport research domains.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 3 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Expected Impact:

The research will consolidate knowledge from the most important projects and initiatives implemented to date in the domain of transport data sharing. It will further build on that knowledge base by identifying new variables, requirements and standards necessary for a successful setting up data usage and sharing mechanisms in the transport sector (both passenger and freight).

Improved data sharing will help extract maximum value from the available transport big data, contribute to wider data sharing amongst the transport stakeholders, and lead to improved products and services. It will secure better understanding and opportunities for transport flow prediction and optimisation, which in turn will improve transport system effectiveness.

The outcomes of research will also lead to strengthening of the digital transport ecosystem by fostering the culture of trust and collaboration among the various stakeholders.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Advanced research methods and tools in support of transport/mobility researchers, planners and policy makers

Proposals should address all of the following aspects:

  • Identify major conceptual, methodological and technical needs for analysis, monitoring and assessment of new and emerging mobility trends and solutions.
  • Examine how conventional concepts and variables such as, for example, efficiency, reliability, safety, comfort and security evolve with the new mobility concepts and the new societal and industrial structures to which the future transport network will provide services.
  • Identify major new concepts and variables that play an increasingly important role in transport/mobility analysis, and devise methods to estimate/quantify them.
  • Elaborate advanced methods and tools for monitoring, assessment and analysis of mobility solutions.
  • Review and assess a range of options for collecting and using new data, through new data collection and management approaches, as well as new methods and tools to exploit data (such as, for example, ‘Big Data’), taking into account different type of variables such as gender, age, ethnicity, etc. when relevant.

Proposals can choose to focus either on passenger or logistics/freight sectors. Proposals should build on the latest state of the art in the research domain.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 2 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Expected Impact:

Research will result in designing an up to date set of concepts, methods and tools that respond to the emerging disruptive technologies and solutions and that can be used in support of transport/mobility researchers, planners and policy makers. They will contribute to generating new knowledge and capabilities and serve for the purposes of effective implementation of innovative transport polices.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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The European mobility culture of tomorrow: Reinventing the wheel?

Critically examine the criteria/objectives on which the actual mobility culture has been based. In a world engaged to reducing CO2emission, are criteria such as speed and efficiency still relevant? What can be the role of non-motorised transport modes, especially on short distance? Etc.

  • Consider a future being shaped by changes in lifestyles, environmental and climate concerns (COP 21 and the SDGs), and the emergence of new values in order to better understand the mobility of the future, taking into account different type of variables such as gender, age, ethnicity, etc. when relevant. Propose (an) alternative mobility narrative(s) – well beyond the implicit assumption of useful mobility – with respect for the environmental boundaries of the planet and the wellbeing of the people.
  • Develop a strategy for the transport policy of the future (passenger and freight), based on an alternative mobility narrative. Therefore launch a forward looking exercise and build scenarios with a roadmap for implementing this strategy. Develop a holistic and cross-sector policy approach, as required by COP 21 and the SDGs, to ensure that economic, social and environmental challenges are addressed together.
  • Stimulate the creation of networks and structures with the main transport research and innovation stakeholders (public administrations, companies, universities, citizens, etc.) around which visions and strategies can emerge and converge.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 0.5 and 1 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Please note that this topic will take the form of lump sums as defined in Commission Decision C(2017)7151 of 27 October 2017. Details of the lump sum funding pilot scheme are published on the Funding & Tenders Portal together with the specific Model Grant Agreement for Lump Sums applicable.

Expected Impact:

  • (A) new mobility culture(s) would have an important role in opening up new ideas and opportunities and in building strategies for the sustainable transport policy of the future.
  • A forward looking perspective on the European mobility culture of tomorrow would enable Horizon Europe to play a more strategic role in shaping and enabling a transformative transport (research) policy, working hand in hand with citizens and local communities.
  • The new mobility paradigm would contribute to building innovative ecosystems, which provide the supportive environments for the transformation process to flourish and be disseminated widely.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Under water noise mitigation and environmental impact

All following aspects should be addressed:

  • Develop standardised methods to measure and assess the impacts from underwater noise generated by shipping and boats. Consideration should be given to the acute and cumulative effects on different water species in rivers and at sea including marine mammals.
  • Establish a stakeholder group of researchers within the domain of underwater noise assessment and mitigation together with other relevant actors including for example NGO’s, marine and waterway authorities, industry, ship owners, naval industry etc. Use this group to support methodology and standards development as well as its wide spread take up.
  • Identify, quantify and validate any negative impacts from different types and amplitudes of underwater noise from shipping and boats.
  • Propose the most effective feasible solutions to mitigate the effects of underwater noise and to establish appropriate limits.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 8 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Expected Impact:

To enable appropriate mitigation measures, increase understanding of the short and long term environmental impacts of underwater noise from shipping and boats. Identification of the most harmful underwater noise characteristics and the acute and longer term impacts on different organisms including marine mammals. Establishment of standards which can be widely adopted for underwater noise measurement to increase the comparability of data between research programs. Develop cost effective solutions to measure underwater radiated noise from shipping. Identification and assessment of solutions to reduce harm from underwater noise. Develop innovative solutions to reduce the most harmful radiated shipping noise. Provide a foundation for policy. Support implementation of the marine strategy framework directive.

Deadline: 21 April 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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5. Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Ressourceneffizienz und Rohstoffe

Raw materials innovation for the circular economy: sustainable processing, reuse, recycling and recovery schemes

Actions should develop and demonstrate innovative pilots for the clean and sustainable production of non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials in the EU from primary and/or secondary sources finishing at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 6-7.

All actions should contribute to achieving the targets of the EIP on Raw Materials, particularly in terms of innovative pilot actions on processing, refining and/or recycling for the innovative production of raw materials, and to building the EU knowledge base of primary and secondary raw materials by feeding into the EC Raw Materials Information System – RMIS. Actions should also contribute to improving the awareness of relevant external stakeholders and the general public across the EU about the importance of raw materials for society, the challenges related to their supply within the EU and about proposed solutions which could help to improve society's acceptance of and trust in sustainable raw materials production in the EU, duly taking into account the applicable EU environmental legislation.

All actions should facilitate the market uptake of solutions developed through industrially- and user-driven multidisciplinary consortia covering the relevant value chain and should consider standardisation aspects when relevant.

All actions should justify the relevance of selected pilot demonstrations in different locations within the EU (and also outside if there is a clear added value for the EU economy, industry and society).

All actions should include an outline of the initial exploitation and business plans, as outlined in the Introduction of this part of the Work Programme (with indicated CAPEX, OPEX, IRR and NPV), with clarified management of intellectual property rights, and commitment to the first exploitation.

Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this cross-cutting call and other relevant projects supporting the EIP on Raw Materials is strongly encouraged..

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 8 million and EUR 13 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Applying a circular economy approach throughout the entire value chain, actions for this topic should address only one of the following sub-topics:

a)Sustainable processing and refining of primary and/or secondary raw materials: Actions should demonstrate new or improved systems integrating relevant processing and refining technologies for better recovery of minerals and metals at increased efficiency in terms of better yield and process selectivity as well as better utilisation of resources (hence reducing wastes). This would include processing of and recovery from low grade and/or complex ores and/or from industrial or mining wastes or landfills, and/or the reduction of the content of toxic elements or compounds in the resulting materials. The importance of the targeted raw materials and their sources for the EU should be demonstrated in the proposal. The solution proposed should be flexible enough to adapt to different or variable ore/secondary raw material grades and should be supported by efficient and robust process control. Where relevant, any solution proposed for the reduction of the content of toxic elements or compounds in the resulting materials should also include the appropriate management of the hazardous substances removed. Recycling of end-of-life products is excluded from this option.

b) Recycling of raw materials from end-of-life products: Actions should develop and demonstrate novel and environmentally sound solutions for a higher recycling and recovery of secondary raw materials from end-of-life products such as waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), batteries, wood-based panels, multi-material paper packaging, end-of-life tyres, etc. These products can contain different minerals, metals, wood and wood-fibre, rubber, etc. (including critical raw materials and other technology metals).

c) Recycling of raw materials from buildings and infrastructures: Actions should develop and demonstrate novel solutions for a high-value recovery of raw materials from buildings and infrastructures. Actions should also benchmark against a series of comparative case studies of construction and demolition waste (C&DW) management in deconstruction of buildings and infrastructure of representative size categories in countries with different types of end-of-life building and infrastructure stocks, showcasing the appropriate use of the following: the EU C&DW Management Protocol, pre-demolition audit, smart demolition practices, using appropriate technical equipment, and sorting/processing and quality management of waste fractions such as metals, aggregates, concrete, bricks, plasterboard, glass, polymers and plastics and wood.

d) Advanced sorting systems for high-performance recycling of complex end-of-life products: Actions should develop and demonstrate innovative dismantling and sorting systems enabling functional recycling of critical raw materials, or other types of highly efficient recovery of metals, minerals or construction materials, from complex end-of-life products and scrap thereof. The advanced sorting systems should achieve very high throughput rates in order to allow their economically viable operation on the European market.

e) Sustainable metallurgical processes: Actions should develop and demonstrate innovative metallurgical systems integrating pyro-, hydro-, bio-, and/or electro-metallurgical and/or electrochemical technologies, in order to enhance the production efficiency in terms of increased yield and selectivity, higher grade and purity of the produced metals from primary and/or secondary raw materials as well as the environmental performance throughout the whole life cycle.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • pushing the EU to the forefront in the area of raw materials processing and/or recycling technologies and solutions through generated know-how (planned patents, publications in high impact journals and joint public-private publications etc.), and promoting socially innovative solutions;
  • improving significantly the economic viability and market potential that will be gained through the pilot, leading to expanding the business across the EU after the project is finished, as well as creating added value and new jobs in raw materials producing, equipment manufacturing and/or downstream industries;
  • unlocking a significant volume of various primary/secondary raw materials currently unexploited/underexploited within the EU, hence improving their 'circularity' in the economy and ultimately closing the material cycles for a circular economy;
  • improving significantly the health, safety and environmental performance throughout the whole life cycle considered, including better energy and water efficiency, a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants, a reduction in waste generation and wastewater and a better recovery of resources from generated waste or a better recovery and recycling of resources from complex end-of-life products;
  • additionally, only for sub-topic b) 'Recycling of raw materials from end-of-life products', in the shorter term, increasing measurably the efficiency and effectiveness (range, yield, quality and selectivity of recovered materials) of the exploitation of complex and heterogeneous secondary raw materials deposits ('urban mines') when compared to the state of the art;
  • additionally, only for sub-topic c) 'Recycling of raw materials from buildings and infrastructure', lead to wider application of smart demolition techniques, C&DW processing, quality assurance practices, traceability and standardization for secondary raw materials in the construction sector, thus improving the material and value recovery rate.

Deadline: 05 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Raw materials policy support actions for the circular economy - Expert network on Critical Raw Materials

All actions should contribute to improving EU official statistics and to building the EU knowledge base of primary and secondary raw materials (EC Raw Materials Information System – RMIS).

Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this cross-cutting call and other relevant projects supporting the EIP on Raw Materials is strongly encouraged.

Actions should strengthen an EU expert network and community covering all raw materials screened in the CRM assessment of 2017, and once available also the raw materials of 2020 assessment. The consortium should organise the expert community across the EU covering expertise on primary and secondary resources; production, including exploration, mining, processing, recycling and refining; substitution of CRM; raw materials markets; future demand and supply; materials flows; socio-economic analysis, and strategic value chains and end-use sectors, including batteries, e-mobility, renewable energy, electronics, defence and aerospace.

The actions should improve data and knowledge on all screened raw materials; flexibly support the Commission in policy making related to CRM in general or linked to specific applications or sectors; as well in the relevant events organised by the Commission. The actions should also support the Commission in the analysis of the future supply and demand of raw materials, policy and technology gaps and innovation potential along the raw materials value chains.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • achieving the objectives and the implementation of both the Raw Materials Initiative and the EIP on Raw Materials, in particular in terms of securing the supply of critical raw materials (CRMs);
  • better informed and more effective decision-making by the EU and Member States policy makers and the producers and users of raw materials regarding the supply and demand of raw materials and the associated environmental and social aspects;
  • improved awareness of society across the EU about importance of the critical raw materials and other relevant materials for strategic value chains in support of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU;
  • in the longer term improved diversification of CRMs supply to the EU.

Deadline: 05 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                      

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Develop, implement and assess a circular economy oriented product information management system for complex products from cradle to cradle

Proposals are expected to bring together all relevant actors along product related value chains – product designers, producers, consumers, businesses providing repair or refurbishment, data provider and manager, sorters and recyclers. The selected products should have a major environmental impact, offer a high potential for circularity, have a complex supply chain, and be linked at both ends of the lifecycle to critical resource issues, e.g. the manufacturing industry, which includes amongst others textiles and plastics, construction and sectors with products that may contain critical raw materials. Where applicable, official nomenclature, such as used in Prodcom, should be used for all products and materials. Ideally, a fully functional system should be set up in a value chain with high internal quality standards and an established refurbishment business. The knowledge gained in this set-up should be comprehensive and systemic enough to be easily transferable to less complex sectors and business models. All information flows should be designed with a view to increased circularity, traceability and minimisation of the overall environmental footprint. Proposals should explore, develop and test integrated information flows that take into account the diverse information needs throughout and beyond the original lifecycle of the product.

To facilitate open innovation and transferability, open solutions such as open source software, open hardware design, and open access to data are encouraged. Results from the supported projects might play a central role in the further development of the policies for the transition to a circular economy. The ambition to grant open access to the underlying architecture such as databases, encryption and access rights management should therefore be a central element of the proposals, while adequately addressing possible data protection, user privacy and liability issues. Beneficiaries are encouraged to build value-added services based on the established architecture.

In order to facilitate project management, the development of respective technologies should be decentralised. Proposals are expected to provide quantitative information on the potential for transferring the implemented solution to the wider sector and to other relevant sectors. Based on the pilot data, environmental benefits should be assessed from a lifecycle perspective and quantified using the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method, which has already been elaborated for certain product categories in cooperation with industrial partners. The social assessment part shall build on the work done in the context of the life cycle initiative and the Platform for Life Cycle Assessment. Economic benefits should also be assessed and quantified under a life cycle perspective.

Participation of actors across the value chain, e.g. material and product producers, end-user organisations, civil society organisations, repair and recycling businesses, etc. is considered essential. Specific information needs at each point in the value chain should be addressed in a satisfactory way, systemised, and the respective data generated out of the integrated information flow. An additional aim of this testing is to obtain a better understanding of the mutual dependencies between the several operators in the system.

Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this cross-cutting call and other relevant projects is strongly encouraged.

Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) 5-7.

Proposals submitted under this topic should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction of this part of the Work Programme.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 7-8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • the development of new businesses related to the transition to a circular economy, and related value-adding consulting services;
  • effective use of both primary and secondary resources in Europe, strengthening geopolitical resource independency, facilitating the market for secondary raw materials, closing material cycles, and reducing waste generation, environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions;
  • achieving the targets of the EIP on Raw Materials, particularly in terms of feeding secondary raw materials knowledge into the EC Raw Materials Information System (RMIS);
  • better insights into the material composition of products and the amount of secondary raw materials in circulation, increasing circularity of relevant material streams, and strengthening the use of PEF as the standard means for the assessment of the material efficiency and overall environmental performance of products;
  • streamlined social life cycle assessment ensuring comparability and validity, allowing to critically review green claim and enabling consumers to take environmentally informed purchasing decisions, as well as allowing product designers and developers to take environmentally informed design decisions at an early stage;
  • better insights on how to transfer successful information management approaches to other businesses and sectors.

Deadline: 05 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Copernicus evolution: Research activities in support of the evolution of the Copernicus services

The proposal should tackle only one of the following sub-topics. For the chosen sub-topic the proposal should clearly identify one (or more) core product(s) to be developed as a completely new or improved product.

The Commission, together with the Entrusted Entities, has identified for each service (sub-topic) the areas of Copernicus R&D interests:

  1. Copernicus Emergency Monitoring Service (CEMS): resilience to climate risk, population exposure risk (e.g. in coastal areas, flood prone areas, areas exposed to droughts…). The proposed activities need to consider the existing CEMS framework and describe how they can contribute to a fully integrated risk cycle monitoring service
  2. Copernicus Monitoring Atmosphere Service (CAMS): Up-to-date emissions of reactive gases and aerosol based on inverse modelling, Improve atmosphere monitoring using data assimilation and preparation for upcoming sentinels (with a focus on Sentinel-4), Integrated soil-vegetation-atmosphere modelling and data assimilation for representing emission and deposition of atmospheric pollutants.
  3. Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S): exploitation of seasonal forecasting systems as natural integrator of Copernicus Services, enhancement of predictive skills at seasonal timescales, consistent climate re-analysis of the Earth system, improvement in predicting variations of the climate system over the next few years and decades, linkages between current extreme weather events such as droughts, heat waves or floods to anthropogenic climate change and/or natural climate variability.
  4. Copernicus Marine Environmental Monitoring Service (CMEMS): Advanced marine data assimilation techniques for physics (e.g. ensemble methods, assimilation of future satellite observations like swath altimetry and surface currents), improvement of biogeochemical products for the carbon cycle (CO2 ocean component), water quality and food security (food web modelling, habitats), with assimilation of satellite and in-situ data, improved biogeochemical models, coupled physics and biogeochemistry models and use of new in-situ observations (e.g. BGC Argo) to validate biogeochemical models.
  5. Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (CLMS): essential ecosystem variables for natural capital accounting, HRL for agriculture, forest and urban monitoring, CLC+, environmental compliance, support to sustainable development goals, exploitation of mid and high resolution satellite combination for continuous environmental change monitoring.
  6. Security New concepts for applications based on the integration of relevant information derived from space or non-space sources, current services or other value-added applications, targeted to support civil protection and security. New algorithms for automated monitoring and detection of changes and patterns of life. Those activities should also aim at bridging the gap between demand and supply, complementing the offer of the Copernicus Security services and enlarging its user base.

Actions should take into account the existing portfolio of the services and clearly define to what extent main model, algorithm, tool and technique should be improved to generate new or better products.

Actions aim at demonstrating the technical operational feasibility of the selected product(s).

The proposed development should be modular and scalable. The project should provide a proof-of-concept or a prototype (e.g. system element) demonstrating the feasibility of the integration in the existing core service. This new “system element” should also guarantee the expandability required for the integration of new data from potential space or no-space new mission/sensors.

During the development of the project, the team taking into account the delineation between Copernicus core services and downstream services, should clearly identify the right context of the proposed product(s). The border delineation takes into account the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, the avoidance of duplication, and the facilitation of user uptake.

The proposal should also investigate to what extent the proposed evolution could be a candidate for the operational Copernicus service in terms of cost-benefits, calendar and operational feasibility.

R&D activities should aim at a better integration of space research with other non-space domains (e.g citizen science including social media) focusing in particular on policy areas addressing global and societal challenges highlighting horizontal synergies and multidisciplinary approaches. In particular, proposals should clearly mention which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals the project will support.

New IT tools should be considered and innovative solutions should be proposed for a better data exploitation, processing and distribution, e.g.: cloud and HPC computing, distributed computing, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning (e.g. for automatic feature recognition), ensemble modelling, model coupling & nesting, software as-a-service.

Additionally, the operationalisation of the research results should receive active attention during the course of the project to strengthen the readiness for an operational deployment in the future, including the conditions for making available, for re-use and exploit the results (including IPR) to the entities implementing the EU Copernicus programme. The software should be open licensed in order to use, copy, study, and change it in any way.

Proposers are advised to consult information on the Copernicus programme in general at https://www.copernicus.eu/en, the availability of Copernicus Sentinel Data, access to Copernicus Contributing Mission data at the Commission’s website (https://www.copernicus.eu/en/access-data).

It should be noted that funding of the H2020 project in no way commits the Commission or the Copernicus service operators to deploy the outcomes from the research in the Copernicus operational services.

For proposals under this topic:

  • Participation of industry, in particular SMEs, is encouraged;
  • Involvement of post-graduate scientists, engineers and researchers and promotion of gender balance is also encouraged, for example through professional work experience or through fellowships/scholarships as applicable.

At least one proposal per sub-topic shall be selected for funding.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Increased coverage of EU policies, clearly identifying which and how the project intends to address them;
  • Integration of different observation capacities with a clear demonstration of an increase in the service performance (compared with the existing one);
  • The proposed proof-of-concept or prototype, as outcome of the project, should clearly demonstrate an improvement of the Copernicus service evolution.

Deadline: 05 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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Improving the sorting, separation and recycling of composite and multi-layer materials

Proposals are expected to develop new or improve existing innovative processes for the sorting, disassembly/separation, recycling and/or the introduction into manufacturing process of materials from products made of composite and/or multi-layer materials and assess the potential barriers for their implementation. They can deal with used products, production rejects or existing stocks such us material recovered from industrial and municipal landfills. Proposals should aim to optimise value retention in the economy, rather than downgrading the composite or multi-layer materials for applications with low quality requirements, as compared to the value of the initial separate materials, especially for applications with high performance requirements. Proposals should also provide recommendations for the design of these applications, products or related materials, based on the lessons learned in the development of these processes, to enable an increase in volume and quality of reuse and recycling of these products. In addition, these recommendations should cover requirements for product information to enable effective identification and management after use (including consumer targeted labelling, where appropriate). The environmental impact (e.g. substitution of virgin plastics, water saving, impact on water quality), social impact (e.g. related to health and safety legislation) and cost of the innovative processes implemented (e.g. recycling processes) should be assessed in a holistic way, taking the entire lifecycle into account. The proposals are expected to provide evidence of the potential market impact that the proposed solutions could bring, including impacts on current economic actors in the chain and anticipated consumer acceptance and changes of consumer attitude (taking into account gender issues, when relevant). To this end, quantitative information on the size of the targeted market is expected. Participation of relevant industrial partners (technology providers, end-users etc.) is considered important. Activities are expected to achieve TRL 5-6 by the end of the project.

This topic is in support of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. Selected projects under this topic as well as projects selected under other topics in H2020 supporting the Plastics Strategy are strongly encouraged to participate in joint activities as appropriate. These joint activities could take the form of clustering of projects, participation in workshops, common exploitation and dissemination etc. The proposals are expected to demonstrate support to common coordination and dissemination activities. Applicants should plan the necessary budget to cover those activities without the prerequisite to define concrete common actions at this stage.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 4-5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • increased yield and quality of sorting of products made of composite or multi-layer materials;
  • increased recycling of raw materials from products made of composite or multi-layer materials, in terms of volume and/or quality;
  • reduced use of virgin raw materials;
  • increased knowledge on how to design for reuse and recycling (“circular design”) of products currently made of composite or multi-layer materials;
  • increased knowledge on the process environmental footprint, including the net effects on greenhouse gas emissions, of improved sorting, separation and recycling of composite and multi-layer materials.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Understanding the transition to a circular economy and its implications on the environment, economy and society

The research will assess the current state of transition towards the circular economy in relevant economic sectors (public, private and non-profit) and analyse possible transition scenarios, as well as their outcomes and impacts. It will identify the key factors (regulatory, governance-based, market, technological, cultural, societal, gender, etc.) that can stimulate or hinder this transition. The selected sectors should be among the ones identified in the EU Circular Economy Action Plan. Additional sectors could also be selected, considering criteria such as environmental footprint, health issues, complexities of value-chain, dependency on imported materials and relevance for European economy. Implications of the transition, both positive and negative, for the economy, the environment and the society will be assessed qualitatively and as much as possible quantified. For that reason, appropriate models for analysing and quantifying the various implications and trade-offs and assessing the sustainability of circular economy should be developed. The implications considered should include social, economic and environmental aspects, such as trade flows, value-chains, labour demand, European industry competitiveness, regulatory frameworks, policy and governance mechanisms, public and occupational health, greenhouse gas emissions, use of energy, land, water, minerals and other resources), flows of resources at all relevant geographical scales, human health, social and territorial cohesion, and value distribution across society. The role of public awareness and acceptance and other social aspects, including gender issues, need to be considered. Where relevant, particular attention should be paid to the issue of hazardous materials in a circular economy. Policy recommendations for policy-makers at the local, national, European and global levels, including recommendations on governance issues, will be derived from the research. Involvement of relevant social sciences and humanities disciplines and expertise in behavioural economics and gender issues, is deemed important.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with Africa.

