Research & Innovation
 

Please note that programme details for the 2021-2027 framework are forthcoming and the information below relates to programmes from the 2014-2020 framework; however, there may currently be open funding calls for this programme.

Click here for open calls / current deadlines.

 

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. 
 

There are significant opportunities for community, voluntary and charitable organisations and social enterprises to partner with researchers and industry to tackle societal challenges. Our sector has unique insight and skills in facilitating ethical research and ensuring the appropriateness of technology and innovation designed to benefit the target groups with whom we work. 


The societal challenges dealt with by Horizon 2020 include:  
 

  • Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing 

  • Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy 

  • Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy 

  • Smart, Green and Integrated Transport 

  • Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials 

  • Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies 

  • Secure societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens. 

 

A popular Horizon 2020 fund for civil society is the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions and, within that, the CAROLINE programme, which enables organisations to partner with universities to host fully-funded researchers to conduct research in their area.  

 

For a full overview of the H2020, we recommend completing the free, online workshop created by Dr. Séan McCarthy of Hyperion Ltd for The Wheel - Horizon 2020: Opportunities for Voluntary Organisations.  

 

Want to find out more? 

Visit the Horizon 2020 website to learn more and find the specific area relevant to your work. You can also visit the Irish Horizon 2020 website and reach our the H2020 national contact points in Ireland.  

 

The contact point for Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions in Ireland is the Irish Universities Association and the CAROLINE programme is managed by the Irish Research Council.  

Current Funding

Horizon Europe: MSCA Doctoral Networks 2021


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

The MSCA Doctoral Networks aim to train creative, entrepreneurial, innovative and resilient doctoral candidates, able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit.

Deadline: 16 November 2021, 17:00 Brussels time

Application Link Overview

The MSCA Doctoral Networks will raise the attractiveness and excellence of doctoral training in Europe. They will equip researchers with the right combination of research-related and transferable competences and provide them with enhanced career perspectives in both the academic and non-academic sectors through international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility combined with an innovation-oriented mind-set.

Introduction

The European Union needs a strong, resilient, flexible and creative human resource base, with the right combination of skills to match the future needs of the labour market, to innovate and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit. The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted once more the importance of the Union’s reliance on a highly skilled research-based human capital that is able to detect and tackle upcoming challenges, to communicate scientific evidence to policy-makers and the public at large, and to work across disciplines.

In this context, the Union must reinforce its efforts to encourage more young women and men to make a career in research, promote its attractiveness for top talents from around the world, retain its own researchers and reintegrate those working elsewhere. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are the main instrument at Union-level to do so. Since their launch in 1996, they have become the Union’s reference programme for doctoral education and postdoctoral training. Between 2014 and 2020, in the context of Horizon 2020, the MSCA have supported 65 000 researchers in Europe and beyond, both doctoral candidates and more experienced researchers, and have funded over 1 000 excellent international doctoral networks.

The MSCA strongly contribute to excellent research, boosting jobs, growth and investment by equipping researchers with new knowledge and skills and providing them with an international as well as inter-sectoral exposure (including through academia-business collaboration), to fill the top positions of tomorrow.

The MSCA do not only have a positive impact on individual researchers, they also contribute to the development of excellent doctoral programmes, postdoctoral training programmes and collaborative research projects. They have a structuring impact on higher education institutions and other entities way beyond academia by widely spreading excellence and setting standards for high-quality researcher education and training, not only across the European Research Area (ERA), but also worldwide. Positive structuring effects on organisations include:

  • increasing the quality of researchers’ training and supervision offered;
  • strengthening research capacity (e.g. ability to attract funding);
  • improving human resources practices and procedures, and providing fairer and more attractive working conditions for researchers, including through career guidance and development;
  • building new and sustainable international and inter-sectoral partnerships and networks; better transfer of knowledge between sectors and disciplines, enhancing their global reputation and visibility.

Main principles applying to the MSCA

Excellence

The MSCA focus on excellence in various aspects: excellence does not only apply to the individual fellows supported or the collaborations fostered and knowledge transferred, but also to the R&I methodologies applied, the research conducted as well as the training, supervision and career guidance provided. Long-term investment in people pays off, as indicated inter alia by the number of Nobel Prize winners who have been either former MSCA fellows or supervisors.

Mobility

The MSCA are based on the principle of physical mobility: researchers who receive funding have to move from one country to another to acquire new knowledge, skills and competences, and develop their research career. Researchers are also strongly encouraged to move between sectors and disciplines.

While virtual mobility does not have the same multifaceted impact on the development of individuals and sustainable cooperation among organisations as physical mobility, it can however complement it, facilitate long-distance collaboration and be an effective means to faster achieving research and training objectives. In this regard, all MSCA proposals are encouraged to explore opportunities offered by e-infrastructures and related services, in particular those provided through GEANT1, the pan-European research and education network.

Bottom-up and open to the world

The MSCA are open to all domains of research and innovation, chosen freely by the applicants in a fully bottom-up manner, addressed under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In addition, Postdoctoral Fellowships can also address domains covered by the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom Research and Training Programme 2021-2025). All MSCA will complement top-down collaborative research activities, notably contributing to the Horizon Europe Missions.

The MSCA have also a strong international dimension: international cooperation is particularly encouraged as it allows institutions to set-up strategic collaborations worldwide, attracts foreign talents to Europe and provides European researchers with access to unique expertise, facilities, testing environments or data available only outside Europe.

Recruitment, working/employment conditions and inclusiveness

The principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Charter and Code) promoting open, merit-based and transparent recruitment and attractive working and employment conditions are a cornerstone of the MSCA and all funded host organisations must put effort into applying them. The Page MSCA pay particular attention to equal opportunities and inclusiveness. In line with the Charter and Code, all MSCA-funded projects are encouraged to embrace diversity and take measures to facilitate mobility and counter-act gender and disability-related barriers to it.

MSCA projects are also encouraged to facilitate access by researchers at risk2, through tailored support and career services, including job search assistance in the researcher’s new geographical area.

Supervision

The MSCA promote effective supervision, which contribute to creating a supportive environment for the researchers to conduct their work. In line with the principles set out in the Charter and Code, MSCA beneficiaries must ensure adequately supervision or mentoring and appropriate career guidance. Supervision is one of the crucial elements of successful research. Guiding, supporting, directing, advising and mentoring are key factors for a researcher to pursue his/her career path. In this context, all MSCA-funded projects are encouraged to follow the recommendations outlined in the Guidelines for MSCA supervision3.

Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation

The MSCA endorse Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) through engaging society at large, integrating the gender and ethical dimensions, promoting Open Science practices through targeted training activities, ensuring open access to research outcomes, including FAIR4 data handling, encouraging formal and informal science education and feeding back research results into teaching and education.

European Green Deal

The MSCA support bottom-up and frontier/applied research contributing directly to the European Commission’s commitment to tackling climate and environmental-related challenges. Under Horizon Europe, the MSCA will significantly contribute to promote sustainable research in line with the European Green Deal, the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. All MSCA-funded projects are encouraged to address the principles of the MSCA Green Charter5 and implement measures to minimise the environmental footprint of their activities.

Synergies

The MSCA promote the creation of strong links with the Cohesion policy funds and the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF)6, notably by creating synergies through its COFUND action and enabling complementarities via awarding a Seal of Excellence certificate to proposals submitted to mono-beneficiary MSCA calls. The Seal is awarded to proposals that exceed all of the evaluation thresholds set out in this work programme, but cannot be funded due to lack of budget.

MSCA Intervention areas

There are five main MSCA intervention areas as set out in the Council Decision establishing the specific programme implementing Horizon Europe (Annex 1, page 11-13). All individual Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions contribute to these intervention areas to one extent or the other:

  1. Nurturing Excellence through Mobility of Researchers across Borders, Sectors and Disciplines;
  2. Fostering new Skills through Excellent Training of Researchers;
  3. Strengthening Human Capital and Skills Development across the European Research Area;
  4. Improving and Facilitating Synergies;
  5. Promoting Public Outreach.

Expected impact

Proposals under this Action should contribute to the following expected impacts:

  • Strengthen Europe's human capital base in R&I by training highly-skilled doctoral candidates,
  • Improve the attractiveness of researchers’ careers notably through better working and employment conditions of doctoral candidates in Europe
  • Enhance talent and knowledge circulation across the R&I landscape, through inter-sectoral, interdisciplinary and international mobility
  • Increase Europe's attractiveness as a leading research destination
  • Enhance the quality of R&I contributing to Europe's sustainable competitiveness
  • Establish sustainable collaboration between academic and non-academic organisations
  • Foster the culture of open science, innovation and entrepreneurship

Expected Outcome

Project results are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:

For supported doctoral candidates

  • New research and transferable skills and competences, leading to improved employability and career prospects within and outside academia;
  • New knowledge allowing the conversion of ideas into products and services, where relevant;
  • Enhanced networking and communication capacities with scientific peers, as well as with the general public that will increase and broaden the research and innovation impact.
For participating organisations
  • Improved quality, relevance and sustainability of doctoral training programmes and supervision arrangements;
  • Enhanced cooperation and transfer of knowledge between sectors and disciplines;
  • Increased integration of training and research activities between participating organisations;
  • Boosted R&I capacity;
  • Increased internationalisation and attractiveness;
  • Regular feedback of research results into teaching and education at participating organisations.

Scope

MSCA Doctoral Networks will implement doctoral programmes, by partnerships of universities, research institutions and research infrastructures, businesses including SMEs, and other socio-economic actors from different countries across Europe and beyond. MSCA Doctoral Networks are indeed open to the participation of organisations from third countries, in view of fostering strategic international partnerships for the training and exchange of researchers.

These doctoral programmes will respond to well-identified needs in various R&I areas, expose the researchers to the academic and non-academic sectors, and offer training in research-related, as well as transferable skills9 and competences relevant for innovation and long-term employability (e.g. entrepreneurship, commercialisation of results, Intellectual Property Rights, communication). Proposals for doctoral networks can reflect existing or planned research partnerships among the participating organisations.

The selection procedure for doctoral candidates must be open, transparent and merit-based, in line with the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The vacancy notice (to be widely advertised internationally, including on the EURAXESS10 website) must include the gross salary (not including employer’s social contributions) offered to the researcher.

MSCA Doctoral Networks are encouraged to lead to Industrial or Joint Doctorates.

Industrial Doctorates

Through Industrial Doctorates, doctoral candidates will step outside academia and develop skills in industry and business by being jointly supervised by academic and non-academic organisations, both of which can be established in the same EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country.

Joint Doctorates

Joint Doctorates represent a highly integrated type of international, inter-sectoral and multi/interdisciplinary collaboration in doctoral training. They lead to the delivery of joint, double or multiple doctoral degrees11 recognised in at least two EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries.

Steering Board

Each MSCA Doctoral Network should have a clearly identified steering board co-ordinating network-wide training and research activities and establishing continuous communication and exchange of best practice among the participating organisations to maximise the benefits of the partnership.

Training activities

MSCA Doctoral Networks should exploit complementarities between participating organisations and foster sharing of knowledge and networking activities for example through the organisation of workshops and conferences. Proposed training activities should respond to well identified needs in various R&I areas, with appropriate references to inter- and multidisciplinary fields and follow the EU Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training12. They should be primarily focused on developing new scientific knowledge through original research on personalised projects.

12 https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/sites/default/files/policy_library/principles_for_innovative_doctoral_training.pdf

Inter-sectoral secondments of researchers to other participating organisations, including in third countries, are encouraged when relevant, feasible and beneficial for the researchers and in line with the project objectives. This will increase the employability of the researchers outside academia.

Doctoral Networks should develop substantial training modules, including digital ones, addressing key transferable skills and competences common to all fields and fostering the culture of Open Science, innovation and entrepreneurship. In particular, Doctoral Networks should adequately prepare doctoral candidates for increased research collaboration and information-sharing made possible by new (digital) technologies (e.g. collaborative tools, opening access to publications and to research data, FAIR data management, public engagement and citizen science, etc.).

Supervision

Particular attention is paid to the quality of supervision and mentoring arrangements as well as career guidance. Joint supervision of the researchers is mandatory for Industrial and Joint Doctorates.

Career Development Plan

A Career Development Plan must be established jointly by the supervisor and each recruited doctoral candidate. In case of joint supervision, such a plan should be established involving all supervisors. In addition to research objectives, this plan comprises the researcher's training and career needs, including training on transferable skills, teaching, planning for publications and participation in conferences and events aiming at opening science and research to citizens. The plan, established at the beginning of the recruitment, should be revised (and updated where needed) within 18 months.

Application Details

See full details in the official call document.

All proposals must be submitted directly online via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System.




Horizon Europe: MSCA and Citizens 2022 - European Researchers' Night 2022-2023


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

The goal of MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships is to enhance the creative and innovative potential of researchers holding a PhD and who wish to acquire new skills through advanced training, international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility.

Deadline: 16 November 2021, 17:00 Brussels time

Application Link Overview MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships will be open to excellent researchers of any nationality. The scheme also encourages researchers to work on research and innovation projects in the non-academic sector and is open to researchers wishing to reintegrate in Europe, to those who are displaced by conflict, as well as to researchers with high potential who are seeking to restart their careers in research. Through the implementation of an original and personalised research project, MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships aim to foster excellence through training and mobility and to equip researchers with new skills and competences in order to identify solutions to current and future challenges. Postdoctoral researchers are encouraged to reach out to society at large to make the results of their research visible to citizens.

Introduction

The European Union needs a strong, resilient, flexible and creative human resource base, with the right combination of skills to match the future needs of the labour market, to innovate and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit. The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted once more the importance of the Union’s reliance on a highly skilled research-based human capital that is able to detect and tackle upcoming challenges, to communicate scientific evidence to policy-makers and the public at large, and to work across disciplines.

In this context, the Union must reinforce its efforts to encourage more young women and men to make a career in research, promote its attractiveness for top talents from around the world, retain its own researchers and reintegrate those working elsewhere. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are the main instrument at Union-level to do so. Since their launch in 1996, they have become the Union’s reference programme for doctoral education and postdoctoral training. Between 2014 and 2020, in the context of Horizon 2020, the MSCA have supported 65 000 researchers in Europe and beyond, both doctoral candidates and more experienced researchers, and have funded over 1 000 excellent international doctoral networks.

The MSCA strongly contribute to excellent research, boosting jobs, growth and investment by equipping researchers with new knowledge and skills and providing them with an international as well as inter-sectoral exposure (including through academia-business collaboration), to fill the top positions of tomorrow.

The MSCA do not only have a positive impact on individual researchers, they also contribute to the development of excellent doctoral programmes, postdoctoral training programmes and collaborative research projects. They have a structuring impact on higher education institutions and other entities way beyond academia by widely spreading excellence and setting standards for high-quality researcher education and training, not only across the European Research Area (ERA), but also worldwide. Positive structuring effects on organisations include:

  • increasing the quality of researchers’ training and supervision offered;
  • strengthening research capacity (e.g. ability to attract funding);
  • improving human resources practices and procedures, and providing fairer and more attractive working conditions for researchers, including through career guidance and development;
  • building new and sustainable international and inter-sectoral partnerships and networks; better transfer of knowledge between sectors and disciplines, enhancing their global reputation and visibility.

Main principles applying to the MSCA

Excellence

The MSCA focus on excellence in various aspects: excellence does not only apply to the individual fellows supported or the collaborations fostered and knowledge transferred, but also to the R&I methodologies applied, the research conducted as well as the training, supervision and career guidance provided. Long-term investment in people pays off, as indicated inter alia by the number of Nobel Prize winners who have been either former MSCA fellows or supervisors.

Mobility

The MSCA are based on the principle of physical mobility: researchers who receive funding have to move from one country to another to acquire new knowledge, skills and competences, and develop their research career. Researchers are also strongly encouraged to move between sectors and disciplines.

While virtual mobility does not have the same multifaceted impact on the development of individuals and sustainable cooperation among organisations as physical mobility, it can however complement it, facilitate long-distance collaboration and be an effective means to faster achieving research and training objectives. In this regard, all MSCA proposals are encouraged to explore opportunities offered by e-infrastructures and related services, in particular those provided through GEANT1, the pan-European research and education network.

Bottom-up and open to the world

The MSCA are open to all domains of research and innovation, chosen freely by the applicants in a fully bottom-up manner, addressed under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In addition, Postdoctoral Fellowships can also address domains covered by the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom Research and Training Programme 2021-2025). All MSCA will complement top-down collaborative research activities, notably contributing to the Horizon Europe Missions.

The MSCA have also a strong international dimension: international cooperation is particularly encouraged as it allows institutions to set-up strategic collaborations worldwide, attracts foreign talents to Europe and provides European researchers with access to unique expertise, facilities, testing environments or data available only outside Europe.

Recruitment, working/employment conditions and inclusiveness

The principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Charter and Code) promoting open, merit-based and transparent recruitment and attractive working and employment conditions are a cornerstone of the MSCA and all funded host organisations must put effort into applying them. The Page MSCA pay particular attention to equal opportunities and inclusiveness. In line with the Charter and Code, all MSCA-funded projects are encouraged to embrace diversity and take measures to facilitate mobility and counter-act gender and disability-related barriers to it.

MSCA projects are also encouraged to facilitate access by researchers at risk2, through tailored support and career services, including job search assistance in the researcher’s new geographical area.

Supervision

The MSCA promote effective supervision, which contribute to creating a supportive environment for the researchers to conduct their work. In line with the principles set out in the Charter and Code, MSCA beneficiaries must ensure adequately supervision or mentoring and appropriate career guidance. Supervision is one of the crucial elements of successful research. Guiding, supporting, directing, advising and mentoring are key factors for a researcher to pursue his/her career path. In this context, all MSCA-funded projects are encouraged to follow the recommendations outlined in the Guidelines for MSCA supervision3.

Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation

The MSCA endorse Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) through engaging society at large, integrating the gender and ethical dimensions, promoting Open Science practices through targeted training activities, ensuring open access to research outcomes, including FAIR4 data handling, encouraging formal and informal science education and feeding back research results into teaching and education.

European Green Deal

The MSCA support bottom-up and frontier/applied research contributing directly to the European Commission’s commitment to tackling climate and environmental-related challenges. Under Horizon Europe, the MSCA will significantly contribute to promote sustainable research in line with the European Green Deal, the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. All MSCA-funded projects are encouraged to address the principles of the MSCA Green Charter5 and implement measures to minimise the environmental footprint of their activities.

