Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

TOPIC : Improving the technical performance of the Mediterranean aquaculture

Topic identifier: SFS-23-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
27 October 2015
2nd stage Deadline:
17 February 2016 17:00:00
13 September 2016 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Mediterranean aquaculture contributes to food security, employment and trade in the region. Its competitiveness can be increased by improving its technical performance together with a shift from production-oriented growth to market-oriented and consumer responsive approach. To ensure sustainable growth of the Mediterranean aquaculture industry, farms must operate not only in ideal economic and environmental conditions but also in a socially and culturally responsible manner.


Proposals should integrate and improve the technical viability of the current production systems for Mediterranean aquaculture, including biological and operational aspects, using new and cost-effective innovative technologies and practices to ensure the sector's sustainability and growth. In particular, proposals should substantially improve current key performance indicators (KPI) used for the principal Mediterranean species: growth rates, mortality and feed efficiency. They should also develop tools for marker-assisted selection and look at Mediterranean aquaculture market development, to develop strategic marketing plans for the promotion, product development and commercialisation of Mediterranean aquaculture production in new and existing markets. Where appropriate, proposals should make use of national and international research infrastructure programmes and services such as the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service, to better support a regional management approach. The participation of SMEs that will benefit from the intellectual property and/or from the commercial use of the project outcomes is encouraged.

In line with the objective of the EU Strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation (COM (2012) 497), proposals should contribute to implementing the Research and Innovation Initiative for Blue Jobs and Growth in the Mediterranean Area [1].

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

Projects funded under this topic will by default participate in the Pilot on Open Research Data in Horizon 2020, with the option to opt-out, as described in the introduction.

Expected Impact:

To improve the competitiveness of EU Mediterranean aquaculture production, proposals will have to:

  • Consolidate Mediterranean aquaculture production for key species towards a commercial scale through sustainable fish farming and valuable seafood production.
  • Draw up solid marketing plans for local and regional production which will boost jobs and trade in the region.
  • Develop a code of conduct and good practices and harmonised standards across the Mediterranean to promote responsible aquaculture practices in the region.
  • Improve the image of aquaculture production systems and products supported by market-oriented production and a consumer responsive approach.
  • Increase consumer awareness of high quality and safe products from Mediterranean aquaculture that certify freshness, traceability, animal welfare[2] and the sustainability of the systems.
  • Support the implementation of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
  • Improve the professional skills and competences of those working and being trained to work within the blue economy.

[1]The "Research and Innovation Initiative for Blue Jobs and Growth in the Mediterranean Area (The BLUEMED Initiative)" aims to advance a shared vision of a Mediterranean Sea that is healthy, productive, resilient, understood and valued so as to promote the well-being and prosperity of our citizens and future generations and boost socio economic growth and jobs. It was jointly developed by Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain and presented by the Italian Presidency during the Competitiveness Council of 04-05 December 2014.

[2]In line with the Council Directive 98/58/EC that lays down minimum standards for the protection of animals bred or kept for farming purposes, including fish and also with international organisations such as the Council of Europe and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) which have also issued recommendations and guidelines concerning fish welfare.

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme
    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme. At least one project (above the evaluation threshold) per topic will be funded. 

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

    Information on the outcome of two-stage evaluation:
          For stage 1: maximum 3 months from the deadline for submission.
          For stage 2: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement
  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved. This topic participates per default in the open access to research data pilot which aims to improve and maximise access to and re-use of research data generated by projects:
  • The pilot applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available for open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan (to be provided within six months after the project start).
  • Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they are part of the Pilot, and will not be penalised for opting out of the Pilot.
  • Projects can at any stage opt-out of the pilot.
  • The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.Further information on the Open Research Data Pilot is made available inH2020 Online Manual.

8. Additional documents

Additional documents

Download all documents
(EN only, incl. the additional docs.)

  • H2020-SFS-2016-2 first stage Flash info en

Submission Service

No submission system is open for this topic.

Get support

H2020 Online Manual your online guide on the procedures from proposal submission to managing your grant.

Participant Portal FAQ – Submission of proposals.

National Contact Points (NCP) - 
contact your NCP for further assistance.

Research Enquiry Service
– ask questions about any aspect of European research in general and the EU Research Framework Programmes in particular.

IT Helpdesk
- contact the Participant Portal IT helpdesk for questions such as forgotten passwords, access rights and roles, technical aspects of submission of proposals, etc.

– for compliance with ethical issues, see the Participant Portal and Science and Society Portal

European IPR Helpdesk
assists you on intellectual property issues

Partner Search Services
help you find a partner organisation for your proposal

IMI Partner Search Tool
helps you find a partner organisation for your proposal