This topic is in support of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. Selected projects under this topic as well as projects selected under other topics in H2020 supporting the Plastics Strategy are strongly encouraged to participate in joint activities as appropriate. These joint activities could take the form of clustering of projects, participation in workshops, common exploitation and dissemination etc. The proposals are expected to demonstrate support to common coordination and dissemination activities. Applicants should plan the necessary budget to cover those activities without the prerequisite to define concrete common actions at this stage.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 3-4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • more systemic policy decisions to further facilitate the transition to a safe, environmentally friendly, efficient and effective circular economy in selected sectors;
  • efficient and effective use of both primary and secondary resources in Europe, reducing waste generation, negative health impacts, environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions;
  • new business opportunities for European industries and SMEs;
  • creating new tools and methodologies oriented to companies, to consider social, environmental and economic aspects when they design circular business models;
  • creating incentives and support the development of strategic governance mechanisms that enable the transition to a Circular Economy and contribute to the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Europe;
  • supporting the achievement of climate commitments and specific quantitative targets on resources efficiency, recycling rates or waste disposal quotas.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Develop and pilot circular systems in plastics, textiles and furniture sectors

The objective of this action is to develop and pilot systemic circular economy innovations in plastics, textiles and furniture sectors that take into account value retention throughout the lifecycle of the product or service. Proposals are expected to bring together all relevant actors from across the value chain – from design and production, down to collection, sorting and reuse/repair/recycling – to rethink how to address the user’s need through a circular economy lens. Proposals should explore, develop and pilot systemic innovations that take into account value retention throughout the lifecycle of the product or service. Such innovations could cover design of business models, products and materials, industrial symbiosis, assuming the interdependencies and connections to the overall system in which the product/service is offered, are considered and acted upon. For example, designing office furniture to be easily upgraded/repaired requires the availability of spare parts, or designing plastic packaging to be composted requires the collection and transportation to a composting facility. The sectors in scope are one of the following three: plastics, textiles and furniture. Proposals are expected to provide quantitative information on the size of the targeted market, how that would evolve as a result of the proposed solution. Environmental and other societal benefits should be assessed from a lifecycle perspective and quantified. Participation of stakeholders across the value chain (e.g. material/product producers, end-users, collection/sorting/recycling organisations, etc.) is considered important. Data and information exchange across the different actors should be deployed, tested and evaluated to ensure value retention throughout the life cycle. The aim of this is to avoid silos of information and obtain a better understanding of the mutual dependencies between the several actors in the system and the changes on all technical and behavioural levels required to fulfil the full potential of systemic innovation. Activities are expected to achieve TLR 6-7 by the end of the project.

This topic is in support of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. Selected projects under this topic as well as projects selected under other topics in H2020 supporting the Plastics Strategy are strongly encouraged to participate in joint activities as appropriate. These joint activities could take the form of clustering of projects, participation in workshops, common exploitation and dissemination etc. The proposals are expected to demonstrate support to common coordination and dissemination activities. Applicants should plan the necessary budget to cover those activities without the prerequisite to define concrete common actions at this stage.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 7-8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • effective use of both primary and secondary resources in Europe, reducing waste generation, environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, through innovative systems;
  • first-hand insights on how to develop and support systemic innovation towards a circular economy, starting from selected sectors;
  • evidence to inform more systemic policy decisions to further facilitate the transition to an effective circular economy in selected sectors;
  • systemic knowledge of product service systems and circular design management systems, to facilitate their systematic application;
  • new business opportunities for European industries and SMEs;
  • the achievement of climate commitments and specific quantitative targets on resources efficiency, recycling rates or waste disposal quota and gather more information on related greenhouse gas emissions;
  • long-term value creation and positive impacts on the environment, health and quality of life of users.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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A common European framework to harmonise procedures for plastics pollution monitoring and assessments

The aim of this action is to develop a common European framework to harmonise procedures for plastics pollution monitoring and assessments. This action should do so by bringing together the main national research groups in the field of physicochemical analysis of plastics in the environment, covering nano-, micro- and macro-plastics, to present jointly designed process proposals for the determination of plastics in different environmental matrices. A critical mass of actors and increased synergies between all relevant research areas (e.g. marine, surface, groundwater, drinking and waste water, soil, air), industry, regulators, associations and relevant EU services and standardisation bodies will be a key element to address the challenge. It is expected that different sampling, extraction and analysis methods are evaluated for their suitability and feasibility (availability, cost-effectiveness, quality of data generated) for use within future monitoring activities.

This action should ensure adequate flexibility for taking into account all relevant aspects prior to formal standardisation procedures and provide:

a) harmonised methods for sampling, sample preparation and analytical detection of different kind of plastics in different environmental compartments and connected matrices, including realistic matrix reference materials;

b) methods for monitoring to enable a comprehensive inventory to be carried out to classify the occurrence, to identify emission and pollution priorities and to determine changes in the occurrence by means of subsequent investigations;

c) methods for identification and analysis of plastics in the environment;

d) proposals as a basis for international and European standards (ISO / CEN);

e) recommendations for future relevant EU policy and legislation;;

f) increased knowledge on the occurrence of plastics in the environment with respect to related questions, such as physical and chemical adverse effects on biota.

In addition, this action should deliver guidance on data management, including the need for relevant infrastructures, cooperation on sharing data, creation of joint databases and the promotion of meta-analysis of existing data. This action does not involve data collection. It should also inform future strategic programming for research and innovation for plastics by identifying knowledge gaps and needs.

​This topic is in support of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. Selected projects under this topic as well as projects selected under other topics in H2020 supporting the Plastics Strategy are strongly encouraged to participate in joint activities as appropriate. These joint activities could take the form of clustering of projects, participation in workshops, common exploitation and dissemination etc. The projects should describe how they will be complementary with already existing relevant national activities or other multilateral activities funded by the EU or funded jointly by several Member States. The proposals are expected to demonstrate support to common coordination and dissemination activities. Applicants should plan the necessary budget to cover those activities without the prerequisite to define concrete common actions at this stage.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • achieving the objectives of the EU Plastics Strategy, in particular with regard to the possibilities for future prioritisation of measures in Europe and to the possibilities of reviewing their effectiveness in terms of reducing emissions, and contributing to the implementation of Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda foreseen in that strategy;
  • fostering innovative policymaking through robust methodologies and uniformed tools and reduction of analytical uncertainties;
  • bringing the EU to the forefront of international discussion and collaboration in the field of plastic pollution monitoring and assessing through the know-how generated (planned publications and templates for standardisation procedures);
  • improving the economic viability of analytical instrument manufacturers;
  • establishing a framework and foundation for the implementation of European and global level monitoring programmes for nano-, micro- and macro-plastic.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Plastics in the environment: understanding the sources, transport, distribution and impacts of plastics pollution

The aim of this action is to gain a better understanding on the sources, transport, distribution and impact of plastic pollution. The main areas for research activities should include:

a) Sources of plastic pollution to different environmental compartments;

b) Transport and pathways of plastics into and through different environmental compartments;

c) Occurrence and distribution of plastic across all environmental compartments;

d) Accumulation, including in soil and the food chain;

e) Degradation mechanisms for different plastic materials under range of environmentally conditions;

f) Physical and chemical effects of plastic pollution on different biotic and abiotic environments.

This action should aim to determine of the main entry routes of plastics into the different environmental compartments (e.g. marine, surface and groundwaters, soils and air, as well as potential transfers between these compartments. Furthermore, it should investigate the fate and transport behaviour of plastics with the goal of improving our current understanding of exposure within biotic and abiotic compartments. This should include determination of the spatial distribution and variability of plastics from its sources into rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal areas and the open oceans. The research should contribute to the identification of the entry pathways, transport and accumulation within the ecosystems, including the potential for actual accumulations in the food chain (beyond presence in digestive systems).

Proposals should address different ecosystems, geographical areas and spatial scales, including the main environmental media such as marine, surface and ground-water, soils, air and biota. This would require case studies in selected areas, across Europe considering the marine water column and the seabed as well as surface water and terrestrial ecosystems, and comparative data on the contribution of point and diffuse sources and transport pathways to the scale of plastic pollution. To enhance understanding of the processes that drive the transport and fate of plastics in different ecosystems and on different temporal-spatial scales, computational models validated with empirical data, that predict hotspots and sinks of plastics would be also needed. Proposals should also enhance the current understanding of plastic degradation in the environment, including the characterisation of leaching chemicals and plastic degradation products. When the degradation of plastics under environmental conditions cannot readily be predicted based on information available from material sciences, degradation experiments simulating realistic weathering of plastics will inform about the fragmenting process of plastic debris as well as the release of chemicals. Research could cover nano-, micro-, or macro-plastics.

Cooperation with existing national and EU funded activities, such as the JPI Oceans initiative, is encouraged.

This topic is in support of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. Selected projects under this topic as well as projects selected under other topics in H2020 supporting the Plastics Strategy are strongly encouraged to participate in joint activities as appropriate. These joint activities could take the form of clustering of projects, participation in workshops, common exploitation and dissemination etc. The proposals are expected to demonstrate support to common coordination and dissemination activities. Applicants should plan the necessary budget to cover those activities without the prerequisite to define concrete common actions at this stage.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • achieving the objectives of the Plastics Strategy, in particular with regard to the possibilities for future prioritisation of measures in Europe (prioritisation);
  • providing a foundation for the development of mitigation solutions, based on improved and new knowledge on plastics pollution;
  • identifying promising intervention points and targeted actions for fighting plastics pollution, in line with of the CE Action Plan and Plastics Strategy;
  • establishing the EU as a scientific leader in the area of understanding and solving plastic pollution.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Scientific support to designing mitigation pathways and policies

Actions should address only one of the following sub-topics:

a) Assessing and designing climate policies for the coming decade:

Actions should analyse what contributed to the delivery on the 2020 energy and climate policy targets, based on available European and national data and outcomes, with special regard to, inter alia, policy implementation, low-carbon investment flows, industrial innovation, the energy- land-use nexus, economic and environmental impact, and technology development and diffusion, as well as consequences for the post-2020 period. In the context of the EU's 2030 energy and climate targets and in view of providing scientific support to the design of post-2030 climate policies, actions should also analyse the needed evolution of the mitigation, adaptation and innovation policy mix at all relevant scales, including their innovative financing, the associated macro-economic and sector-level impact, including on productivity, competitiveness, environment, health and employment; the required investment flows for zero carbon solutions; the relevant socio-technical transition processes, as well as the interaction between near- to mid-term action, and long-term mitigation pathways. Finally, actions should involve relevant (private and public) stakeholders to enhance further their policy-relevance.

b) Decarbonisation and lifestyle changes:

Citizen engagement in climate action will be indispensable for delivering on the Paris Agreement goals, therefore identifying critical areas of individual level action, relevant structural changes and means to incentivise them are key. Accordingly, actions should identify and analyse the role of individuals (including gender aspects), households and communities in the socio-technical transition, critical areas of lifestyle change, and associated social innovation processes that are needed globally and in Europe to be in phase with low-carbon emission pathways. The analysis should consider, inter alia, the economic and climate impact of shifting lifestyle and consumption patterns, and the health co-benefits of action, as well as the risks of unintended consequences (e.g. rebound effects). Actions should also explore how citizen and household level changes can be incentivised and analyse enablers for and barriers to public engagement and acceptance. Actions may also explore possible policies and communication strategies on climate action where appropriate in conjunction with health co-benefits in order to engage citizens and stakeholders from relevant economic sectors and develop concrete recommendations. Already existing low-carbon lifestyles within intentional communities like eco villages, transition towns, slow food, slow city movements or car-free living maybe investigated in terms of what hampers their action despite high motivation and what can be learned for up-scaling or duplicating low-carbon practices. Finally, actions may explore citizen science activities as a way to engage and educate citizens on climate action.

c) Science underpinning the preparations of NDCs after the 2023 Global Stocktake at a global scale:

Following the 2018 Talanoa Dialogue which examined countries collective progress in global climate action, the next milestones of global climate governance will be the 2023 Global Stocktake and the preparation of new NDCs for the period beyond 2030, which for most countries have to be submitted by 2025. The need for adequate scientific capacities at national and subnational levels – and going beyond major economies – remains considerable. Actions should provide state-of-the-art evidence to policymakers during this crucial time. In particular, they should: contribute to the evidence base supporting countries efforts to finalise NDCs in 2024 following the Global Stocktake at the end of 2023 by i) reviewing the process of the development of existing NDCs including if and how policies were implemented by 2023 to achieve these NDCs, ii) providing scientific information on the options available for preparing post-2030 NDCs compatible with the goals of the Paris Agreement (mid- and long-term action) and latest climate science, within the context of multiple economic and sustainable development priorities and iii) demonstrating through quantitative modelling techniques how scientific findings such as those assessed in the IPCC can be translated into viable policies and long-term decarbonisation pathways at regional and national levels. Furthermore, actions should provide insights concerning the risks related to stranded assets, as well as possible interactions with policies targeting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Actions should also assess to what extent, next to national action in the context of NDCs, international bunker fuels can contribute to achieve the Paris Agreement's mitigation goals, and what the risks are for double counting efforts between sectors.

Proposals for all sub-topics are encouraged to extend their analysis to some major emitters outside Europe and to selected less-developed countries.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 3-5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • providing measurable support to the EU's long term strategy on greenhouse gas emission reductions;
  • providing national and global pathways towards the Paris Agreement’s global temperature goal and insights into how these can inform countries’ next NDCs.
  • supporting the Stocktake Exercise by taking stock of collective progress towards the Paris Agreement goals and investigating how progress can be accelerated;
  • demonstrating how the latest climate science (including the 6th Assessment Report of the IPCC) can be converted into practical advice for national mitigation action;

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Innovative nature-based solutions for carbon neutral cities and improved air quality

Actions should assess the direct and indirect contribution of nature-based solutions in diverse structures and configurations (e.g. mix of vegetation and trees, species, shape, spatial distribution of public green space and vegetation coverage) to combatting air pollution, reducing allergy potential of urban environment and mitigating GHG and other airborne pollutants emissions in cities including under future climate change scenarios.

Actions should recommend optimal solutions and appropriate typologies fitting to different contexts in terms of different climatic, environmental and socio-economic conditions and different urban designs. Benefits and co-benefits (including citizens' health and well-being, biodiversity and climate change adaptation), synergies (including impacts on social inequalities) and trade-off delivered by the deployed solutions must be evaluated. Tools, models, design guidelines, standards and protocols to integrate these solutions into local decision making and socio-economic transition pathways, including in spatial planning should be developed and validated.

Actions should enable the continuous monitoring of air pollution and atmospheric carbon concentration and thus contribute to improvement of relevant modelling capacity , deploying indicators enabling easy assessment, communication, comparison and sharing of best practice on the ground as well as digital solutions comprising networks of sensors, big data, geo-localisation, observational programmes such as Copernicus (and in particular the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service and the Climate Change Service with their value-added products and information) and GEOSS, satellite navigation and positioning services offered by EGNOS/Galileo, and citizens’ observatories.

Actions should test innovative governance, business and finance models promoting participatory co-creation processes in developing, implementing and assessing impact of these solutions and taking into account interdependency with the city’s hinterland and with others air quality mitigation measures

Furthermore, to secure the widest possible accessibility of the generated data and knowledge for effective communication, public consultation, and exchange of experiences, the funded projects must upload their final data on established networks and information sharing mechanisms at European scale such as Oppla, the European Environment Agency (EEA) air pollution data centre and Climate-ADAPT.

An interdisciplinary approach, including citizen science and the participation of applied natural sciences, social sciences, data science and humanities disciplines (such as behavioural economics, gender studies, urban planning, design and governance) is considered crucial to properly address the complex challenges of this topic.

To enhance the impact and promote upscaling and replication of these solutions, actions should account for conditions and mechanisms for how the intervention, as part of the project proposed, works in delivering the desired outcomes to enhance our knowledge about the causal factors for how interventions work in context.

Furthermore, actions should engage in substantial networking and training activities to disseminate and exchange their experience, knowledge and deployment practices to cities that are planning to design and implement similar solutions in a successive phase beyond the duration of the project.

To enhance impact, cooperation and synergies with the activities undertaken within the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy initiative, and in particular the regional Covenant of Mayors - Europe (supported by the EC) should be sought where appropriate. Actions should envisage clustering activities with other relevant ongoing and future nature-based solutions and relevant citizen observatories projects funded under previous and current H2020 Work Programmes for cross-project co-operation, consultations and joint activities on cross-cutting issues and share of results as well as participating in joint meetings and communication events. To this end, proposals should foresee a dedicated work package and /or task and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly. They should make use and contribute to knowledge exchange and networking European platforms (e.g. Climate-ADAPT, ThinkNature, OPPLA). Action should take advantage of data and information provided by the Copernicus programme.

Proposals should pay attention to the special call conditions for this topic. In grants awarded under this topic, costs for construction and installation of “infrastructure-targeted” interventions shall not constitute more than 20% of the total eligible costs. Beneficiaries’ own resources and/or mobilisation and leverage of additional investments beyond Horizon 2020, whether private or public, should make up the remaining investment costs and should secure economic and financial sustainability for the execution of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • in the mid-term, the creation of an European reference framework and the establishment of EU leadership in a new global market (supply and demand) for nature-based solutions, new economic opportunities, new products, services, protocols and standards, planning approaches and methods, leverage of investments, reduced regulative and administrative barriers, and new local green jobs;
  • increased evidence and awareness of the benefits of re-naturing cities for combatting air pollution and mitigating climate change and for improving health, well-being and resilience to the impacts of climate change;
  • creation of 'communities of practice', more effective policy making and better informed decision making across Europe, based on an EU-wide evidence base regarding efficacy, efficiency, cost-benefiting and comparative advantages of a range of tested, well documented, up-scalable and marketable nature-based solutions;
  • enhanced stakeholder and citizen ownership of the solutions through their effective and systematic involvement in co-creation processes for the development, implementation, monitoring and testing of the solutions and their integration in sustainable urban planning and design;
  • enhanced implementation of relevant EU air quality regulations and environmental policies and programmes, such as the EU Water Framework Directive, the 7th Environment Action Programme, the Urban Agenda for the EU, the Clean Air Programme, the EU Biodiversity Strategy, the EU Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and the conclusions of the COP21 Paris Agreement, and the 'Communication on Green Infrastructures', and of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – in particular SDG 11 'Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable'.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Advancing climate services

The proposed action should address only one of the following sub-topics:

a) Mapping European coastal infrastructure at risk from sea-level rise:

Actions should undertake a new high-resolution mapping of predictions of future sea levels against European coastal elevation and identify risks to relevant coastal infrastructure. Actions should deliver an engaging, interactive and authoritative map of the European coastal zone perceived to be at risk of inundation due to future predicted changes in relative sea levels. Actions should also include low-probability high-impact scenarios and account for local, regional and global processes driving changes in coastal elevation. Actions may further consider the impact of adaptation measures (e.g. barriers) that are already in place and projected impacts on population displacements. Cooperation with projects under topic LC-CLA-13-2020 and other relevant on-going Horizon 2020 projects is encouraged.

b) Detection and attribution of extreme events using Artificial Intelligence:

Actions should explore novel approaches for detection and localisation of extreme events, including tropical cyclones and heat waves, and for quantifying extreme events trends in current day and future climate change scenarios. Actions should develop artificial intelligence techniques (e.g., deep learning) to detect spatial and temporal patterns and evolutions of climatological fields (e.g., temperature) associated with extreme events. These techniques should be capable of discriminating between different variables based on the event type and capable of handling events at various spatial scales. Particular consideration should also be given to associated impacts and attribution to climate change. Where appropriate, actions should take advantage of data provided by the Copernicus programme.

c) Impacts of overshooting:

Understanding how rising global temperature translates to impacts for society and natural ecosystems is critical in order to prepare for, and strive to reduce, the magnitude of climate change. While global temperature is a good indicator of global change, local impacts can be much more pronounced. Actions should assess and report on the impacts associated with overshooting temperature goals set by the Paris Agreement. Actions should highlight regional differences in associated impacts and identify possible adaptation measures and solutions.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 4-6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. For the evaluation procedure, the following provision applies: at least one proposal per sub-topic will be funded, provided it passed all thresholds.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • enhanced adaptive capacity;
  • reduced vulnerability to climate change;
  • enhanced action on adaptation;
  • strengthened scientific knowledge on climate;
  • better informed climate services and decision-making.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Climate resilience of European coastal cities and settlements

Actions should capitalise on past and current initiatives and knowledge including associated uncertainty, to improve the integrated spatial planning, management and adaptation of Europe's coastal cities and settlements. They should provide scientific insight, tools, methodologies and innovative solutions to assist European coastal cities in developing their own coastal resilience plans and management and dynamic adaptation pathways (i.e. protect, accommodate, or retreat options), at spatial and temporal scales most relevant to their specific needs and context, to address the risks associated to climate change with emphasis to exposure to sea-level rise, while understanding the cascading effects and impacts on other sectors (e.g. water, energy, food, land use, etc.). Actions should use state-of-the-art predictions of the rate and extent of sea-level changes on time scales of years to decades to identify urban coastal areas at risk of flooding and erosion. The assessment and mapping of coastal exposure and vulnerability to sea-level rise should also consider low probability high impact scenarios (H++). Proposals should make use of existing Coastal Risk Assessment Frameworks, including socio-economic considerations, and informative tools for multi-hazard assessment.

As part of the proposed work, actions should develop a methodology for a thorough assessment of the robustness and effectiveness of protective structures measures and governance structures. They should come up with sound methodologies and guidance for the elaboration of resilience plans for vulnerable urban areas implementing, as appropriate, ecosystem-based approaches (e.g., Nature-Based Solutions, landscape planning) along with hybrid and traditional engineering approaches as part of a broader strategy. This includes the design of monitoring plans to detect signals for implementation and/or reassessment of the coastal plan. On the basis of an in-depth literature review and additional studies as appropriate, comparison of economic, social, cultural and environmental impacts (e.g. costs and benefits) of ecosystem-based approaches with the ones of traditional technical approaches should be undertaken, considering security aspects, cost-effectiveness, adaptability to changes and avoidance of undesirable lock-in effects. Actions should develop tools, methodologies and guidelines to assist decision making in selecting optimal mix of protection measures (ecosystem-based, hybrid, and traditional engineering) enhancing resilience for the diverse coastal contexts in Europe.

Action may include pilot studies comprising "front-runner" cities and territories advanced in the elaboration and implementation of coastal adaptation and resilience plans mentoring "follower" cities not so advanced in this process to enhance the potential for replication and up-taking of the outcomes and hence impact of the action.

Actions should envisage clustering activities with other relevant ongoing and future actions (e.g., LC-CLA-12-2020), relevant projects funded under previous and current H2020 Work Programmes for cross-projects co-operation, consultations and joint activities on cross-cutting issues and share of results as well as participating in joint meetings and communication events. To this end, proposals should foresee a dedicated work package and /or task and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly. They should make use and contribute to knowledge exchange and networking European platforms (e.g. Climate-ADAPT, ThinkNature, OPPLA).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • improved decision-making on suitable adaptation options and coastal management strategies, in view of demographic, water supply, climate and land use changes on the basis of adaptation measures for specific local vulnerabilities, urban contexts and sectors in Europe and an assessment of coastal ecosystem services, adaptation costs and benefits,;
  • strengthened coastal adaptation network between scientists, engineers, policy-makers, stakeholders and the general public;
  • improved integrated spatial management and adaptation of Europe's coastlines;
  • the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Water Framework Directive, the Flood Directive, the Natura and Habitats Directives and the Biodiversity Strategy, and EU Climate Change Adaptation Strategy;
  • underpinning of Integrated Coastal Zone Management and multi-level governance.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Understanding climate-water-energy-food nexus and streamlining water-related policies

The objective of this action is to develop and test innovative solutions, improved operations and integrated management and planning for achieving water, energy and food security and safety within the planetary boundaries and resolve conflicts between upstream and downstream water users and citizens. Proposals should assess the interlinkages and interdependencies of water, food and energy sectors and ecosystems in different water bodies, in particular transboundary ones. Climatic, environmental, land-use, social and economic trends and governance regimes in the water and these interlinked sectors should be also considered.

Proposals should also identify, develop, demonstrate and test innovative, multi-beneficial solutions that can best deliver good water status, in terms of quantity and quality, sustainable food and energy security, enhance human wellbeing and resolve conflicts between different users and different sectors. New integrated policies, governance mechanisms, learning and communication tools that can deliver good water status, sustainable food and energy security, taking into consideration the trade-offs between the 3 sectors, should be also developed. Sustainability criteria to be considered include full climate-change mitigation effects based on full carbon accounts, impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, conservation of fertile soils and other biophysical impacts along with socioeconomic equity and justice criteria.