Synergies

The MSCA promote the creation of strong links with the Cohesion policy funds and the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF)6, notably by creating synergies through its COFUND action and enabling complementarities via awarding a Seal of Excellence certificate to proposals submitted to mono-beneficiary MSCA calls. The Seal is awarded to proposals that exceed all of the evaluation thresholds set out in this work programme, but cannot be funded due to lack of budget.

MSCA Intervention areas

There are five main MSCA intervention areas as set out in the Council Decision establishing the specific programme implementing Horizon Europe (Annex 1, page 11-13). All individual Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions contribute to these intervention areas to one extent or the other:

  1. Nurturing Excellence through Mobility of Researchers across Borders, Sectors and Disciplines;
  2. Fostering new Skills through Excellent Training of Researchers;
  3. Strengthening Human Capital and Skills Development across the European Research Area;
  4. Improving and Facilitating Synergies;
  5. Promoting Public Outreach.

Expected impact

Proposals under this Action should contribute to the following expected impacts:

  • Enhance the creative and innovative potential of researchers holding a PhD and wishing to diversify their individual competences and skills through advanced training, international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility while implementing excellent research projects across all sectors of research;
  • Strengthen Europe's human capital base in R&I with better trained, innovative and entrepreneurial researchers;
  • Enhance the quality of R&I contributing to Europe's competitiveness and growth;
  • Contribute to Europe's attractiveness as a leading destination for R&I and for good working conditions of researchers;
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer and brain circulation across the ERA;
  • Foster the culture of open science, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Expected Outcome

Project results are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:

For supported postdoctoral fellows

  • Increased set of research and transferable skills and competences, leading to improved employability and career prospects of MSCA postdoctoral fellows within academia and beyond;
  • New mind-sets and approaches to R&I work forged through interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral and international experience;
  • Enhanced networking and communication capacities with scientific peers, as well as with the general public that will increase and broaden the research and innovation impact.

For participating organisations

  • Increased alignment of working conditions for researchers in accordance with the principles set out in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers;
  • Enhanced quality and sustainability of research training and supervision;
  • Increased global attractiveness, visibility and reputation of the participating organisation(s);
  • Stronger R&I capacity and output among participating organisations; better transfer of knowledge;
  • Regular feedback of research results into teaching and education at participating organisations.

Scope

Fellowships will be provided to excellent researchers, undertaking international mobility either to or between EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries, as well as to non-associated Third Countries. Applications will be made jointly by the researcher and a beneficiary in the academic or non-academic sector.

Postdoctoral Fellowships either can take place in Europe (i.e. in an EU Member State or a Horizon Europe Associated Country) or in a Third Country not associated to Horizon Europe:

  • European Postdoctoral Fellowships are open to researchers of any nationality who wish to engage in R&I projects by either coming to Europe from any country in the world or moving within Europe. The standard duration of these fellowships must be between 12 and 24 months.
  • Global Postdoctoral Fellowships are open to European nationals or long-term residents19 who wish to engage in R&I projects with organisations outside EU Member States and Horizon Europe Associated Countries. These fellowships require an outgoing phase of minimum 12 and maximum 24 months in a non-associated Third Country, and a mandatory 12-month return phase to a host organisation based in an EU Member State or a Horizon Europe Associated Country.

Specific eligibility conditions apply to MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships in the research areas covered by the Euratom Research and Training Programme 2021-2025.

Secondments

Researchers receiving a Postdoctoral Fellowship may opt to include a secondment phase, within the overall duration of their fellowship in any country worldwide. The secondment phase can be a single period or be divided into shorter mobility periods.

For European Postdoctoral Fellowships, secondments cannot exceed one third of the standard fellowship duration and should be in line with the project objectives, adding significant value and impact to the fellowship.

For Global Postdoctoral Fellowships, optional secondments are permitted for up to one third of the outgoing phase. A maximum of three months can be spent at the start of the project at the beneficiary (or any other organisation mentioned in the description of the action), allowing the researcher to spend time there before going to the associated partner in the Third Country. Secondments cannot take place during the mandatory twelve-month return period to the host organisation in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country. Page 26 of 107

Placements in the non-academic sector

Postdoctoral Fellowships can provide an additional period of up to six months to support researchers seeking a placement at the end of the project to work on R&I projects in an organisation from the non-academic sector established in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country21. While this possibility is also available to fellows recruited in the non-academic sector, such a placement must be implemented at a different non-academic host organisation established in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country22. The request for such a placement must be an integral part of the proposal, explaining the added-value for the project and for the career development of the researcher, and will be subject to evaluation. It must be substantiated by a letter of commitment from the European non-academic organisation where the placement takes place23. This incentive aims at promoting career moves between sectors and organisations and thereby stimulate innovation and knowledge transfer while expanding career opportunities for researchers.

Training activities

The training activities implemented under the Postdoctoral Fellowships should include training for key transferable skills24, foster innovation and entrepreneurship, (e.g. commercialisation of results, Intellectual Property Rights, communication, public engagement and citizen science) and promote Open Science practices (open access to publications and to research data, FAIR data management, etc.).

Career Development Plan

In order to equip MSCA postdoctoral fellows with skills that enhance and expand their career opportunities inside and outside academia, a Career Development Plan should be established jointly by the supervisor(s) and the researcher. In addition to research objectives, this plan should comprise the researcher's training and career needs, including training on transferable skills, teaching, planning for publications and participation in conferences and events aiming at opening science and research to citizens. The Plan will have to be submitted as a project deliverable at the beginning of the action and can be updated when needed.

Euratom

Aiming to enhance nuclear expertise and excellence as well as synergies between Programmes, organisations active in nuclear research established in one of EU Member States or countries associated to the Euratom Research and Training programme 2021-202525 , are eligible to participate. MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships in this area of research will be supported by the Euratom Research and Training Programme 2021-2025 through an indicative annual financial contribution of EUR 1 million to the MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships call.

ERA Fellowships

The ERA Fellowships implemented through Work Programme Annex 11, Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area, provide specific support to researchers to undertake their fellowship in a widening country27. This will help spread excellence and contribute to fostering balanced brain circulation in widening countries.

Application Details

See full details in the official call document.

All proposals must be submitted directly online via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System.




Horizon Europe:  Cluster 3 - Domestic and sexual violence are prevented and combated


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This action aims to improve current European approaches to fight domestic and sexual violence.

Deadline: 23 November 2021, 17:00 Brussels time

Application Link Overview

Better protect the EU and its citizens against Crime and Terrorism

One of the main purposes of this Destination is to contribute significantly to the implementation of the Security Union Strategy[[COM(2020) 605 final.]], i.e. to include Research and Innovation as one of the key building blocks enabling the achievement of the overall policy objectives. As such, the topics in this Destination aim at fully addressing all the key issues underlined in the Strategy. In addition, this Destination touches upon the Counter-Terrorism Agenda[[COM(2020) 795 final.]] as well as the security dimension of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum[[COM(2020) 609 final.]], notably the issues related to criminal networks. More specifically, this Destination includes research topics aiming at fighting crime and terrorism more effectively, particularly through better prevention of crime and enhanced investigation capabilities concerning both traditional crime and cybercrime, as well as at better protection of citizens from violent attacks in public spaces, through more effective prevention, preparedness and response while preserving the open nature of such spaces. This Destination will develop the knowledge and technologies to be taken up by the Internal Security Fund, as a complementary instrument that will enable exploitation of research results and final delivery of the required tools to security practitioners.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

Projects’ results are expected to contribute to some or all of the following outcomes:

  • Improved prevention, detection and investigation of domestic violence and sexual assaults, including collection of court-proof crime evidence, which take into account European multicultural dimension, legal and ethical rules of operation, as well as fundamental rights such as privacy, protection of personal data and anonymity of victims;
  • Enriched European common approaches applied by Police Authorities to fight domestic and sexual violence relying on the synergy of technology, the latest socio-psychological knowledge learned from cases and the field experience of Police Authorities and entities dealing with victims;
  • Novel, safe, lawful and efficient solutions applied by security practitioners and policy-makers to protect victims of domestic or sexual violence, along with a proper assessment methodology to validate the approach;
  • Increased awareness of citizens regarding domestic and sexual violence;
  • Improved support in shaping and tuning of regulation on domestic violence and on sexual violence by security policy-makers, which also includes GDPR-compliant IT tools in the procedures;
  • Increased use, by victims, of automated, interactive tools (e.g., chatbots) to report cases of domestic abuse and/or sexual violence to the police;
  • Improved skills, tools and training curricula for Police Authorities and Civil Society Organisations to prevent and combat domestic and sexual violence;
  • Identification and development of new concepts, innovative approaches and pioneering practices pertaining to alternatives to imprisonment for offenders to reduce recidivism and, therefore, support the fight against crime.

Scope:

Domestic violence keeps on being a persistent crime throughout Europe. However, the ratio of cases that are effectively reported to Police Authorities is very low. One of the causes of this lack of reporting is the limited protection offered to victims, fear, reluctance of neighbours to intervene by informing the Police Authorities, lack of awareness whom to turn to, which mechanisms exist, etc. In addition to domestic violence, women are also exposed to the threat of sexual abuse and aggression in many situations off-home. Moreover, the increase of cases of multiple abuse by groups of offenders that record their crimes using mobile devices and then share them by phone or online is a growing concern with a high social impact. Furthermore, rates of domestic and sexual violence rise when societies are under stress, during, e.g., food shortages, economic crisis, natural disasters, and epidemics.

The COVID-19 lockdown showed that in such a crisis situation the problem of domestic violence gets even more emphasised, both because victims are trapped in their homes with violent partners who are even more stressed than usually, and because the ability of services to help becomes even more limited. Similarly, women who are displaced, refugees, and living in affected areas are particularly vulnerable and exposed to sexual violence; the closure of establishments offering legal sex work because of e.g., epidemics, brings further dangers.

Needs from innovation, to be performed in a lawful and ethical manner while protecting fundamental rights, such as privacy and protection of personal data, are as follows. Firstly, building on the previous works (such as the H2020 project IMPRODOVA[1] or projects funded under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme[2]), there is a need to improve current European approaches to fight domestic and sexual violence (prevent, locate, report and collect evidence) using innovative technological solutions, such as by enriching existing risk analysis tools with real-time data obtained through technological means, that will reduce both the amount of human resources to be committed and the response time.

Furthermore, victims of domestic abuse as well as of sexual violence are often reluctant to contact the police personnel and prefer to speak to chatbots, one of the main reasons being the fear of being judged. Thus, there is a clear need for innovation regarding further developments and improvements of automated, interactive tools such as chatbots that would help and stimulate victims to report cases of domestic abuse and/or sexual violence to the police.

In addition, specifically related to the cases of multiple abuse by groups of offenders that share their crimes through mobile devices or via social media, activities are needed to develop innovative technological solutions aimed at finding the source of these videos, identifying offenders, and finding victims.

Moreover, modern and effective awareness raising campaigns need to be developed for Police Authorities and relevant Civil Society Organisations to pass key messages to potential victims, as well as wide communities, while taking into account European multicultural dimension.

Last but not the least, modern and novel approaches are needed to support victim assistance services of Police Authorities and relevant Civil Society Organisations in providing efficient protection and help to victims. As both technological and societal developments are expected, the consortia should consist in IT specialists, Police Authorities, relevant Civil Society Organisations, sociologists, social workers and psychologists. If possible, taking into account their right to anonymity, their dignity and rights, victims could be involved as well, through relevant Civil Society Organisations that have the safeguards in place to protect them.

Evolutions in domestic and sexual violence, such as their increase during any type of emergency, e.g., epidemics, should be taken into account too. Methods for evaluating proposed solutions should be developed as well. All developed solutions should be accompanied by corresponding training curricula for Police Authorities and relevant Civil Society Organisations.

Proposals are expected to address one of the following options:

Option A: Domestic violence

Option B: Sexual violence

Coordination of the successful proposals from the two options is encouraged so as to avoid duplication and to exploit complementarities as well as opportunities for increased impact.

Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake. This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.

The testing and/or piloting of the tools and solutions developed in a real setting with one or more Police Authorities and other relevant authorities is an asset; regardless, applicants should plan to facilitate the uptake, replication across setting and up-scaling of the capabilities - i.e. solutions, tools, processes et al. – to be developed by the project.




Horizon Europe:  Cluster 3 - Online identity theft is countered


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This action aims to develop new technological means of detecting deepfakes in support of the work of Police Authorities.

Deadline: 23 November 2021, 17:00 Brussels time

Application Link Overview

Better protect the EU and its citizens against Crime and Terrorism

One of the main purposes of this Destination is to contribute significantly to the implementation of the Security Union Strategy[[COM(2020) 605 final.]], i.e. to include Research and Innovation as one of the key building blocks enabling the achievement of the overall policy objectives. As such, the topics in this Destination aim at fully addressing all the key issues underlined in the Strategy. In addition, this Destination touches upon the Counter-Terrorism Agenda[[COM(2020) 795 final.]] as well as the security dimension of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum[[COM(2020) 609 final.]], notably the issues related to criminal networks. More specifically, this Destination includes research topics aiming at fighting crime and terrorism more effectively, particularly through better prevention of crime and enhanced investigation capabilities concerning both traditional crime and cybercrime, as well as at better protection of citizens from violent attacks in public spaces, through more effective prevention, preparedness and response while preserving the open nature of such spaces. This Destination will develop the knowledge and technologies to be taken up by the Internal Security Fund, as a complementary instrument that will enable exploitation of research results and final delivery of the required tools to security practitioners.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

Projects’ results are expected to contribute to some or all of the following outcomes:

  • European Police Authorities are provided with modern, innovative and validated tools and training curricula, which take into account legal and ethical rules of operation as well as fundamental rights such as privacy and protection of personal data to prevent, detect and investigate online identity theft, and lawfully collect crime evidence across borders for its use in court proceedings;
  • Strengthened ability of security practitioners to identify (new forms of) online identity theft at an early stage thanks to improved knowledge on the modus operandi and new trends in identity theft, including but not limited to deepfakes, and innovative solutions for Police Authorities to tackle them in lawful manner;
  • Improved understanding on the societal aspects and impacts of identity theft, as well as on the key challenges related to it;
  • Enhanced perception by the citizens that Europe is an area of freedom, justice and security thanks to innovative awareness-raising campaigns explaining to citizens the key and evolving mechanisms of identity theft and how to protect against them;
  • Improved shaping and implementation of regulation related to the fight against identity theft by security policy-makers.

Scope:

The “classical” form of identity theft has been a big business for years and consists in personal and financial data stolen online, sold in the underground economy and misused by criminal organisations all over the world, usually for financial gain. With the technological evolution, identity theft evolves as well. Personal details can be found by hacking computers, but identity thieves are increasingly getting citizens’ personal information from social media sites. Furthermore, an on-going improvement of technologies to create deepfake audio and video material may result in novel forms of identity theft. This relatively new but rapidly evolving technology superimposes audio, images or videos over another video or creates new ones. For instance, it can be used, among others, to generate new "personalised" child abuse material, to create fake social media accounts in the name of the target person (to harness or stalk them), to place the faces of celebrities on existing pornographic videos, to spread misinformation about a company (leading to financial losses) or a politician or an expert (reputational damage).

Research is needed to develop new technological means of detecting deepfakes in support of the work of Police Authorities, as it may only be a matter of time before deepfakes are used more often in online identity theft cases. In addition, this can have serious implications for Police Authorities, since it might complicate investigations and raise questions about the authenticity of evidence. The issue of collecting (cross-border) evidence for its use in courts of law, i.e. in a lawful manner and respecting fundamental rights such as privacy and protection of personal data, should be tackled in proposed activities as well. Other evolving modus operandi and new trends in online identity thefts should be analysed too, and corresponding innovative lawful societal means of preventing as well as innovative lawful technological means of detecting and investigating them should be developed. Thus, activities proposed within this topic should address both the technological and societal dimensions of online identity theft in a balanced way. An analysis of trends (who the victims of identity thefts are usually, whether gender/age/ICT skills play a role, etc.) would be an asset. Special care should be given to ethics and fundamental rights protection throughout the research and the solutions proposed.

This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities. With the aim of developing effective awareness raising campaigns, involvement of relevant Civil Society Organisations, sociologists and psychologists who can shed a light on the phenomenon of identity theft from the side of victims and how to support them, would be an added value of proposals submitted under this topic. If applicable and relevant, coordination with related activities in the Digital Europe Programme should be envisaged too.




Horizon Europe:  Cluster 3 - Prevention of child sexual exploitation


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This action aims to improve Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) prevention, early detection and effective actions, both online and offline.

Deadline: 23 November 2021, 17:00 Brussels time

Application Link Overview

Better protect the EU and its citizens against Crime and Terrorism

One of the main purposes of this Destination is to contribute significantly to the implementation of the Security Union Strategy[[COM(2020) 605 final.]], i.e. to include Research and Innovation as one of the key building blocks enabling the achievement of the overall policy objectives. As such, the topics in this Destination aim at fully addressing all the key issues underlined in the Strategy. In addition, this Destination touches upon the Counter-Terrorism Agenda[[COM(2020) 795 final.]] as well as the security dimension of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum[[COM(2020) 609 final.]], notably the issues related to criminal networks. More specifically, this Destination includes research topics aiming at fighting crime and terrorism more effectively, particularly through better prevention of crime and enhanced investigation capabilities concerning both traditional crime and cybercrime, as well as at better protection of citizens from violent attacks in public spaces, through more effective prevention, preparedness and response while preserving the open nature of such spaces. This Destination will develop the knowledge and technologies to be taken up by the Internal Security Fund, as a complementary instrument that will enable exploitation of research results and final delivery of the required tools to security practitioners.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

Projects’ results are expected to contribute to some or all of the following outcomes:

  • Increased understanding of security practitioners and policy-makers of the prevalence and of the process leading to child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation;
  • Enhanced understanding of the characteristics and key differences between offending and non-offending Minor Attracted Persons;
  • Innovative and effective solutions, including training curricula, are validated and adopted by European Police Authorities and relevant Civil Society Organisations to prevent, detect and effectively act on child sexual exploitation, both offline and online, by providing necessary assistance to potential offenders, as well as by providing adequate preventative campaigns to reach vulnerable groups;
  • Developed cross-culturally validated risk assessment tools for child sexual offenders; Enhanced perception by the citizens that Europe is an area of freedom, justice and security thanks to increased security of children;
  • Improved cooperation between European Police Authorities and relevant Civil Society Organisations in preventing this form of crime, taking into account fundamental rights;
  • Improved evidence-based policy-making related to the prevention of child sexual exploitation.

