On 17 September 2020, the European Commission published the Work Programme, which includes Calls for Proposals for projects that will contribute to the objectives of the “European Green Deal”.
What is the “European Green Deal” and what are its goals?
At the end of 2019, the European Commission presented the “European Green Deal” promised by its new President Ursula Van der Leyen. This Deal is essentially an Action Plan, aiming to make the EU carbon neutral by 2050, to promote a clean, circular economy, restore biodiversity and reduce pollution. To implement this Plan, several programmes have been highlighted to either provide direct funding or to stimulate private investment.
One of the funding sources of this Deal is the current Multiannual Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, “Horizon 2020” (2016-2020), following a relevant Call for Proposals. The successful Proposals will allow the implementation of large, multi-stakeholder and multidisciplinary collaborative projects. The aim is to provide tangible and visible results in terms of the solutions that research and innovation can offer to the priorities of the European Green Deal.
The “Green Deal Call”, launched under Horizon 2020, is divided into 20 very diverse topics, ranging from biodiversity to mobility, energy and health, as well as citizen engagement. Each topic is succinctly but very precisely written in terms of its expectations and the results to be achieved. The Call has a total budget of EUR 1 billion.
Who is the Call for and how to participate?
The participation process follows the same rules as Horizon 2020. More specifically, the Call will fund collaborative projects from groups of actors in consortia covering at least three European countries. Therefore, a good command of English is essential to participate in these international consortia. Any type of legal entity (company, association, public authority, etc.) can participate, as long as it can demonstrate its financial and operational capacity.
The Green Deal Call is therefore primarily directed to experienced actors with specific expertise related to the description of the 20 topics. However, the Commission intends to involve stakeholders, actors on the ground and experts in citizen participation, to increase the impact of the results of these research projects on society.
Applications can be submitted online on the Funding & Tender Opportunities portal, the gateway for most EU Calls for Proposals. The call was announced on 17 September 2020, and the submission deadline is 26 January 2021 (17:00 Brussels time). Applications are submitted by the consortium coordinator on behalf of all other partners. However, each partner must also be registered on this portal and have received their Participant Identification Code (PIC number).
For most topics, the funding rate is 100% for Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) and Coordination and Support Actions (CSA). For Innovation Actions (IA), the rates are 100% for non-profit organisations, and 70 % in the case of for-profit organisations.
Potential applicants are also reminded that Horizon 2020 is a Programme open to the world. Legal entities from countries outside the EU are also encouraged to participate in these consortia for many topics, including one specifically focused on Africa. Although all countries can participate in proposals, only some of them are eligible for funding, including many developing countries. Organizations from the UK are still eligible for funding from this Call for Proposals, as it falls under Horizon 2020.
Who can help me?
The Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) and the National Contact Points (NCPs) for Horizon 2020 in Cyprus can provide assistance and guidance, in particular the NCPs for Societal Challenge 5 (SC5) – “Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials” (Ioannis Theodorou, +357 2220 5083, [email protected]), and Societal Challenge 3 – “Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy” (Christakis Theocharous, +357 2220 5029, [email protected]). The RIF’s services include assistance in resolving general questions, support in finding partners, and proposal pre-screening.
Detailed presentations of the Call can be found in the Green Deal Call Infoday, as well as the 10 presentations of the Call Areas (scroll down to the “Review the Event” section), which took place during the European Research and Innovation Days event on 23-24 September 2020. Information is also presented in the webinar organized by the RIF on 4 June 2020, and is available on the RIF’s YouTube channel.
In addition, “NCPs CaRE”, the network of SC5 NCPs, provides useful materials on its website. The NCPs CaRE Partner Search tool is available to facilitate partner search for all Green Deal Call topics. Potential applicants are invited to register their partner search offers or requests, after consulting some useful registration information.
Finally, in collaboration with other NCP networks and the Enterprise Europe Network, the RIF informs potential applicants about the following virtual Brokerage Events:
- EEN Ireland, Horizon 2020 Virtual Brokerage Event on the European Green Deal Call on 13-14 October 2020
- Series of Virtual Infodays and brokerage events organized by Knowledge Transfer Network (ΚΤΝ), UK:
- Net4Society Virtual Brokerage Event: Social Sciences and Humanities in the Green Deal Call, 27 October 2020
- Virtual International Partnering: “Innovation in Environment & Energy & Circular Economy”, open until 31 December 2020.