Mechanisms and tools that support common evidence, build and enhance trust between the different stakeholders and allow them to jointly address the trade-offs and identify win-win strategies, should be also addressed. This could include innovative monitoring schemes, demand forecasting, socio-economic assessments, scenario planning, behavioural change (including a gender analysis, when relevant), using social science approaches and financial levers to implement a real water- energy-food nexus approach and increase efficiencies, equity and sustainability.

This action should also address climate impacts on integrated water management, that is, implications for drought risk, water scarcity, drinking water availability and quality, food production and security and energy production and how the vulnerability of water resources can be reduced. Case studies over different geographical regions and challenges to facilitate tailored analyses and test the developed solutions should be considered. Actions to generate and analyse the relevant data required to assess the nexus interlinkages and trade-offs and ensure their long-term availability in the context of relevant EU data infrastructures should be also considered.

Participation of a broad range of different stakeholders around water, energy and food security strategies, including policy makers will be essential.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged. Proposals should avoid duplication with ongoing EU funded research and innovation actions, while strengthening potential synergies. Activities are expected to achieve TLR 5 by the end of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 4-5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • more accurate evaluations of future demands for water, energy, food and related infrastructures at both local and global scales, taking also into consideration the ecosystem needs
  • enhance sharing knowledge and best practices in climate-water-energy-food nexus assessment and management and help create critical mass on capacity to innovate;
  • improve integrated water resources management and increase resilience to climate change, considering the value of water for ecosystems and their services and ensuring good quantitative and qualitative status of water, sustainable agriculture, food and energy production, as well as water, food and energy security;
  • help linking EU water policy objectives with the sustainable objectives of greening the CAP and ensuring sustainability and quality of water resources and resource and energy efficiency policy objectives, achieving for instance, zero energy and minimal water use for renewable energy extraction from water, and net zero carbon emissions by 2050 to hit a 1.5-degree warming target, enabling the combination of water and energy efficiency;
  • assess the impacts of EU regulatory framework (e.g. Renewable Energy Directive) on a sustainable water-energy-food nexus;
  • reduce institutional fragmentation whilst increase cross water, energy, food collaboration and inclusive multi-stakeholder engagement;
  • reduce the water risks for the energy sector and optimise market and trade solutions across the nexus;
  • strengthen EU role in international water issues, and become a leading actor on water diplomacy.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Forest Fires risk reduction: towards an integrated fire management approach in the E.U.

Actions should generate the knowledge, tools, capacity and guidance to underpin an Integrated Fire Management strategy that promotes holistic landscape, land use, and forest management and considers the interaction among all phases of the wildfire management process (i.e. fire prevention and preparedness, fire detection and response, post-fire restoration and adaptation).

Proposals should assess the changes in fire regimes under various climate, vegetation and land use change scenarios, including settlement/housing development/infrastructure and rural-urban interface, with particular focus on ignition and fuel patterns, spatial and temporal dimensions of fire activity, including the expansion of the fire-prone area in Europe. Understanding extreme wildfire events, their structural causes, various impacts including on air quality, water quality, soil carbon and nitrogen stocks and greenhouse gas emissions, and the human, biological and physical processes at play is a prerequisite. The trade-offs and synergies between the various socio-economic, climate, and environmental elements influencing forest fires risk management and conditions of enhanced risk should be explored and analysed, particularly in wildland/rural interface areas. Methods to assess and mitigate vulnerability of societies to wildfires should also be developed. In addition, the relation of forest fires with other hazards that may trigger or result from fire (e.g., droughts, floods, debris flows, landslides, heatwaves and storms) should be investigated within a multi-hazard risk assessment framework.

Proposals should capitalise on the existing and develop new scientific knowledge (e.g. fire ecology, soil and water science, landscape restoration, social sciences), enhance understanding of the resistance, resilience and habitat suitability of mixtures of plant species, as well as the human factors (considering human behaviour, gender, economics and socio-demographic issues) affecting fire occurrence and develop strategic guidance for improved forest fire risk management and risk-informed decision-making.

Participatory approaches with national agencies and competent institutional bodies dealing with wildfire management and protection and land management are required. Actions should also promote increased interaction and strengthened cooperation between scientists, practitioners, forest and land owners and other key stakeholders. To ensure wide accessibility and use, they should also facilitate an inclusive approach in developing land management strategies through involving local communities in the design and planning of innovative fire prevention measures, strengthening the forest sector and promoting bio-economy and nature based solutions as well as in the co-design and co-production of research and corresponding outcomes.

In this context, actions are sought to develop and implement effective communication and societal outreach strategies to increase the awareness and preparedness of populations at risk towards a common culture of risk and more disaster-resilient communities. The outcomes should be made available through open access platforms (i.e. the Disaster Risk Management Centre, the European Forest Fires Information System). Actions should take advantage of data and information provided by the Copernicus programme, in particular the Copernicus Emergency Service.

Possibilities for clustering with actions supported under topic LC-CLA-12b-2020, LC-CLA-16b-2020, SC7 DRS-02 and other relevant ongoing and future nature-based solutions, LIFE and Civil Protection relevant projects should be envisaged, as appropriate, for cross-project co-operation, consultations and joint activities on cross-cutting issues and knowledge exchange as well as participating in joint meetings and communication events. To this end, proposals should foresee a dedicated work package and /or task and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly.

Collaboration with leading research institutions with experience in extreme wildfires management such as in Australia, Canada, South Africa, the United States and other non-EU countries is highly encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • National Forest Fires Risk reduction strategies and risk-informed decision-making emerging from collaboration with key stakeholders, in compliance with the policy objectives set out in the EU Forest Strategy and relevant EU policies;
  • improved coherence between EU policies’ objectives and national legislative frameworks defining the structural measures and operational activities regarding forest and communities protection from fire;
  • more disaster-resilient communities through increased awareness and preparedness of populations at risk and a common culture of risk;
  • increased knowledge exchange, sharing and access through the Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre, the European Forest Fires Information System and other open access platforms;
  • innovation, harmonisation and exchange on methods of consistently recording and measuring wildfires and coherent collection of data;
  • common framework for forest fire (wildfire) firefighting modules, training, exercises, incident management and command.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Multi-hazard risk management for risk-informed decision-making in the E.U.

Actions are encouraged to capitalise on and assess existing methodologies, models and tools for disaster risk management available at EU and national levels in order to define a common framework for risk and vulnerability assessments for areas exposed to multiple natural hazards. Based on the diagnosis of multi-hazards and multi-risk assessments, innovative decision-making tools that help planners to make effective and future proofed risk management choices need to be developed (e.g., dynamic adaptation pathways to address future and emerging threats). Sustainable adaptation options including ecosystem-based approaches such as Nature-Based Solutions – that are cost-effective and provide multiple co-benefits should be prioritised where appropriate.

Research actions should aim to develop a harmonized and standardised multi-hazard risk management approach in order to compare the threats and combined effects posed by several natural hazards (geological, hydrological, meteorological and biological), including hazards from compounded events, and evaluate the risks related to their interactions and cascade/simultaneous effects on the socio-ecological systems. A forward looking perspective, paying due attention to future trends and drivers (such as climate change) should be ensured. In this perspective, quantitative scenarios on present and future risks, on potential direct and indirect effects, in a multi risk environment need further developments. In order to be more operational, such a framework should be developed in close cooperation and dialogue between science and practice with the key actors and end-users to take into account their needs in the scientific development of multi hazard/multi risk assessment methods and enable feasible solutions for more practical use.

In light of the above, actions should also seek to develop mapping tools and user-friendly ICT open interfaces to better understand the model scenarios and outputs. Emphasis on systemic vulnerability of different sectors exposed to multi-hazard risk (e.g. agriculture, forests and other economic sectors, land use, infrastructure, ecosystems) will require particular attention in building the risk analysis. Similarly, uncertainty should be more consistently addressed to provide reliable estimates of vulnerability and risks. Action should take advantage of data and information provided by the Copernicus programme, in particular the Copernicus Emergency Service, and the European Research Infrastructure Consortiums (ERIC) such as the European Plate Observing System (EPOS) and the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory (EMSO). Actions should also build upon and seek collaboration with the projects funded under the relevant SC7 DRS topics.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 3-5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • a consensus in better definitions, indicators and functions to characterise multi-hazard risk through enhanced inter-disciplinary collaboration between the different science and practice communities addressing various types of hazards, disaster risk and sustainable development;
  • prioritisation of investments and pertinent selection of effective risk reduction management options;
  • enhanced capacity for identification of vulnerable, threatened areas and infrastructures most at risk from multi hazards in Europe;
  • better informed forward-looking national risk assessments that also take into account long-term drivers such as climate change, and enhanced implementation of existing legislation and streamlining of policies;
  • enhanced risk-informed decisions on land-use planning addressing trade-offs between differing prioritized adaptation options and competing policy goals;
  • enhanced understanding of the relationships and interactions of multiple hazard, including compound events and cascading risks and risk related processes driven by environmental and societal changes on different time and spatial scales;
  • better knowledge exchange through platforms such as Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre, and stakeholder networks on emergent risks and extreme events (e.g., Community of Users, Risk Knowledge-Action Network).

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Polar climate: understanding the polar processes in a global context in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions

Proposals should aim at developing innovative approaches, building on existing data resources and infrastructures, the latest observational products (including in-situ observations), and state-of-the-art climate models, to assess the key physical and chemical processes in the ocean and atmosphere and the key ocean-atmosphere-ice interactions. Proposals should cooperate with relevant projects funded by the ESA Earth Observation Programme. In addition, they are encouraged to join the EU Arctic Cluster in order to build synergies and maximise the complementarity of the different actions in the Cluster. Proposals should build upon previous actions funded under Horizon 2020 and avoid duplication or overlap.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with countries – beyond the EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020 – that took part in the Arctic Science Ministerial meetings of 28 September 2016 and 25-26 October 2018.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 7-8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • improved understanding of how the changing polar climate systems affect and are affected by lower latitudes through ocean and atmospheric circulation;
  • improved understanding of the key ocean-atmosphere-ice interactions;
  • improved understanding of the fully coupled physical climate system (atmosphere-ocean-ice) on diverse space and time scales;
  • improved understanding of the key physical and chemical processes in the ocean and in the atmosphere;
  • improved projections of future polar and global climate, including feedbacks and impacts
  • improved capability to respond to the impact of climatic change on the environment and human activities in the Polar Regions (with a focus on the Arctic), both in the short and longer term;
  • the IPCC scientific assessments, the consolidation phase of the Year Of Polar Prediction (YOPP) and to the Copernicus Climate Change (C3S) services.
  • supporting the assessment of regional climate impacts.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Developing the next generation of Earth System Models

Actions should address in a novel way one or more of the competing demands that surround the advancement of ESMs (e.g., improved process realism, large ensemble of predictions, improved model resolution, etc.). Actions should aim to develop innovative and effective approaches that add to or better represent Earth system processes linked to climate change. Actions should further explore novel ways of coupling existing models (e.g., ice-sheet dynamics) with ESMs and where appropriate, improve synergies with reduced complexity carbon-cycle, atmospheric composition and climate models. Actions are encouraged to explore linkages with relevant integrated assessment models. Actions may also devise new data assimilation methods that will demonstrably improve ESMs.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 10-12 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Please note that this topic is part of the lump sum funding pilot scheme. Funding for grants awarded under this topic will take the form of lump sums as defined in Commission Decision C(2017)7151 of 27 October 2017. Details of the lump sum funding pilot scheme are published on the Funding and Tender Portal together with the specific Model Grant Agreement for Lump Sums applicable.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • improved models for the provision of climate services;
  • increased confidence in climate projections;
  • sustaining European leadership in climate science and Earth System Modelling;
  • supporting the operationalisation of the Paris Agreement with a view to delivering effective climate action;
  • informing major international scientific assessment reports (e.g. IPCC).

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Integrated GEOSS climate applications to support adaptation and mitigation measures of the Paris Agreement

Actions should focus on developing applications in support of users involved in the implementation of climate adaptation and mitigation actions in line with the Paris Agreement, by integrating a whole range of Earth Observation data including those recorded through in-situ observing systems, and Essential Climate Variables (ECVs). The actions will seek to use higher spatial and/or temporal data sets while also taking advantage of a broader open data access and new data mining technologies. In addition, the actions should advance methodologies for integrating resulting data flows with multiple GEOSS data sets (from EO satellites to in-situ data including citizen data where appropriate), numerical model outputs and other relevant statistical and socio-economic data. Ultimately, integrated applications should concentrate on climate adaptation applications with estimated societal impact, on impact of GHG emissions or related indicators (such as land cover changes), or feed new indicators for the monitoring of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an EU context. Special attention should be given to multi-scale approaches with abilities to scale up and down from European to local scales.

The actions should make use of, contribute to and feedback on the GEOSS platform which provides international user communities with tools for discovery, visualisation and access to GEOSS data. The actions should actively contribute to relevant GEO Tasks of the GEO Work Programme. It should contribute to the development of user-driven climate applications to be delivered through the EuroGEOSS initiative. They should promote open science and underpin the work of the IPCC through the enlarged provision of in-situ data and of further analyses of ECVs. Applications resulting from the actions should complement relevant Copernicus core services (e.g. Climate Change Service - C3S, Land Monitoring, etc.) and address well identified end user needs in Europe. When relevant, actions should align with the European Space Agency (ESA) programmes.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 4-5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • the direct support of the adaptation and mitigation measures of the Paris Agreement, as well as the other GEO engagement priorities such as the Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030;
  • the European input to the GEO Work Programme post-2019 to address the climate change challenge cross-cutting all GEO Societal Benefit Areas (SBA) (e.g. for improved land use management);
  • increasing European capability to combine multiple EO data sets with models, socio-economic and in-situ data, based on a systematic exploitation of the GEOSS Platform ;
  • reinforcing in-situ component of European observing systems for the monitoring of internationally recognised Essential Climate Variables (ECVs);
  • the new EuroGEOSS pilot applications to better understand climate change contributors and impacts, and minimise the degradation of the Earth system, support accountability towards long-term goals and inform climate services and decision making.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Supporting the implementation of GEOSS in the Arctic in collaboration with Copernicus

The action should aim at: (i) advancing the operationalisation of an integrated pan-Arctic Observing System in preparation for a possible future ArcticGEOSS initiative; (ii) improving and extending the terrestrial, marine and cryospheric in-situ measurements and the community-based monitoring systems necessary for the monitoring of the Arctic; (iii) setting up pilot services and implementing the coordinated network of those services necessary for the adaptation to climate change in the region; (iv) contributing to the interoperability of Arctic Data systems; and (v) to make a positive contribution to national, regional and international decision-making processes and science strategies.

The action should help to build an Arctic “window” of Copernicus by bringing together all Arctic relevant observations deriving from different Copernicus services and promoting access to relevant Copernicus datasets.

The action should coordinate with projects stemming from the NSFs Arctic portfolio, such as the "Navigating the New Arctic" programme, and other actions of the Transatlantic Ocean Research Alliance, by establishing joint operational activities, in order to support the mission and objectives of the international initiative on Arctic observations brought forward by the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON).

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with the countries and Indigenous Peoples organisations participating in the 2nd Arctic Science Ministerial.

The action should build on the outcomes of previous EU-funded projects in the framework of GEO and Copernicus, create synergies and avoiding un-necessary duplications also by joining the EU Arctic Research Cluster. Likewise, the action should cooperate with relevant projects funded by the ESA Earth Observation Programme. To this end, proposals should foresee a dedicated work package and /or task and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly.

The pilot services should fall into the scope of EuroGEOSS and follow the direction of the EuroGEOSS initiative. Data and services produced through the projects should be registered in the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • the implementations the GEO-Cold Region Initiative with a specific emphasis on the Arctic, and the initiating of an ArcticGEOSS initiative;
  • sound and effective decision-making by policy makers in the Arctic regions through the use of reliable and science-based Earth observation and information;
  • supporting of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030;
  • strengthening Earth observation capacity focused on the European region;
  • delivering EuroGEOSS services for the Arctic;
  • improved handling, archiving and interoperability of environmental data in polar regions;
  • a coherent data management, through the use of GEOSS Data Management Principles and best practices (aligning with INSPIRE).

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Coordination of European Polar research

Proposals should provide a platform to co-develop the strategies to advance and further coordinate the European Polar Research action and its contribution to the policy-making processes. This should include the prioritisation of research areas during transdisciplinary workshops, strategies for capacity building related to meaningful stakeholder involvement, allocation of seed money for the preparation of pre-studies and interaction with national funding agencies on ways of building synergies and optimising the use of resources. Proposals should cooperate with the relevant services of the European Commission and provide evidence-based policy advice. A special focus should be placed on supporting the implementation of sustained observation systems in the Arctic and Antarctic by setting up a European coordination office and by identifying measures to sustain it beyond the termination of the project. The office should also coordinate and support the contributions of the EU and the Associated Countries to International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON), Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS). Proposals should coordinate the EU Arctic Research Cluster ensuring a good cooperation between the projects in areas such as communication, dissemination, and stakeholder engagement. Proposals should build upon the previous action funded under Horizon 2020 and avoid duplications or overlaps.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • substantially advance Polar research cooperation in Europe by creating a Polar European Research Area;
  • a more synergetic use of European resources;
  • the policy advice at regional, national and EU level and to the support of the EU's international commitments with respect to the Arctic Council, the Montreal protocol, the UNFCCC and others related to polar sciences, such as the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS);
  • improved cooperation of international polar research programmes and create the basis for the development of future large-scale joint international polar initiatives;
  • the support of international scientific cooperation initiatives of the European Commission such as the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans initiative, Galway Statement, the Belèm Statement and of the Administrative Arrangement on marine research between the European Commission and Argentina.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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Enhancing the Belmont Forum Collaborative Research Action on Climate, Environment and Health

Actions should develop and provide support mechanisms to advance and further boost the global added value of the Belmont Forum’s Collaborative Research Action (CRA) on Climate, Environment and Health and its inputs to the relevant EU policy-making processes. This should include the promotion and prioritisation of research and innovation areas during transdisciplinary conferences, meetings and workshops, capacity building related to relevant stakeholder involvement, cross-fertilisation activities amongst Belmont Forum, EU- funded and relevant nationally funded projects, synthesis of their results, with a particular focus on policy making, such as knowledge based policy briefs, dissemination, communication and outreach.

Cooperation with relevant existing projects under Societal Challenge 1 and 5 of Horizon 2020, including relevant ongoing Coordination and Support Actions, is encouraged.

Actions should also provide support to a knowledge management platform of EU funded research and innovation on the linkages between health and climate, support the Belmont Forum Members, partners and secretariat, in relation to this CRA and support the organisation of an international conference on climate change and health.

Cooperation with the relevant services, expert groups and mechanisms of the European Commission will be required to provide evidence-based policy advice, and report on the CRA results and synthesis of their findings. Actions should also build upon EU research and innovation framework programmes and avoid duplication and overlaps.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to:

  • contribute to policy advice on climate change and health at international and EU level and supporting the EU's international commitments with respect to the Paris Agreement, UNFCCC and others related to climate change and health sciences;
  • bolstering a network of projects funded under the CRA call with relevant EU-funded projects addressing climate, environment and health;
  • better flow of information and knowledge dissemination on climate change, environment and health to low and medium income countries;
  • raising global awareness of climate impacts on human, plant and animal health.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Towards a comprehensive European mountain research strategy

The action should coordinate and support mountain regions research in Europe and develop a comprehensive European Mountain Research Strategy building on existing European activities. This strategy should aim to support the development of services necessary for the adaption to climate change and the improvement and extension of observations, in particular in-situ ones, for the monitoring of the mountain regions. In line with Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), citizens, civil society organisations and other relevant stakeholders should be involved in the co-design of the research strategy. This initiative strives for enhanced coordination with international research organisations and programmes related to mountain regions research (e.g. WMO, ESA, GEO, NEMOR and JPI 'Climate') as well as with relevant operational services including Copernicus. This action should support the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region – EUSALP (https://www.alpine-region.eu/) and the GEO global Network for Observation and information in Mountain Environment – GEO-GNOME (http://earthobservations.org/geoss_wp.php), and take advantage of other regional and thematic networks initiatives that are being developed in Europe.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with countries such as Canada, China, India, Russia, United States, and Latin American countries.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • substantially raising the scale and ambition of inter-disciplinary mountain regions research policy in Europe;
  • improved coherent and efficient use of European resources for mountain research;
  • significant extension of the Copernicus and EuroGEOSS services and products to the mountain regions;
  • step change in the domain of open data access, quality control and interoperability for mountain region monitoring and adapting to climate change.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Raw materials innovation actions: exploration and Earth observation in support of sustainable mining

Actions should develop innovative pilots demonstrating clean and sustainable production or substitution of non-energy non-agricultural raw materials in the EU, finishing at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 6-7.

All actions should contribute to achieving the objectives and targets of the EIP on Raw Materials and to building the EU knowledge base of primary and secondary raw materials by feeding into the EC Raw Materials Information System – RMIS. Actions should also contribute to improving the awareness of relevant external stakeholders and the general public across the EU about the importance of raw materials for society, the challenges related to their supply within the EU and about proposed solutions which could help to improve society's acceptance of and trust in sustainable raw materials production in the EU, duly taking into account the applicable EU environmental legislation.

All actions should facilitate the market uptake of solutions developed through industrially- and user-driven multidisciplinary consortia covering the relevant value chain, and consider standardisation aspects when relevant.

All proposals should justify the relevance of the selected pilot demonstrations in different locations within the EU (and also outside if there is a clear added value for the EU economy, industry and society).

All proposals should include an outline of the initial exploitation and business plans (with indicated CAPEX, OPEX, IRR and NPV) with clarified management of intellectual property rights, and commitment to the first exploitation.

In support of the EIP on Raw Materials actions should envisage clustering activities with other relevant selected projects for cross-projects co-operation, consultations and joint activities on cross-cutting issues and share of results as well as participating in joint meetings and communication events. To this end proposals should foresee a dedicated work package and/or task, and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged.

Actions should address only one of the following sub-topics:

Mining pilots (2020): Actions should develop and demonstrate innovative mining systems to avoid exposure of workers in dangerous operations, to increase efficiency, selectivity and profitability of the mining operations, to minimise environmental impacts during the mining life cycle, to improve social acceptance and trust in the innovative solutions, The actions should develop a plan to communicate to policy makers on alignment of public policies with emerging innovative mining systems. Any of the metallic, industrials and/or construction minerals could be targeted. However, the importance of the targeted raw materials for the EU economy has to be duly demonstrated in the proposal.

Pilots on substitution of critical and scarce raw materials (2020): Actions should develop and demonstrate innovative and sustainable solutions for the appropriate substitution of critical and/or scarce raw materials use in applications related to any of the high tech sectors, such as the low-carbon renewable energy, electric and electronic, mobility sectors, etc. Actions should build on existing research and aim at scaling-up and market uptake of the most promising solutions.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 8 million and EUR 13 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

 Mining:

  • achieving the targets of the EIP on Raw Materials, particularly in terms of innovative pilot actions on mining for innovative production of raw materials;
  • demonstrate a market potential and the competitive technology advantage that will be gained through the pilot leading to expanding the EU business and to be implemented across the EU after the project is finished;
  • push the EU to the forefront in the area of mining technologies and solutions through generated know how (planned patents, publications in high impact journals and joint public-private publications etc.);
  • lead to unlocking substantial reserves of new or today unexploited resources within the EU;
  • create added value and new jobs in raw materials producing, equipment manufacturing, information and communication technologies and/or downstream industries;
  • lead to improving the environmental (including reduction of emissions), health and safety performance of the mining operations.

critical and scarce raw materials:

  • achieving the targets of the EIP on Raw Materials to find substitutes for at least three applications of critical or scarce raw materials;
  • have a market potential and the competitive technology advantage that will be gained through the pilot leading to expanding the EU business and to be implemented across the EU after the project is finished;
  • speeding-up industrial exploitation and take up of results of substitution's projects.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Sustainable management in extractive industries

The actions should strengthen raw materials policy framework and foster mineral production in the EU. They should ensure cross-sectoral policy coordination and integration aspects covering economic, environmental and social aspects in the value chain of the extractive life cycle from finding and access to deposits to closure and rehabilitation, while focusing on access to deposits and permitting process. Actions should take into account various external stakeholder interests and the general public, address circular economy and sustainable development aspects.