Scope:

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), including the increasing amount of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) detected online as well as the online solicitation of children for sexual purposes, remains a serious threat. During the first wave of the global pandemic of COVID-19, there was an increased online activity in dedicated forums by offenders exploiting opportunities to engage with children who were more vulnerable due to isolation, greater online exposure and less supervision. This further highlighted the importance of CSE prevention, early detection and effective actions, both online and offline. Research is needed to better understand the process leading to offending in all its various forms (e.g. from watching CSAM to sexually abusing a child), i.e. what triggers the behaviour of potential offenders, which approaches in addressing their behaviour work and which not, which profiles of offenders can be generated, etc.

Research is also needed to provide a deeper understanding of the prevalence of these crimes as well as the prevalence of persons with a sexual interest in children. Early or weak signals should be further researched in combination with effective countermeasures and interventions. The solutions should be accompanied by corresponding training curricula for Police Authorities and Civil Society Organisations when necessary (e.g. when they involve providing assistance to potential offenders or victims). Methods for evaluating proposed solutions should be developed as well. Special care needs to be given to ethics and fundamental rights protection throughout the research and the solutions proposed.

The evolving character of the CSE modus operandi should be taken into account in all activities proposed under this topic. The societal dimension should be in the core of proposed activities. In addition to the mandatory involvement of Police Authorities, the involvement of other relevant practitioners in the consortia - e.g. from Civil Society Organisations, health professionals (psychologists, psychiatrics…), forensic psychologists, criminologists and sociologists - is strongly encouraged as well. As such, this topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities. The testing and/or piloting of the tools and solutions developed in a real setting with one or more Police Authorities and other relevant authorities is an asset; regardless, actions should foresee how they will facilitate the uptake, replication across setting and up-scaling of the capabilities - i.e. solutions, tools, processes et al. – to be developed by the project.




Horizon Europe:  Cluster 3 - Security research technologies driven by active civil society engagement: transdisciplinary methods for societal impact assessment and impact creation


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This action aims to innovate transdisciplinary methods for societal impact assessment and impact creation.

Deadline: 23 November 2021, 17:00 Brussels time

Application Link Overview

Strengthened Security Research and Innovation

The EU-funded security research and innovation framework was launched with the Preparatory Action for Security Research[[COM(2004) 72]]. Since then, the programme has contributed substantially to knowledge and value creation in the field of internal security and to the consolidation of an ecosystem better equipped to capitalise on research and innovation to support the EU security priorities.

While the success of the programme has materialised in relevant scientific findings, maturation of promising technology areas, operational validation of innovative concepts or support to policy implementation, a key challenge remains in improving the uptake of innovation.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

Projects’ results are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:

  • Promotion of socially and environmentally sustainable products and services through stronger civil society engagement;
  • Policy-makers, security practitioners and the research community implement security technological solutions and policies that fulfil both societal and legal requirements, such as inclusiveness, accessibility, universal design, openness, legitimacy, proportionality, ethics;
  • State and non-state actors base their decision-making on an assessment of any possible negative societal impacts of security research outputs, including human rights implications and risks of ill-intended use;
  • Security practitioners and citizens are provided with technical solutions that are transparent, privacy-sensitive, open source, friendly and easy to use;
  • Security practitioners and citizens have the necessary skills and knowledge on the use of the new technologies being produced, as well as their impact on the society;
  • Security practitioners have a broader understanding of the new opportunities offered by technological developments, including accessibility and universal design aspect of technologies which goes beyond the mere response to security challenges to ensure that everyone is included;
  • Security practitioners, the research community and policy-makers build upon existing knowledge on lessons learned and best practices, as well as recommendations and good examples of how the EU is using technology to combat risks to security while respecting and promoting fundamental rights.

Scope:

Applied research derives its meaning, and therefore, its financial justification from its relevance to society, to society’s needs, to society’s values, to its aims, needs or ambitions. Applied research presupposes that a distinct societal need is identified and that a programme of research is devised to provide the concrete knowledge required to meet that need as well as to better understand areas related to experience and requirements of technologies regarding vulnerable groups through universal design and common accessibility principles.

The finality and value of applied research is assessed on the grounds of this relevance, on the degree to which the results of the research can be applied to one or several problems beyond or after the research itself. The salience and value of any type of applied research – including security research – lies outside the research itself and in its impact on society.

In general, research can have an impact on society at two different points: at the level of the scientific methodology that employs and at the level of the scientific outputs that generates and communicates. Any action can have desirable and undesirable outcomes. Undesired results of security research can include both the results of research that does not reach its intended aims or research that does not reach its aims, but whose aims do not provide the security it originally set out to provide. Significantly, it can include particular measures that have as a secondary effect an increase in insecurity such as the development of technological solutions.

In innovation processes and advances of technological change, the societal aspect covers all those areas that influence the citizen, society and the state. This can range from privacy issues and confidentiality to the use of products and services, the potential for misuse of information and data, fake news, security marking, secure infrastructure etc.

Technological solutions in the area of civil security for society are often perceived as intrusive means to intensify and broaden surveillance and control of citizens in a top-down approach. Security technology is addressed with mistrust as regards to its detrimental effects on civil liberties and raises questions on fundamental rights and freedoms, privacy and data protection. Nevertheless, a wide variety of technological tools is available in different languages for different risk scenarios and with different functionalities. At the same time, technology can also be applied to increase societal resilience, improve and strengthen horizontal coordination, raise citizens’ awareness and facilitate exchange of information among citizens in crisis’ situations, disasters or pandemic risk incidents. Strengthening a co-productive use of technology to enhance societal resilience requires a better understanding of inclusive design, crowd-based, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)-enabling horizontal communication processes.

A systemic stock of such technologies, including an evidence-based assessment of the number of users in Europe and an evaluation of their impact in past human life disasters or crisis management incidents can help to improve the societal acceptability, directionality, desirability and ethicalness of security research and innovation. A societal development plan that examines the socio, economic, political context, which might have caused the security problems, can also help to learn from past-experiences. Demonstrating awareness of the risks that potentially build biases into automated systems would be important to identify best solutions for relevant functionalities and pave the way for a coordinated European approach, which strikes the right balance between practitioners’ technology requirements and privacy-friendly tools and solutions for the citizens. Furthermore, improved knowledge of relevant human and societal factors in order to assist, supplement or override human misjudgement, lack of compliance or understanding through education and training modules can better achieve the desired impacts on attitude and behaviour change creating resilience to security threats.

In assessing the impact of security technologies, proposals are expected to examine methodologies that allow citizens genuine participation, including the vulnerable groups and people with disabilities in innovation processes. A socio-technical approach can enhance the ambition and effectiveness of innovations by inspiring socially acceptable design for systematic change and societal transformation. They should look into methodologies that measure the impact of technologies on society by addressing issues of: what can be measured (qualitative and quantitative measurements); why it is important to measure; what is important to measure both from policy and technology aspects and how societal impact can be measured (qualitative and quantitative measurements), including evidence about cognitive biases.

Proposals should also address mitigation measures that could be taken to reduce the impact on privacy, human rights and fundamental freedoms with the involvement of citizens as co-designers and beneficiaries in security research. When assessing impact, attention should also be paid to citizens’ training for reducing negative effects, modelling and simulation of their behaviour in the event of security threats. This may include virtual assessment of different protection (prevention, preparedness and response) measures.

Proposals’ consortia should comprehend security practitioners, system developers, public sector, technology and civil society organisations[1], communication specialists on security research, researchers and Social Sciences and Humanities Experts from a variety of EU Member States and Associated Countries. In order to ensure a meaningful democratic oversight of the EU’s security research programme, projects and policies at national and European level, proposals should ensure a multidisciplinary approach and have the appropriate balance of industry, citizens’ representatives and social sciences and humanities experts.

Project proposals’ consortia are encouraged to cooperate closely with the Networks of Practitioners funded under H2020 Secure Societies work programmes if valuable results on impact can be obtained, as well as with the Knowledge Networks for Research and Innovation in Security funded under the Horizon Europe Cluster 3 Work Programme.

As indicated in the introduction of this call, proposals should foresee resources for clustering activities with other successful proposals in the same or other calls to identify synergies and best practices.

This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.

Proposals could also be linked to finished or ongoing projects such as the NewHoRRizon (under the H2020 Research and Innovation Programme) which have developed Societal Readiness Level Tools. They may also consider using their interactive web tools provided to help study the societal input and engagement as part of project proposal development and implementation.

The project should have a maximum estimated duration of 4 years.

[1]A civil society organisation can be defined: “any legal entity that is non-governmental, non-profit, not representing commercial interests and pursuing a common purpose in the public interest”. https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/support/reference_terms.html; Check also the study “Network Analysis of Civil Society Organisations’ participation in the EU Framework Programmes”, December 2016.




Horizon Europe:  Cluster 4 - Social and affordable housing district demonstrator (IA)


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This action aims to develop technology-based innovations for novel symbiotic renovation projects.

Deadline: 25 January 2022, 17:00 Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Increased autonomy in key strategic value chains for resilient industry

This destination will directly support the following Key Strategic Orientations, as outlined in the Strategic Plan:

  • KSO C, ‘Making Europe the first digitally-enabled circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy through the transformation of its mobility, energy, construction and production systems’
  • KSO A, ‘Promoting an open strategic autonomy by leading the development of key digital, enabling and emerging technologies, sectors and value chains to accelerate and steer the digital and green transitions through human-centred technologies and innovations’
  • KSO D, ‘Creating a more resilient, inclusive and democratic European society, prepared and responsive to threats and disasters, addressing inequalities and providing high-quality health care, and empowering all citizens to act in the green and digital transitions.

Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to the following expected impact of Cluster 4:

  • Industrial leadership and increased autonomy in key strategic value chains with security of supply in raw materials, achieved through breakthrough technologies in areas of industrial alliances, dynamic industrial innovation ecosystems and advanced solutions for substitution, resource and energy efficiency, effective reuse and recycling and clean primary production of raw materials, including critical raw materials, and leadership in the circular economy.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

Projects are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:

  • Demonstrate renovation pilots in the sense of “lighthouse districts” as announced by the Affordable Housing Initiative in the Renovation Wave communication[1] following a smart neighbourhood approach and providing blueprints for replication, setting liveability and latest technological and social innovations at the forefront;
  • Mobilise cross-sectoral industrial[2] and partnerships at local level to develop, adapt, design new processes, methods and technologies (e.g. energy efficiency, circular, modular building, smart living, eco-design etc.). Special attention should be paid to the needs of residents in social using, through social innovation and using a human centred approach;
  • Following a multi-actor approach, as defined in WP/ Annex X, engaging both, different sectors and fields of operation related to construction such as renewable energy, water treatment, and electronics as well as residents, social and public housing associations and civil society actors will be key to boost tailor-made and fit for purpose innovation;
  • Demonstrate through such partnerships lighthouse districts that allow integrated renovation approaches. Besides technological innovation, specific focus on social innovation is crucial as it can provide social engagement models to empower and engage residents, foster the co-design, co-development and co-implementation, offer spatial organisation allowing socio-economic activities and services, improve the wellbeing of citizens, and promote intergenerational and mixed forms of housing and accessible architecture open for cultural and creative innovation. Social innovation may also form a key aspect in developing business models for these types of lighthouse districts;
  • Develop new bottom-up human-centred business models in housing area that facilitate engagement of residents in renovation – for example by co-investing, setting up energy communities, housing cooperatives and resident owned social services and (creative, green, … ) commons;
  • Identify "ready to go projects" for the lighthouse districts as well as “low hanging”[3] fruit in terms of social housing renovation and worst performing buildings to test new methods, practices and technologies. The selected districts/ use cases, the diverse climatic and biogeographic conditions and settlement types in urban, sub-urban and rural areas across the EU are to be well reflected;
  • Support businesses and the private sector in developing demonstration projects that go the extra mile (environmental - social – cultural ambition) and allow innovations and new technologies putting inclusion and social progress at the forefront;
  • Pilot circular construction methods taking into account the different industrial perspectives and value chains relevant for the renovation of the districts;
  • Apply and pilot innovative smart housing applications (at individual dwelling level) and general smart grid or district-level energy, waste, water, storage and other systems using newest technology at scale as well as technology that improves the social housing service provision itself;
  • Plan actions for overcoming relevant barriers for renovation at district level with a majority of social housing dwellings (e.g. regulatory limits, lack of trust amongst different stakeholders, lack of private investors and awareness of the integrated approach potential);
  • Effectively disseminate major innovation outcomes established in districts to support the implementation of industrial-urban symbiosis, connection to the European Community of Practice (ECoP) and development of flexible learning resources;
  • Act as a catalyst for relevant EU projects and policies and channel this intelligence towards local projects and stakeholders, e.g. active aging, smart communities, including smart cities and smart villages, energy communities, skills, etc.;
  • The final objective is to obtain a set of lighthouse districts that each have followed a different approach, focussing on different innovative solutions addressing the local reality and needs and to have demonstrated replication potential towards other districts by providing blueprints for replication and adaptation and by setting up a network amongst social housing providers.

Relevant indicators and metrics, with baseline values, should be stated clearly in the proposal.

Scope:

To support a wide implementation of these district renovations, industrial urban symbiosis needs to be fostered amongst most relevant partners engaged in construction and renovation of social housing facilities. The local and regional dimension is important since local energy and utility networks, adjacent industrial infrastructures and available by-products and services in such districts would have to be considered in a holistic and integrated approach. In the same way, logistics should be optimised wherever possible and should be an advantage from the sustainable and competitiveness perspective.

Technology based innovations should prove the potential for novel symbiotic renovation projects acting as demonstrators involving multiple industrial sectors (combining non-exhaustively energy, construction, renewables, circular, electronics and creative industries, social housing associations and public authorities) in pilot multi-stakeholder partnerships focussing on a district approach and social needs related to social housing.

Projects are expected to address:

  • The development of a broader integrated methodology towards renovation of social housing districts starting from a cross-sectoral approach (e.g. INNOSUP) and engagement models of residents to develop the application of technologies that make social housing more energy efficient, accessible and liveable;
  • Research how technologies for housing and renovation can be adapted in a way that serves the needs of residents in social housing at affordable cost as well as how development at scale (e.g. district level of multi-apartment building) might bring cost optimisation and improve the affordability;
  • The adaptation of technology in way it addresses the basic and essential needs of residents rather than to showcase the most advanced application from a technical perspective (human centred, fit for purpose and tailor made);
  • Research on how renovation of social housing districts can deliver a more balanced population in terms of income, age and socio-economic profile as well as to avoid formation of ghetto’s on the one hand and gentrification on the other hand;
  • Aspects of environmental friendly traffic and internet connectivity to facilitate inclusion are to be considered;
  • Energy poverty issues that must be avoided as a result of the renovation. Social innovation and financial planning must ensure that the cost of living will not increase significantly for tenants and residents;
  • Integration of ICT and digital tools, including smart grids, smart living applications, advanced modelling for eco-design and modular construction, to design and establish novel symbiotic interactions, data sharing and preservation of data confidentiality, as a non-exhaustive list;
  • Assessment methodologies and KPIs to measure the performance of symbiosis, including environmental, economic and social impacts. Life cycle assessment and life cycle cost analysis should take into account existing sustainability standards (e.g. ISO 14000) and existing best practices;
  • New skills acquisition in construction sector by piloting new technologies and processes in the renovation at district level focussing on needs in social housing;
  • Development of common reporting methodologies for the assessment of industrial symbiosis activities and exchanges;
  • Tools to support companies in redefining their products process and systems from the point of view of design, production, logistic and business models;
  • Research on how realised lighthouse models can be duplicated and adapted to other social housing contexts, for example, where no strong social housing sectors are present or where participation models are less developed, such as energy communities and cooperatives;
  • This topic supports the Bauhaus Initiative as lighthouse districts could display the application of the New European Bauhaus practices focussing on the aesthetic and co-creative aspects of renovation and building of social housing districts.

Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this cross-cutting call and other relevant projects as well as building on existing projects is essential, as many existing EU projects can contribute to very specific applications or process in such a district renovation.

[1]https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1603122220757&uri=CELEX:52020DC0662

[2]Refers to the 14 Industrial Ecosystems for Recovery

[3]Many housing blocks in Eastern Europe are at the stretch of their “expiration date” and in need of a deep renovation. They are often located in proximity of each other which makes a district approach more beneficial. Many of the flats are owned by their residents, usually with no financial resources to renovate themselves. Therefore inclusive financial programs should be developed.




Horizon Europe: Support the deployment of lighthouse demonstrators for the New European Bauhaus initiative in the context of Horizon Europe missions


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This action will offer opportunities to engage with communities on an environmentally sustainable, socially fair, and aesthetically appealing transition, using architecture, design and culture as core resources for a sustainable society.

Deadline: 25 January 2022, 17:00 Brussels time

Application Link Overview

Through a mutually supportive relationship, Horizon Europe missions and the New European Bauhaus (NEB) initiative will develop connections on a wide range of topics. For example, there are shared objectives in areas such as climate-neutral and smart cities, adaptation of the built environment to the effects of climate change (while respecting existing aesthetic and historical values), including flooding and sea level rise, sustainable use of soils through better spatial planning, urban greening and nature-based solutions, and cancer prevention and quality of life through healthy lifestyles and a healthy living environment.

This action will offer opportunities to engage with communities on an environmentally sustainable, socially fair, and aesthetically appealing transition, using architecture, design and culture as core resources for a sustainable society. These shared qualities between Horizon Europe missions and the NEB should be capitalised on, leading to increased impact for both initiatives, and providing guidance and insight for the missions’ implementation. Horizon Europe missions and the NEB both emphasise the importance of involving citizens in the green transition at the local level, in pursuit of broader societal transformation. Linking the two initiatives can help solidify the concept in the public’s collective conscious that the missions embody research and innovation’s capacity to positively impact their daily lives.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

Proposals are expected to demonstrate all of the outcomes listed below:

  • The projects should have a clear expected transformational impact both on the built environment, and on how people live and interact in that environment. The pilots will fully embrace the mission objectives and NEB principles, acting as "lighthouse demonstrators", serving as test-beds for the implementation of Horizon Europe mission objectives and innovative solutions.
  • Deliver, by the end of the project, ‘tangible’ and replicable results, leading to benefits in the long-term.
  • The grants leading to the design and deployment of the initial implementation phase are meant to catalyse substantial additional investments (e.g. partnerships of national, regional, local public and private sources, including EU Structural Funds) to ensure the implementation of the full-scale project after the design phase.
  • A clear demonstration effect in relation to the operationalisation of the triangle of sustainability, inclusion and aesthetics, serving as reference for the broader implementation of the NEB initiative, as well as for the uptake and support of the Horizon Europe missions by national, regional and local authorities, other stakeholders, and European citizens, thus enabling a rapid scale-up of Horizon Europe missions’ activities.

