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TOPIC : New partnerships and tools to enhance European capacities for in-situ conservation

Topic identifier: SFS-04-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Planned opening date:
04 October 2016
Deadline: 14 February 2017 17:00:00

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

In situ (including on-farm) conservation is an important complement to ex situ conservation efforts and particularly relevant for tackling Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) and landraces. Unlike the more static conservation of genetic material in gene banks, in situ conservation is seen as a means of capturing the evolutionary adaptation of plants exposed to changing environmental and management conditions, thereby providing a reservoir of valuable traits for crop adaptation (including to climatic changes). To be effective, in situ conservation strategies require a complex multi-actor approach and need to be embedded into overall strategies to preserve plant genetic resources.


Activities will help to build (a) network(s) of in situ (including on-farm and on-garden) conservation sites and stakeholders in order to develop new partnerships between the conservation, farming, gardening and breeding sectors and with the wider public. This will expand capacities to manage genetic resources in more dynamic and participatory ways and to support their use in breeding, farming and the food chain. Cooperation between conservation stakeholders will enhance knowledge of available resources, support the demonstration of in situ genetic resources to the wider public and improve access to this genetic reservoir. Exchanges with the breeding sector will provide openings to identify promising traits from landraces and CWRs and increase their use in breeding. Activities will also contribute to developing and showcasing strategies for in situ conservation and to linking ex situ and in situ conservation efforts more effectively. While targeting in particular European capacities, projects are encouraged to draw on good examples from elsewhere. The work is expected to benefit from the contribution of social sciences. Proposals should fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach'[1].

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

Expected Impact:

Activities will significantly strengthen European capacities for the conservation, management and use of in situ genetic resources. They will contribute to

  • greater knowledge of the status and characteristics of in situ genetic resources in Europe
  • establishing more durable partnerships between in situ conservation stakeholders and thus to more dynamic transfer of plant material and good practice on conservation and management issues
  • the creation of a platform for national and European in-situ conservation strategies
  • diminishing the divide between in situ and ex situ conservation efforts
  • increased awareness of the wider public as regards the wealth and importance of genetic resources for agriculture and consumers
  • increased use of genetic material from in situ sources in breeding activities and in the food chain

In the longer term outputs will support competitiveness of the farming and breeding sectors, trigger product innovation and foster healthy diets through provision of more diverse food.

[1]See definition of the 'multi-actor approach' in the introduction of this Work Programme part.

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 Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong & Macau, India, 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 [, with the following exceptions]:

    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:

    Coordination and Supporting Actions:

    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.
  8. Additional documents

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