The actions should develop a toolkit applicable across the EU Member States for assessing socio-economic and environmental impacts, land-use planning, health and safety issues, and reporting official statistics to support transparent permitting process of mining projects. Based on the toolkit, actions should develop training materials and organise capacity-building workshops for competent authorities, industry and civil society in different Member States in different regions the EU and at the EU level.

The actions should avoid duplication and build up on the results of the previous actions on the raw materials policy and legislative framework, mineral deposits of public importance, land use planning. engaging relevant authorities of different EU regions.

All actions should contribute to improving EU official statistics and building the EU knowledge base of primary and secondary raw materials (EC Raw Materials Information System – RMIS).

In support of the EIP on Raw Materials actions should envisage clustering activities with other relevant selected projects for cross-projects co-operation, consultations and joint activities on cross-cutting issues and share of results as well as participating in joint meetings and communication events. To this end proposals should foresee a dedicated work package and/or task, and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • achieving the objectives and the implementation of both the Raw Materials Initiative and the EIP on Raw Materials, in particular in terms of the improving framework conditions for primary raw materials production in the EU;
  • better informed and more efficient decision-making by the EU and Member States policy makers and the producers and users of raw materials regarding the supply of raw materials;
  • improving the awareness of relevant external stakeholders and the general public across the EU about the importance of raw materials for society, the challenges related to their supply within the EU and about proposed solutions, duly taking into account the applicable EU environmental legislation;
  • facilitating more integrative and coordinated raw materials policy frameworks in the EU and at the Member States level.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Strengthening international collaboration: enhanced natural treatment solutions for water security and ecological quality in cities

Actions should identify and review examples of innovative natural water treatment systems in Europe and beyond to develop understanding of their functioning, the ecological processes involved and their capacity and performance in treating pollution under diverse and uncertain conditions, such as maximum/minimum loads, uncertainties on composition of the pollution entering the system, necessary time for the treatment, capacity to cope with temporal variation in rainfall, etc. They should develop methodologies and guidance for the design and implementation of urban enhanced natural treatment systems and their integration into the urban water cycle, the urban landscape and the receiving waters to enhance the circularity and hence sustainability of the overall system. They should develop new business models for their construction, operation and long-term management and maintenance and standards for the treatment processes and the different uses for which the effluent may be used within different regulatory frameworks.

Actions should include pilots/demonstrations for testing innovative approaches or the use of established solutions under new conditions and monitoring from baseline through construction and for a period of time, to establish the functionality of the system and assess the physical, social and economic benefits of the deployed solutions. Appropriate methodologies for public/social engagement in the implementation of such solutions should be developed.

Actions should envisage clustering activities with other relevant ongoing and future nature-based solutions relevant projects funded under previous and current H2020 Work Programmes for cross-projects co-operation, consultations and joint activities on cross-cutting issues and share of results as well as participating in joint meetings and communication events. To this end, proposals should foresee a dedicated work package and /or task and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is strongly encouraged. International participants should explore the possibility to apply for co-funding under their national governments.

To ensure coverage of geographic, socio-economic and cultural diversity (including possible gender differences in the use/management of water) as well as sharing innovative solutions across the EU, pilot actions/demonstrations must be implemented in at least 3 cities situated in different Member States or Associated Countries that are committed to implement the proposed innovative actions/schemes during the project and assess their impacts and cost-efficiency.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • increased use of innovative natural water treatment measures as Nature-based solutions, integrated into the overall urban water cycle and constituting attractive components of the urban landscape for more sustainable urban water management that enhance the overall urban metabolic processes and mitigate impact on receiving waters;
  • enhanced water availability with reduced pressure on existing freshwater resources through treatment, remediation, reclamation and re-use of polluted water and wastewater steams;
  • increased investments into natural water treatment solutions from urban authorities, water companies or property developers through evidence of the benefits for deploying such "systemic" approaches as opposed to alternative water treatment systems;
  • sharing and cross-fertilization of capacity, expertise and know-how among European and international partners on new innovative natural water treatment concepts and solutions for enhanced opportunities for up-taking, upscaling and business in the European and global markets;
  • increased business opportunities for the design, development and installation of natural water treatment measures in cities.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Addressing wild pollinators decline and its effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services

Building on the results of previous and/or currently ongoing EU-funded research projects, taking account the follow-up of the IPBES assessment on pollinators, pollination and food production, and in line with the EU Pollinators Initiative, actions should develop tools, guidelines and methodologies to better understand, analyse, assess and possibly predict the trends and causes of the wild pollinators decline, in particular their interaction and cumulative effects, the links between pollinator, plant, biodiversity, under farming and other land management practices, and ecosystem functioning. They should assess and valuate the wild pollinators ecosystem services and their impacts on nature, society, human wellbeing and the economy at different spatial scales. Actions should address the relations between plant diversity and pollinator diversity, competition for floral resources and interchangeability, as well as factors determining spatio-temporal variation of pollinator communities, including ecological and human factors such as land use change, agricultural land management and climate change. Actions should bring further insight on how the composition and configuration of the landscape affects plant-pollinator interactions, what influences the pattern of movement of pollinators across landscapes and how changes in species mobility and foraging behaviour impact the reproduction of plants.

Actions should take advantage of data and information provided by the Copernicus programme, in particular from the Copernicus Land Monitoring and Climate Change Service. A systemic approach should be favoured considering all factors influencing plant - pollinator diversity and distribution. They should mobilise wider public engagement through, for example, citizen science initiatives and should undertake extensive knowledge dissemination and communication activities towards policy makers and other stakeholders, such as bee-keeping and farmers associations, civil society organisations such as NGOs, and the food industry and inform relevant science-policy processes and relevant policy actions at EU, Member State and regional levels.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • mitigation of causes and consequences and reverse trends in wild pollinators decline;
  • better informed EU-wide and global pollinators relevant policy and decision-making through timely dissemination of research outcomes to UN conventions, IPCC, IPBES and SBSTTA;
  • more accurate assessment, predictions, valuation and mapping of the multiple ecosystem services linked to wild pollinators, enabling their mainstreaming into natural capital accounts;
  • enabling adequate policy responses in the areas of the environment, agriculture and health, and allow tracking EU progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2 (‘Zero hunger’) and 15 (‘Life on land’);
  • delivering key knowledge for the preparation of key indicators and methodologies for monitoring pollinators;
  • an integrated assessment framework to address pollinators decline and its impacts on nature, society, human wellbeing and the economy.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.

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Monitoring ecosystems through research, innovation and technology

The action should design an EU-wide framework for monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem services, which

  • integrates different reporting streams, data sources and monitoring activities at international, EU, national and regional level (including remote sensing, citizen science and citizens observatories);
  • is cost effective;
  • links to policy targets, indicators and assessments;
  • builds on best practices in EU Member States;
  • delivers timely data, which is comparable over time and across the EU Member States.

The action should provide scientific advice and practical analysis on the best EU-level monitoring approaches related to measuring the implementation of key EU ecosystem and biodiversity targets. This includes:

- an analysis of which parts of ecosystems and biodiversity are covered by established monitoring programmes or current initiatives (such as the Pollinators Initiative, the Bioeconomy strategy, etc) and what are the most important gaps;

- designing accurate and cost-effective techniques for establishing regular and comprehensive monitoring systems to fill these gaps (e.g. in-situ surveys, integration of satellite & ground observation data, use of new technologies, etc), and estimating their cost.

The action should play a coordination role, facilitating exchange and discussion between relevant actors, including national and EU level bodies, as well as organisations such as the EEA. It should contribute to a more comprehensive and long-term monitoring of EU ecosystems and biodiversity, building also on existing data collection programmes.

This work could also support/benefit from the EU’s contribution to international biodiversity agreements and initiatives, such as IPBES, GEO/GEOSS and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

The action should also facilitate the work at Member State level to build the national data foundations needed for ecosystem assessment and accounting, by supporting the exchange of experience and by providing capacity building, technical support and workshops. The action is expected to work with KIP INCA partners, as well the EEA, to ensure long-term implementation of biodiversity and ecosystem services monitoring and support the data-related work of relevant EU-funded projects to facilitate the coherence and compatibility of their data and their integration into existing EU-level data bases. Proposals should explore potential synergies with previous and future actions funded under the EU research and innovation framework programmes and avoid duplication and overlaps.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • the implementation of the Bioeconomy Strategy, including the better use of Copernicus through calibrating with ground data;
  • the implementation of ecosystem-related EU policies, action plans, programmes and initiatives; in particular via the MAES and INCA processes;
  • scenarios, assessments and data in the context of initiatives, such as IPBES, GEO/GEOSS, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility or IPCC; and in EU initiatives on Nature-based Solutions or sustainable agriculture.
  • proposing EU-level monitoring approaches of key EU ecosystem and biodiversity targets (including recommendations on the most accurate and cost-effective techniques);
  • the integration of citizen-science data (e.g. bird and butterfly records) and research data depositories (e.g. the European vegetation archive) into publically accessible EU-level data bases.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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ERA-NET Cofund action on conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems and their biodiversity, including a focus on aquatic systems

Based on priorities identified in the Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas of the Water Joint Programming Initiative (Water JPI) and of the BiodivERsA Partnership, proposals should pool together the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing a joint call for proposals resulting in grants to third parties with EU co-funding to improve the conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems and their biodiversity, including a specific focus on freshwater aquatic systems. Research & innovation (R&I) supported through grants to third parties with EU co-funding under the joint call should cover all environments (i.e. terrestrial, freshwater and marine) and include a specific focus on freshwater aquatic systems. In addition, research under this joint call will support the implementation of relevant EU policies and objectives, and international endeavours. This will allow preparing a sustainable cooperation and coordination between Water JPI and BiodivERsA to increase synergies on cross-cutting issues, where appropriate. Participation of legal entities from international partner countries and/or regions including those not automatically eligible for funding in accordance with General Annex A is encouraged in the joint call as well as in other joint activities including additional joint calls without EU co-funding. Participants from countries not listed in General Annex A are eligible for funding under this topic and may request a Union contribution (on the basis of the ERA-NET unit cost) only for the coordination costs of additional activities.

The Cofund action should envisage clustering activities with other relevant selected projects for cross-projects co-operation, consultations and joint activities on cross-cutting issues and share of results as well as participating in joint meetings and communication events. To this end, proposals should foresee a dedicated work package and/or task, and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly. The Cofund action should also take into account data and information from the Copernicus programme, as well as the European Union's Earth Observation Programme.

Proposers are requested to include at least one additional joint call without EU co-funding as well as other activities such as the establishment or consolidation of a pan-European network of funding agencies and other key players in Europe. Wherever relevant, actions should involve social sciences and humanities.

The proposals should demonstrate that these co-funded other activities exclude any overlaps with related on-going actions co-funded by the EU under Horizon 2020.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • better management, conservation and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems through science-based evidence and the deployment of on-the-ground actions;
  • the implementation of a relatively wide range of European policy initiatives including the 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP); the EU Biodiversity Strategy; the Water Framework Directive; and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the EU Nature Directives and the EU Floods Directive;
  • Underpinning Europe’s endeavours to implement the UN SDGs, especially SDG 6 (‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’), SDG 14 (‘Life below water’), and SDG 15 (‘Life on land’);
  • Strengthening international leadership of European research in R&I on restoration and ecological engineering through transnational collaboration and enhanced synergy, coordination and coherence between national and EU funding in the relevant research fields.
  • Contribute to the European Commission’s Long-Term Strategy on GHG Emissions Reduction.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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ERA-NET Cofund action on enhancing urban transformation capacities

Co-funded actions should build on the strategic agenda of the JPI Urban Europe and pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing joint calls for proposals resulting in grants to third parties with EU co-funding in this area.

They should underpin urban transition pathways by addressing issues related to urban circular economies and resilience, community-based developments towards integrative urban innovation ecosystems and urban infrastructure and built environment transformations. In enhancing sustainable urban transformation capacities, special attention should be paid to underpinning progress of public sector innovation and the relevant governance dimensions.

Supported actions should promote urban experimental approaches such as urban living labs, city labs, fab-labs, urban policy labs, third spaces, urban (design) think thanks, prototyping and real-life trials that engage a diverse set of stakeholders in open innovation and co-design to support new urban economy transition pathway approaches and integrated urban sustainable transformations.

Proposers are requested to include at least one additional joint call without EU co-funding as well as other activities, such as the establishment or consolidation of a pan-European network of funding agencies and other key players in Europe. Wherever relevant, actions should involve social sciences (including gender studies) and humanities.

The proposals should demonstrate that these co-funded other activities exclude any overlaps with related on-going actions co-funded by the EU under Horizon 2020.

Proposals should build upon successful European research and innovation investments in sustainable urbanisation, capitalize on established capacity within and by the EU institutions such as the EU Science Hub (JRC) Knowledge Centre on Cities and EU Policy Lab and establish synergies with relevant EIT KIC’s and JPIs.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • ensuring effective trans-national, pan-European research networking and synergies among national/regional and EU research programmes in the areas addressed to ensure delivery of integrated approaches that support urban economic transitions in a sustainable and applicable fashion;
  • clear progress to reaching targets of the New Urban Agenda, SDG 11 and the Urban Agenda for the EU through enhanced urban transformation capacities of the competent urban authorities in the key areas such as integrated pathways and solutions, urban design and planning, circular economy and resilience;
  • improved evidence-based policy through the interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary science-policy interface and links with international efforts and fora on the areas addressed.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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ERA-NET Cofund action on raw materials

The objective of the ERA-NET is to strengthen co-ordination of national and regional research programmes in the field of non-energy non-agricultural raw materials, while building on the experience of previous ERA-NETs ERA-MIN and ERA-MIN 2. This should be achieved in line with the integrated strategy proposed in the EU Raw Materials Initiative (RMI) and the Strategic Implementation Plan of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials. The ERA-NET should cover the whole raw materials value chain including exploration, extraction and processing technologies and recycling, as well as substitution.

Proposals should pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing a joint call for proposals resulting in grants to third parties with EU co-funding in this area.

Proposers are requested to include other joint activities including additional joint calls without EU co-funding.

The proposal should demonstrate that these co-funded other activities exclude any overlaps with related on-going actions co-funded by the EU under Horizon 2020 SC5.

The Commission considers that for this topic, proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • achieving the objectives of the EIP Raw Materials, particularly in the area of research and innovation co-ordination maximising impact of other actions in the Technology pillar of the Strategic Implementation Plan of the EIP on Raw Materials;
  • reduced fragmentation of raw materials research and innovation efforts across Europe;
  • improved synergy, co-ordination and coherence between regional, national and EU funding in the relevant research fields through transnational collaboration, and where appropriate international collaboration;
  • improved use of human and financial resources in the area of raw materials research and innovation;
  • improving the competitiveness and the environmental, health and safety performance of raw-materials operations.

Deadline: 13 February 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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6. Europa in einer sich verändernden Welt: integrative, innovative und reflektierende Gesellschaften

Inclusive and innovative practices for the integration of recently arrived migrants in local communities

a. Innovation action-Lump Sum contribution

The further improvement of the effective integration of newly arrived migrants into societies requires an understanding of existing integration policies and practices. Proposals should examine the provisions for migrants' rights and their access to social services in the host countries, in particular, in the aftermath of the recent unorderly migration flows since 2014. Special attention should be paid to past, existing and potential mechanisms to support the integration of migrant men and women, through participatory practices, social innovation and entrepreneurship, diaspora communities and local civil society initiatives. This Innovation action will develop and test potentially viable approaches through pilots. It will closely involve migrants, members of the host communities, public authorities and researchers, from preparing the concept over their implementation to their evaluation.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Please note that this topic will take the form of lump sums as defined in Commission DecisionC(2017)7151 of 27 October 2017. Details of the lump sum funding pilot scheme are published on the Funding & Tenders Portal together with the specific Model Grant Agreement for Lump Sums applicable

b. Research and Innovation Action

Proposals should comparatively assess the effectiveness of integration policies and practices in major migrant-receiving spaces, in local communities, ranging from urban spaces to rural areas. This should include migrants’ access to civic and social rights, social services and facilities (e.g. language tuition and healthcare) in accordance with their legal status, as well as intercultural interaction (including gender aspects) and adaptation to increased diversity of the population. Proposals should also explore social cohesion and societal fragmentation, and how these aspects are accounted for in migrant integration policies. The urban and rural governance of integration processes should be analysed and assessed against the backdrop of a broader multi-level governance framework, whereby potential and real tensions between the local and other levels of governments should be explored. Attitudes to migration and integration by both migrants and the host communities should be studied as well. The role of religious communities could also be examined in relation to outcomes of integration processes. The incorporation of historical and comparative insights from migrant integration processes in relevant non-European societies is strongly encouraged. Cooperation with non-European scholars is also encouraged. This could be done by cooperating with scholars from Africa and the Middle East given the migration relations these regions have in migration policies and dynamics with the EU, as well as with Canada with which strong international cooperation on migration research in ongoing. Processes of exclusion, actions and initiatives to redress them, as well as mutual influences between host and migrant communities could be studied, including the analysis of the impact of these dynamics with relations of migrants with their origin countries. Projects should compare the different practices and experience on their viability, efficiency and transferability. They should deliver policy recommendations. Projects should establish a regular exchange with the stakeholders from the different communities and municipalities.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The outputs of MIGRATION-04-2020 should also be made readily available for cooperation and synergy with MIGRATION-10-2020, a CSA which will compile the outputs of existing research on integration, including such RIAs and IAs.

Expected Impact:

Projects will enhance the knowledge base on integration of migrants in local communities. The actions will contribute to improved practices, policies and strategies at local, national and EU level for the integration of migrants in European urban and local settings. This will help increase the possibilities for migrants to thrive and flourish in the labour market and in society. They will advance the implementation of the EU Urban Agenda (building on the specific Partnership on Inclusion of Migrants and refugees and of the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The pilots developed with the Innovation Action will offer new tools for enhancing the integration of migrants across Europe. This will provide actors working in this multilevel system of governance with already tested options that should be scalable and replicable in different environments with the context specific adaptations. Their evaluation will provide conclusions and recommendations for policy making at local level as well as for the regional, national and European level to create best possible conditions in which local authorities and their stakeholders can operate.

The Research and Innovation Action should deliver analysis for better understanding the phenomenon. Projects should identify approaches and practices, which can be applied in both cities and rural communities, as well as those that would be specific to one or the other. This will expand the knowledge both of dynamics of integration and of the policies managing such process, shedding light on potential gaps and needs which should be addressed by policymakers. The actions will contribute to finding new ways to integrate migrants into European societies, to ensure their cohesion and thus exploit the potential opportunities of migration.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Mapping and overcoming integration challenges for migrant children

Building on existing evidence, including from projects funded under topic Migration-6 2018 where relevant, proposals should implement pilot actions able to experiment formal, informal and non-formal education solutions to address the integration challenges of children (0 to 18 years old - ISCED 0-3) from recent migration cohorts, in particular children of refugees and asylum seekers, and unaccompanied minors, including those residing in hotspots and reception centres. The proposals shall include actions with local schools, teaching programmes and organizations working with children (with or without migration background) and focus not only on formal educational settings but also on informal social and learning environments, beyond schools. Proposals should address at least three of the following dimensions: governance and funding of education institutions, funding of integration actions targeting children, roles and attitudes of families, gender aspects, communities, civil society organisations and local service providers, preparedness of schools and teaching staff, practices for language learning and use of native languages alongside the language used at school. Proposals should build upon good practices identified with the involvement of stakeholders such as e.g. practices of mutual cultural participation and exchange, or equal opportunities in regards to gender. Attention should be paid to existing educational centres around Europe which having high rates of migrant and ethnic-minority children are achieving academic results above national averages, as well as how the issues already mentioned are being articulated.

Proposals should address at least 3 of the points above, piloted on the basis of clearly defined goals. Processing of personal data of migrants must be conducted in accordance with EU data protection legislation and existing regulation such as eIDAS.

Proposals should engage all actors and consider the potential for co-creation work with all relevant stakeholders, including migrant children and their families themselves, in the design and delivery of services. In addition, proposals should demonstrate their reusability or scalability and should develop a strong and realistic plan to ensure the long-term sustainability as well as take up of the results by the identified users. The involvement of multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral teams is encouraged to explore the complexity of this challenge, to identify the necessary changes, and the risks and barriers to their implementation, addressing diversity as appropriate (gender, age, social-, cultural-, linguistic-, religious background). Proposals shall combine strong academic knowledge and research-action based support, with stakeholders and practitioners knowledge in the several fields identified above. Children voice must be taken into account in line with Article 12 of the UN Convention on the rights of the child.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The actions will inform policymakers, families, teachers and other stakeholders on effective practices for integrating migrant children in schools and more broadly in society, and for developing more inclusive schools, able to increase sense of belonging of all children, including both boys and girls. They will enhance synergies and cooperation amongst these actors for the uptake of innovative practices, for monitoring and data collection and for the definition of research gaps. Proposals should develop and implement actions which can be adapted, rescaled and reproduced in different environments according to the local/regional needs and involve stakeholders from public administrations, civil society, migrants and the host community from a very early stage as appropriate.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Narratives on migration and its impact: past and present

Proposals should address the dynamics and developments of migration narratives at local, national and EU level. Moreover, projects that include countries of origin and transit would be welcome. They should examine the general and potential long-term societal impact as well as the ethical implications of narratives on policy making. Successful projects should study the historical perspectives and changes in attitudes of non-migrant populations towards migrants and vice versa. Furthermore, projects should analyse the extent to which migrants’ voices are included in the shaping of these narratives. Research could also address innovative ways for migrants to shape their testimonials and narratives. This could include the role of ICT and social media, literary and artistic representations and may involve cultural heritage representation e.g. in museums, or other artistic products and events. Proposals could also explore, through collaboration with relevant international partners from countries of origin, how migration narratives and their transmission affect migration decisions and behaviours of potential migrants, taking into account gender aspects where relevant, including the use of social media to facilitate migration. For the study of the impact of media and public narratives on perceptions, opinions, attitudes and behaviours of different categories of people, the use of innovative research methods, including experimental ones and the methodologies offered by the research infrastructures for social and cultural innovation, is strongly encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Practitioners will be informed by the new knowledge produced on the consequences of discourses on migration. This may have an impact on their conduct and policy choices when relevant. Projects will improve access and dissemination of information on narratives of migration and their effects including their scale, patterns and the social and economic impact on host societies. This will contribute to a more informed debate on migration and about public perceptions of migration. In the longer term, they may contribute to changing the debate on migration in European societies, opening new opportunities for a successful integration of migrants.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Sustainable practices for the integration of newly arrived migrants into societies

This coordination and support action will draw on specific actions and research in the integration of new migrants in European societies. It assesses the types of practices carried out to address the integration challenges stemming from the migratory crisis in Europe, considering the numerous tools, instruments and actions funded, in policy as well as in research. Lessons from best practices and difficulties will provide policy recommendations from which the EU, national, regional and local governments can draw and share experiences through exchanges with all stakeholders. An online platform structure will be developed to provide European visibility.

Proposals are encouraged to identify, monitor and/or engage with relevant EU projects on migration and integration funded under Horizon 2020, as well as those funded under AMIF, European social Fund and Erasmus +. The collection of new knowledge and innovative practices should include gender-related aspects. It should have a focus on improving the good governance of migrant integration, measuring the impact of the actions implemented, and delivering innovation in support of improved outcomes for both migrants and the communities in which they live. Project participants are encouraged to work in close contact with local, regional and national administrations, or legal entities designated to act on their behalf on the issue of migrant integration.

Proposals should develop participatory techniques to extract policy implications from research findings, with particular regard to past migration related Horizon 2020 projects, including their research teams where relevant. A strong cooperation is specifically essential with consortia involved in the RIAs and IAs of MIGRATION-04, to readily integrate the outputs produced in this forward-looking CSA action.