Scope:

This action will contribute to the Delivery Phase of the NEB, by deploying mission-oriented pilot projects that will act as ‘lighthouse demonstrators’ across the territory of the European Union and Associated Countries. They should embrace the key principles of the NEB initiative (sustainability, inclusion and aesthetics), using architecture, design and culture as core resources for a sustainable society, and the mission-oriented approach (impactful, measurable, targeted) in an innovative and exemplary manner. They should address one or more relevant challenges that represent the wide scope of the NEB initiative, such as:

  • Environmental and climate adaptation challenges, environmental and climate risks, prevention and resilience
  • Economic and territorial changes linked to the green transition
  • Social challenges (poverty, segregation, social exclusion, etc.)
  • Challenges linked to the use, preservation and reconversion of existing infrastructure and heritage
  • Demographic challenges (ageing, migration, depopulation, changes in property market due to tourism, etc.)

Proposals should include:

  • The development of an ambitious, mission-oriented, quality co-design process, based on citizens’ and stakeholders' participation and multidisciplinary (e.g. arts, architecture, design, heritage, engineering, physical and spatial planning, manufacturing, technology, environmental and social sciences, etc.) and multilevel collaboration (e.g. civil society, public and private actors), also capable of addressing the relevant objectives of the Horizon Europe missions.
  • An ambitious and credible executive plan that identifies and analyses the challenges and resources of a given territory (e.g. neighbourhood, district, ecosystem) in terms of sustainability (in line with the European Green Deal), inclusiveness (including accessibility and affordability) and aesthetics (including functionality, comfort, attractiveness, etc.).
  • The detailed outlined, through feasibility studies, of highly innovative, cutting-edge solutions, associating meaningful, inclusive social purpose with strong aesthetic values and sustainability, in line with the European Green Deal, to address emblematic environmental and societal challenges at the territorial level.
  • Deployment of an initial set of solutions as demonstrators within a two-year timeframe, accompanied by a rigorous impact evaluation methodology, measuring the impact of the adopted methodologies. Involvement and testing of the demonstrators with international experts.
  • A detailed roadmap for implementation, with a sustainable financial plan quantifying and identifying substantial additional investment based on involvement and partnerships with different actors (national, regional, local, public and private sources).
  • Evidence of developed relationships and partnerships with responsible authorities and/or representatives (on planning, permits, property rights, financing, impact assessments, etc.).
  • Exchange and dissemination of co-design methodology at European Union and Associated Countries level.
  • Contribution to the outreach, dissemination and communication strategy and plan of the NEB and of Horizon Europe missions.
  • The NEB initiative, launched in late 2020, will undergo rapid development in an open community. Potential applicants are invited to join this community under [https://europa.eu/new-european-bauhaus/index_en] to contribute to the discussion on the application of the NEB principles in the 21st, and their role in the twin green and digital transitions, and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Projects are expected to participate in European-level networking opportunities in the context of the NEB initiative.




Horizon Europe: Cluster 1 - Prevention of obesity throughout the life course


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This topic aims at supporting activities that are enabling or contributing to one or several impacts of destination 1 “Staying healthy in a rapidly changing society”.

Deadline: Two-stage 1 February 2022 and 6 September 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Staying healthy in a rapidly changing society

Calls for proposals under this destination are directed towards the Key Strategic Orientation KSO-D ‘Creating a more resilient, inclusive and democratic European society’ of Horizon Europe’s Strategic Plan 2021-2024. Research and innovation supported under this destination should contribute to the impact area ‘Good health and high-quality accessible health care’ and in particular to the following expected impact, set out in the Strategic Plan for the health cluster: ‘citizens of all ages stay healthy and independent in a rapidly changing society thanks to healthier lifestyles and behaviours, healthier diets, healthier environments, improved evidence-based health policies, and more effective solutions for health promotion and disease prevention’. In addition, research and innovation supported under this destination could also contribute to the following impact areas: ‘High quality digital services for all’, ‘Sustainable food systems from farm to fork on land and sea’, and ‘Climate change mitigation and adaptation’.

People´s health care needs are different, depending on their age, stage of life and socio-economic background. Their physical and mental health and well-being can be influenced by their individual situation as well as the broader societal context they are living in. Furthermore, health education and behaviour are important factors. Currently, more than 790 000 deaths per year in Europe are due to risk factors such as smoking, drinking, physical inactivity, and obesity. Upbringing, income, education levels, social and gender aspects also have an impact on health risks and how disease can be prevented. Moreover, people´s health can be impacted by a rapidly changing society, making it challenging to keep pace and find its way through new technological tools and societal changes, which both are increasing demands on the individual´s resilience. In order to leave no one behind, to reduce health inequalities and to support healthy and active lives for all, it is crucial to provide suitable and tailor-made solutions, including for people with specific needs.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

Proposals under this topic should aim for delivering results that are directed, tailored towards and contributing to some of the following expected outcomes:

  • Researchers, developers of medical interventions, and health care professionals have a much better understanding of basic biological pathways (genetic and epigenetic blueprints) conferring susceptibility to and protecting against overweight/obesity, i.e. how genetic, epigenetic, environmental, socio-economic and lifestyle factors interact to drive or prevent the transition from normal weight to overweight/obesity throughout the life course.
  • Health care professionals, national/regional/local public authorities and other relevant actors (e.g. schools, canteens, hospitals, work places, shopping malls, sport centres):
    • Have access to, adopt and implement evidence-based clinical guidelines, best practices, coordinated, pan-European, multidisciplinary preventive strategies, policy recommendations and/or new policies to fight overweight/obesity and their co-morbidities throughout the life course.
    • Have access to and make use of a robust outcomes framework and tool-kit for standardised collection of economic and cost data related to the prevention and treatment of overweight/obesity and its co-morbidities at population level across European regions and countries.
    • Adopt and implement tailor-made prevention campaigns to tackle overweight/obesity, including campaigns for improving integration of health education into academic learning and raising awareness of health care providers and citizens.
  • Citizens have access to and make use of new tools and services to make informed decisions about lifestyle choices that will prevent them from becoming overweight/obese.

Scope:

Obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. Although health has improved in the EU over the last decades, the prevalence of obesity has tripled in many countries of the EU. It is known that once individuals become overweight or obese, they are at risk of developing related diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer). Overweight and obesity are largely preventable. In the current pandemic, the issue of overweight/obesity has become even more prominent, highlighting the need for prevention of overweight/obesity.

Increased efforts in research and innovation are critical for developing and testing the impact of tools, initiatives, interventions, strategies, programmes, policies and their implementation to prevent overweight/obesity. The use of best practices, harmonisation guidelines and/or standard operating procedures, developed at various levels (from local to national) in the EU and beyond, will be the foundation for new research.

Cultural diversity, urban/rural dichotomy, socio-economic status, age groups, sex and gender differences should be investigated, where relevant. Strong collaborations across sectors and with other European projects dealing with issues such as agriculture, aquaculture, food, environment, etc. are welcome. Proposals should engage citizens, civil society organisations (e.g. employers/employee organisations, charities), authorities (e.g. municipalities and health authorities) and institutions (schools, canteens, hospitals, work places, shopping malls, sport centres), local producers, etc. in the development of their actions to ensure acceptability and deployment. Proposals should aim to develop scientifically robust and transparent methodologies, building on achievements from previous research activities.

Proposals should address several of the following research bottlenecks:

  • A comprehensive understanding of biological pathways (genetic, epigenetic, molecular, microbiome, and/or neuroimmune) conferring susceptibility to and protecting against uncontrolled “weight gain".
  • Identification of socio-economic and lifestyle factors influencing consumer behaviour and their association to overweight/obesity prevention.
  • Identification of pre-obesity biomarkers (genetic, laboratory, imaging, etc.) and their association to lifestyle and environmental interventions aiming at obesity prevention and tailored to specific target populations.
  • Mapping existing implementation research activities to prevent overweight/obesity, outcome analyses and identification of best practices.
  • Conducting a thorough meta-review of information from available scientific literature and identification of the relationship between the risk for overweight/obesity and the biology of obesity, lifestyle habits, exposures, susceptibility to co-morbidities and/or all of their combinations.
  • Developing recommendations and guidelines for what constitutes an appropriate healthy diet for different age and health groups.
  • Understanding the causal links between overweight/obesity and sedentary behaviour, quality and quantity and types of food/drinks, physical activity, and personality traits.
  • Designing a creative and engaging programme to reach the optimal balance between diets and physical activity for the prevention of overweight/obesity.
  • Analysing obesity stigma, stress and work-life balance, circadian rhythm disruption, mental health (including psychological problems), screen-time dependency, drugs and side effect of drugs, for the prevention of overweight/obesity.
  • Addressing inequality aspects of overweight/obesity at multiple levels, taking into account vulnerable groups, gender and socio-economic factors.
  • Setting up pilots to assess the effectiveness of obesity management strategies, including cost-effectiveness, and analyse the impact of inactions, taking into account co-morbidities and value-based care system.
  • Developing a system for monitoring population indicators relevant to overweight/obesity by extending European Core Health Indicators.

Proposals should adopt a patient-centred approach that empowers patients, promotes a culture of dialogue and openness between health professionals, patients and their families, and unleashes the potential of social innovation.

Proposals could consider the involvement of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) whose contribution could consists of providing added-value regarding aspects of healthier school environments, effectiveness of policies influencing food preferences as well as improving the food offer and food environment.

All projects funded under this topic are strongly encouraged to participate in networking and joint activities, as appropriate. These networking and joint activities could, for example, involve the participation in joint workshops, the exchange of knowledge, the development and adoption of best practices, or joint communication activities. This could also involve networking and joint activities with projects funded under other clusters and pillars of Horizon Europe, or other EU programmes, as appropriate. Therefore, proposals are expected to include a budget for the attendance to regular joint meetings and may consider to cover the costs of any other potential joint activities without the prerequisite to detail concrete joint activities at this stage. The details of these joint activities will be defined during the grant agreement preparation phase. In this regard, the Commission may take on the role of facilitator for networking and exchanges, including with relevant stakeholders, if appropriate.




Horizon Europe: Cluster 5 - Improvement of Integrated Assessment Models in support of climate policies


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call aims to improve the state-of-the-art of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs).

Deadline: 10 February 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Climate sciences and responses for the transformation towards climate neutrality

Europe has been at the forefront of climate science and should retain its leadership position to support EU policies as well as international efforts for a global uptake of climate action in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including biodiversity objectives. Advancing climate science and further broadening and deepening the knowledge base is essential to inform the societal transition towards a climate neutral and climate resilient society by 2050, as well as towards a more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030. It will involve research that furthers our understanding of past, present and expected future changes in climate and its implications on ecosystems and society, closing knowledge gaps, and develops the tools that support policy coherence and the implementation of effective mitigation and adaptation solutions. Due to the inherent international character of this subject, international collaboration is encouraged for topics under this destination.

The activities implemented under this section will enable the transition to a climate-neutral and resilient society and economy through improving the knowledge of the Earth system and the ability to predict and project its changes under different natural and socio-economic drivers, including a better understanding of society’s response and behavioural changes, and allowing a better estimation of the impacts of climate change and the design and evaluation of solutions and pathways for climate change mitigation and adaptation and related social transformation.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Improved adequacy of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) to effectively contribute to international, European, national and regional climate policy processes in support of the implementation of the European Green Deal, the Paris Agreement, COVID-19 recovery and broader sustainability goals
  • Contributions to major international scientific assessments such as the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the International Resource Panel (IRP).
  • Increased robustness, legitimacy, relevance, usability and transparency of IAMs leading to increased uptake and better awareness of their results across various end-user groups, developing, where possible, new business models for IAMs transparency (for example, open source and open code options).
  • Enhanced coherence between climate action (mitigation, understanding of impacts, climate risks and adaptation) and other environmental/sustainability objectives, notably biodiversity, based on a more realistic representation of their interactions, including co-benefits and trade-offs.
  • More active involvement of citizens in climate action based on better understanding and demonstration of how small scale actions contribute to the achievement of large-scale climate policy objectives including through socially innovative approaches, and better understanding of which actions/policies are more effective.
  • Ultimately, accelerated transition towards climate neutrality based on improved knowledge and better designed policies that are more integrated, greener, healthier, more inclusive.

Scope:

Actions should improve the state-of-the-art of IAMs by tackling their existing weaknesses and lack of/limited capabilities of the current generation of models in order to provide robust, credible and transparent evidence-base in support of design and evaluation of multiscale (global, European, national, regional) mitigation policies at various time horizons.

An important goal of this call is to address multiple challenges in a coherent and consistent manner using an integrated framework. To achieve this goal, it is not compulsory to incorporate all issues into a single IAM. Combinations of hard linking, soft linking and other ways of insuring a coherent approach between models and experts can be considered.

Actions should address developments and improvements, such as:

  • Sectorial detail and (transformative/structural) changes across various sectors of the economy such as those resulting from increased circularity and digitalisation.
  • Temporal resolution and technological detail.
  • Spatial resolution with outputs suitable for national/regional level analysis.
  • Behavioural and lifestyle changes.
  • Distributional and equity effects of climate policies.
  • Interactions with the relevant sustainable development goals (such as co-benefits due to avoided impacts and trade-offs in areas such as health, biodiversity, food security etc.).
  • Climate change impacts, including the extent to which they can be avoided through mitigation action, synergies and trade-offs between climate mitigation and adaptation policies.
  • Financial sector and investment needs, including information in support of investment risk-reduction strategies to mobilise capital to finance the transition towards a climate-neutral economy.
  • Uncertainties and risk-management strategies for supporting mitigation policies.

The above list is non-exhaustive and actions also may propose new avenues of research, while duly justifying their choice and keeping in mind the impact on IAMs’ relevance and adequacy as a decision-support tool. Actions should also explore options for making models more capable of responding to external shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic or similar. While addressing the improvements, actions should take into account the modelling requirements and learnings resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.

Actions should build on the knowledge base developed by previous initiatives and are encouraged to establish links with other relevant projects financed from this work programme (e.g. circular economy, climate adaptation modelling) and by Horizon 2020. In order to avoid duplication of efforts, proposals should clearly demonstrate how they will go beyond the modelling state of art.

Actions are encouraged to explore alternative approaches to the mainstream economic assumptions typically underlying the models (such as fully functioning markets and perfect information) and aim at striking the right balance between model complexity and usability.

In order to maximise the impact, active involvement of the end-users (policy makers, business, civil society) in the co-design of models and validation of the outputs should be considered. Applicants should investigate and apply communication tools and strategies for improved interaction with stakeholders and dissemination of model results, duly accounting for the needs of non-technical audiences. They should further develop the thinking around the best ways to apply modelling insights to policies, including by building on the learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic. Consortia should also explore ways for better bridging the gap between modelling theory and practical applications, including in support of behavioural change and societal transformation.

It is recommended to include capacity-building efforts to lower the entrance barriers to the established IAM community by involving research teams in EU Member States and Associated Countries that are less advanced in terms of modelling capabilities.

When dealing with models, actions should promote the highest standards of transparency and openness, as much as possible going well beyond documentation and extending to aspects such as assumptions, code and data that is managed in compliance with the FAIR principles[1]. In particular, beneficiaries are strongly encouraged to publish results data in open access databases and/or as annexes to publications. In addition, full openness of any new modules, models or tools developed from scratch or substantially improved with the use of EU funding is expected.

This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.

[1]FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). Further information: https://www.go-fair.org/fair-principles/; and Final Report and Action Plan from the European Commission Expert Group on FAIR Data, “TURNING FAIR INTO REALITY” (https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/turning_fair_into_reality_0.pdf)




Horizon Europe: Cluster 6 - Assessing the nexus of extraction, production, consumption, trade and behaviour patterns and of climate change action on biodiversity in the context of transformative change


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call aims to develop knowledge and tools to understand the role of transformative change for biodiversity policy making, address the indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, and initiate, accelerate and upscale biodiversity-relevant transformative changes in our society.

Deadline: 15 February 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

The EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 is a cornerstone of the European Green Deal that will put Europe’s biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030, for the benefit of people, the climate and the planet. It will also prepare the EU to take a leading role in the upcoming international negotiations on a new global framework to halt biodiversity loss. With the Green Deal’s ‘do no significant harm’ vision, all EU policies will become more biodiversity-friendly, focusing more on the sustainable use of ecosystems, supporting the recovery in a post-pandemic world[[COM/2020/380 EU biodiversity strategy for 2030: Bringing nature back into our lives]]. This policy vision is fully supported in the strategic plan of Horizon Europe for 2021-2024 in its first key strategic orientation ‘Protecting and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity and managing sustainably natural resources on land and at sea, and achieving climate neutrality and adaptation’. Consequently, Destination ‘Biodiversity and ecosystem services’ intends to achieve the following expected impact from Cluster 6 ‘Biodiversity is back on a path to recovery, and ecosystems and their services are preserved and sustainably restored on land, inland water and at sea through improved knowledge and innovation’. All actions funded under this destination must therefore help to deliver this main impact.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

In line with the EU biodiversity strategy, a successful proposal must develop knowledge and tools to understand the role of transformative change for biodiversity policy making, address the indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, and initiate, accelerate and upscale biodiversity-relevant transformative changes in our society.

Projects must address all of the following outcomes:

  • Economically, socially, ethically and institutionally viable and sustainable pathways are designed to minimise biodiversity loss or to enhance biodiversity. These pathways should consider mutually influencing extraction, production, consumption, trade patterns in the medium- and long-term (beyond 2030).
  • Improve understanding of the human dimensions impacting biodiversity i.e. ethics, social context, institutions, organisation, behaviour will provide policy makers, industrial stakeholders and civil society the tools needed to reframe their actions, by highlighting the synergies of mainstreaming biodiversity with climate transitions, including on how to avoid or minimise trade-offs.
  • Better understand social norms and behaviours, linked to socio-economic values (e.g. ethics, social context of individuals, consumers, institutions, organisations, industry) affecting biodiversity.
  • Inform and motivate transformational change through learning, co-creation and dialogue based on case studies. The understanding of the biodiversity inter-dependencies of the SDGs has improved; IPBES and IPCC are strengthened through European research and innovation. Provide a set of approaches, tools and knowledge influence policies at the appropriate level on transformative change for biodiversity – the key elements for this change are delivered by the portfolio of cooperating projects (of which these projects form part).

