To respond to the urgency and ambition of the European Green Deal objectives to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, Horizon 2020 will soon launch a Call worth close to €1 billion. The Call will be opening in mid-September and will close at the end of January 2021.
The Green Deal call will mobilise research and innovation to foster a just and sustainable societal transition aiming at ‘leaving nobody behind’. Projects are expected to deliver tangible and visible results relatively quickly and show how research and innovation can provide concrete solutions for the Green Deal main priorities. The focus will therefore be on the impact of projects, which will have to concentrate their resources and efforts on concrete and operational solutions in order to respond to the environmental emergency.
Targeted actions and topics
The call contains 11 areas as follow:
- Eight thematic areas reflecting the key work streams of the European Green Deal. In each area, one or more topics addresses the challenges outlined in the respective stream. Topics target specific, high-impact technological and societal innovations that can help advance the sustainable transition relatively quickly.
Three horizontal areas (strengthening knowledge; empowering citizens; and international cooperation) that cut across the eight thematic areas and offer a longer-term perspective in achieving the transformations set out in the European Green Deal.
Preference should be given to Innovation Actions (IA), around solutions that have already reached a certain level of maturity, without setting aside Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) and Coordination and Support Actions (CSA). Proposals highlighting pilot projects, demonstration projects and innovative products should therefore be favored.
Projects may also aim to target lead markets, address governance issues, standardisation needs, and ensure sustainable market opportunities. Attention will also be paid to the involvement of civil society and local authorities that have had little involvement in innovation projects so far.
Among them, the area “Supplying clean, affordable and secure energy” will focus on energy efficiency and integration of renewable energies, smart grids, carbon capture, energy storage and sectoral integration.
The “Accelerating the shift to sustainable and smart mobility” theme will address electromobility, alternative fuels, and multimodal, connected and automated mobility to reduce congestion and pollution in urban areas.
There will also be a section on “Mobilising industry for a clean and circular Economy“.
What will this call support?
- pilot applications
- demonstration projects and innovative products
- innovation for better governance of the green and digital transition
- social and value chain innovation
In addition to technological development and demonstration, the call encourages experimentation and social innovation for new ways to engage civil society and empower citizens.
In relation to the current pandemic, the call will contribute to the green and digital recovery and to increasing societal resilience for example in agriculture, biodiversity acceleration of renewables, clean transport and modernisation towards a clean and circular industry.
Additional research and innovation initiatives will be funded under the next EU research and innovation programme – Horizon Europe. Becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to modernise the EU’s economy and society and re-orient towards a just and sustainable future as EU-funded research projects are already producing results that will help deliver the European Green Deal.