This should be complemented by strategies for dissemination to relevant stakeholders in view of exploitation of results. An interactive online repository should be set up that can provide for customised searches and reports. The engagement of the public to increase awareness of the added value of European research and innovation activities on migration is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in order of 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

This CSA action will establish a solid and readily accessible evidence base in support of migration and integration policies and will contribute to improved practices for all stakeholders involved, policies and strategies at local, national and EU level, including urban and rural spaces. It will advance the implementation of the EU Urban Agenda and of the UN Sustainable Development Goals dedicated to making cities and rural communities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Furthermore, the action may contribute to the deployment of migration-related innovation on the market and in society, by highlighting what most works amongst the great number of actions funded over the past years. Finally, it will reduce the R&I division by improving the flow of knowledge in the field between researchers, practitioners and policymakers across Europe.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Transformative impact of disruptive technologies in public services

The use of disruptive technologies (such as artificial intelligence and big data analytics, block chain, Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality, simulations or gamification) in public administrations and in governance including citizens engagement, decision support systems and policy impact assessments is growing. Although the potential positive impact of such technologies is high, the ways in which they can disrupt the existing landscape of public services and legal procedures and can replace present solutions and processes are largely unknown. As a result, deploying these disruptive technologies in public administration requires experimentations and a thorough assessment of their potential impact, benefits and risks (e.g. excluding some parts of the population due to age / gender / disabilities / social inequality / lack of e-literacy…). This includes especially their ethical and legal consequences. Proposals should pilot the technology and should engage multidisciplinary partners including those from social sciences and humanities, stakeholders and users (both public servants and citizens if appropriate) to examine how emerging technologies can impact the public sector (including the impact on public servants and the relation between public services and citizens) and explore in a wide-ranging fashion the issues surrounding the use of these technologies in the public sector (incl. e.g. the impact on capital, labour and knowledge). One of such issues will be experimenting with Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) to engage innovative industrial suppliers such as startups, Govtech and innovative SMEs to pilot the adoption and use of disruptive technologies to improve public services.

Proposals should also lead to the development of implementations and/or business plans that would ensure the long-term sustainability of the services offered based on the used technology.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 and 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The action will enable public authorities to develop pathways for the introduction of disruptive technologies while also addressing the societal challenges raised by such technologies. Based on a thorough understanding of users’ needs, the action will enhance knowledge on digital governance; develop new ways of providing public services, of ensuring public governance and of boosting public engagement with the help of disruptive technologies. It will also contribute to developing new practices, to optimising work processes and to integrating evidence-based decision-making processes in public services and in services such as health, education, culture, social welfare and mobility.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Innovative approaches to urban and regional development through cultural tourism

Through exploring possibilities of cultural tourism in Europe’s natural and cultural sites, including those with an industrial heritage, the proposals should propose innovative strategies and pilot solutions for successful and sustainable cross border, regional and local cooperation in cultural tourism, including those for management, training and services. Various options of the use of the EU Structural Investment Funds should be explored. Minority cultures and regions as well as urban areas currently less attractive to cultural tourism should receive special attention in proposed strategies and pilot activities. Further on, proposals should include place-based and participatory approaches to investigate relations between intra-European cultural tourism and Europeanisation and their impacts on identities and sense of belonging. Strategies for cross border cooperation might look beyond EU Member States and Associated Countries and could preferably include partnerships between EU and non-EU countries of the Balkans, the Eastern neighbourhood or the Mediterranean. Proposed solutions should be developed and tested in wide and diversified partnerships of stakeholders. These might include, but not being limited to, entrepreneurs in the tourism industry, SMEs, regional and local governments and municipalities, institutions and organizations representing citizens living in the affected areas. Furthermore, it should cover emerging European networks of heritage sites like the European Heritage Label sites or European cultural routes. Innovative statistical methods, tools and indicators as well as qualitative concepts for measuring and understanding the various impacts of cultural tourism should also be developed and tested.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The action will contribute to improvements in sustainable cultural tourism policies and practices, at various levels, as well as to further progress in growth, jobs, social and economic development of European regions, and in urban and rural areas. It will provide strategic guidance at European level concerning the efficient use of European Structural Investment Funds in this field. It will contribute to the establishment of partnerships between public and private stakeholders, including citizens at large, and will provide strategies and training tools for cooperation in the area of sustainable cultural tourism. Creation of innovative quantitative/statistical as well as qualitative tools and methods will improve available data on and understanding of the impact of cultural tourism on European economic and social development and on cultural Europeanisation.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Evolving European media landscapes and Europeanisation

Research on this topic needs to draw on regional, national and European data sources to analyse transformations of the European media landscape from the turn of the 21st century to the current day in the European media landscape in its global context. Where relevant, the research may put recent transformations in historical perspectives, including comparisons with other past ‘media revolutions’. Beyond analysing media production, ownership and eventual censorship, the research should look into the patterns of representation, dissemination and consumption or usage at a certain level of disaggregation, in terms of socio-economic categories and European countries and regions. It should study the contradiction or compatibility of an emerging European Media landscape with an increasing localisation of the content of European Media. The research should provide new knowledge including data concerning the evolution of the spatial and social, including gendered, distribution of media consumption and use. This action should study the impacts of the deep transformations of the media landscape on the prospects and evolution of a common European political and cultural space as well as on the media representations and narratives of major European political and cultural issues, markers, symbols and identity elements.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Funded projects will fill the knowledge gap, concerning rapid transformations of the European media landscape, in its global context. The action will provide diachronic and synchronic analysis of the European media landscape and its interlaced patterns of production, representation, consumption and appropriation patterns and will produce reliable forecast about its evolution. This RIA, in examining representations and narratives surrounding major issues commonly seen as being of European relevance and significance will deliver a rigorous analysis of how European political and cultural spaces are evolving and of their prospects.. It will also improve statistical data and methods of researching concerning contemporary media,drawing as appropriate on, for example, national and international statistical institutes, cultural and media support bodies, national research organisations, networks, research infrastructures and Eurostat. It will aim to equip policymakers with knowledge and effective tools for understanding the impact of the changing media landscape on European politics and on political and cultural Europeanisation.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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Curation of digital assets and advanced digitisation

Departing from the current paradigm of localised and static archiving, the scope is to develop one or more of the following new technologies and methods:

In order to develop the concept of active digital resources, sound and comprehensive documentation management tools are needed that continuously consolidate digital assets. This will be achieved through capturing over time, results stemming from a variety of digitisation methods connected to active sensor networks or to semantic web technologies. This will allow for analysis and semantic evaluation of digital assets and resources of cultural heritage.

Consolidation takes also into account the relevance of historical sources (e.g. monuments and documents) and resources (e.g. studies on how language transmits our cultural memory of events) and that a resource evolves over time through cultural impact, research and curation (e.g. studies on how culture shaped a specific collection or how historical events shaped spaces). The continuous consolidation should support the collaboration of multiple actors (IT and SSH) providing both sample data and knowledge to the collaborative framework.

Time and space are core aspects of the history of cultural heritage collections. In addition to the audio-visual appearance, digitisation will include the related cultural, historical, social evolution and events. It will need to develop the accessibility of the semantic content of the resources. Through connecting the tangible and intangible, stories will emerge as a means to enhance our understanding of cultural heritage.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts

Expected Impact:

The proposals should demonstrate how the new technologies, methods and data formats would help to present cultural and historic remains and memories in a comprehensive and attractive though scientifically based way, supporting the promotion of Europe’s cultural heritage. Proposals should also show how the preservation and analysis of the tangible and intangible resources of our cultural heritage would enhance our understanding of cultural history. They should also deliver solutions to the problem that language change hampers static ways of retrieving the information from historic data collections. The economic impact for the creative industries and the scientific impact for cultural institutions who own content will include gains from use and re-use of digital assets.

The main area of expected impact will be in the better promotion of Europe’s cultural heritage, such as through presenting cultural and historic remains and memories (in a comprehensive and attractive way using new technologies, methods and data formats, including solutions to the problem of language when retrieving information from historic data collections. Curating digital assets will also offer the opportunity to preserve study and disseminate the memory of cultural heritage that underwent dispersal or destroyed. The preservation and analysis of the tangible and intangible resources of our cultural heritage will enhance our understanding of cultural history, and bring economic impact for creative industries and for cultural institutions owning content, such as from the use and re-use of digital assets.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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Technological transformations, skills and globalization - future challenges for shared prosperity

Proposals should first measure impact of technological progress, trade and globalisation on skills, employment, inequalities in income and wages and on labour mobility and migration in the EU. It should then project how the interactions between technological change and globalisation will transform the current EU and international structure of labour markets and trade in commodities and services in existing and emerging sectors and their impact on income distribution and social inequalities. Particular attention should be paid to skill-biased, capital-biased, talent-biased and gender biased technical change and to possible trajectories for low-skilled work in the European and international context. The analysis should take into account the evolution of the processes through which technological change is integrated in the human world. This includes economic, institutional, political and socio-cultural contexts, needs and obstacles. The future volume and quality of work should be addressed in relation to skills, education, development, migration and mobility, demographic changes and the analysis of economic convergence and divergence within Europe and with the rest of the world. The challenges of competition, cooperation or conflict with emerging and developing countries need to be be considered. Both demand and supply side issues, including global value chains, off -shoring and their distributive effects, should be addressed in this topic.

Proposals should produce a comprehensive set of scenarios based on data from national and international agencies, from databases on labour markets, inequalities, globalisation, productivity and growth, and from other relevant official sources as needed (no specific/ad-hoc surveys should be used). The analysis should have a strong focus on disentangling the processes of technological change and of globalisation in important sectors of the economy to assess their impacts on inequalities, and their implications on the development of skills and competences that need to be strengthened in Europe, in order to reduce the uncertainty facing large sections of the population In addition, proposals should identify priority areas and content for policies that would make share the benefits of technological change and globalisation more equally and widely. For instance, proposals could map pathways for adapting working populations and their flows to trends in the international production and consumption structure. Paradigm changes needed in education, skill and talent development could be anticipated. Due to the specific challenge of this topic, participation of relevant partners from third countries, including developed, emerging and developing countries, is encouraged. This participation would enable a balanced discussion on competing points of view that are critical for the impact of the project. A solid dissemination strategy should be foreseen for bringing findings to the attention of policymakers and into the public domain.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Results will contribute to inclusive and evidence based policy choices and informed public debates, especially on methods and processes of upgrading skills, mobility and labour markets. It will propose policies on the areas discussed above for different levels of national and international governance and the means of achieving multilateral cooperation on these objectives.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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Culture beyond borders – Facilitating innovation and research cooperation between European museums and heritage sites

A network will bring together European museums and heritage sites (national museums, regional and local museums, European Heritage Label sites and European cultural routes, among others) with researchers and relevant public authorities for supporting cooperation between European museums and heritage sites. The network will explore ways for innovating in sharing collections, research facilities and specialized knowledge for restauration/conservation, including skills in traditional heritage crafts and technics. It will jointly prepare traveling exhibitions or shared digital exhibitions during its lifetime. Based on a focused, critical mapping of current practice and obstacles, the objective of the network is to develop an understanding of the challenges and opportunities for the enhanced cooperation of European museums and heritage sites. The network should pay particular attention to the sustainability and employment dimensions of further institutional cooperation. The network will map and share European and extra European best practices. It will evaluate bottlenecks and opportunities of enhanced cooperation. It will also identify the specific research, innovation and training needs for policy makers for improving the cooperation of European museums and heritage sites, thus contributing to shaping the research and innovation agenda for cultural heritage in Horizon Europe.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The coordination and support action will create a representative and geographically balanced European network of European museums, heritage sites, researchers and policy makers. The network will support, as a pilot demonstration activity, the joint organisation of travelling exhibitions and shared digital exhibitions. It will develop and share best practises. It will also support knowledge exchange between museum curators, conservators and management. The CSA will provide an agenda with key research and innovation challenges for European museums and heritage sites for Horizon Europe. The research agenda will cover needs for new technologies, materials, management tools, legal solutions, IPR management, financing instruments and visitors’ and community involvement. The network will also identify short, mid- and long-term education and training needs for European museum and heritage professionals.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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European Competence Centre for the preservation and conservation of Monuments and Site

Proposals under this action should set up a "Competence Centre" aiming at the preservation and conservation of European Cultural Heritage using new state-of-the-art ICT technologies. The Competence Centre should map past and ongoing research, collect, analyse and promote best practices from Europe and beyond, and become a major point of European reference for transnational and interdisciplinary networking in the preservation of Cultural Heritage.

The Competence Centre should support cultural institutions to benefit from the opportunities brought by new ICT technologies by sharing best practices on technical, legal, and online publishing requirements, etc. as well as increasing cooperation in the sector, with a special attention to 3D technologies and corresponding standards.

The Competence Centre should also act as a facilitator for access to finance and mapping possibilities as well as an ambassador for massive digitisation of endangered European Cultural Heritage. The Competence Centre should also pave the way for future European research on cultural heritage that would need a holistic research agenda and an inclusive interdisciplinary approach, bringing together multidisciplinary expertise such as historians, archaeologists, architect, geographers, civil engineering, chemical engineering and conservation scientists, craftsmanship, social and human sciences.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of around 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. The duration should be around 3 years. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. The sustainability of this competence centre should be foresee and set in place during the duration of the project.

Expected Impact:

The Competence Centre should increase the quality of preservation initiatives undertaken by Cultural Heritage institutions. It should also demonstrate how it will contribute to an increase in the number of and quality of digitised monuments and documents. This would allow a better use and re-use of new digital assets. The Competence Centre should also strengthen the coordination between all players in the Cultural Heritage domain and upscale the competences of the potential users.

Delegation Exception Footnote:

This activity is directly aimed at supporting the development and implementation of evidence base for R&I policies and supporting various groups of stakeholders. It is excluded from the delegation to Research Executive Agency and will be implemented by the Commission services.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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Mentoring scheme for schools: mainstreaming innovation by spreading the advanced ICT-based teaching practices to a wide circle of schools

The action will build, coordinate and seek to expand an inclusive pan-European network of schools where schools (school leaders and teachers) interested in pedagogical uses of ICT can build their know-how by learning from their more advanced peers through demonstrations of best pedagogically sound practice. The action will in particular focus on mainstreaming the innovation process, which leads to positive results, using a policy-connected approach by involving policy-makers at regional and national level. The action will also include bottom-up, regional grassroots actions that support the situated take up of ICT and ICT-based practices between schools with various levels of technological proficiency, particularly within countries where mainstreaming of innovative use of ICT in schools is still at a relatively low level and paying attention to contexts where such patterns of cooperation are not yet prevalent. The action will particularly: 1) collect and document evidence of cases where whole-school peer-learning methodologies have been successfully used in the Member States, and the associated ones, with a view to further scaling-up, and also compare them with less successful cases 2) build on and involve the existing networks, ‘multiplier’ structures and regional hubs to mainstream change; 3) set up collaboration between more advanced and less advanced schools and support the exchange or practice with instructional design, paying attention to their specific educational contexts; 4) leverage an EU-level awareness-raising platform or infrastructure to promote the idea and models of mentoring scheme; actions may propose using existing platforms to save resources for other activities 5) explore which incentives and rewards for advanced schools make it attractive for them to participate as mentors in school clusters to mainstream their innovative practices 6) will support the development of whole-school approaches to ICT deployment and the mainstreaming of innovative practice involving ICT in schools across Europe 7) provide a strategy and a plan how to achieve greatest impact possibly by involving institutional actors such as Ministries of Education and disseminate the model of mentoring among schools.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The proposals should provide meaningful and ambitious indicators on how the whole requested range of impacts will be measured, including the improvements resulting from the digital innovation actions, as well as the number of countries and schools to be reached.

A significant number of schools connected and supported by the network to exchange best practices and develop a whole-school approach involving all levels of school governance to implementing ICT and a significant number of policy-makers and educational stakeholders provided with actionable guidance on how to successfully mainstream a culture of innovation across European schools

Delegation Exception Footnote:

This activity is directly aimed at supporting the development and implementation of evidence base for R&I policies and supporting various groups of stakeholders. It is excluded from the delegation to Research Executive Agency and will be implemented by the Commission services.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Enhancing access and uptake of education to reverse inequalities

a) Research and Innovation Action:

The research will focus on access and uptake of education from early childhood to adult education using the most appropriate methods and approaches. Education should be understood comprehensively, including formal and informal education publicly or privately provided. Any means of knowledge, skills and competences acquisition should be considered. The research should take into account the increasing diversity in Europe and complex interplay of the socio-economic status of parents, family configuration, geographical location, ethnicity, religion, language, traditions, cultural values, gender, disabilities, special educational needs, as well as differences between urban and rural environments. The diversity requires moving from standardisation to customisation and cross-sectoral policies as well as the involvement of multiple stakeholders. Research will refine and develop necessary quantitative and qualitative data, learn lessons from existing policies to combat inequalities across a number of policy fields, and propose new or differentiated policies where needed. Proposals should build on the evidence of the successful contexts in which practices are demonstrating to be effective, considering the diversity of structures and agents influencing the access and uptake of education.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

b) Coordination and Support Action

The Coordination and Support Action will run in parallel to the research and innovation actions and interact with them to enhance synergies and cooperation between them and amongst the relevant stakeholders (including policy makers at all levels in the relevant policy fields,) and decisively promote the policy uptake of the research to overcome inequalities. It will generate networks for research and policy development and promote and monitor concrete policy guidance for system-wide, integrated and - where necessary – cross-policy strategies for effective intervention.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The RIA action will support the advancement and uptake of effective and efficient practices in order to reverse inequalities, increase access to quality education for disadvantaged groups, improve uptake of education in key competences (reading, maths, sciences, digital skills), reduce the impact of social disadvantage and thereby increase social upward mobility in Europe. It will produce research results on access and uptake of education and formulate policy recommendations in a cross-sectoral approach and by involving multiple stakeholders. It will deliver best practices and new methodologies (where appropriate), which can be scalable and replicable by other projects and stakeholders. The action will support the breaking of policies and intervention silos toward more cooperation amongst stakeholders.

The Coordination and Support Action will draw policy lessons from previous topics in this field, bring together through networks and conferences different stakeholders and coordinate their efforts to draw policy recommendations and impact lessons that can be implemented. The network structure should enable the sustainability over time of the policy process.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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To set up a digital accessibility observatory as a forum to take stock of market and technological developments, monitor progress in digital accessibility and provide opportunities for exchange of best practices

To help harmonise approaches across Member States, to ensure a cost-efficient provision of accessible information and services and to enable the participation of all relevant communities in the Digital Single Market, it is important to support the relevant stakeholder communities (such as Member States, public administrations, service providers, academia and associations representing people with disabilities). This can be done by raising awareness of the current state-of-the-art as regards digital accessibility solutions and to offer opportunities to make use of existing know-how and best practices.

Proposals under this action should set up a 'digital accessibility observatory' with the aim to:

1.take stock of market and technological developments in the area of solutions for digital accessibility. This in order to identify gaps as well as available and affordable solutions and services, for fulfilling the accessibility requirements of the Web Accessibility Directive. People with disabilities may be involved in the identification of these gaps, issues and barriers and in the testing of possible solutions;

2.monitor progress of market development in digital accessibility and the deployment of cost efficient solutions across the EU;

3.create, maintain and update an open and dynamic repository of all the project's findings, such as a digital accessibility platform;

4.provide opportunities for exchange of best practices among Member States and other stakeholders;

5.promote awareness raising, and capacity building.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of around 1.5M€ would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The action will support the implementation of the Web Accessibility Directive. It will support both public administrations as well as other relevant actors, committed to providing accessible information and services, in identifying the most appropriate accessibility solutions. In the long term, it could result in scalable and more affordable solutions. Overall, the actions will contribute to the widespread recognition of the benefits of accessible digital services and information in an increasingly digital society and economy.

Delegation Exception Footnote:

This activity is directly aimed at supporting the development and implementation of evidence base for R&I policies and supporting various groups of stakeholders. It is excluded from the delegation to Research Executive Agency and will be implemented by the Commission services.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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New forms of delivering public goods and inclusive public services

In a context of open government and digital democracy, the role of the government is changing due to its use of ICT and to the increasing pervasiveness of ICT across all parts of society. In addition to being a manager of societal assets, government is becoming a provider of tools, opportunities, guidance and incentives for co-creation as well as a guarantor of public values over the longer term.

Proposals should analyse, develop and demonstrate the potential for sharing common services with different actors (public and private and third sectors) to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in these collaborations, in particular leveraging mobile communications and Apps. The proposals should also evaluate the role, legitimacy and responsibility of the public authorities and of the other actors delivering public goods and services in the new governance model and the related partnerships, including in terms of ensuring secure mobile single sign-on for cross border access and use of services. Evidence of the benefits of the full implementation of the once-only and digital-by-default principles and user centricity and the transformative impact of new technologies should also be taken into account.

Proposals should also lead to the development of implementation and/or business plans that would ensure the long-term sustainability of the new governance model. They should engage multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral teams to explore the complexity of this challenge and to identify the necessary changes as well as the legal, cultural and managerial risks and barriers to its implementation.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 and 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Solutions for opening up and connecting public administration data and services will have a measurable impact for both businesses and citizens, leading to efficiency gains. The actions will provide for all the elements required to facilitate the migration of public administrations towards forward-looking models, in particular mobile ones, for the co-delivery of public services.

The actions will provide evidence of how the open government approach may reinforce trust in public institutions, which is strongly associated with citizens’ satisfaction from full deployment of inclusive digital government. The actions will also contribute to establishing a culture of co-creation and co-delivery, transparency, accountability and trustworthiness as well as of continuous consultation promoting overall digital accessibility.

In addition, to support the implementation of the Web Accessibility Directive, enhanced cooperation on digital accessibility between various stakeholders will result in scalable and more affordable accessibility solutions. Overall, the actions will contribute to the widespread recognition of the need for and benefits of an inclusive Digital Single Market.

The Common Foreign and Security Policy and the expanding scope of the EU's external engagement

Proposals should ascertain what governance structures are needed for ensuring an effective EU foreign and security policy as well as a coherent and sustainable external action. They should develop assessment criteria for effective defence, security and intelligence cooperation in the EU, distinguishing between objectives and instruments. Results should take account of the previous calls 'Europe as a Global Actor' (Work Programme 2014/15) and 'Engaging together globally' (Work Programme 2016/17). Proposals should engage with the growing diversification of international relations, e.g. the E3/EU on Iran and regional integration strategies with neighbourhood regions. Cooperation with partners from third countries is encouraged in order to have comparative perspectives that would be an important value added for the projects. Research should analyse perceptions and the political acceptability of an enhanced EU common defence policy among Member States and citizens. Crucially, projects must thoroughly investigate the burgeoning peripheral and sectoral diplomacies in traditionally internal policy areas and assess how these could be brought within the joint-up frame of a coherent EU external action.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Actions will inform policymakers on the governance structures needed to ensure joined-up and sustainable EU diplomatic action and international cooperation. They will contribute to the advancement of the Common Security and Defence Policy and to increased coherence between the EU foreign policy and Member States' foreign policies.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Addressing radicalization through social inclusion

Based on empirical and multidisciplinary approaches, proposals should assess the multiple drivers and manifestations of radical ideologies prone to incite or lead to violence, both societal (including religious) and political, as well as the physical and online contexts for their propagation. Complementary knowledge on non-radicalising identity, belonging, disengagement and detachment should also be formulated in order to provide a holistic framework for assessing and proposing preventive measures in terms of social policies and interventions. A focus should be on the psychological and social mechanisms of alienation and radicalisation of youth in urban and peri-urban contexts. Research should develop new methodologies, where appropriate and evidence based policy recommendations in close collaboration with civil society and policy makers. Proposals should rely on extensive fieldwork and construct a solid empirical base. Research must consider gender perspective where relevant.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Actions should provide a holistic evidence base to support situation analysis. They will increase the capacity to quickly identify and actions should provide comprehensive data bases, evidence based analysis and sector scenarios to support holistic situation analysis. They should increase the capacity to quickly identify and reach at-risk groups and thereby contribute to better targeted and more effective policies and interventions, as well as identify their optimal implementation tools. The ultimate goal is to increase awareness and resilience in at-risk demographics and introduce preventive, countering and de-radicalisation approaches as applicable.

Where applicable the proposals should demonstrate how they will effectively build on the relevant previous and on-going EU funded (including but not limited to the Horizon 2020 both Societal Challenge 6 and 7, and Internal Security Fund - Police) radicalisation projects.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Pilot on using the European cloud infrastructure for public administrations

The availability of open and big data, in particular as facilitated by high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities offered by the European Cloud Initiative, would provide an infrastructure with data and analytical power for the public administration. Proposals should develop new ways and methods and ethical aspects of using the cloud infrastructure by public administrations for policy modelling, policy making and policy implementation. They should also create reusable models that allow for a better, more accurate and more efficient development and management of policies related to health, emergency responses, weather warning etc.