With focus on assessing the nexus of extraction, production (including processing), consumption, trade and behaviour patterns, including transformative changes for climate change on biodiversity for the EU and Associated Countries, international cooperation in particular with African countries, Brazil, Latin American and Caribbean countries or the Mediterranean region is strongly encouraged.

Scope:

Proposals should address all the following points:

  • Assess how extraction, production, processing, consumption, trade, behaviour patterns, especially linked to primary production (e.g. livestock with/or energy crops, etc. including through tele-coupling from consumption and all along supply chains), integrated food systems, and transformative changes towards climate neutrality, affect biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Develop pathways together with key industries and key stakeholders to minimise loss of, and enhance biodiversity, whilst increasing the delivery of a wide range of ecosystem services. These industries cover food, feed, fibre, energy production and the wider food chain (related to bio-economy, renewable energies, infrastructure, technologies)[1], and the deployment of climate mitigation and adaptation measures potentially harmful for biodiversity (e.g. concrete walls in coastal areas, replacement of biodiversity rich ecosystems for energy crops, etc.).
  • Identify and address leverage points for transformational change in trade, triggering changes in established and new production and consumption patterns for new business models.
  • Highlight the potential of (1) public procurement for delivering biodiversity benefits and (2) nature-based solutions for enabling and accelerating the relevant aspects of transformative change.
  • Quantify investments into infrastructure and labour that could be shifted from impacting biodiversity negatively towards benefits for biodiversity, including the anticipation, mitigation and management of social, institutional and economic conflicts this may trigger (or decrease), to achieve a just transition process.
  • Understand and engage communities and other social actors, including through citizens science, and initiate behavioural changes leading to production and consumption patterns preventing further biodiversity loss.
  • Cooperate with ongoing activities to include biodiversity into integrated assessment models[2] and analyse the usability of existing and emerging concepts such as ‘Planetary Boundaries’, ‘Doughnut Economy’, ‘Environmental Footprints’.
  • Explain the relevance of transition pathways for biodiversity for competitive sustainability, towards a just transition in the full range of SDGs and climate neutrality.

Unsustainable production and consumption, including the role of trade for linking both, are pushing many of the direct drivers of biodiversity loss: land use change, overexploitation, climate change and pollution. Proposals should, based on a clear understanding of these relationships[3] address how leverage points and levers can be identified and used for generating benefits for biodiversity, e.g. through revision of regulation, standards, funding practices or governance processes.

They should highlight how the primary production sectors (in particular in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, raw material extraction, and also the construction sector) and the related infrastructure and energy provision and use impacts biodiversity directly. They should show effects on the direction of economic development, which leads to lock-in effects, inequalities, lack of capacities of institutions at every level to shift towards sustainable use, the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services. On patterns of consumption, proposals should show how their impacts such as uneven use and exploitation of resources, generation of waste and pollution, value setting, power setting in societies, institutions and financial streams could be addressed in business, institutional and consumer agendas to achieve positive outcomes for biodiversity.

Proposals should assess the cultural diversity that influences these compromises and people’s engagement, and lead the way to further mainstream biodiversity in socio-economic and environmental agendas, from the transformative aspect of changing extraction, production and processing, consumption, trade and behaviour patterns, including on actions for addressing climate change on biodiversity. They should also analyse and test the use of nature-based solutions as tool in this regard. Optimal and cost-effective use of behavioural games, networks of sensors, GIS-mapping, big data and observational programmes such as the European Earth observation programme Copernicus, through the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) as well as citizens' observatories, should be used as appropriate to enable the integration and visualisation of data.

Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake.

Proposals should build their analysis upon the links between multiple Sustainable Development Goals, to deliver direct and indirect biodiversity benefits, and of the role of biodiversity in reaching the set of Sustainable Development Goals, when related to extraction, production, consumption, trade and behaviour patterns.

Proposals should produce case studies and collect good and bad examples that could inform these transformations and inform and inspire transformative change through learning, co-creation and dialogue.

Proposals should include specific tasks and ensure sufficient resources to develop joint deliverables (e.g. activities, workshops, as well as joint communication and dissemination) with all projects on transformative change related to biodiversity. This concerns projects funded under this destination, or under calls included in Destination ‘Fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems from primary production to consumption’ related to transformational change (Fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems from primary production to consumption) that aim to deliver various co-benefits, including on the reduction of biodiversity loss. Projects should use existing platforms and information sharing mechanisms relevant for transformational change and on biodiversity knowledge[4]. Cooperation and possibly synergies with relevant topics in Cluster 5 should be explored and established as relevant. Furthermore, cooperation is expected with the European partnership on biodiversity and with the Science Service.

Proposals should show how their results might provide timely information for major science-policy bodies such as the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as the Convention on Biological Diversity on project outcomes. Cooperation is requested with projects under ‘HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-20: Support to processes triggered by IPBES and IPCC’ and ‘HORIZON-CL6-2022-BIODIV-01-10: Cooperation with the Convention on Biological Diversity’.

This topic should involve the effective contribution of social science and humanities disciplines.

[1]Based on the development of sustainable pathways as issued by projects such as CD-LINKS and EUCalc.

[2]Such as activities stemming from CL5-D1-CSR-07-2021/2, CL5-D1-CSR-09-2021/2 and CL5-D1-CSR-15-2021/2

[3]As provided in IPBES (2018, 2019), IPCC (2019), EKLIPSE and EC (2020), GBO-5 (2020), FP7 and H2020 projects on climate and urban transitions. See also http://www.biodiversitybarometer.org/

[4]BISE, Knowledge Centre for Biodiversity, BiodivERsA, Oppla, NetworkNature and their joint work streams




Horizon Europe: Cluster 6 - Understanding the role of behaviour, gender specifics, lifestyle, religious and cultural values, and addressing the role of enabling players (civil society, policy makers, financing and business leaders, retailers) in decision making


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call aims to develop knowledge and tools to understand the role of transformative change for biodiversity policy making, finance and business leaders, address the indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, and initiate, accelerate and upscale biodiversity-relevant transformative changes in our society.

Deadline: 15 February 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

The EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 is a cornerstone of the European Green Deal that will put Europe’s biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030, for the benefit of people, the climate and the planet. It will also prepare the EU to take a leading role in the upcoming international negotiations on a new global framework to halt biodiversity loss. With the Green Deal’s ‘do no significant harm’ vision, all EU policies will become more biodiversity-friendly, focusing more on the sustainable use of ecosystems, supporting the recovery in a post-pandemic world[[COM/2020/380 EU biodiversity strategy for 2030: Bringing nature back into our lives]]. This policy vision is fully supported in the strategic plan of Horizon Europe for 2021-2024 in its first key strategic orientation ‘Protecting and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity and managing sustainably natural resources on land and at sea, and achieving climate neutrality and adaptation’. Consequently, Destination ‘Biodiversity and ecosystem services’ intends to achieve the following expected impact from Cluster 6 ‘Biodiversity is back on a path to recovery, and ecosystems and their services are preserved and sustainably restored on land, inland water and at sea through improved knowledge and innovation’. All actions funded under this destination must therefore help to deliver this main impact.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

In line with the EU biodiversity strategy, a successful proposal will develop knowledge and tools to understand the role of transformative change for biodiversity policy making, finance and business leaders, address the indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, and initiate, accelerate and upscale biodiversity-relevant transformative changes in our society.

The projects should address all of the following outcomes:

  • Inform approaches tackling biodiversity loss and implementing nature-based solutions that consider how behaviour, lifestyles, religious, societal and cultural values shape the choices of producers and consumers, institutions and their policy decisions.
  • The motives behind broad societal changes and transitions are taken up in the design of relevant policies, communication and engagement campaigns and other actions.
  • Leverage points in those sectors with the greatest impact on biodiversity are addressed, as the role of decisive actors (civil society, education institutions, policy makers, financing and business leaders, retailers) and their inter-sectorial consultation is known. This includes human rights and due diligence across economic value chains, as well as the role of employment patterns for a just transition.
  • The understanding of the biodiversity inter-dependencies of the SDGs has improved; IPBES and IPCC are strengthened by the contribution of European research and innovation. Approaches, tools and knowledge influence policies at the adequate level on transformative change for biodiversity – the key elements for this change are delivered by the portfolio of cooperating projects (of which these projects form part).

Scope:

Proposals should engage with civil society organisations – in particular those working on gender, diversity, equity and inclusion –, social partners, policy makers, financing, industry and business leaders, and retailers and value-led (such as religious and cultural) institutions when addressing the role of enabling players for transformative changes in biodiversity actions, exemplified at relevant levels from local to global. They should identify and test measures to overcome barriers for behaviour changes in biodiversity action, considering ethical questions in behavioural economics, e.g. linked to future generations. This should acknowledge the interdependence of the climate and biodiversity crisis.

The proposals should explore intersectionality approaches and consider interlocking systems of power between gender and other social categories and identities such as religion, ethnicity and race (including migrants and refugees), social class and wealth, gender identity and sexual orientation and disability to better address access to and ownership of nature-based solutions.

The proposals should analyse and address the impact of intrinsic vs economic/utilitarian values. They should include an estimation of the importance of engineered vs haphazard policy making factors at relevant levels, and specify and address effects of processes affecting adherence to democracy, voting campaigns, science denialism[1].

The proposals should build their analysis upon the synergies of multiple Sustainable Development Goals, to deliver direct and indirect biodiversity benefits, and of the role of biodiversity in reaching the set of Sustainable Development Goals, considering the importance of behaviour, lifestyle, religious and cultural values.

The proposals should produce case studies and collect good and failed examples that could inform these transformations[2] and inform and inspire transformative change through learning, co-creation and dialogue.

Proposals should include specific tasks and provide sufficient resources to develop joint deliverables (e.g. activities, workshops, as well as joint communication and dissemination) with all projects with all projects on transformative change related to biodiversity funded under this destination, and should use existing platforms and information sharing mechanisms relevant for transformational change and on biodiversity knowledge[3]. Furthermore, cooperation is expected with the European partnership on biodiversity and the Science Service (HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-19: A mechanism for science to inform implementation, monitoring, review and ratcheting up of the new EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 (‘Science Service’). Proposals should show how their results might provide timely information for major science-policy bodies such as the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as the Convention on Biological Diversity on project outcomes. Cooperation is expected with projects ‘HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-20: Support to processes triggered by IPBES and IPCC’ and ‘HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-2022-01-10: Cooperation with the Convention on Biological Diversity’.

This topic should involve the effective contribution of social science and humanities disciplines.

[1]Cooperation with Horizon 2020 Green Deal Call topic 10.2 is encouraged

[2]Using results from previous projects and initiatives at EU and global level (see also project POLICYMIX and studies such as http://www.biodiversitybarometer.org/ or https://portfolio.earth/) and referring to, and critically assessing, the understanding of transformative change in IPBES and GBO-5, EEA

[3]BISE, Knowledge Centre for Biodiversity, BiodivERsA, Oppla, NetworkNature and their joint work streams




Horizon Europe: Cluster 6 - Assessing and improving labour conditions and health and safety at work in farming


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call aims to contribute to fostering a sustainable, balanced and inclusive development of rural areas.

Deadline: 15 February 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Resilient, inclusive, healthy and green rural, coastal and urban communities

Places and people matter to the achievement of a more sustainable Europe. The Sustainable Development Goals and the ecological and digital transitions brought forward by the European Green Deal[[https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en]] and digital strategy[[https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/shaping-europe-digital-future_en]], alongside the recent pandemic, bring challenges and opportunities that differ for different places and people. Rural (including mountains and sparsely populated areas) and coastal areas, play a key role in managing, protecting and using natural resources. The provision of both private and public goods from these areas depends on the resilience and attractiveness of rural and coastal communities and the capacity of people who live and work there to access a sufficient level of well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted deficiencies in digital infrastructures and economic opportunities that hamper resilience. Urban communities generally offer better access to many services but are also more vulnerable to supply-chain disruptions, as shown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, they have a key role to play in fostering sustainable production and consumption as major demand drivers. In all communities, social and behavioural drivers play an important role in enabling or slowing down transitions. Knowledge and innovative solutions need to be developed to enhance every community’s resilience and capacity to contribute to and benefit from the upcoming transitions in an economy that works for all territories and ensures a fair and just transition leaving no one behind.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

The successful proposal will contribute to fostering a sustainable, balanced and inclusive development of rural areas, supporting the implementation of the EU farm to fork strategy[1], the European pillar of social rights[2] and the long-term vision for rural areas[3]. It will do so by increasing the understanding of the social and behavioural drivers of change, especially in relation with social inclusion, labour, health and safety aspects, and by favouring the deployment of innovations that improve labour conditions, health and safety in farming, equipping the sector with smarter and innovative solutions that increase opportunities for most vulnerable groups, improve attractiveness of farm work and reduce the feeling of being left behind. Improved knowledge leading to more supportive policy frameworks alongside practical innovations will empower people and businesses to act for change and get prepared to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, adapt to climate change, and turn digital and ecological transitions into increased resilience, good health and positive long-term prospects, including jobs, for all including women, young people and vulnerable groups.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • enhanced understanding and awareness by policy makers, farmers organisations, trade unions and health authorities of farmers’ and farm workers’ health and safety, and on the implications of the perceptions of their work on the future of the sector and hence on long-term food security;
  • improved policy and governance frameworks favouring safer and more inclusive working environments for farmers and farm workers;
  • wider use of corporate social responsibility innovations by farm businesses; and
  • improved health, safety and labour conditions in farming thanks to better performing European and national policy and legal frameworks and innovative bottom-up initiatives.

Scope:

Proposals should analyse health and safety at work issues in the farming sector with a specific focus on working conditions (and how they will evolve with digital transitions, climate change, health risks, regulatory developments on chemicals, farmers mental health, injuries, etc.) and labour conditions (seasonal patterns, working time, income and work outside legal contracts, including mobile EU and non-EU workers) also in relation to the perceived attractiveness of farming or working in farming as a job. They should analyse work risks and the vulnerability of farm workers of different genders and ages. They should engage with current and potential future farmers and farm workers on their perception of work in farming and their perspectives and plans for the future, including farm inheritance/take over, seeking to understand the attractiveness of the job (e.g. in relation to wages, stability, seasonality etc.). They should assess the impact of the type of labour force involved (family, local, external) on society and on the farm (including from the workers’ perspectives) and the consequences in case of external shocks such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposals should explore the potential of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and social economy and entrepreneurship to improve the situation of farm workers, including business models that reward improved working conditions through premium prices or other forms of reward, including for non-productive functions such as social inclusion, empowerment and care (non-EU good practices could be considered). They should analyse consumers’ willingness to pay for more ethical working conditions and enabling conditions for market development in this arena. To this end, they should support social innovation[4], social entrepreneurship or corporate social responsibility pilots in a limited number of localities to serve as role models or positive examples to learn from and be scaled-up.

They should explore the policy implications of the outcomes (including regulation and control); benchmark policy design and delivery and make recommendations for improved policy frameworks at the right level of governance considering the various competencies involved (EU, national, regional etc.). Finally, they should develop training and education actions to raise farmers, farm workers, trade unions and farmers organisations awareness of health-protecting innovations that can be scaled up.

Proposals must implement the multi-actor approach, bringing together multiple science fields, in particular the social sciences and humanities (SSH) (e.g. sociology, behavioural sciences, psychology etc.), actors with complementary knowledge of health, employment, farm contracts, taxation etc., farmers and farmer organisations or trade unions and support groups for farmers facing difficulties. This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines. Proposals should cover a representative variety of countries and sectors at least in the EU, covering in particular countries and sectors in which intra-EU and non-EU mobile workers are a significant part of the sector’s labour force. Attention should be paid to gender and age disparities in the cases analysed and pilots supported. For gender-related issues, the project may engage in collaboration with projects funded under HORIZON-CL6-2022-COMMUNITIES-01-01: Boosting women-led innovation in farming and rural areas.

[1]https://ec.europa.eu/food/farm2fork_en

[2]https://ec.europa.eu/commission/priorities/deeper-and-fairer-economic-and-monetary-union/european-pillar-social-rights/european-pillar-social-rights-20-principles_en

[3]https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/new-push-european-democracy/long-term-vision-rural-areas_en

[4]Social innovation is defined for this topic as “the reconfiguring of social practices, in response to societal challenges, which seeks to enhance outcomes on societal well-being and necessarily includes the engagement of civil society actors”. (SIMRA)




Horizon Europe: Cluster 6 - Social innovation in food sharing to strengthen urban communities’ food resilience


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call aims to support the development of policies, business models and market conditions contributing to the sustainable, balanced and inclusive development of urban and peri-urban areas and to the empowerment and resilience of their communities, who can access, afford and choose healthier, nutritious and environmental-friendly food.

Deadline: 15 February 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Resilient, inclusive, healthy and green rural, coastal and urban communities

Places and people matter to the achievement of a more sustainable Europe. The Sustainable Development Goals and the ecological and digital transitions brought forward by the European Green Deal[[https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en]] and digital strategy[[https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/shaping-europe-digital-future_en]], alongside the recent pandemic, bring challenges and opportunities that differ for different places and people. Rural (including mountains and sparsely populated areas) and coastal areas, play a key role in managing, protecting and using natural resources. The provision of both private and public goods from these areas depends on the resilience and attractiveness of rural and coastal communities and the capacity of people who live and work there to access a sufficient level of well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted deficiencies in digital infrastructures and economic opportunities that hamper resilience. Urban communities generally offer better access to many services but are also more vulnerable to supply-chain disruptions, as shown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, they have a key role to play in fostering sustainable production and consumption as major demand drivers. In all communities, social and behavioural drivers play an important role in enabling or slowing down transitions. Knowledge and innovative solutions need to be developed to enhance every community’s resilience and capacity to contribute to and benefit from the upcoming transitions in an economy that works for all territories and ensures a fair and just transition leaving no one behind.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

In line with the European Green Deal priorities and the farm to fork strategy for a fair healthy and environmentally friendly food system, as well as of the EU's Climate ambition for 2030 and 2050, the successful proposal will support the development of policies, business models and market conditions contributing to the sustainable, balanced and inclusive development of urban and peri-urban areas and to the empowerment and resilience of their communities, who can access, afford and choose healthier, nutritious and environmental-friendly food.