Proposals should demonstrate the interoperability, reusability or scalability of the models and analytical tools.

They should also develop a solid and realistic business plan to ensure the long-term sustainability and take-up of the results. They should consider the different legal, ethical and security aspects of the models and analytical tools, depending on what kind of data they contain/are based on. They should also consider how communities can be effectively involved in co-creation of data management and analysis. In addition, they should involve multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral teams to explore the complexity of this challenge, including the problems raised by big data uses and consideration of precautionary approaches to address such problems.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 and 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The action will create analytical tools that enable public administrations to reuse common infrastructures and data sets for the development of better targeted and more effective evidence-based policies. It will engage citizens and businesses in the co-creation of the tools, thereby enhancing trust and boosting the perceived legitimacy of authorities.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                         

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Centres/Networks of European research and innovation

To establish new centres, or networks of centres, in close cooperation with local technology and innovation structures located in third countries and regions.

A maximum of three proposals will be supported including one for India and one for Africa. These centres/networks will engage in activities with a focus depending on the country/region addressed, including activities such as:

  • Providing services such as incubator co-working space, advice and support directly to European innovators that want to soft-land in the partner country/region and/or to engage in co-creation with local innovators;
  • Building/linking to an eco-system of stakeholders including early adopters, potential customers, partners etc. in the country/region;
  • Supporting the transfer and internationalisation of demonstrated technologies and know-how, both to and from the country/region;
  • Launching local market development programmes to deploy European technology;
  • Offering mentorship, training and promoting staff exchange to increase capacities of innovators;
  • Leveraging private and public investors’ resources to sustain the activities of the centre(s).

The proposed work should seek to establish the centres/networks in cooperation with local actors based on a sound business plan that is expected to include clear commitments from multiple funding sources, such as corporates, investors, or local governments making available soft-landing spaces. The business plan and the intended governance (including type of legal entity to be established) shall be presented as part of the proposal. The involvement of European and local incubators or accelerators must be described.

Each proposal shall target one country or region that is an emerging or developing technology or innovation partner; proposals addressing India and all or part of Africa are strongly encouraged without excluding other countries with similar characteristics.

For India, the centre(s) should target mature start-ups and SMEs from both Europe and India and promote matchmaking for adaptation of European technologies and innovative solutions to the Indian context.

For Africa the centre(s) with the network of incubators and accelerators should target at least five sub-Saharan African countries, build on existing local incubators and accelerators, and focus on technology transfer/adaptation (from Europe to Africa or vice-versa), staff exchanges and training.

Consortia are expected to include business development as well as technology expertise in the target country or region and ensure adequate involvement of European stakeholders from existing structures in the addressed countries/regions. Proposals should build on previous work of bilateral and regional international cooperation projects where appropriate.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting an EU contribution of around EUR 2-3 million for a duration of 3-4 years would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Under this topic, legal entities established in the target country/region are eligible for funding from the Union.

Eligibility and admissibility conditions: Under this topic, legal entities established in the target country/region are eligible for funding from the Union.

Expected Impact:

  • Reinforced cooperation between European innovators and those of the Union's international partners;
  • Higher visibility and prestige for European research and innovation and its actors in international partner countries/regions;
  • Stronger presence of European organisations in the innovation environment of the partner country/region;
  • Enhanced impact of results from research and innovation projects, including those under Horizon 2020, through increased access to excellence and to markets across the world.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Developing deliberative and participatory democracies through experimentation

Research should elucidate the complex links between political discourses and identities (including populistic standpoints), dialogue guided by reasoned argumentation and the potential for achieving consensus on policy choices. Projects should also consider issues pertaining to effective participation in deliberative and participatory processes (especially as regards vulnerable groups and the politically less active) and as to how effectively these are translated by governments and institutions into concrete action. Research should equally examine how deliberative and participatory processes relate to polarisation and how (or if) it can assist in reaching mutual understanding among citizens with different views and positions. Lastly, attention should be paid to how deliberative and participatory democracy can best complement representative institutions. Issues of coordination, complementarity, scaling up (of such practices) but also opening up more traditional representative institutions should be examined.

The impacts of technology need to be further illuminated. Re-evaluating and re-assessing the contribution of digital technology in implementing deliberative, participatory (and by extension direct) democracy is needed. Projects should offer exhaustive assessments of experiments and innovations in deliberative and participatory processes highlighting success and failure factors. The role of the internet should equally be examined (also in connection to social media) in light of recent trends, which have cast doubt on its capacity to act as a platform of rational communication between equal participants.

In the EU context, the notion of the public sphere, as a key deliberative element, should be reconsidered both conceptually and empirically in view of the economic, social and political crises and developments of recent years. This includes a reappraisal of the question whether there is, could, or should be a European public sphere, which could enrich the democratic quality and the liberal character of the EU, in a context where supra-national European institutions are often perceived as insufficiently democratic and transparent.

Research should examine how the concept of deliberative and participatory democracy could be used and adapted to facilitate such a process and whether and how it is compatible with polarization tendencies, which have been prevalent in recent years. It needs to be investigated whether these new trends contribute to social justice, how societies can be made not only more inclusive but also more reflective, and how critical capacity and attitudes can be developed which revive deliberative democratic discourses. In this context, the contribution of the education system needs to be worked out. Connections should be made with questions of (European) identity, whereby the focus should not lie on an essentialist conception of identity, but reflexive identity, which signifies a critical and transformative self-understanding. Research should investigate how to create arenas or spaces open to citizens which are conducive to collective decisions made through public deliberation. Cooperation with partners from third countries, from both established and emerging democracies, is encouraged in order to have comparative perspectives that would be an important value added for the impact of the project.

A set of concrete actions could look at experimental and participative approaches to civic and social life, and suggest pathways for strengthening democracies at all levels, in terms of concrete actions, pilot projects and experimentation. They could build on previous results of international, European and other projects in these areas. In a context where citizen involvement and citizen participation in research and innovation is strongly stressed for Horizon Europe, this proposal could help to lay the groundwork.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

This action will move to another level our understanding of deliberative and participatory democratic processes and identify ways of how they can be improved in practice. Research should make this action on how to create arenas or spaces open to citizens which are conducive to collective decisions made through public deliberation. Proposals should outline methods and policies by which democratic practices can be strengthened in order to rebuild trust in political, economic and social institutions.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Citizen-centric public services in local and regional administrations

For user-centric digital public services, the proposed action will:

  1. support the implementation of the 'User-centricity principles for design and delivery of digital public services' laid down in the Tallinn Declaration putting citizens truly at the heart of governments' digital transformation at cities and regions level;
  2. encourage and recognise cities and regions that are taking policies steps to become more user-centric;
  3. promote capacity building, best practices and experience exchange, solutions reuse, training, awareness raising through a community building approach;
  4. ensure that the mechanism for recognising user-centric cities and regions and the community will become self-sustainable beyond the H2020 funding.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of 1.5M€ would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The action will show the social and human dimension of digitalisation, in particular that all citizens can be better served by their public administrations while moving into the digital age, and will strengthen European citizens’ sense of belonging to the European Union.

By developing a framework that will determine the conditions by which cities and regions will be recognised in their commitment to become more user centric the belief is that across Europe public administrations will be inspired to accelerate their journey to design and deliver more user-centric digital public services for the benefit of their citizens and businesses.

The action should emphasise the movement of local and regional administrations towards citizen centric, secure, high quality and burden free public services and towards more inclusive and participative decision and policy-making. At the same time cities and regions will gain visibility and benefit from being part of the community through exchange of good and bad practices, solutions and know how among all cities and regions experiencing the same journey.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Support to the networking of national R&I Think Tanks for helping co-shape and share a common perspective on R&I policy across Europe

The coordination and support action should support the networking of R&I Think Tanks across the EU, with the aim to inform EU and national policy-making and help develop and share common views needed for co-designing the EU R&I policy. Proposals should demonstrate the capacity to develop existing informal or self-organised collaborations across national Think Tanks and/or R&I policy advisers into an actual European network of R&I Think Tanks, to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in codesigning R&I policies.
The network should bring together think tanks or advisory communities already organised at national level, and increase their cross-border collaboration and capacity to deliver strategic policy advice at European level. The network should aim at enhancing trust and coherence amongst its members, through transparent, open and collaborative processes involving national and European policy-makers, research and innovation communities and citizens. While the new network should help shape and spread new ideas about EU R&I policy, it should also capture and discuss emerging trends to make R&I policy more impactful and develop methodologies and approaches for co-designing policies with a clear EU added value.

Specific objectives of this action:

  1. The network will greatly increase the capacity and diversity of R&I policy advice available in each Member State, by opening up the possibility for national Think Tanks to source or discuss expertise and advice from Think Tanks in other Member States.
  2. The network will allow to rapidly bringing to the fore and debating new R&I policy concepts, through e.g. an annual event, in view of developing a common understanding and supporting the coherence of policy making processes across the EU.

The Commission considers that a consortium requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 0.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Opening up and connecting policy advisers and R&I communities will add value to the governance of the European research and innovation system, will have a measurable impact for policy makers, R&I communities and citizens, and will lead to policies with more relevance and impact.

In the short term, the action will reinforce network collaboration between national R&I policy advisers, with the prospect in the medium term to offer a sounding board for national and EU policy-makers alike. In the longer term, it will facilitate the strategic alignment of R&I policies in Europe by supporting the uptake and dissemination of research and innovation best practices and questioning.

Deadline: 12 March 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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7. Sichere Gesellschaften - Schutz der Freiheit und Sicherheit Europas und seiner Bürger

Developing a research roadmap regarding Artificial Intelligence in support of Law Enforcement

Proposals under this topic should provide an EU AI roadmap for LEAs, meeting their specific operational and cooperation needs, by identifying, in a longer-term perspective: the key areas in which AI would be beneficial for LEAs, the key areas in which it could pose a threat to security, cybersecurity requirements for AI based technologies in use or to be used by LEAs as well as means of prevention and mitigation of malicious use of AI for criminal activities. As such this project would not only need to continuously interact (in a cluster mode) with projects funded under SU-AI02-2020 and SU-AI03-2020 but also provide recommendations for further work to be done under Horizon Europe, Digital Europe, or the Internal Security Fund as well as for policy and market uptake. The objective is to develop a research roadmap that provides answers to, e.g., following questions: What are and will be the AI needs of LEAs in their daily work? What are the major research gaps in the area of AI in support of LEAs? What are the challenges that need to be addressed, both from the fighting crime, including cybercrime and terrorism, and from improving cybersecurity (re)actions? Which approaches might be desirable? What needs to be set up for test and evaluation? How to prevent and mitigate malicious use of AI for criminal activities and terrorism?

Starting from these considerations, proposals must demonstrate commitment to produce recommendations that are updated continuously, and at least every 6 months, about the following lines of actions: which AI based technologies, systems and solutions could support/enhance the work of LEAs and how, what the corresponding restraints (including ethical and legal) are, as well as related risks, security challenges and protection measures. The proposal shall provide specific real-life LEAs scenarios, examples and evidence supporting their recommendations. The proposing consortium is expected to incorporate relevant security practitioners, researchers, civil society organisations and LEAs.

As indicated in the Introduction of this call, proposals should foresee resources for clustering activities with other projects funded under this call to identify synergies and best practices.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of around EUR 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Short term:

  • Effective contribution to the overall actions of this call;

Medium and longer term:

  • In the longer term perspective, identification of key areas in which AI would be beneficial for LEAs, meeting their operational and collaborative needs, and of key areas in which it could pose a threat to security;
  • A carefully planned roadmap in order for Law Enforcement to benefit as much as possible from the AI based technologies, systems, solutions, including their protection;
  • Increased awareness regarding the state of the art and trends in AI-based criminal activities (short-, mid- and long-term).

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Digital Security and privacy for citizens and Small and Medium Enterprises and Micro Enterprises

Proposals are invited against one of the following sub-topics:

(a): Protecting citizens' security, privacy and personal data

Proposals should bring innovative solutions to personal data protection, develop new applications and technologies in order to help citizens to better monitor and audit their security, privacy and personal data protection, enabling them to become more engaged and active in the fight against cyber, privacy and personal data protection risks.

These solutions should include innovative approaches, techniques and user-friendly tools for: (1) improving resilience against privacy and personal data protection risks (e.g. personal data breaches) and cyber threats (e.g. profiling, eavesdropping, data misuse); (2) identifying, removing and reporting potential harmful content (e.g. apology of criminal acts, unhealthy or self-harming habits) and abusive interactions (e.g. harassment, unsolicited communications); (3) exercising citizens' right to erasure ("right-to-be-forgotten") and data portability; (4) providing citizens with transparent information about their privacy and personal data protection[4] level and empowering them to modulate it at any moment of their digital activities (e.g. by activating encryption); (5) protecting or providing rights for any access/audit/interference with citizens' "smart terminals" or their Internet-based communications in a data protection compliant way; (6) developing on-line help-desks services or "one-stop-shop" informing, helping citizens in dealing with any security and/or privacy incident and data (including personal data) protection breach, and enabling them in reporting any cyber or privacy related incident and data (including personal data) protection breach. Such approaches need to build bridges/synergies with data protection authorities and CERTs/CSIRTs. To better respond to the needs and expectations of the end-users, proposals should engage the end-users by involving them in the design and implementation, in order to ensure the usability and acceptability of the proposed solutions. In addition, assurance and transparency about the digital security, privacy and personal data protection levels embedded in products and services should be easily accessed, identified and monitored by all citizens, independently of their physical condition or ICT skills, by developing appropriate innovative solutions.

The outcome of the proposal is expected to lead to development up to Technology Readiness level (TRL) 7; please see Annex G of the General Annexes.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge under sub-topic (a) to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

(b): Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Micro Enterprises (SMEs&MEs): defenders of security, privacy and personal data protection

Proposals should deliver innovative solutions to increase the knowledge sharing in digital security across SMEs&MEs and between SMEs&MEs and larger providers. The user SMEs&MEs should be supported by democratizing access to tools and solutions of varied sophistication level, to allow SMEs&MEs benefitting from innovative targeted solutions addressing their specific needs and available resources (currently reserved to larger organisations, due to their cost and availability of internal expertise).

The proposals should develop targeted, user-friendly and cost-effective solutions enabling SMEs&MEs to: (1) dynamically monitor, forecast and assess their security, privacy and personal data protection risks; (2) become more aware of vulnerabilities, attacks and risks that influence their business; (3) manage and forecast their security, privacy and personal data protection risks in an easy and affordable way; (4) build on-line collaboration between SMEs&MEs associations and with CERTs/CSIRTs, enabling thus individual SMEs&MEs to report any incident.

In addition, tools and processes should be proposed to facilitate the participation of user SMEs&MEs in cyber ranges for cybersecurity.

The outcome of the proposal is expected to lead to development up to Technology Readiness level (TRL) 7; please see Annex G of the General Annexes.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 and 4 million would allow this specific challenge under sub-topic (b) to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Projects should also foresee activities and envisage resources for clustering with other projects funded under this topic and with other relevant projects in the field funded by H2020.

Expected Impact:

  • Citizens and SMEs&MEs are better protected and become active players in the Digital Single Market, including implementation of the NIS directive and the application of the General Data Protection Regulation.
  • Security, privacy and personal data protection are strengthened as shared responsibility along all layers in the digital economy, including citizens and SMEs&MEs.
  • Reduced economic damage caused by harmful cyber-attacks and privacy incidents and data (including personal data) protection breaches.
  • Pave the way for a trustworthy EU digital environment benefitting all economic and social actors.

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Cybersecurity in the Electrical Power and Energy System (EPES): an armour against cyber and privacy attacks and data breaches

The proposals should demonstrate how the actual EPES can be made resilient to growing and more sophisticated cyber and privacy attacks and data breaches (including personal data breaches) taking into account the developments of the grid towards a decentralised architecture and involving all stakeholders. The proposals should demonstrate the resilience of the EPES through the design and implementation of adequate measures able to make assets and systems less vulnerable, reducing its expositions to cyberattacks. Different scenarios of attacks with the expected potential disruptive effects on the EPES should be envisaged and the relative counteracting measures should be designed, described, tested (sandboxing, simulations) on a representative energy demonstrator to verify effectiveness. Depending on the specific application, the proposal should apply measures to new assets or to existing equipment where data flows were not designed to be cyber protected (e.g. SCADA, ICS). The proposals shall implement the following series of activities to make the electric system cyber secure: (i) assessing vulnerabilities and threats of the system in a collaborative manner (involving all stakeholders in the energy components provision supply chain); (ii) on that basis, designing adequate security measures to ensure a cyber-secure system and describing the advantages of the solutions adopted compared to others and which aim to guarantee the level of cybersecurity and resilience vital for EPES in an evolving system; (iii) implementing both organisational and technical measures in representative demonstrator to test the cyber resilience of the system with different types of attacks/severity; and (iv) demonstrating the effectiveness of the measures with a cost-benefit analysis. The activities may include the testing of micro-grid and/or islanding as a means to reduce the vulnerability to cyber-attacks.

The proposals shall also (i) develop security information and event management system collecting logs and other security-related documentation for analysis that can also be used for information sharing across operators of essential infrastructures and CERTs; (ii) define cybersecurity design principles with a set of common requirements to inherently secure EPES; (iii) formulate recommendations for standardisation and certification in cybersecurity at component, system and process level; and (iv) propose policy recommendations on EU exchange of information.

The dimension of pilots/demonstrators should be at large scale level (e.g. neighbourhood, city, regional level), involving generators, one primary substation, secondary substations and end users. The proposals are encouraged to include the following types of entities: TSO, DSO, electricity generators, utilities, equipment manufacturers, aggregators, energy retailers, and technology providers.

The proposals may refer to Industry 4.0 and other proposals and/or projects dealing with cybersecurity in energy.

Projects should also foresee activities and envisage resources for clustering with other projects funded under this topic and with other relevant projects in the field funded by H2020, in particular under the BRIDGE initiative.

The outcome of the proposal is expected to lead to development up to Technology Readiness level (TRL) 7; please see Annex G of the General Annexes.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Built/increased resilience against different levels of cyber and privacy attacks and data breaches (including personal data breaches) in the energy sector.
  • Ensured continuity of the critical business energy operations and resilience against cyberattacks, including large scale, demonstrating effective solutions to a) the real-time constraints of an electric system, b) barriers to the cascading effect and c) the adaptation of legacy equipment or their coexistence with state of the art technology.
  • The energy sector is better enabled to easily implement the NIS directive.
  • A set of standards and rules for certification of cybersecurity components, systems and processes in the energy sector will be made available.
  • Cyber protection policy design and uptake at all levels from management to operational personnel, in the energy sector.
  • Manufacturers providing more accountability and transparency, enabling third parties monitoring and auditing the privacy, data protection and security of their energy devices and systems.

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.    

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Human factors, and social, societal, and organisational aspects to solve issues in fighting against crime and terrorism

The Lisbon Treaty enables the EU to act to develop itself as an area of freedom, security and justice. The EU Security Union is now in the building, and requires an EU-wide approach to security that integrates prevention, investigation and mitigation capabilities in the area of the fight against crime.

The globalisation of communications and finance infrastructure allows crime to develop and take new forms. Trafficking in human beings for all forms of exploitation purposes is a serious and organised crime often with cross-border dimension, violating fundamental rights of the individuals and creating a security challenge. Prevention of child sexual abuse and exploitation is another area where research is acutely needed. The use of the internet as a platform for child sex offenders to communicate, store and share child sexual exploitation material and to hunt for new victims continues to be one of the internet’s most abhorrent aspects. Cybercriminality, as a whole, is not satisfactorily understood nor properly addressed; the constantly expanding attack surface combined with the ever increasing number of attack vectors requires a more structured approach. Radicalisation is yet another challenge of our society that requires a multi-disciplinary approach, with policy recommendations and practical solutions to be implemented by a variety of policy-makers and practitioners.

Proposed approaches need to rely on existing knowledge and to exclude approaches that have previously failed. The societal dimension of fight against crime and terrorism should be at the core of the proposed activities. Proposals should be submitted by consortia involving relevant security practitioners and civil society organisations, each under only one of the following sub-topics:

Sub-topic: [2018, 2020] New methods to prevent, investigate and mitigate trafficking of human beings and child sexual exploitation – and on the protection of victims

Globalisation and technological developments facilitate trafficking in human beings and child sexual exploitation. A variety of preventive measures, as well as measures to ensure adequate victim protection and assistance are needed, that build upon advances in social sciences and humanities.

Proposals in this subtopic should address both phenomena in a balanced way. They should ensure that the research focuses on prevention, investigation and/or assistance related to all victims of trafficking and not only addressing child trafficking. In the same way, the proposals should cover any area concerning prevention, investigation and/or assistance to victims of child sexual exploitation, not only the assistance to victims of child sexual exploitation resulting from trafficking.

With respect to the trafficking of human beings, research should bear on:

  • preventing the phenomenon and to reduce the demand for all forms of exploitation in the trafficking chain and its legal and illegal sectors. The analysis of possible involvement of organized crime groups implicated in trafficking of human beings in other crimes as well (e.g., financial crimes) is recommended;
  • new approaches to investigate cases involving the trafficking of human beings;
  • new approaches to mitigate the impact on victims in the short and long term.

Regarding child sexual exploitation:

  • how to address new threats, such as live-streaming of child abuse and coercion and extortion of victims that have escalated in the last years;
  • how to provide law enforcement with effective means to detect, investigate and bring down the many peer-to-peer networks and the growing number of forums on the darknet that facilitate the exchange of child sexual exploitation material and support offenders;
  • how to help victims of abuse during criminal investigations and court procedures;
  • how to help the victims in the long term, to help them deal with the effects;
  • how to reduce risks of (re-)offending by better understanding the behaviour of abusers and potential abusers.

Sub-topic: [2020] Developing evidence-based approaches to evaluate and to further develop initiatives to prevent and counter violent radicalisation

The following issues are of particular interest: factors and pathways into radicalisation; factors influencing resilience to radicalisation, with a focus on groups requiring particular attention (such as children); the nexus between violent extremism and other forms of crime; violent extremism online (e.g., social media) and terrorist propaganda; evaluation and impact of counter-narratives and alternative narratives; how to address returnees, with a focus on children and women; dealing with extremists after their release from prison (and involving penitentiary services and legal authorities);gender and socio-economic aspects of radicalisation; challenges related to the lone actor phenomenon and evaluation of national and local prevent strategies. The objective of this sub-topic is not to support projects which cover all those issues. Proposals should therefore address one or more of the issues mentioned above. They should take into account the importance of a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency and multi-stakeholder approach.

Proposals should refer to evidence-based research that compares and distils various approaches to the issue or issues that they are addressing, providing outcomes which are of direct use for policy makers and practitioners. Proposals should furthermore provide quantitative and/or qualitative indicators to allow for the evaluation of prevent, counter and de- radicalisation initiatives. The proposals could also analyse and evaluate different research methodologies in this field. Proposals should build on the expertise of different disciplines and stakeholders, including practitioners, in order to reflect the horizontal challenge of radicalisation.

The aim is not necessarily to develop new responses, but to focus on comparative analyses and evaluations of existing responses in order to identify transferrable and effective approaches based on what has been done so far, and/or to elaborate performance indicators and/or evaluation methods.

In line with the EU's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)492), international cooperation is encouraged.

If appropriate, the proposals should demonstrate how they will effectively build on relevant previous and on-going EU funded (including but not limited to the Internal Security Fund - Police) radicalisation projects.

Expected Impact:

Medium term:

  • improved and consolidated knowledge among EU Law Enforcement Agencies officers on the issues addressed in this topic;
  • exchange of experiences among EU Law Enforcement Agencies about human, social and societal aspects of security problems and their remedies;
  • policy-making toolkits for security policy-makers, to support the establishment of a European Security Model;
  • toolkits for EU Law Enforcement Agencies and/or civil society organisations, validated against practitioners' needs and requirements to facilitate their daily operations.

Long term:

  • European common approaches for assessing risks/threats, and identifying and deploying relevant security measures, which take into account legal and ethical rules of operation, cost-benefit considerations, as well as fundamental rights such as the rights to privacy, to protection of personal data and the free movement of persons;
  • support towards the implementation of the European Security Union by strengthening the perception by citizens of the EU as an area of freedom, justice and security;
  • advances through the cross-fertilisation of concepts resulting from the collision of different ways of thinking and of different approaches developed by various partners in the proposals.

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Secure and resilient Artificial Intelligence technologies, tools and solutions in support of Law Enforcement and citizen protection, cybersecurity operations and prevention and protection against adversarial Artificial Intelligence

Proposals under this topic should aim at exploring use of AI in the security dimension at and beyond the state-of-the-art, and exploiting its potential to support LEAs in their effective operational cooperation and in the investigation of traditional forms of crime where digital content plays a key role, as well as of cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled crimes. On the one hand, as indicated in “Artificial Intelligence – A European Perspective”, AI systems are being and will increasingly be used by cyber criminals, so research into their capabilities and weaknesses will play a crucial part in defending against such malicious usage. On the other hand, Law Enforcement will increasingly engage in active usage of AI systems to reinforce investigative capabilities, to strengthen digital evidence-making in court and to cooperate effectively with relevant LEAs. Consequently, proposals should:

  • develop AI tools and solutions in support of LEAs daily work. This should include combined hardware and software solutions such as robotics or Natural Language Processing, in support of LEAs to better prevent, detect and investigate criminal activities and terrorism and monitor borders, i.e., opportunities and benefits of AI tools and solutions in support of the work of Law Enforcement and to strengthen their operational cooperation.

Building on existing best practices such as those obtained through the ASGARD project, proposals should establish a platform of easy-to-integrate and interoperable AI tools and an associated process with short research and testing cycles, which will serve in the short term perspective as a basis for identifying specific gaps that would require further reflection and development. This platform should, in the end, result in a sustainable AI community for LEAs, researchers and industry as well as a specific environment where relevant AI tools would be tailored to specific needs of the security sector, including the requirements of LEAs. Those AI tools would be developed in a timely manner using an iterative approach to define, develop and assess the most pertinent digital tools with a constant participation of end-users throughout the project. By the end of the project, the platform should also enable a direct access for Law Enforcement to an initial set of tools. Specific consideration should be given to the issue of setting an appropriate mechanism to enable a proper access to the relevant data necessary to develop and train AI based systems for security.

Proposals should also:

  • develop cybersecurity tools and solutions for the protection of AI based technologies in use or to be used by LEAs, including those developed under this project against manipulation, cyber threats and attacks, and;
  • exploit AI technologies for cybersecurity operation purposes of Law Enforcement infrastructures, including the prevention, detection and response of cybersecurity incidents through advanced threat intelligence and predictive analytics technologies and tools targeting Cybercrime units of LEAs, Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) of LEAs, Police and Customs Cooperation Centers (PCCCs), Joint Investigation Teams.

Finally, in order to have the full picture of all AI-related issues in the domain of work of Law Enforcement and citizen protection, proposals should:

  • tackle the fundamental dual nature of AI tools, techniques and systems, i.e.: resilience against adversarial AI, and prevention and protection against malicious use of AI (including malicious use of the LEA AI tools developed under this project) for criminal activities or terrorism.

The improvement of research results, application and uptake should be taken into consideration.

The functionality of existing EU LEAs' tools and systems needs to be analysed since they need to support the prevention, reaction and detection of cyber threats and security incidents.

Furthermore, the accuracy of AI tools depends on the quantity and on the quality of the training and testing data, including the quality of their structure and labelling, and how well these data represent the problem to be tackled. In the security domain, this issue is further emphasized due to the sensitivity of the data, which complicates the access to real multilingual datasets and the creation of representative datasets. A huge amount of up-to-date high-quality data needed to develop reliable AI tools in support of Law Enforcement, in the areas of cybersecurity and of the fight against crime, including cybercrime and terrorism, asks for the development of training/testing datasets at a European level. This requires a close cooperation of different national Law Enforcement and judiciary systems. Namely, training and testing data sets considered legal and used in one country have to be shared and accepted in another one, while simultaneously observing fundamental rights and substantial or procedural safeguards. The lack of legislation at the national and international level makes this particularly difficult. The availability of such datasets to the scientific community would ensure future advances in the field.

Thus, in order to address the problem of securing European up-to-date high-quality training and testing data sets in the domain of AI in support of Law Enforcement, proposals under this topic should, from a multidisciplinary point of view, identify, assess and articulate the whole set of actions that should be carried out in a coherent framework:

  • A comparative analysis of existing legal provisions throughout Europe that apply in these cases and their impact, including obstacles for research community to access datasets used by LEAs and means of overcoming these obstacles;
  • The identification and definition of legislative changes that could be promoted both at the European and Member State level;
  • Ethical and operational implications for LEAs;
  • The identification of the technical developments that should be carried out to sustain all these aspects;
  • Determination of legal and ethical means at the European level that allow for a creation of European up-to-date, representative and large enough high-quality training and testing data sets for AI, in support of Law Enforcement and available to the scientific community working with LEAs.

Proposals should have a clear dissemination plan, ensuring the uptake of project results by LEAs in their daily work.

Taking into account the European dimension of the topic, the role of EU agencies supporting Law Enforcement should be exploited regarding:

  • effective channels established between industry and LEAs, closing the gap between public investment and uptake of project results by relevant end-users in their daily work;
  • increased exchange of experiences, best practices and lessons learnt throughout europe leading to EU common approaches for opportunity/risk assessment of AI;
  • better understanding and readiness of policy makers on future trends in AI;
  • enhanced cooperative operations and synergies between EU LEAs.

Proposals should take into account the existing EU and national projects in this field, as well as build on existing research and articulate a legal, ethical and practical framework to take the best out of the AI based technologies, systems and solutions in the security dimension. Whenever appropriate, the work should complement, build on available resources and contribute to common efforts such as (but not limited to) ASGARD, SIRIUS, EPE, networks of practitioners, AI4EU, or activities carried out in the LEIT programme, namely in Robotics, Big Data, and IoT. As proposals will leverage existing technologies (open source or not), they should show sufficient triage of these technologies to ensure no internalisation of Intellectual Property Rights or security risks as well as demonstrate that such technologies come with adequate license and freedom to operate.

As far as the societal dimension is concerned, proposed solutions of AI applications should respond to the needs of an individual and society as a whole by building and retaining trust. Proposals should analyse the societal implications of AI and its impacts on democracy. Therefore, the values guiding AI and responsible design practices that encode these values into AI systems should also be critically assessed. It should be also shown that the testing of the tools represents well the reality. In addition, AI tools should be unbiased (gender, racial, etc.) and designed in such a way that the transparency and explainability of the corresponding decision processes are ensured, which would, amongst other, reinforce the admissibility of any resulting evidence in court.

Proposals’ consortia should comprehend, besides industrial and research participants, relevant security practitioners, civil society organisations, experts on criminal procedure from a variety of European Member States and Associated Countries as well as LEAs. Proposals should ensure a multidisciplinary approach and have the appropriate balance of IT specialists as well as Social Sciences and Humanities experts.

As indicated in the Introduction of this call, proposals should foresee resources for clustering activities with other projects funded under this call to identify synergies and best practices.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of around EUR 17 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Proposals should lead to:

Short term:

  • Effective contribution to the overall actions of this call;
  • Development of a European representative and large enough high-quality multilingual and multimodal training and testing dataset available to the scientific community that is developing AI tools in support of Law Enforcement;
  • EU common approach to AI in support of LEAs, centralized efforts as well as solutions on, e.g., the issue of huge amount of data needed for AI.

Medium term:

  • Improved capabilities for LEAs to conduct investigations and analysis using AI, such as a specific environment/platform where relevant AI tools would be tailored to specific needs of the security sector including the requirements of LEAs;
  • Ameliorated protection and robustness of AI based technologies against cyber threats and attacks;
  • Raised awareness and understanding of all relevant issues at the European as well as national level, related to the cooperation of the scientific community and Law Enforcement in the domain of cybersecurity and the fight against crime, including cybercrime and terrorism regarding the availability of the representative data needed to develop accurate AI tools;
  • Raised awareness of the EU political stakeholders in order to help them to shape a proper legal environment for such activities at EU level and to demonstrate the added value of common practices and standards;
  • Increased resilience to adversarial AI.

Longer term:

  • Improved capabilities for trans-border LEA data exchange and collaboration;
  • Modernisation of work of LEAs in Europe and improvement of their cooperation with other modern LEAs worldwide;
  • A European, common tactical and human-centric approach to AI tools, techniques and systems for fighting crime and improving cybersecurity in support of Law Enforcement, in full compliance with applicable legislation and ethical considerations;
  • Fostering of the possible future establishment of a European AI hub in support of Law Enforcement, taking into account the activities of the AI-on-demand platform;
  • Making a significant contribution to the establishment of a strong supply industry in this sector in Europe and thus enhancing the EU’s strategic autonomy in the field of AI applications for Law Enforcement;
  • Creation of a unified European legal and ethical environment for the sustainability of the up-to-date, representative and high-quality training and testing datasets needed for AI in support of Law Enforcement; as well as for the availability of these datasets to the scientific community working on these tools;
  • Development of EU standards in this domain.

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time.                                                                                                                                                                          

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Human factors, and ethical, societal, legal and organisational aspects of using Artificial Intelligence in support of Law Enforcement

Proposals under this topic should provide an exhaustive analysis of human, social and organisational aspects related to the use of AI tools, including gender related aspects, in support of Law Enforcement, both for cybersecurity and in the fight against crime, including cybercrime, and terrorism. Points of view and concerns of citizens as well as of Law Enforcement should be tackled. Based on this analysis, proposals should suggest approaches that are needed to overcome these concerns and that stimulate the acceptance of AI tools by civil society and by Law Enforcement. Proposals should lead to solutions developed in compliance with European societal values, fundamental rights and applicable legislation, including in the area of privacy, protection of personal data and free movement of persons. The societal dimension should be at the core of the proposed activities. Proposals should be submitted by consortia involving relevant security practitioners, civil society organisations as well as Social Sciences and Humanities experts.

As indicated in the Introduction of this call, proposals should foresee resources for clustering activities with other projects funded under this call to identify synergies and best practices.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of around EUR 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Proposals should lead to:

Short term:

  • Effective contribution to the overall actions of this call.

Medium term:

  • Improved and consolidated knowledge among EU Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) officers on the issues addressed in this topic;
  • Exchange of experiences among EU LEAs about human, social and organisational aspects of the use of AI in their work;
  • Raised awareness of civil society about benefits of AI technologies in the security domain and opportunities it brings.

Longer term:

  • European common approach for assessing risks/threats involved by using AI in the security domain, and identifying and deploying relevant security measures that take into account legal and ethical rules of operation, fundamental rights such as the rights to privacy, to protection of personal data and free movement of persons;
  • Advances towards the implementation of the AI tools and technologies in support of Law Enforcement, in the areas of cybersecurity and fight against crime, including cybercrime, and terrorism, by strengthening the civil society perception of the EU as an area of freedom, justice and security.

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Human factors, and social, societal, and organisational aspects of border and external security

Proposals (which should take into account already existing tools) are invited to address related research and innovation issues, each under only one of the following sub-topic:

Sub-topic 3: [2020] Developing indicators of threats at the EU external borders on the basis of sound risk and vulnerability assessment methodologies

EU border guards have to deal with diverse serious challenges at external borders, e.g. management of flows of people, smuggling and the use of counterfeit documents. Arrivals of thousands of people through one border area will quickly trigger a reaction, whereas the detections of a few cases of document fraud on a daily basis will be considered as part of the routine work and is unlikely to trigger a strong reaction. Research that assesses the impacts on the EU’s internal security of different threats and that proposes a model to compare those threats would assist in improving the situational awareness of decision-makers across the EU. This research on external threats would also further enrich the vulnerability assessment tasks as defined in the European Border and Coast Guard Regulation.

Proposals should aim at improving the effectiveness of border control, including air, land and maritime borders, by developing dynamic composite indicators of threats, so that various threats occurring simultaneously at the border can be compared and priority for mitigation can be proposed. This should be based not only on the absolute number of detections at the border, but also on their synergies and inter-relationships, as well as on the impact that such detections may have on the internal security of the EU.

The fitness for purpose of the concepts proposed should be duly demonstrated in the relevant environment.

Proposals addressing other issues relevant to this challenge, based on a sound rationale, and supported by a large number of relevant practitioners are invited to apply under this sub-topic (see eligibility and admissibility conditions.)

Proposals should lead to solutions developed, tested and validated in compliance with European societal values, fundamental rights (including gender equality) and applicable legislation including in the area of free movement of persons, privacy and protection of personal data. Societal aspects (e.g. perception of security, possible side effects of technological solutions, societal resilience) have to be analysed in a comprehensive and thorough manner with a view to facilitating future acceptance of such solutions.

Proposals should pursue truly innovative approaches. They should be submitted by consortia also involving civil society organisations. Synergies are encouraged with the work for the knowledge centre on migration and demography set up by the Commission.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Knowledge and evidence-based support to policy developments, with fitness for purpose validated by policy-makers and by practitioners and in cooperation with civil-society organisations in the Member States, the Associated Countries, and abroad where appropriate.
  • Methods to better manage the complexity (from reducing the incentives for irregular migration, to the analysis and sharing of best practices, and towards an effective application of common rules…) of the issues, with fitness for purpose validated by practitioners and civil-society organisations.
  • Advances through the cross-fertilisation of concepts resulting from the collision of different ways of thinking and of different approaches developed by various partners in the proposals.
  • [2020] Contribution to the development of EU joint capabilities for border management and support to the implementation of policy priorities

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Technologies to enhance border and external security

Proposals are invited to address related research and innovation issues, in particular:

Sub-topic: [2020] Disruptive technologies for non-intrusive identification of hidden goods

Detecting and identifying illegal goods hidden in containers, train cars and truck structures at EU external borders (e.g. ports, wharfs, rail yards, …) is a need shared by border guard, customs and law enforcement authorities. Illegal goods, including drugs, weapons, explosives, radiological and nuclear material, are trafficked into Europe by criminal organisations using a range of methods and tools, which are very diverse (e.g. to minimize the risk of detection during transportation, some drugs may be transformed into a liquid and turned back into a solid at destination) and adaptable to specific border conditions. These may also include taking advantage of new technology to facilitate access to containers.

Research should focus on the use of improved sensing technologies. The availability of a system of sensors producing a highly detailed, user friendly, 3-dimensional insight into the internal structure of a container (or truck), and the type of cargo carried, in a limited amount of time, would in particular be a valuable disruptive innovation for the customs and border inspection community. The system of sensors should be suitable for deployment and operation in a flexible and relocatable way, including mechanisms to improve field usability. The system should also allow for a swift gathering and exchange of information with other systems in order to facilitate a faster and more accurate localisation and identification of illicit cargo, without the need to open containers (this being a clear improvement when compared to current capabilities).

In line with the above, the newly developed solutions should allow for interoperability with state of the art and with foreseeable future border and customs information systems in order to optimise the overall container screening process using a risk-based approach.

Proposals should conduct testing and validation in the relevant environment.

Sub-topic: [2018-2019-2020] Open

Proposals addressing other issues relevant to this challenge, based on a sound rationale and supported by a large number of relevant practitioners are invited to apply under this sub-topic (see eligibility and admissibility conditions.)

Proposals should lead to solutions developed, tested, and validated in compliance with European societal values, fundamental rights and applicable legislation, including in the area of free movement of persons, privacy and protection of personal data. Societal aspects (e.g. perception of security, possible side effects of technological solutions, societal resilience) have to be addressed in a comprehensive and thorough manner.

The centre of gravity for technology development with actions funded under this topic is expected to be up to TRL 5 to 6 – see General Annex G of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Short term:

  • Clear, realistic benchmarks against which to assess progress, so as to possibly stop the project if at mid-term review progress is not deemed sufficient.
  • Plan to provide confidence in the take up of project results after the completion of the project.

Medium term:

  • Evidence based knowledge, and developments performing beyond the current state of the art and leading quickly to innovation.
  • Technical and operational guidelines, recommendations and best practices set in the EUROSUR handbook and in the future handbook for coast guards (as per Article 53 of the European Border and Coast Guard regulation.)

Long term:

  • Implementation of solutions resulting from the legislative initiative in the "Smart Borders" package;
  • Implementation of actions of civilian nature identified in the EU Maritime Security Strategy action plan;
  • Implementation of the actions identified by the EU Strategy and Action Plan for customs risk management.

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Demonstration of applied solutions to enhance border and external security

Proposals should be submitted under only one of the following sub-topics:

Sub-topic: [2020] Improved systems for the vessel tracking, behaviour analysis and automatic anomaly detection

Current maritime reporting systems (including ship reporting systems and container reporting systems) produce huge quantities of data which cannot be directly exploited by the human operators in the various maritime control centres. This is expected to be even more so in the near future, as the amount of data available shall increase with the introduction of VHF Data Exchange System (VDES). At the same time, non-homogenous sources of vessel information are accessible, these offer access to either open or proprietary data that could be used to perform risk analysis on each individual vessel navigating in, or on its way to, European waters.

Traditional reporting systems are not enough by themselves to allow for a reliable detection of anomalies. Therefore, research under this topic should focus on innovative solutions bringing together these three elements: reporting and surveillance systems data (e.g. containing information on a vessel journey), relevant information databases (containing vessels’ and/or containers’ historical information) and real or near real time data resulting from other reporting or surveillance sources. The aim is to provide more precise, more robust and earlier anomaly detection. The combination of these sources of information should produce a risk scoring figure to be assigned to specific vessels which could, in turn, facilitate the discovery of possible illegal activities carried out by those vessels.

The solutions should be based on implementation agnostic, innovative algorithms for artificial intelligence and machine learning, applied to existing ship reporting systems and maritime databases and information sources. These algorithms should exploit, when appropriate and without precluding other methods, the capacity of Artificial Intelligence-enabled solutions. The solutions should automatically allocate risk level to vessels according to risk measured on the basis of anomalies detected on the reporting systems and on a vessel’s previous history. Solutions should also take into account special requirements found when working with very large amounts of data, coming from a wide range of heterogeneous sources.

The fitness for purpose of the proposed solutions should be systematically tested and validated (i.e. planned, implemented, reported and assessed) in a real operational environment at the EU external borders under the control of potential end-users, delivering quantifiable, verifiable and comparable measures of effectiveness and performance. Proposals should recommend concrete approaches for their market uptake, taking into consideration the characteristics of the EU security market, business cases favourable for joint cross-border procurement and possible synergies with EU funding instruments.

Where appropriate, the use of CISE data and services model is encouraged. The research undertaken in previous projects (I2C, TRITON, MARISA..) should not be duplicated.

Sub-topic: [2018-2019-2020] Open

Proposals addressing other issues relevant to this challenge, based on a sound rationale and with the active involvement of a large number of relevant practitioners are invited to apply under this sub-topic (see eligibility and admissibility conditions.)

Proposals submitted under this topic should be coordinated by a competent authority under civilian authority and command, nationally identified as specialised border or coast guard, or border police force.

They should clearly demonstrate how they complement and do not overlap with actions undertaken in the Preparatory Action on Defence Research under topic PADR-US-01-2017: Technological demonstrator for enhanced situational awareness in a naval environment.

Certain operational costs are excluded from eligible costs (see eligibility and admissibility conditions.)

Proposals should lead to solutions developed in compliance with European societal values, fundamental rights and applicable legislation, including in the area of free movement of persons, privacy and protection of personal data.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Medium term:

  • Innovative solutions validated and qualified in the real, operational environment of civilian missions, defined in detail according to specifications set by the practitioners (authorities in charge of border surveillance and coast guard functions) and tailored to effectively meet their requirements within civilian missions.
  • Plans for the quick take up of qualified systems at EU level.
  • Plans for transnational procurement strategies.

Long term:

  • Improved cost-effectiveness and efficiency of systems for the prevention of cross border crime and for border surveillance for civilian purposes.
  • European standards for interoperable systems.
  • Substantial and tangible improvement of (maritime) situational awareness and reaction capability, as appropriate in surveillance for civilian purposes, fight against crime, and search and rescue missions by the National and European Border and Coast Guards.
  • Contribution to the concept of Common Application of Surveillance Tools, as for the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) and to its interoperability with other systems.
  • [2020] Implementation of actions of civilian nature identified in the EU Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan.

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Human factors, and social, societal, and organisational aspects for disaster-resilient societies

Proposals are invited to address related research and innovation issues, in particular:

Recent disasters related either to natural causes (including climate-related hazards) or to terrorist attacks have shown gaps in the level of preparedness of European society for disasters, and therefore highlighted the importance of increasing risk awareness, and hence resilience among people and decision-makers in Europe. There is much that can be learned from certain countries with a high level of risk of natural disasters (e.g. Japan with high-levels of risks of earthquakes, volcanic events, and tsunamis) and where risk awareness is high. Research is required with a view to how cultural changes among individuals, business managers, government officials, and communities can create a resilient society in Europe, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Over the past few years several ways to exploit social media and other crowd-sourced data in emergency situations have been studied, and some put in place, but their impacts are not well known. Research is needed to assess such practices for different disaster scenarios (natural hazards, industrial disasters, terrorist threats) involving different actors, including first responders, city authorities and citizens. Research should analyse both the positive and negative roles of social media and crowd-sourced data in crisis situations. For instance in the wake of a terror attack or natural disaster they offer a quick and easy way to relieve friends and family from worry (where networks are not down), and they generate valuable information about the affected area in the first moments after a disaster; they have been used to spread early warnings and important safety information. However, social media may also be used to spread false statements and to overstate threats, so the validation processes of information should also be addressed. Social media itself is reliant upon the functioning of critical infrastructure such as phone networks and may not always be available. Research should also address solutions for communication between first responders and the victims and citizens in the affected area.

Research on risk awareness should encompass the whole of the disaster management cycle, from prevention (e.g. through education) and preparedness (knowing how to react), emergency management (collaboration and communication before and during an event), response (empowering citizens to act efficiently by themselves according to more effective practices and following established guidelines), and recovery (knowledge to build back better). Researchers should take into account tangible and intangible cultural heritage, traditional know-how, land use, construction technologies, and other local knowledge which is a valuable source of information for the local communities and can help prevent the creation of new risks, to reduce existing risks, to prepare for and to respond to disasters and to build back better.

Sub-issues to be addressed are diversity in risk perception (as a result of e.g. geography (within Europe), attitudes, institutional and social trust, gender and socio-economic contexts), in vulnerabilities and in understanding responses to crises in order to propose new approaches and strategies for community awareness, for leadership, and for crisis readiness and management with a particular emphasis on the use of new technologies.

For achieving disaster-resilient societies that cope with disasters and build back better, the research community needs to transfer research outputs in an appropriate manner to meet citizen expectations given the current levels of risk acceptance, risk awareness, and involvement of civil society organisations in a mediating role.

Civil society organisations, first responders, (national, regional, local, and city) authorities are invited to propose strategies, processes, and methods to enable citizens better to access research results related to disaster resilience, and to prepare the ground for exercises involving citizens. These strategies, processes, and methods should be tested with citizens and communities representative of European diversity and for different types of disaster, in particular with regards to citizens' individual capacities and their involvement in checking and validating proposed tools, technologies and processes for disaster management. Studies will assess the value of raising awareness about relevant research among citizens and communities.

Proposals should be submitted by consortia involving relevant security practitioners and civil society organisations. Research should contribute to the understanding of society's awareness to risks in Europe in order to provide recommendations for the development of a culture of improved preparedness, adaptability, and resilience to risks, including the use of social media and crowd-sourced data, and the involvement of the citizens in the investigations and possible validation of tools and methods.

In line with the objectives of the Union's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation according to the current rules of participation is encouraged (but not mandatory).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately through multidisciplinary projects confronting different schools of thoughts. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

As a result of this action, Member States and Regional authorities as well as City and Metropolitan authorities should benefit from recommendations and tools aimed at improving the adaptability and preparedness of societies to different disaster risks, including:

  • Comparative analysis of the European diversity in terms of risk-perception amongst citizens, and of vulnerabilities;
  • Comparative analysis of different approaches to adapt to, and be prepared for risks in different countries (both within and outside the European Union), and among communities in precarious socio-economic conditions;
  • Advances through the cross-fertilisation of concepts resulting from the collision of different ways of thinking and of different approaches developed by various partners in the proposals;
  • Identification of existing tools and guidelines for an improved prevention (including risk understanding and communication), preparedness (including training involving citizens), alert systems and their recognition by citizens, responses using citizen's competencies and local knowledge, and recovery;
  • Improved information exchanges among different actors involved, including first responders, local authorities, schools, and citizen representatives;
  • Field-validation of different approaches related to different disaster risks involving the above actors, in representative urban and non-urban environments, including in areas where precarious socio-economic conditions prevail;
  • Intensive sharing, among communities, of good practices and of learnings resulting from citizen-scientist interaction;
  • A consolidated, common European understanding of disaster resilience.