Projects results are expected to contribute to all following expected outcomes:

  • The concept of urban food-sharing economy and of its impacts on the society, the planet and the economy at urban and peri-urban level are better understood, as well as the drivers to its development and the implementation gaps;
  • Urban and peri-urban communities develop or strengthen their food-sharing economies as a step towards more innovative, inclusive, sustainable and resilient local food systems and supply chains that can also address emerging problems, such as the challenges posed by the measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • Prevention and reduction of food waste.

Scope:

With the recent Covid-19 pandemic, it is now evident that the risk of disruptions of food systems needs to be given greater attention. Strengthening the resilience of communities (in particular the most vulnerable and isolated, and those at risk of food poverty) to potential food system disruptions is at the heart of this topic.

The Pandemic has contributed to the emergence of territorialised and community-based food economies spontaneously created by citizens. These new sharing and circular economies are based on the redistribution of value, knowledge-sharing and reciprocal support, and are often supported by local governments.

Urban food sharing initiatives have been multiplying across a wide range of diversified cities, far beyond the wealthiest ones, and are often facilitated by new technologies such as apps, websites and social media. Such initiatives develop strategies that support an increase in resilience, social justice and empowerment of vulnerable and marginalised populations.

However, urban food sharing is still an unexplored – and debated – field; there is currently no agreed definition and many activities can be considered as part of it (e.g., kitchen spaces, meal sharing, food business incubators, collaborative delivery services, food donation). The lack of political interest, financing and sufficient data, as well as the existence of regulatory barriers and risks (both real and perceived), are holding back the rise of new food systems economies that work for all people and the planet.

The proposals should foster social innovation, with a special focus on building a more widespread and resilient food sharing economy, where different practices can be considered, while working on 5 distinct areas:

  • Mapping, tracking and monitoring: building on the work of the EU-funded project ‘Sharecity’[1], proposals should investigate the food sharing landscapes of at least 100 EU/Associated Countries cities to understand how food sharing landscapes differ within and across countries; moreover, proposals should develop automated systems to search, collect and – especially – update existing urban and peri-urban initiatives;
  • Cost-benefit analysis: proposals should define appropriate measures and indicators to assess the social, economic and environmental benefits of urban and peri-urban food sharing, including developing new indices to describe the specificity of food sharing economy. This should include the production of new knowledge on the challenges, implementation gaps and innovative mechanisms to foster for sustainable food sharing in cities, towns and neighbourhoods;
  • Comparative governance analysis: proposals should investigate how different food sharing landscapes evolve and, also through a scenario analysis, how to transform the existing regulatory regimes, governance structures and habits, to promote sustainable food sharing;
  • Strategic planning: proposals should exploit the potential for replicability/scale up of existing food sharing initiatives across the EU and associated countries and bring innovation into urban food systems design to integrate sustainable food sharing and build the urban food systems of the future;
  • Challenging the existing theories: proposals should study the relationship between the evolution of social norms, culture and local conditions, including their change due to the global pandemics, and the rise of food sharing initiatives.

Furthermore, proposals should support the definition of innovative local strategies to overcome the barriers to food and nutrition security in urban areas and boost community resilience. This can include the creation and evaluation of distributive food systems (e.g. mutual aid programmes, local food systems networks) based on local needs and capacities, where value, knowledge and power would be redistributed fairly across actors and territories; tailored solutions - including social innovations, frugal innovation, technologies, new/adapted business models -, as well as new market places.

Proposals should address inequalities in urban food systems, whether they be due to gender, race and other social categories.

Proposals should implement the multi-actor approach by conducting inter and trans-disciplinary research and involving a wide diversity of food system actors, with a special attention to consumers and civil society organisations. They should ensure a strong involvement of citizens and civil society, as well as of academia, industry and public authorities in the development of the methods and approaches to innovation.

Proposals should explain and map how the co-benefits relevant to the four Food 2030 priorities will be achieved: Nutrition for sustainable healthy diets, Climate and environment, Circularity and resource efficiency, Innovation and empowerment of communities.

Proposals should set out a clear plan on how they will collaborate with other proposals selected under this and any other relevant topic/call, e. g. by participating in joint activities, workshops, as well as common communication and dissemination activities.

This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.

[1]https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/646883/




Horizon Europe: Cluster 6 - Assessing the socio-politics of nature-based solutions for more inclusive and resilient communities


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call aims to contribute to develop rural, coastal and urban areas in a sustainable, balanced and inclusive manner thanks to the deployment of nature-based solutions (NBS)[1] and to a better understanding of the environmental, socio-economic, behavioural and cultural drivers of change.

Deadline: 15 February 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Resilient, inclusive, healthy and green rural, coastal and urban communities

Places and people matter to the achievement of a more sustainable Europe. The Sustainable Development Goals and the ecological and digital transitions brought forward by the European Green Deal[[https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en]] and digital strategy[[https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/shaping-europe-digital-future_en]], alongside the recent pandemic, bring challenges and opportunities that differ for different places and people. Rural (including mountains and sparsely populated areas) and coastal areas, play a key role in managing, protecting and using natural resources. The provision of both private and public goods from these areas depends on the resilience and attractiveness of rural and coastal communities and the capacity of people who live and work there to access a sufficient level of well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted deficiencies in digital infrastructures and economic opportunities that hamper resilience. Urban communities generally offer better access to many services but are also more vulnerable to supply-chain disruptions, as shown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, they have a key role to play in fostering sustainable production and consumption as major demand drivers. In all communities, social and behavioural drivers play an important role in enabling or slowing down transitions. Knowledge and innovative solutions need to be developed to enhance every community’s resilience and capacity to contribute to and benefit from the upcoming transitions in an economy that works for all territories and ensures a fair and just transition leaving no one behind.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

A successful proposal will contribute to the EU’s goal of leading just digital, economic and ecological transitions that will leave no one behind, supporting in particular European Green Deal priorities such as the biodiversity strategy for 2030. R&I will contribute to develop rural, coastal and urban areas in a sustainable, balanced and inclusive manner thanks to the deployment of nature-based solutions (NBS)[1] and to a better understanding of the environmental, socio-economic, behavioural and cultural drivers of change. R&I will also further support the empowerment of communities to deploy NBS to adapt to climate change and turn digital and ecological transitions into increased resilience, well-being and positive long-term prospects, such as jobs for all (including for women, young people and vulnerable groups).

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Enhanced contribution of nature-based solutions (NBS) to social and economic targets, especially in vulnerable communities and notably regarding the transformative change needed to address the biodiversity and climate crises.
  • New NBS governance models and co-creation approaches and tools, as well as NBS design and technologies that enhance social benefits while providing ecological and economic benefits.
  • NBS are better suited to respond to different socio-political contexts and have higher replicability in the diverse environmental, economic and social conditions across Europe.

Scope:

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are already being delivered with increasing evidence on their effectiveness, but implementation issues persist, hindering NBS uptake and upscale. There is a need to move beyond seeing the implementation challenge as primarily a technical issue, to develop our understanding of the economic, social, political, moral and cultural dimensions of designing and implementing NBS[2].

Most of the available approaches seem inadequate to fully take into consideration synergies and trade-offs among different actions, notably in what concerns the social and cultural benefits of NBS. They often also fail to understand the social, political and institutional contexts and the material and discursive elements that shape NBS implementation. This, in turn, affects the long-term success of NBS, notably in contributing to the transformative change needed to address the biodiversity and climate crises. This understanding is particularly crucial when implementing NBS to support vulnerable communities and regions to cope with transformative change in old-industrialised, low-income, outermost or disaster-hit areas. NBS can also contribute to addressing inequities and well-being in communities and regions who need it most, especially in terms of the post-COVID19 recovery. Additionally, our understanding of how diverse actors – who may operate at different scales and through multiple networks – are engaged in the development and implementation of NBS is still limited, especially when the deployment of NBS implies collaboration across different regions, administrative areas or simply different types of land owners.

The successful proposals should:

  • Gain a wider understanding of the role of actors involved in NBS, considering: a) particular groups of actors that have been under-researched (e.g. land holders such as churches, charitable organizations, educational establishments, utilities, etc.); b) sectors of the economy (e.g. agriculture, forestry, tourism, finance, etc.) and c) landscapes (e.g. coastal areas, river catchments, wetlands, etc.);
  • Investigate how different NBS designs and governance can contribute to environmental justice, prevent environmental racism and gentrification, insure the inclusion and active participation of women, youth, minority groups, immigrant communities, etc.;
  • Develop innovative governance models: a) exploring different forms of engagement, inclusion and stewardship; b) enabling the breaking of silos in public administration and between different administrative domains; and c) tackling other legal, management and administrative issues;
  • Propose ways in which NBS governance and design can contribute to transformative change and to a just transition in support of the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Understand and propose solutions to functional conflicts in land-use for better and more integration between NBS, land-use planning and other (possibly conflicting) sectors, their policies and planning processes;
  • Explore governance techniques (e.g. standards, certification, incentives, subsidies, etc.) that develop private and voluntary governance alongside formal regulatory and planning powers, with a view to mainstreaming NBS in the public and private sectors.
  • Identify the possibilities for, and limits to, the full co-creation approach in NBS (including co-design, co-implementation, co-maintenance and co-monitoring), their underlying governance arrangements and instruments;
  • Provide approaches based on citizen science, big data or artificial intelligence tools to better communicate the science of NBS and promote citizen engagement in the co-creation, co-implementation and co-monitoring of NBS;
  • Understand how the meanings and values attached to nature in urban, rural, coastal, periurban or post-industrial areas affect the long-term success of NBS. To this end, investigate what counts as nature, what is valued and why this varies amongst individuals and communities as well as how this can be taken into account in the development of NBS.
  • Investigate the impact of citizens’ perceptions and expectations towards NBS on management decisions and delivery of ecosystem services, while considering also the role of NBSs in generating new kinds of connections and values for nature and with what consequences.

Proposals should address all of the above points.

Proposals should bring together from the start multiple types of scientific expertise in both natural sciences and social sciences and humanities (e.g. geography, sociology, political ecology, behavioural sciences, anthropology, philosophy, etc). In particular, this topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.

Projects should seek to contribute to the New European Bauhaus initiative by supporting the green and digital transitions in communities’ living environments through merging sustainability, inclusiveness and quality of experience. Small-scale pilots could be envisaged to explore NBS which are innovative either in their functional scope, socio-economic reach, integrative approaches or application in new settings.

Applicants should create synergies with projects under the same topic and other relevant ongoing or up-coming projects, notably the Horizon 2020 NBS project portfolio and its task forces; HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-05: The economics of nature-based solutions: cost-benefit analysis, market development and funding; HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-06: Nature-based solutions, prevention and reduction of risks and the insurance sector; HORIZON-CL6-2022-BIODIV-01-03: Network for nature: multi-stakeholder dialogue platform to promote nature-based solutions; HORIZON-CL6-2022-COMMUNITIES-02-02-two-stage: Developing nature-based therapy for health and well-being; HORIZON-CL6-2021-COMMUNITIES-01-06: Inside and outside: educational innovation with nature-based solutions. To this end, proposals should include dedicated tasks and appropriate resources for coordination measures, foresee joint activities and joint deliverables.

Proposals should ensure that all evidence, information and project outputs will be accessible through the Oppla portal (the EU repository for NBS)[3].

Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake.

In order to achieve the expected outcomes, international cooperation is strongly encouraged, in particular with the Latin American and Caribbean region and the USA.

[1]As defined by the European Commission: Solutions that are inspired and supported by nature, which are cost-effective, simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help build resilience. Such solutions bring more, and more diverse, nature and natural features and processes into cities, landscapes and seascapes, through locally adapted, resource-efficient and systemic interventions. Hence, nature-based solutions must benefit biodiversity and support the delivery of a range of ecosystem services. In https://ec.europa.eu/research/environment/index.cfm?pg=nbs.

[2]The economic aspects of NBS are the focus of HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-05: The economics of nature-based solutions (NBS): cost-benefit analysis, market development and funding.

[3]https://oppla.eu/.




Horizon Europe: Cluster 6 - Smart solutions for smart rural communities: empowering rural communities and smart villages to innovate for societal change


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call aims to support digital, social and community-led innovations and by equipping rural communities with innovative and smarter solutions that increase access to services, opportunities and adequate innovation ecosystems.

Deadline: Two-stage 15 February 2022 and 6 September 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Resilient, inclusive, healthy and green rural, coastal and urban communities

Places and people matter to the achievement of a more sustainable Europe. The Sustainable Development Goals and the ecological and digital transitions brought forward by the European Green Deal[[https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en]] and digital strategy[[https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/shaping-europe-digital-future_en]], alongside the recent pandemic, bring challenges and opportunities that differ for different places and people. Rural (including mountains and sparsely populated areas) and coastal areas, play a key role in managing, protecting and using natural resources. The provision of both private and public goods from these areas depends on the resilience and attractiveness of rural and coastal communities and the capacity of people who live and work there to access a sufficient level of well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted deficiencies in digital infrastructures and economic opportunities that hamper resilience. Urban communities generally offer better access to many services but are also more vulnerable to supply-chain disruptions, as shown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, they have a key role to play in fostering sustainable production and consumption as major demand drivers. In all communities, social and behavioural drivers play an important role in enabling or slowing down transitions. Knowledge and innovative solutions need to be developed to enhance every community’s resilience and capacity to contribute to and benefit from the upcoming transitions in an economy that works for all territories and ensures a fair and just transition leaving no one behind.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

The successful proposal will contribute to fostering a sustainable, balanced and inclusive development of rural areas, supporting the implementation of the European Green Deal[1], in particular its fair and just transition component, the European digital strategy[2], the European pillar of social rights[3] and the EU long-term vision for rural areas[4]. It will do so by supporting digital, social and community-led innovations and by equipping rural communities with innovative and smarter solutions that increase access to services, opportunities and adequate innovation ecosystems, including for women, youth and the most vulnerable groups, improve attractiveness and reduce the feeling of being left behind, even in the most remote locations like mountains. The increased availability of smart solutions and support to community-led innovations will empower people to act for change and get prepared to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, adapt to climate change, and turn digital and ecological transitions into increased resilience, good health and positive long-term prospects, including jobs, for all including women, young people and vulnerable groups.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Enhanced capacity of rural communities and rural people to innovate for change thanks to the specific outcomes below;
  • Enlarged set of smart solutions for rural communities (practical and transferable innovative solutions to challenges faced by rural communities in a variety of fields e.g. social services, health, energy, mobility, climate adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity and ecosystem management, education, access to culture, etc.).
  • Upgraded approaches, methods, tools and skills to design, implement, monitor and evaluate community-led innovations contributing to the implementation of smart village[5] strategies and social innovation[6] initiatives improving i) rural people’s well-being, ii) rural community resilience to shocks, iii) rural contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and to the EU long-term vision for rural areas[7].
  • Strengthened human capital, including networks, enhanced relations and knowledge exchange between smart villages and rural community innovators on transferable innovations and innovation processes.

Scope:

Proposals should start from past work conducted in the framework of i) EU action on smart villages[8], including the related preparatory actions[9]; and ii) Horizon 2020 projects dedicated to social innovation in rural areas[10]. Proposals should support a large number of rural community-led, social innovation or smart village pilot initiatives in a set of locations in the EU and Associated Countries representative of the diversity of social and geographical contexts. They should prototype, test, pilot and demonstrate innovations that answer the most pressing rural challenges found at these locations, with particular attention to social and environmental challenges.

Proposals should explore various forms of innovations: technical, technological, business, organisational and social. Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the interface between social and technical solutions and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake. Proposals should exploit in particular the potential of digital technologies to answer rural communities’ challenges, respecting the principles of the declarations on “joining forces to boost sustainable digital transformation in cities and communities”[11] and on “a smart and sustainable digital future for European agriculture and rural areas”[12]. Proposals should build on the work of projects funded under the topic DT-ICT-09-2020[13] and avoid duplications.

Criteria for selecting the pilot initiatives supported should include the contribution to rural people’s well-being, rural community resilience to shocks, Sustainable Development Goals and the EU’s long-term vision for rural areas as well as the potential transferability or replicability of the innovations to other European villages facing similar conditions. The experience gained from supporting these community-led innovation pilot initiatives should lead proposals to formulate upgraded approaches, methods and tools that should be widely disseminated in close coordination with the ‘expertise and training centre on rural innovation funded under HORIZON-CL6-2021-COMMUNITIES-01-02. Proposals should also capitalise on i) rural innovation processes and knowledge and innovation systems or ecosystems needed to support rural community-led or social innovation and smart villages; and ii) lessons learnt to improve policies and governance frameworks, especially on instruments supporting the development of social capital, social networks, social economy and social innovation and with attention to various needs of various target groups.

Proposals must implement the multi-actor approach, bringing together scientists alongside rural community organisations, action groups or networks with a demonstrated ability to connect to a large number of local communities and disseminate and exploit project results. The consortium should bring together a multiplicity of competences and science disciplines with an effective contribution of SSH disciplines, to ensure a skilled accompaniment of a wide range of innovation areas likely to come from the pilot initiatives (climate mitigation and adaptation, social care and services, energy, mobility, culture, education etc.) and innovation approaches and technologies (technical, organisational, social, digital…). It should demonstrate substantial prior experience in facilitating community-led bottom-up innovation initiatives.

As an option, proposals may provide financial support to third parties, particularly for SMEs or entities who would develop specific innovative solutions needed in the pilot initiatives. Consortia who decide to use this option should define the selection process of entities for which financial support will be granted.

Proposals should include a task to cooperate with other projects funded under this topic, other relevant innovation projects and with the ‘expertise and training centre on rural innovation’ funded under HORIZON-CL6-2021-COMMUNITIES-01-02 from the beginning of the project (taking up tools and training kits) until its end (dissemination of upgraded tools and smart solutions) and with the projects funded under HORIZON-CL6-2022-COMMUNITIES-01-01 for issues related to women-led innovation. Proposals should also foresee close coordination with the common agricultural policy networks[14] to maximise the contribution of project activities to the achievement of future common agricultural policy (2021-2027) objectives[15], in particular in relation with smart villages[16]. Finally, proposals are encouraged to liaise with the relevant European Institute of Technology knowledge and innovation communities[17].