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Technologies for first responders

Proposals are invited to propose novel solutions improving the protection of first responders against multiple and unexpected dangers, or enhancing their capacities by addressing related research and innovation issues, in particular:

Sub-topic: [2020] Methods and guidelines for pre-hospital life support and triage

Development of innovative tools, methodologies and European pre-hospital guidelines for first responders of medical services, fire services and police and hospital trauma teams in order to ensure faster and more effective evaluation and control of numerous seriously injured casualties in disaster and/or emergency situations. This should take account of lessons learned from military mass-casualty techniques such as damage-control surgery. The aim is to ensure more effective pre-hospital triage of victims with appropriate digital traceability of actions and data transfer from the event to the hospital(s), including across administrative and political boundaries.

If appropriate, proposals should demonstrate how they will build on relevant previous and on-going FP7 and/or H2020 projects.

Sub-topic: [2018-2019-2020] Open

Other technologies for use by first responders may be subject of proposals provided that they involve a large number of first responders' organisations (see eligibility and admissibility conditions.) For instance, but not exclusively: communicating and smart wearables for first responders and K9 units including light-weight energy sources; situational awareness and risk mitigation systems for first responders using UAV and robots, connected and swarms of drones; systems based on the Internet of Things; solutions based on augmented or virtual reality; systems communication solutions between first responders and victims; risk anticipation and early warning technologies; mitigation, physical response or counteracting technologies; etc.

Any novel technology or methodology under this topic should be tested and validated, not just in laboratories but also in training installations and through in-situ experimental deployment. They therefore need to be quick to deploy, bases on resilient and robust communication infrastructure. First responders, including through interdisciplinary teams (e.g. involving medical emergency services, public health authorities, law enforcement team, civil protection professionals, etc.) need to be involved in these activities. Proposals should address the participation of first responders in a systematic manner, and propose new methods on how to involve them and to organise their interaction with researchers when developing, testing, and validating technologies and methods.

Solutions are to be developed in compliance with European societal values, fundamental rights and applicable legislation, including in the area of privacy, personal data protection and free movement of persons. Societal aspects (e.g. perception of security, possible effects of technological solutions on societal resilience, gender diversity) have to be taken into account in a comprehensive and thorough manner.

In line with the objectives of the Union's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation according to the current rules of participation is encouraged (but not mandatory), in particular with Japanese or Korean research centres. Co-funding opportunities from the Japan Science and Technology Agency exist for Japanese partners. Co-funding opportunities from the Korean MSIP/NRF exist for Korean partners.

The centre of gravity for technology development with actions funded under sub-topics 1,2 and open is expected to be up to TRL 4 to 6, whereas under sub-topic 3 it is expected to be up to TRL 6 to 7 – see General Annex G of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

As a result of this action, first responders should benefit from:

  • Novel tools, technologies, guidelines and methods aimed at facilitating their operations
  • New knowledge about field-validation of different tools, technologies and approaches involving first responders in (real-life) scenarios

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Pre-normative research and demonstration for disaster-resilient societies

Proposals are invited to address issues related to pre-standardisation, in particular:

Sub-topic 3: [2020] First aids vehicles deployment, training, maintenance, logistic and remote centralized coordination means

Improved standards and common communication data exchange mechanisms are required for an effective deployment of resources during the run-up to a major crisis related to any kind of disaster either natural (including resulting from climate-related extremes) or man-made, and immediately after the event, for example in case of a mass evacuation from an urban area. Proposals should target in particular events where there are strong cross-sector, cross-border, cross-hierarchy coordination activities ongoing, and therefore the issue of interoperability. The aim is to pave the way to improved standards, including voluntary Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and/or ISO or EN standards.

The centre of gravity for technology development with actions funded under this topic is expected to be up to TRL 6 to 7 – see General Annex G of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Medium term:

  • [2020] standards for an effective deployment of resources to respond to major crisis.

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) cluster

In 2019 and 2020 the Commission will select several RIAs aiming at research and development of novel CBRN technologies and innovations identified in the catalogue that is updated by the ENCIRCLE project on a regular basis. Each of these actions will be led by an SME. Each consortium implementing such a RIA must not only establish a consortium agreement among its members, but also an agreement with the participants in the ENCIRCLE project which must settle how the results from the RIA will be exploited and integrated into platforms managed by ENCIRCLE.

Where applicable, the complementarity of the proposed activities with activities supported by the European Defence Agency (EDA) should be described comprehensively.

The centre of gravity for technology development with actions funded under this topic is expected to be up to TRL 4 to 6 – see General Annex G of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme.

Indicative budget: The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 3.5 million per action for this topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The following options of the Model Grant Agreement will be implemented:

  • Option 1 of Article 41.3 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.
  • Grants awarded under this topic will be complementary to the grant agreement under SEC-05-DRS-05-2016-2017 part a). The respective options of Article 2, Article 31.6 and Article 41.4 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

Expected Impact:

  • Shorter time to market for novel CBRN technologies and innovations
  • More business deals leading to industrial products of interest to more practitioners in Europe (and world-wide).

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Intelligent security and privacy management

Proposals are invited to address one of the sub-topics below. In addition, it would be an asset for proposals to include solutions for hands-on and state-of-the-art training, such as cybersecurity exercises.

Four pilot projects are launched under Horizon 2020 LEIT ICT, as a result of the call H2020-SU-ICT-2018, topic SU-ICT-03-2018 “Establishing and operating a pilot for a Cybersecurity Competence Network to develop and implement a common Cybersecurity Research & Innovation Roadmap”. Proposals should therefore foresee actions to collaborate with these four projects and also with similar ongoing projects funded under H2020, and take account of the results and work done in other relevant H2020 projects on cybersecurity/privacy.

SME participation is strongly encouraged.

(a): Dynamic governance, risk management and compliance

Proposals should develop and integrate beyond state-of-the-art approaches to security and privacy management which are: automated, dynamic and adaptive, allowing to identify the vulnerabilities, threats, such as advanced persistent threats, and attacks (including zero-day attacks).

Proposals should include pilots with significant scale involving complex ICT systems and addressing several of the following: forecasting, risk-based situation awareness, evidence-based system and software assessment, visualisation techniques, real-time monitoring and alerts with high level of accuracy, support to fair automated decision-making, run-time adaptation and autonomous recovery from faulty states.

Proposals should address the technical, operational, financial and ethical dimensions of cybersecurity. Concrete application cases should be foreseen. Adapted tools, techniques and formats for collaborative security/privacy event management and reporting should be proposed. Solutions involving advanced, highly representative simulation environments (cyber-ranges) might be proposed.

The outcome of the proposal is expected to lead to development up to Technology Readiness level (TRL) 7; please see Annex G of the General Annexes.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Type of Action: Innovation Action

(b): Cyber-threat information sharing and analytics

Proposals should develop and test threat detection frameworks, which should to the extent possible include: (i) collaborative, open, and dynamic repositories of information on threats and vulnerabilities; (ii) build on and update existing ontologies, taxonomies and models; (iii) dynamic tools for automated detection with advanced analytic capabilities, and where possible response and recovery; (iv) accountability and audit techniques; and (v) synchronised real time self- encryption/decryption schemes with recovery capabilities.

Novel technologies enabling collaboration in cyber threat intelligence and alerting should be proposed, taking into consideration not only technical aspects, but also human aspects such as behavioural patterns, gender differences, privacy, ethics, sovereignty, psychology, linguistic and cultural boundaries.

The tools and services that will be developed should be in a position to support the operations of CERTs/CSIRTs and networks of CERTs/CSIRTs. Proposals should develop incident response tools and test respective processes for coordinated response to large-scale cross-border cybersecurity incidents and crises in line with Commission Recommendation (EU) 2017/1584 of 13 September 2017 on coordinated response to large-scale cybersecurity incidents and crises.

The outcome of the proposal is expected to lead to development up to Technology Readiness level (TRL) 7; please see Annex G of the General Annexes.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Type of Action: Innovation Action

(c): Advanced security and privacy solutions for end users or software developers

Proposals should develop automated tools for checking the security and privacy of data, systems, online services and applications, in view to support end users or software developers (possibly including developers of AI solutions) in their efforts to select, use and create trustworthy digital services. Proposals should address real application cases and at least one of the following services: automatic code generation, code and data auditing, trustworthy data boxes, forensics, certification and assurance, cyber insurance, cyber and AI ethics, and penetration testing.

The outcome of the proposal is expected to lead to development up to Technology Readiness level (TRL) 6; please see Annex G of the General Annexes.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Type of Action: Research and Innovation Action

(d): Distributed trust management and digital identity solutions

With particular consideration to IoT contexts, applicants should propose and test/pilot innovative approaches addressing both of the following points: (i) distributed, dynamic and automated trust management and recovery solutions; and (ii) developing novel approaches to managing the identity of persons and/or objects, including self-encryption/decryption schemes with recovery ability. Proposals should address real application cases.

The outcome of the proposal is expected to lead to development up to Technology Readiness level (TRL) 5-6; please see Annex G of the General Annexes.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 and 6 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Type of Action: Research and Innovation Action

Expected Impact:

In the short term, project outcomes should make relevant contributions to the following:

  • reduced number and impact of cybersecurity incidents;
  • efficient and low-cost implementation of the NIS Directive and General Data Protection Regulation;
  • effective and timely co-operation and information sharing between and within organisations as well as self-recovery;
  • availability of comprehensive, resource-efficient, and flexible security analytics and threat intelligence, keeping pace with new vulnerabilities and threats;
  • availability of advanced tools and services to the CERTs/CSIRTs and networks of CERTs/CSIRTs;
  • an EU industry better prepared for the threats to IoT, ICS (Industrial Control Systems), AI and other systems;
  • self–recovering, interoperable, scalable, dynamic privacy-respecting identity management schemes.

In the medium to long term, project outcomes should make relevant contributions to the following:

  • availability of better standardisation and automated assessment frameworks for secure networks and systems, allowing better-informed investment decisions related to security and privacy;
  • availability and widespread adoption of distributed, enhanced trust management schemes including people and smart objects;
  • availability of user-friendly and trustworthy on-line products, services and business;
  • better preparedness against attacks on AI-based products and systems;
  • a stronger, more innovative and more competitive EU cybersecurity industry, thus reducing dependence on technology imports;
  • a more competitive offering of secure products and services by European providers in the Digital Single Market.

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Technologies to enhance the fight against crime and terrorism

There is a growing need to focus on technology opportunities provided by new and emerging technologies. To this end, it is necessary to identify new knowledge and targeted technologies for fighting old, new and evolving forms of criminal and terrorist behaviour supported by advanced technologies. Challenges are numerous. In conventional investigations, rapid and near real-time forensics is often crucial for preventing subsequent attacks or crimes. A consequence of the increasing digitisation of society and ever increasing adoption levels is that virtually any type of crime has a digital forensics component, which is a challenge in itself. Money-flow tracking represents yet another challenge. The issues of location and jurisdiction need to be addressed, taking into account highly probable cross-border nature of such crimes.

Proposals should be submitted under only one of the following sub-topics:

Sub-topic: [2020] Money flows tracking

Organized crime increasingly adopts technology (for example, pseudo-legal sales, shadow economy, internet/Darknet as well as cryptocurrencies) as a facilitator for preparation, organisation and execution of various physical/traditional criminal activities (e.g., child sexual abuse, trafficking of organs or human embryos, trafficking of human beings, trafficking of firearms, drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorism) and/or as a tool for online criminal activities (e.g., ransomware, domain-name piracy, phishing). Furthermore, there is a need for governing and detecting cross-border money flows with the potential to support terrorism, for reinforcing effective and legitimate public-private cooperation for the sharing of financial data, and for strengthening the effectiveness of current methods of countering terrorism financing and of modelling abnormal transactions in the fight against terrorism.

Research should address the following issues: approaches to identify new developments (new markets and networks; new modi operandi); tools for tracing money flows as well as those engaged in criminal activities online whilst ensuring privacy and protection of personal data; Darknet marketplace analysis and mobility; tools for locating and mapping hidden service directories; tools for forensic analysis of digital media in order to identify digital currency datasets; data provenance models (providing evidence that is admissible in court), including the relationship between algorithmic proof artefacts and legal evidence.

Sub-topic: [2020] Development and deployment of technologies, tools and relevant infrastructure to identify speedily terrorist content online, and prevent its re-upload

To address the threat of terrorist content online, the Commission has adopted a proposal for a Regulation on 12 September 2018.[2] Under the proposal a number of measures would be required to be taken by Member States (in particular law enforcement authorities)/Europol and hosting service providers. Hosting service providers from around the world (covering social media, cloud services, file sharing, etc.) offering their services to EU citizens would be required to put in place a certain number of measures, ranging from speedy reactive ones e.g. one hour deadline to remove or disable terrorist contents following a removal order from a Member State authority (considering that terrorist content is most harmful in the first hours of its appearance online) to proactive measures, including automated detection, in order effectively and swiftly to remove or to disable terrorist content and to stop it from reappearing and being disseminated once it has been removed.

Under the proposal, these measures would need to be implemented not only by large companies, but also by micro enterprises and SMEs, irrespective of size or turnover, albeit remaining proportionate. Putting in place such proactive/automated means is likely to create a burden on resources, hence mitigating measures for the benefit of smaller companies should be envisaged. Research should therefore be leveraged to support the development and deployment of technologies, tools and relevant infrastructure to identify speedily terrorist content online, and to prevent its re-upload. The media content analysis could play a relevant role in the development of tools for the active detection of harmful online behaviour (e.g. with natural language processing or image/video content analysis). The beneficiaries of such projects should include SMEs so as to ensure that the technology developed would be of direct relevance to their platforms. A further global take-up and dissemination of these technologies, tools and infrastructure where relevant should also be encouraged.

Sub-topic: [2018-2019-2020] Open

Proposals addressing other issues relevant to this challenge (for instance: technologies to improve LEAs capabilities (including augmented reality); autonomous systems to improve the fight against crime and terrorism; technologies to support better protection of public figures; tracking and monitoring technologies, including automated prevention of uploading terrorism-related content; capabilities to detect the widest possible range of threats and concealments (including complex concealed weapons)) and supported by a large number of practitioners are invited to apply under this sub-topic (see eligibility and admissibility conditions).

In all sub-topics and in order to facilitate the EU-wide take-up of new technologies, proposers are encouraged to include the design of innovative curricula for LEAs training and (joint) exercises, and of information packages for the wider public and civil society organisations.

Proposals should lead to solutions developed in compliance with European societal values, fundamental rights and applicable legislation including in the area of privacy and protection of personal data. Societal aspects (e.g. perception of security, possible side effects of technological solutions, societal resilience) have to be addressed in a comprehensive and thorough manner.

The centre of gravity for technology development with actions funded under this topic is expected to be up to TRL 4 to 6 – see General Annex G of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Medium term:

  • novel, user-friendly technologies, tools and/or systems, addressing traditional or emerging forms of crime and terrorism at acceptable costs;
  • improved investigation capabilities, especially regarding quality and speed;
  • increased efficiency and effectiveness of the information sharing among EU LEAs.

Long term:

  • prevention/reduction of criminal and terrorist threats;
  • harmonisation of information formats at international level, improved cross-border acceptance and exchange of court-proof evidence, standardised evidence collection and harmonised procedures in the investigation of trans-border crimes in full compliance with applicable legislation on protection of personal data.

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Information and data stream management to fight against (cyber)crime and terrorism

The amount of data generated and gathered in the frame of (cyber)crime investigations increases exponentially, thereby creating a considerable challenge for law enforcement. The effectiveness of law enforcement action depends on capabilities to improve the quality of data, and to convert voluminous and heterogeneous data sets (images, videos, geospatial intelligence, communication data, traffic data, financial transactions related date, etc.) into actionable intelligence. These capabilities could be significantly enhanced by the use of domain-specific tools, i.e. Big Data analysis applications designed for the needs of crime investigators (pre-processing, processing and analysis, visualisation, etc.). Furthermore, predictive analytics would greatly benefit from open source intelligence gathering, social network and darknet data analysis, and allow for resource-efficient, effective and proactive law enforcement.

Examples of trends in cybercrime are numerous. The Internet of Things can potentially connect practically everything, thus also potentially making everything more vulnerable. Wearable devices make us traceable, 3D printers can produce weapons, autonomous cars provide opportunities for kidnappers, teleworking opens doors for cyber-espionage etc. Cybercriminals follow the technological development and benefit from it, while measures for countering cybercrime are often one step behind. Law Enforcement Agencies would benefit from new means of preventing and countering new kinds of crime, building on the comprehensive trend analysis of emerging cybercrime activities based on past of (cyber)criminal activities, on technological developments, and on trends in the society.

Criminal and terrorist acts are usually subsequent to patterns of abnormal behaviour. Behavioural/anomaly detection systems (using a large variety of sensors) and methodologies require the analysis and processing of enormous quantities of data, together with improved imaging techniques to allow for the identification of suspicious events or of criminals. Such systems should operate in near real-time and at similar distances as a surveillance camera. They should also comply with privacy requirements and the respect of fundamental rights such as the right to privacy and the right to protection of personal data.

Proposals are invited from consortia involving relevant security practitioners, civil society organisations, and the appropriate balance of IT specialists, psychologists, sociologists, linguists, etc. exploiting Big Data and predictive analytics that both (a) characterise trends in cybercrime and in cybercriminal organizations (based on a profound analysis of current and emerging cybercriminal organizational types and structures), and (b) enhance citizens' security against terrorist attacks in places considered as soft targets, including crowded areas (stations, shopping malls, entertainment venues, etc.).

In 2020, proposals should address exclusively point b), with a focus on private operators. Although public authorities are primarily responsible for security, public-private cooperation is key in protecting public spaces. As an example, the first persons on the scene of a terrorist attack are often not police officers, but private security staff from local shops or transport operators. Moreover, public spaces are often owned and operated by private entities.

Proposals should lead to solutions developed in compliance with European societal values, fundamental rights and applicable legislation including in the area of privacy and protection of personal data. Societal aspects (e.g. perception of security, possible side effects of technological solutions, societal resilience) have to be addressed in a comprehensive and thorough manner.

The centre of gravity for technology development with actions funded under this topic is expected to be up to TRL 5 to 7 – see General Annex G of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Medium term:

  • improved support for the work of Law Enforcement Agencies in managing Big Data, i.e. in extracting, combining, analysing and visualising large amounts of structured and unstructured data in the context of criminal investigations;
  • increased awareness regarding the state of the art and trends in cybercriminal activities (short-, mid- and long-term);
  • in-depth knowledge of means of preventing and countering emerging and future cybercriminal activities;
  • improved capabilities to combine and analyse in near-real-time large volumes of heterogeneous data to anticipate criminal events;
  • shorter delays between the emergence of new cybercrime activities and the deployment of countermeasures.

Long term:

  • a European, common strategic approach for preventing and countering an emerging cybercrime activity in its early stage of development;
  • a European, common strategic approach for processing and combining huge amounts of data in the context of crowd protection in full compliance with applicable legislation on protection of personal data.

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Chemicals: intelligence, detection, forensics

Research needs to anticipate and match this challenge by increasing the knowledge about these threats; developing technologies to counter and respond to incidents with them, improving knowledge on these dangerous chemicals and increasing deterrence messaging whilst also recognising the need to minimise the inconvenience that security measures place on operators and users of public spaces.

Proposals have to demonstrate how they will effectively build on relevant previous H2020 projects and build synergies with on-going H2020 projects.

Proposals should address only one of the following aspects:

  • Proposals should focus on the continuation of the work already done on some explosive precursors in previous FP7 and H2020 projects, including; tackling new precursors not yet studied.
  • Proposals should tackle the chemicals and potentially their precursors in the usage other than explosives and explosive precursors covered under the first point, and propose means to decrease the vulnerability of the public to their malevolent or terrorist use, along the full timeline of a potential criminal/terrorist plot (from early intelligence to the actual attack).

The centre of gravity for technology development with actions funded under this topic is expected to be up to TRL 6 to 7 – see General Annex G of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Short term:

  • Improved knowledge of dangerous chemicals and of their combinations;
  • Improved effectiveness of the supporting methods and techniques as well as of combinations of technologies used to prevent their use and to detect them before they are used;
  • Improved mitigation methods, including designing strategies and forensic tools.

Medium/Long term:

  • Contribution to improving public security;
  • Factual scientific contribution to policy-makers in order to allow them to make an informed decision;
  • Stronger involvement of practitioners in the field of counter-terrorist activities in making, assessing and selecting new tools and technologies through reliable management plans.
  • Improving the training of law enforcement officers in this field and the cooperation at local, national and international level.

Deadline: 27 August 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time. 

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Pan-European networks of practitioners and other actors in the field of security

Practitioners are invited to associate in 3 different categories of networks in the field security:

a) [2019-2020] Practitioners (end-users) in the same discipline and from across Europe are invited to get together: 1) to monitor research and innovation projects with a view to recommending the uptake or the industrialisation of results, 2) to express common requirements as regards innovations that could fill capability and other gaps and improve their future performance, and 3) to indicate priorities as regards areas requiring more standardisation. Opinions expressed and reported by the networks of practitioners should be checked against what can be reasonably expected, and according to which timetable, from providers of innovative solutions. In 2019, proposals are invited to address the specific area of handling of hybrid threats in line with the existing EU policy framework..

In 2020 proposals are invited to cover one of the two following options:

Option 1: security and intelligence services

The persistent terrorist threat is becoming increasingly diverse and complex. Emerging technologies add to the threat, but also provide opportunities. Security and intelligence services of EU Member States and Schengen partners are playing an important role to keep European citizens safe. European technological autonomy is particularly important in the field of intelligence. Intelligence and security services may have research needs that are different from law enforcement. Using tools based on cutting edge technology will be key to the performance of the services in the 21st century. Therefore, a network of practitioners from security and intelligence services of EU Member States, Associated Countries and, possibly, Schengen partners would be important to add this specific perspective to the identification of future research needs.

Such a network could focus on interacting with relevant existing H2020 projects to provide input and feedback, on undertaking horizon scanning to identify emerging technologies and potential new threats and on identifying requirements for future research, which could include emerging technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence. In cooperation with the Commission, working methods would be identified to protect the specific requirements of the security and intelligence services participating in the consortium. The objective would be to support the needs of the security and intelligence services of the Member States, Associated Countries for future security research programming.

Option 2: fighting cybercrime

Several initiatives have been launched to identify existing gaps, and law enforcement authorities’ needs in the area of cybercrime, to assess new threats and to develop roadmaps. This work has led to targeted research and development projects. However, in the area of cybercrime, technology and the threats scenarios evolve at such a pace that this work needs continuous updating. An accurate mapping of specific capacities in Member State authorities is still missing. Moreover, as cybercrime and crimes committed online happen without regard to borders it is necessary to identify as far as possible common challenges and solutions, so as to maximise the impact of available resources. As cybercrime investigations and digital forensics require specific expertise and tools (which are also needed for investigating crimes committed online in general), a dedicated network of practitioners, led by law enforcement experts, with a specific focus on cybercrime and more generally on the handling of digital evidence could therefore have a clear added value for assessing needs and gaps that can be tackled by capacity building including through research. In this context, the network could contribute to better prioritising and planning future EU funded research by: 1. Liaising with the relevant stakeholders in order to anticipate future capability needs and gaps in the field of fighting cybercrime; 2. Cataloguing, aggregating, processing and exploiting knowledge about current and future state of the art of technologies which can contribute to filling the capability gaps; 3. Communicating relevant findings to the relevant communities thus providing the required feedback to the research cycle, as well as to other technological capacity building initiatives launched at EU or national level.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 3.5 million per action for a duration of 5 years (recommended duration) for Part a) would allow for this topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Medium term:

  • Common understanding of innovation potential, more widely accepted understanding, expression of common innovation and standardization needs among practitioners in the same discipline.
  • Greater involvement from public procurement bodies upstream in the innovation cycle.
  • More efficient use of investments made across Europe in demonstration, testing, and training facilities.

Long term:

  • Synergies with already established European, na