[1]https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

[2]https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/shaping-europe-digital-future_en

[3]https://ec.europa.eu/commission/priorities/deeper-and-fairer-economic-and-monetary-union/european-pillar-social-rights/european-pillar-social-rights-20-principles_en

[4]https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/new-push-european-democracy/long-term-vision-rural-areas_en

[5]Smart villages are defined for this call as “communities in rural areas that use innovative solutions to improve their resilience, building on local strengths and opportunities”. A more complete definition is available on p.2 of the briefing note from February 2019: https://digitevent-images.s3.amazonaws.com/5c0e6198801d2065233ff996-registrationfiletexteditor-1551115459927-smart-villages-briefing-note.pdf

[6]Social innovation is defined for this topic as “the reconfiguring of social practices, in response to societal challenges, which seeks to enhance outcomes on societal well-being and necessarily includes the engagement of civil society actors”. (SIMRA)

[7]https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/new-push-european-democracy/long-term-vision-rural-areas_en

[8]https://enrd.ec.europa.eu/enrd-thematic-work/smart-and-competitive-rural-areas/smart-villages_en;

https://enrd.ec.europa.eu/smart-and-competitive-rural-areas/smart-villages/smart-villages-portal_en

[9]http://www.pilotproject-smartvillages.eu;

https://www.smartrural21.eu

[10]In particular:

SIMRA: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/677622 - RURITAGE: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/776465 RURACTION: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/721999

[11]https://www.living-in.eu/declaration

[12]https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/eu-member-states-join-forces-digitalisation-european-agriculture-and-rural-areas

[13]https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/topic-details/dt-ict-09-2020

[14]Currently ENRD and EIP-AGRI (https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/key-policies/common-agricultural-policy/rural-development_en#enrd) to be replaced by the networks to be funded under the future CAP: https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/key-policies/common-agricultural-policy/future-cap_en

[15]https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/key-policies/common-agricultural-policy/future-cap_en

[16]https://enrd.ec.europa.eu/enrd-thematic-work/smart-and-competitive-rural-areas/smart-villages_en

[17]https://eit.europa.eu/our-communities/eit-innovation-communities




Horizon Europe: Cluster 6 - Developing nature-based therapy for health and well-being


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call aims to support the development of nature-based therapy to help communities turn the ecological transition into opportunities for good health and well-being, increased resilience, and positive long-term prospects such as the creation of green jobs.

Deadline: Two-stage 15 February 2022 and 6 September 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Resilient, inclusive, healthy and green rural, coastal and urban communities

Places and people matter to the achievement of a more sustainable Europe. The Sustainable Development Goals and the ecological and digital transitions brought forward by the European Green Deal[[https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en]] and digital strategy[[https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/shaping-europe-digital-future_en]], alongside the recent pandemic, bring challenges and opportunities that differ for different places and people. Rural (including mountains and sparsely populated areas) and coastal areas, play a key role in managing, protecting and using natural resources. The provision of both private and public goods from these areas depends on the resilience and attractiveness of rural and coastal communities and the capacity of people who live and work there to access a sufficient level of well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted deficiencies in digital infrastructures and economic opportunities that hamper resilience. Urban communities generally offer better access to many services but are also more vulnerable to supply-chain disruptions, as shown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, they have a key role to play in fostering sustainable production and consumption as major demand drivers. In all communities, social and behavioural drivers play an important role in enabling or slowing down transitions. Knowledge and innovative solutions need to be developed to enhance every community’s resilience and capacity to contribute to and benefit from the upcoming transitions in an economy that works for all territories and ensures a fair and just transition leaving no one behind.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

A successful proposal will contribute to the EU’s goal of leading just, digital, economic and ecological transitions that will leave no one behind, supporting in particular European Green Deal priorities such as the biodiversity strategy for 2030. R&I will support the development of nature-based therapy to help communities turn the ecological transition into opportunities for good health and well-being, increased resilience, and positive long-term prospects such as the creation of green jobs.

Project results are expected to contribute to all following expected outcomes:

  • Sharper view of green space management, nature protection, agriculture and forestry sectors as care providers and their possible linkages with the healthcare, social and educational sectors;
  • Stronger evidence base for the causal relationships between nature and health and well-being for more effective nature therapy prescriptions;
  • Cost-effective nature therapy prescriptions are more widely used in the health care sector;
  • Greater citizen and policy-maker awareness of the positive benefits of nature for health and well-being;
  • Wider utilization by healthcare professionals and citizens of nature therapy as a form of preventive medicine.

Scope:

Nature affects human health in different ways. In particular, urban environments can have a negative impact on physical and mental health. This is due to urban stressors such as increased noise levels, higher crime rates and higher levels of pollution. The total global burden of disease attributable to mental illness has recently been estimated to be as high as 32% of total years lived with disability and 13% of disability-adjusted life-years, on par with cardiovascular and circulatory diseases. It is important, therefore, to determine the degree to which nature experience might lessen and address this burden. Even more so in view of the fact that the opportunities and time spent in nature are decreasing.

However, despite many putative positive correlations identified between nature and health and well-being, the causal understanding of relationships between health and nature exposure are not well understood. The long-term effects are also less well studied and recognised in policies. Social, economic and cultural factors strongly mediate the strength and direction of linkages between health and nature. Age, gender and especially socio-economic status may modify the association between greenness and health behaviours and outcomes and need to be better understood to create more effective nature therapy. Additionally, mental health benefits may vary with the type of interaction with nature and the form of sensory input. Furthermore, the health and well-being benefits of exposure to nature are affected by cultural perspectives and experiences relating to social interaction and contact with the natural environment.

A successful proposal should:

  • Develop a common framework to increasingly recognise and promote contact with nature, including protected areas and other green and blue spaces, as a cost-effective response for the prevention and treatment of human health and well-being;
  • Propose an interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach, including the involvement of the health care sector, land owners, as well as green space management and nature protection sectors;
  • Improve schemes monitoring nature-health linkages to enhance the evidence base and tools for the health care sector, green space management, nature protection, urban planning and landscape architecture;
  • Develop longitudinal prospective methods, (quasi-) experiments or well-controlled interventions, to provide more evidence of the causal relationships between nature and health and well-being:
    • Understanding of when people explicitly choose to go to an urban green space and what experiences they have there (e.g., active versus passive activities).
    • Determining the type of interactions and dose of interactions necessary for long-term health and well-being benefits.
    • Understanding the mediators of the health-nature relationship, such as age, gender, socio-economic status or culture.
    • Considering the difference between greenness quantity and quality and determining which aspects of natural features are relevant to mental health.
    • Understanding how different geographical locations and factors such as population density affect the health-nature relationships;
  • Test nature therapy sessions, identify best-practices and develop the necessary tools and guidelines for integration of nature-based care in the public health sector;
  • Identify legal and administrative arrangements, partnerships, and financial mechanisms for implementation of nature therapy sessions.

The proposals should address all of the above points.

Proposals should bring together from the start multiple types of scientific expertise in both health and natural sciences, as well as social sciences and humanities, together with a variety of community and health sector representatives, businesses, civil society organisations and citizens.

Proposals should ensure that all evidence, information and project outputs will be accessible through the Oppla portal (the EU repository for nature-based solutions)[1].

Applicants should create synergies with projects under the same topic and other relevant ongoing or up-coming projects, notably the Horizon 2020 NBS project portfolio and its task forces; HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01-05: The economics of nature-based solutions: cost-benefit analysis, market development and funding; HORIZON-CL6-2022-BIODIV-01-03: Network for nature: multi-stakeholder dialogue platform to promote nature-based solutions; HORIZON-CL6-2022-COMMUNITIES-01-05: Assessing the socio-politics of nature-based solutions for more inclusive and resilient communities; HORIZON-CL6-2021-COMMUNITIES-01-06: Inside and outside: educational innovation with nature-based solutions. To this end, proposals should include dedicated tasks and appropriate resources for coordination measures, foresee joint activities and joint deliverables.

Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake.

In order to achieve the expected outcomes, international cooperation is strongly encouraged, in particular with the USA, Japan and the LAC region.

This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.

[1]https://oppla.eu/.




Horizon Europe: Cluster 6 - Mobilisation of society to transform food systems for co-benefits


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call aims to involve the mobilisation of society to transform food systems for co-benefits.

Deadline: 15 February 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Innovative governance, environmental observations and digital solutions in support of the Green Deal

Transformative changes such as the ones required within the Green Deal are dynamic processes that require appropriate governance. At the same time, to ensure coordination and for collaborative decision-making, governance requires multiple channels and networks that provide readily available data and information coming from different sources.

R&I activities under this destination aim at both: experimenting with new ways to govern the transition process and modernising the governance, in particular by making information and knowledge available and accessible. R&I for governance to support the Green Deal shall provide insights into institutional barriers such as lock-ins, path dependency, political and cultural inertia power imbalances and regulatory inconsistencies or weaknesses.

Innovative governance supporting the Green Deal objectives needs to recognise, cope with and promote resilience in the face of on-going shocks and disruptions both globally and across Europe, whether these be climatic, ecological, economic, social, geo-political or related to health. Critical risk assessment and reduction strategies need to be incorporated, including the diversification of infrastructures, resources and knowledge through more self-sufficiency and autonomy.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

In line with the European Green Deal priorities and the farm to fork strategy for a fair healthy and environmentally friendly food system, as well as with the EU's Climate ambition for 2030 and 2050, the successful proposal will involve the mobilisation of society to transform food systems for co-benefits. This will lead to innovative governance models enabling sustainability and resilience, which achieve better-informed decision-making processes, societal engagement, and innovative solutions.

With the overarching aim to help transform food systems for co-benefits to nutrition and health, climate, environment, biodiversity, circularity and communities, the project will:

  • Build on the Fit4Food2030[1] initiative to further the mobilisation of all relevant Food System public and private sector stakeholders, researchers, non-governmental organisations, educators, knowledge brokers, media and society, to work together via an interlinked structure at the level of cities, regions, and countries across Europe, and that supports mutual learning and good practices.
  • A new and improved structured network of evidence-based policy labs throughout Europe so as to raise awareness, foster joint action, good practices and knowledge sharing amongst stakeholders relevant to food system policy developments and implementation at various levels: local, regional, national, EU and international level. Key to this will be the inclusion of decision and policy makers, scientists, and public authorities to ensure the sustainability and legitimacy of the governance process.
  • Increased pan-European citizen engagement, social innovation and co-creation through local or regional living labs; promote food systems science education for children and youth while respecting national competence in the area of education and health, and measure the food systems transition progress in society.

Scope:

Successful proposals are expected to:

  • Establish a pan-European Food 2030 multi-actor and public engagement mechanism to raise food system awareness and foster more citizen (including youth) involvement and interest in science, research and innovation, necessary to foster support for a food system transformation that delivers co-benefits.
  • Engage a network of science museums to co-create and deploy a Food 2030 “food systems lab” inspired by the Oceans Plastic Lab[2] to be deployed across Europe linking in particular to EU presidencies, important global meetings (e.g.: COP), and other relevant place-based initiatives (like I-Capital, Green Capital, etc.).
  • Support emerging relevant citizen science projects at local level (neighbourhoods, towns and cities), conduct hackathons, hold science cafés, and set up a dedicated video channel to display food systems success stories, all with the aim of raising awareness of the need to transform food systems and to co-create citizen-inspired solutions.
  • Develop and deploy innovative interactive food systems education material in support of both the informal and formal education of children and youth (including gender-specific messaging) across Europe while respecting national competence in the area of education and health, in cooperation with relevant European school networks, associations and local media outlets.
  • Facilitate the cooperation of relevant EU Horizon Europe projects to arrive at a common language and explore/set common goals, discuss potential farm to fork strategy and Green Deal interventions, all with a view to strengthen co-ownership and cooperation, share and communicate knowledge, boost innovation and increase take-up of improved policy schemes among the food system actors, and society.
  • Measurement of food systems transition progress by, for example, conducting surveys or employing sentiment analyses that demonstrates society’s level of interest and willingness to transform food systems for co-benefits and the perceive trade-offs.
  • Explain and map how co-benefits will be achieved relevant to the four Food 2030 priorities[3]: nutrition for sustainable healthy diets, climate and environment, circularity and resource efficiency, innovation and empowerment of communities.

Involving a wide diversity of food system actors and conducting inter-disciplinary research is expected to implement the required multi actor approach (cf eligibility conditions).

The project should set out a clear plan on how it will collaborate with other projects selected under this and any other relevant topic/call, by participating in joint activities, workshops, as well as common communication and dissemination activities.

This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.

[1]https://fit4food2030.eu/

[2]https://oceanplasticslab.net/

[3]https://ec.europa.eu/research/bioeconomy/index.cfm?pg=policy&lib=food2030




Horizon Europe: Cluster 6 - Uptake and validation of citizen observations to complement authoritative measurement within the urban environment and boost related citizen engagement


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call aims to contribute to the wide deployment of and adding value to environmental observations, by improving the uptake and validation of data collected by citizens and by increasing citizen involvement and engagement.

Deadline: 15 February 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Innovative governance, environmental observations and digital solutions in support of the Green Deal

Transformative changes such as the ones required within the Green Deal are dynamic processes that require appropriate governance. At the same time, to ensure coordination and for collaborative decision-making, governance requires multiple channels and networks that provide readily available data and information coming from different sources.

R&I activities under this destination aim at both: experimenting with new ways to govern the transition process and modernising the governance, in particular by making information and knowledge available and accessible. R&I for governance to support the Green Deal shall provide insights into institutional barriers such as lock-ins, path dependency, political and cultural inertia power imbalances and regulatory inconsistencies or weaknesses.

Innovative governance supporting the Green Deal objectives needs to recognise, cope with and promote resilience in the face of on-going shocks and disruptions both globally and across Europe, whether these be climatic, ecological, economic, social, geo-political or related to health. Critical risk assessment and reduction strategies need to be incorporated, including the diversification of infrastructures, resources and knowledge through more self-sufficiency and autonomy.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

A successful proposal will contribute to the wide deployment of and adding value to environmental observations[1], by improving the uptake and validation of data collected by citizens and by increasing citizen involvement and engagement, thus contributing to the European Green Deal objectives and a strengthened Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

Proposals are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:

  • A more widespread participation of citizens, (e.g. new and/or existing associations/groupings of citizens observers) in the monitoring, observation, and protection of the urban environment, complementary to governmental measures;
  • Greater availability of qualitative and quantitative in-situ data for long time series and better geographical coverage, contributing to the in-situ component of existing observation systems (such as Copernicus[2], European research infrastructures[3] and GEOSS);
  • Broader use of data and information collected by citizens in policy and research, with crowdsourcing and citizen observations acknowledged as valuable information complementary to authoritative observations;
  • Increased use of existing toolkits and development of new toolboxes (methodologies, methods, technologies) for broad use, which could include the development of efficient passive sampling systems;
  • Leveraged use of wearables for citizens and other low-cost technologies in the domain of environmental observation.

Scope:

Successful proposals are expected to support citizen engagement, specifically the active role of citizens in the collection and use of data and information within the urban environment to complement the data and information collected through other means of observation (space-based, airborne, etc.). The proposals selected under this topic should increase societal awareness about the urban environment and lead to an increase in actions necessary to protect it. The proposals should contribute to more comprehensive and available data and information of good quality to assess the state of the urban environment in support of the climate transition and the European Green Deal and to the GEO initiatives related to urban environment and urban resilience.

The information derived by the selected projects should help in shaping policies targeting the monitoring and greening of the urban environment, in addition to monitoring schemes already set out by public authorities at different levels (regional, national, European, even global).

Proposals should pay particular attention to encouraging the validation and uptake of citizen observations for policy and compliance use.

The proposals should ensure that the observations/data produced will be available on relevant existing platforms such as GEOSS, European research infrastructures, INSPIRE[4] and EMODNet[5].

The sustainability of the (existing) validation methods should be ensured for a broader use in the future, through the development of toolboxes, containing tested methodologies, methods and technologies.

The social and cultural dimensions of the citizen observation should be given due consideration within the proposals and therefore be looking into possibilities to engage citizens through e.g. social innovative[6], cultural or art-related initiatives. This should be in the context of further engaging and raising the interest and awareness of all citizens in observing their environments, but also in looking into the possibilities for co-creation of solutions for the urban environment. Particular attention should be paid to engaging women and marginalised groups, such as ethnic minorities and disabled persons, in co-creation efforts.

Particular attention should be directed to cooperation between different groups of engaged citizen observers, strengthening mutual learning and the exchange of good practices (in particular with respect to data quality). This could include the build-up of skills, capacity and networking possibilities between citizen associations to help them get involved in citizen observations. Applicants should seek cooperation with local, regional, national and European environmental agencies.

Selected projects are expected to be developed in co-creation and to build upon the results of the WeObserve project[7], as well as demonstrating measures to communicate and cooperate with other relevant citizen science projects[8] funded under Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe as far as possible.

The Commission Staff Working Document ‘Best Practices in Citizen Science for Environmental Monitoring’[9] published on 27 July 2020 is of interest in the context of this topic.

This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.

Projects should seek to contribute to the New European Bauhaus initiative by supporting the green and digital transitions in communities’ living environments through merging sustainability, inclusiveness and quality of experience. Projects, by considering the social and cultural dimensions of citizen observation of the urban environment, are well placed to contribute to the objectives of the initiative by bringing the European Green Deal into citizens’ lives and living spaces.

[1]The capacity to observe the environment, including space-based, in-situ-based (air, sea, land) observation, and citizen observations

[2]https://www.copernicus.eu/en

[3]https://www.esfri.eu/

[4]https://inspire.ec.europa.eu/

[5]https://www.emodnet.eu/en

[6]Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake.

[7]https://www.weobserve.eu/

[8]e.g. https://cordis.europa.eu/article/id/421641-environmental-observations-informing-citizens-and-supporting-policymaking-through-innov

[9]https://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/reporting/pdf/best_practices_citizen_science_environmental_monitoring.pdf




Horizon Europe: Cluster 5 - Wind energy in the natural and social environment


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call aims to contribute to dedicated actions to ensure that large turbines retain a low environmental impact and gain more popular support.

Deadline: 23 February 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Sustainable, secure and competitive energy supply

This Destination includes activities targeting a sustainable, secure and competitive energy supply. In line with the scope of cluster 5, this includes activities in the areas of renewable energy; energy system, grids and storage; as well as Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS).

The transition of the energy system will rely on reducing the overall energy demand and making the energy supply side climate neutral. R&I actions will help to make the energy supply side cleaner, more secure, and competitive by boosting cost performance and reliability of a broad portfolio of renewable energy solutions, in line with societal needs and preferences. Furthermore, R&I activities will underpin the modernisation of the energy networks to support energy system integration, including the progressive electrification of demand side sectors (buildings, mobility, industry) and integration of other climate neutral, renewable energy carriers, such as clean hydrogen. Innovative energy storage solutions (including chemical, mechanical, electrical and thermal storage) are a key element of such energy system and R&I actions will advance their technological readiness for industrial-scale and domestic applications. Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) is a CO2 emission abatement option that holds great potential and R&I actions will accelerate the development of CCUS in electricity generation and industry applications.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

Renewable energy technologies will be evermore present in the lives of European citizens, thus a harmonious co-existence is essential. Wind turbines are particularly susceptible to the NIMBY effect (Not In My BackYard), and hence it is facing opposition despite being a high-potential clean energy source. In order to achieve the European goals on climate neutrality, dedicated actions in this context are needed to ensure that large turbines retain a low environmental impact and gain more popular support. A particular focal point should be how to best engage with different communities to identify actions toward the co-existence goal.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Develop and promote the use of modelling tools and objective holistic assessment metrics for realistic in-depth analysis of cumulative impacts of wind installations on the environment and on local communities;
  • Develop guidelines to enhance energy citizenship[1]of (onshore or offshore) wind energy and farms, promoting a harmonious co-existence between the local population, other sectors (e.g. fishing communities, tourism) and the wind farms;
  • Realise outreach activities to promote social awareness and engagement on wind energy, and develop guidelines for participatory processes in wind farm development to reach interactive and mutually value-enhancing outcomes;
  • Facilitate both the identification of future areas for deployment, notably of offshore wind farms, and the consenting process.

Scope:

The proposal is expected to address all the following aspects:

  • Develop and promote the use of validated models and guidelines as a tool for enhanced societal engagement. Further, it should also demonstrate how participatory processes can enhance value creation and achieve higher social acceptability of wind energy;
  • Assess through validated models how wind turbines impact the local environment (noise, impact on soil or sea beds, visual effect, effects on animal life and other species). In addition, it should also assess, if applicable, how offshore wind turbines (and fixed or floating substructures) impact the local marine environment (currents, waves, upwelling, and sediment transport). Finally, it should help to identify the best areas for deployment and to develop new designs and/or enhanced control strategies of wind turbines to address potential impacts;
  • Develop a forum where regulators, industry, and local communities can exchange information and provide input to one another. Further, it should also identify the effect that the implemented models have on promoting wind energy;
  • Address how the impact of different wind energy innovations and applications (onshore, offshore, floating, and airborne) is seen by the general public and the local actors.

This topic requires the effective contribution of Social Science and Humanities (SSH) disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities. Social innovations should also be considered, notably as new tools, ideas and methods leading to active citizen engagement and as drivers of social change, social ownership, and new social practices.

[1]Creating energy citizenship through material participation




Horizon Europe: Cluster 5 - Supporting the action of consumers in the energy market and guide them to act as prosumers, communities and other active forms of active participation in the energy activities


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call aims to contribute to a new, more active role of prosumers and energy communities in the electricity market.

Deadline: 26 April 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Sustainable, secure and competitive energy supply

This Destination includes activities targeting a sustainable, secure and competitive energy supply. In line with the scope of cluster 5, this includes activities in the areas of renewable energy; energy system, grids and storage; as well as Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS).

The transition of the energy system will rely on reducing the overall energy demand and making the energy supply side climate neutral. R&I actions will help to make the energy supply side cleaner, more secure, and competitive by boosting cost performance and reliability of a broad portfolio of renewable energy solutions, in line with societal needs and preferences. Furthermore, R&I activities will underpin the modernisation of the energy networks to support energy system integration, including the progressive electrification of demand side sectors (buildings, mobility, industry) and integration of other climate neutral, renewable energy carriers, such as clean hydrogen. Innovative energy storage solutions (including chemical, mechanical, electrical and thermal storage) are a key element of such energy system and R&I actions will advance their technological readiness for industrial-scale and domestic applications. Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) is a CO2 emission abatement option that holds great potential and R&I actions will accelerate the development of CCUS in electricity generation and industry applications.

Eligibility & Programme Detail

Expected Outcome:

Project results are expected to contribute to most of the following expected outcomes:

  • Demonstrate in real life interactive communication and support tools to engage citizens in the energy transition and to support them throughout the process of creating, constituting and developing an energy community, that are developed and fine-tuned based on field-tests;
  • Engagement of distributed active consumers and energy communities at broad scale, including through innovative incentive mechanisms;
  • Enabled new market roles and market participants;
  • Enabled automated participation;
  • Residential and SME related Demand Response contributing to increased level of flexibility and to the development of new flexibility products;
  • Identified drivers and rules beyond marginal pricing which can steer the transactions within the energy communities;
  • Developing mechanisms to support the creation, growth and capacity building of energy communities.

Scope:

The provisions of the Clean Energy Package have paved the way for a new, more active role of prosumers and energy communities in the electricity market. Innovative tools and tailored solutions should be developed and tested in order to fully enable new type of interactions between citizens as consumers, prosumers and (members of) energy communities and foster participation in energy (in particular electricity) markets.

To this aim, projects should link citizens, technologies, regulation and markets together.

Tools should be developed to support demonstration of the energy community paradigm shift within the mentioned context using suitable digital platforms for putting the citizens in direct contact with each other, suppliers, aggregators and other involved market stakeholders and to increase prosumers’ satisfaction and participation.

Dedicated demonstrations should be set to demonstrate the use of these interactive tools to contribute to real-time optimization of Distributed Energy Resources and the facilitation of investment decisions at household or community level in RES or demand response.

To get the acceptance of different energy technologies in civil society, these demonstrations should be built on SSH approach to take into account the social and behavioural dimension at the stage of their design, also considering safety issues of electrical systems.

As a result, these demonstrations are expected to aim to increase the understanding of consumer’s behaviour (e.g. by understanding how they are providing demand side flexibility as close as possible to real-time). They should also aim to create innovative tools and tailored solutions to empower prosumers, to help them to realise energy communities and finally pave the way for the energy transition.

With these new insights the projects are expected to adapt the solution, test it again and compare the outcome of both iterations.

The tested solutions should be able to reconciling the top-down market developments with the bottom-up changes in the market arrangement and participation.

Solutions are expected to be as replicable as possible and to be demonstrated in a variety of geographical locations in different Member States/Associated Countries representing very different social and economic situations. In addition, regulatory / administrative barriers and possible solutions should be assessed as part of the projects.

To do so, projects are expected to design, develop and test incentives for market participants to react to system conditions according to location and time, while at the same time considering maximization of their economic benefit.

Projects should develop the entire functional chain from data collection and elaboration, to local flexibility needs and user-centric compensation enabling the active participation of prosumers.

Projects should take into account related ongoing activities under H2020 and Horizon Europe and are expected to contribute to relevant BRIDGE[1] activities.

[1]https://www.h2020-bridge.eu/




Horizon Europe: Cluster 1 - Boosting Mental Health in Europe in Times of Change


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This topic aims at supporting activities that are enabling or contributing to one or several impacts of Horizon Europe destination 1 “Staying healthy in a rapidly changing society”.

Deadline: Two-stage 1 February 2022 and 6 September 2022, 17:00pm Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Proposals under this topic should aim for delivering results that are directed, tailored towards and contributing to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Health care professionals, national/regional public authorities and other relevant actors in key settings (1) have access to and apply evidence-based, innovative, cost-effective/cost-neutral, large-scale, comprehensive strategies and interventions for the promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental ill health, targeting the most vulnerable populations AND (2) adopt clinical guidelines, best practices, implementation strategies and policy recommendations (as applicable to them) to mitigate the mental health burden and help cope with the (combined) effects of a transforming Europe.
  • The scientific community together with the public authorities anticipate new and emerging risks to mental health associated with a transforming Europe, contributing to better and inclusive public mental health preparedness.
  • Citizens have access to and make use of new tools and services to take informed decisions about their wellbeing and mental health care needs (including for self-management and self-care).

Citizens feel less stigmatised and marginalised due to their mental ill health.

Activities to be funded under this topic

  • Evidence-based guidelines for health care professionals on the promotion of mental wellbeing and prevention of mental illness related to ICT and climate and environment change (including screening methods).
  • Evidence-based pedagogical practices for education professionals to foster mental health promotion in schools (including higher education) and/or via eLearning.
  • Consultation during school time to educate students (e.g. on coping with change) and to detect early students at risk.
  • Educational material and campaigns targeting the most vulnerable groups, (e.g. children and the elderly), disseminated via the most appropriate and effective media and communication channels, to improve health literacy, skills, attitudes and self-awareness leading to a better (self) management of wellbeing and/or mental ill health.
  • Studies on occupational mental health in the workplace, in particular in small and medium-sized enterprises, e.g.: i) understanding the impact of a 24-hour digital economy on workers’ well-being, also in terms of managerial control mechanisms, work-life balance and privacy and developing/piloting new methods to protect and support workers’ well-being in this respect; ii) designing information and training campaigns for workers to integrate the already visible impacts of digitalisation-induced changes into the professional risk assessment processes; iii) developing return-to-work programmes, also exploring innovative collaboration between mental health services, (life-long) education, and employment sectors. This will ensure appropriate support to better integrate individuals affected by mental ill health in the workforce and the society.

Eligibility

To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:

  • the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions;
  • the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States;
  • eligible non-EU countries including countries associated to Horizon Europe and low- and middle-income countries.

Consortium Composition

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions, legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.

Budget

The Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 7.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.

Application details

Full application details and application link can be found here.

For application assistance, please contact Enterprise Ireland at Horizonsupport@enterprise-ireland.com.




Horizon Europe: MSCA COFUND 2021


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call aims at stimulating regional, national or international programmes operating in Europe to foster excellence in researchers’ training, mobility and career development.

Deadline: 10 February 2022 17:00:00 Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

Applicants submit proposals for new or existing doctoral or postdoctoral programmes with an impact on the enhancement of human resources in R&I at regional, national or international level. These programmes will be co-funded by MSCA COFUND. Proposed programmes can cover any research disciplines ("bottom-up"), but exceptionally can also focus on specific disciplines, notably when they are based on national or regional Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3 strategies). In this case, the range of covered disciplines should allow reasonable flexibility for the researchers to define their topic.

A Career Development Plan must be jointly established by the supervisor and each recruited researcher upon recruitment. In addition to research objectives, this Plan comprises the researcher's training and career needs, including training on transferable skills, teaching, planning for publications and participation in conferences and events aimed at opening science and research to citizens. The Plan must be established at the beginning of the recruitment and should be revised (and updated where needed) within 18 months.

Activities to be funded under this topic

COFUND takes the form of:

1. Doctoral programmes

Doctoral programmes offer research training activities to allow doctoral candidates to develop and broaden their skills and competences. They will lead to the award of a doctoral degree in at least one EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country. The training activities should be based on the EU Principles on Innovative Doctoral Training. Substantial training modules, including digital ones, addressing key transferable skills and competences common to all fields and fostering the culture of Open Science, innovation and entrepreneurship will be supported. They will include, inter alia, training on the use of collaborative tools, opening access to publications and to research data, FAIR data management, public engagement and citizen science.

2. Postdoctoral Programmes

Postdoctoral Programmes fund individual advanced research training and career development fellowships for postdoctoral researchers. The programmes should offer training to develop key transferable skills and competences common to all fields, foster innovation and entrepreneurship and promote and (where appropriate) reward Open Science practices (open access to publications and to research data, FAIR data management, public engagement and citizen science, etc.). Postdoctoral Programmes should have regular selection rounds following fixed deadlines or regular cut-off dates, allowing fair competition between researchers. The selections should be open, widely advertised internationally (including on the EURAXESS website), competitive, merit-based and with a transparent international peer review, in line with the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The vacancy notice must include the minimum gross salary (not including employer’s social contributions) offered to the postdoctoral researcher. On top of compulsory international mobility, applicants are encouraged to include elements of cross-sectoral mobility and interdisciplinarity into their programmes. Researchers will be able to freely choose a research topic and the appropriate organisation to host them, fitting their individual needs.

Eligibility

Applications must be submitted by a single entity established in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country.

In each COFUND action, a minimum of three researchers must be recruited. COFUND proposals foreseeing research training for fewer than three researchers will be deemed ineligible.

Recruited researchers can be of any nationality (see also specific condition for COFUND Postdoctoral Programmes below) and must comply with the following mobility rule94: they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary or implementing partner for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the deadline of the cofunded programme's call.

Supported researchers must be either doctoral candidates or postdoctoral researchers, depending on the action.

Budget

The EU contribution for MSCA COFUND will take the form of unit contributions. See specific conditions for MSCA in the Work Programme here: https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/docs/2021-2027/horizon/wp-call/2021-2022/wp-2-msca-actions_horizon-2021-2022_en.pdf

Project duration

The maximum duration of the action must be 60 months from the starting date set out in the grant agreement. It also includes the time that is needed to select and recruit the researchers. The minimum duration of each fellowship (on the basis of full-time employment) must be three months.

Application details

Full application details and application link can be found here.

For application assistance, please contact Yvonne Halpin, Irish Universities Association at yvonne.halpin@iua.ie.




Horizon Europe: MSCA Staff Exchanges 2021


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call supports international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary mobility of R&I staff leading to knowledge transfer between participating organisations.

Deadline: 09 March 2022 17:00:00 Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

MSCA Staff Exchanges promote innovative international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration in research and innovation through exchanging staff and sharing knowledge and ideas at all stages of the innovation chain. The scheme fosters a shared culture of research and innovation that welcomes and rewards creativity and entrepreneurship and helps turn ideas into innovative products, services or processes. It is open to research, technical, administrative and managerial staff supporting R&I activities. MSCA Staff Exchanges involve organisations from the academic and non-academic sectors (including SMEs) from across the globe. Support is provided for international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary mobility of R&I staff leading to knowledge transfer between participating organisations.

Project results are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:

For staff members:

  • Increased set of research and transferable skills and competences, leading to improved employability and career prospects within and outside academia;
  • More knowledge and innovative ideas converted into products, processes and services;
  • More entrepreneurial mind-sets, testing new and innovative ideas;
  • Increased international exposure leading to extended networks and opportunities;
  • Enhanced networking and communication capacities with scientific peers, as well as with the general public that will increase and broaden the research and innovation impact.

For participating organisations:

  • Innovative ways of cooperation and transfer of knowledge between sectors and disciplines;
  • Strengthened and broader international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral collaborative networks;
  • Boosted R&I capacity.

Activities to be funded under this topic

The organisations constituting the partnership contribute directly to the implementation of a joint R&I project by seconding and/or hosting eligible staff members. Such a project must explore activities that can be based on previous work but should go beyond and generate or strengthen long-term collaborations. Secondments must always take place between legal entities independent from each other.

The collaborative approach of MSCA Staff Exchanges should exploit complementary competences of the participating organisations and create synergies between them. The secondments should be essential to achieve the joint project’s R&I activities. The project should inter alia enable networking activities and the organisation of workshops and conferences, to facilitate sharing of knowledge and testing of innovative approaches for specific R&I topics.

For participating staff members, the project should offer new skills acquisition and career development perspectives. Participating organisations must ensure that the seconded staff are adequately mentored.

Eligibility

Applications must be submitted by a consortium including at least three independent legal entities in three different countries, two of which established in a different EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country.

Secondments are open for researchers at any career stage (from doctoral candidates to postdoctoral researchers), as well as administrative, managerial and technical staff supporting R&I activities under the action.

Budget

The expected EU contribution depends on the number of person-months requested. For the applicable unit contributions, see specific conditions for MSCA in the Work Programme here.

Project duration

The maximum duration of the project is 48 months from the starting date set out in the grant agreement.

Application details

Full application details and application link can be found here.

For application assistance, please contact Yvonne Halpin, Irish Universities Association at yvonne.halpin@iua.ie.




Horizon Europe: Cluster 1: European partnership on transforming health and care systems


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation.

This call supports the creation of a research and innovation (R&I) partnership with a focus on health and care systems’ transformation.

Deadline: 21 April 2022 17:00:00 Brussels time

Application Link

Overview

There is a need to accelerate the transition towards more efficient, sustainable, resilient, innovative and accessible health and care systems in Europe. To this end, the creation of a research and innovation (R&I) partnership with a focus on health and care systems’ transformation represents a unique strategic opportunity to bring together stakeholders, create synergies, coordinate R&I actions, facilitate the digitization of health and care services and support the transformation of health and care systems with innovative solutions driven by knowledge and evidence.

Thanks to its capacity to bring together different stakeholders (e.g. research funders, health authorities, health and care institutions, innovators, policy makers), to create a critical mass of resources and to implement a long-term Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), the partnership will address the following objectives:

  • Supporting multidisciplinary R&I to fill knowledge gaps, produce evidence and develop guidance and tools in priority areas for the transformation of health and care systems,
  • Supporting the interdisciplinary development of service, policy and organisational innovations for health and care systems,
  • Strengthening the R&I community in the field of health and care systems,
  • Improving the capability of health and care actors to take up innovative solutions,
  • Gathering stakeholders to develop the ecosystems needed for a swift uptake of innovations by health and care systems.

Activities to be funded under this topic

  • Joint implementation of the SRIA;
  • Joint annual calls for R&I activities, applied R&I, pilots, twinning projects;
  • Joint annual calls for experimental development and innovation funding, co-creation, involvement of end-users, new concepts of care and innovative solutions for supporting health according to WHO definition; development of ecosystems, business models;
  • Capacity building activities;
  • Activities to increase health and digital literacy among citizens and health care practitioners;
  • Flanking measures.

Eligibility

The Partnership is open to all EU Member States, as well as to countries associated to Horizon Europe and will remain open to those countries wanting to join. It should include the following actors:

  • Ministries in charge of R&I policy, as well as national and regional R&I and technology funding agencies and foundations;
  • Ministries in charge of health and care policy, as well as national and regional health and care authorities, organisations and providers.

The Partnership may also encourage engagement with other relevant Ministries and will involve other key actors from civil society and end-users, research and innovation community, innovation owners, health and care systems owners/organisers and health and care agencies.

Consortium Composition

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions, legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.

To encourage national coordination and avoid an excess of grant signatories it is recommended to limit their number to two per country. However, in duly justified cases this number could differ, including for countries with decentralised administration to allow for participation of regional authorities in charge of R&I policy and health and care policy.

Budget

The Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 100.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.

Project duration

The expected duration of the partnership is seven years.

Application details

Full application details and application link can be found here.

For application assistance, please contact Enterprise Ireland at Horizonsupport@enterprise-ireland.com.