Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

TOPIC : Innovative solutions for sustainable food packaging

Topic identifier: SFS-35-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: IA Innovation 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 recent decades, there has been much research into innovative food packaging technologies and solutions (e.g. active, intelligent, recyclable, easy-to-use, organic, antibacterial). This includes research aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of packaging material, increasing the shelf-life of food and developing food spoilage indicators, improving product design, optimising process efficiency, and reducing the need for chemical preservatives while maintaining the nutritional and sensorial properties of food. In spite of the progress made, much remains to be done to overcome the barriers to market uptake of many promising technologies.


Proposals should clearly address the problems associated with the scaling-up and commercialisation of eco-innovative solutions to packaging in a developing framework of social, economic and environmental conditions. Activities should aim to produce plans and arrangements or designs for new, modified or improved products, processes or services. For this purpose they may include prototyping, testing, demonstrating, pilot projects, large-scale product validation and market replication. Proposals may, if necessary, include limited research and development activities. If there are clear market failures or cultural or behavioural barriers to overcome, proposals may comprise activities such as validating the benefits for users/buyers, validating technical and economic performance at system level, validating standards, and activities to prepare market uptake, ensure consumer acceptance and optimise access to and the dissemination of results. Work is expected to benefit from contribution of social sciences and a gender approach. Participation of all relevant stakeholders in the food production and supply chains is encouraged. Demonstration activities will require the involvement of packaging and food processing companies, retailers and civil society organisations to bridge the gap between ideas that have been developed and their practical implementation.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 6 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:

With a view to supporting the transition from a linear to a circular economy, proposals should show how some, or all, of the following impacts will be achieved:

  • wider and faster deployment of innovative, user-driven, packaging solutions resulting from greater industry and consumer acceptance, and higher visibility of innovative solutions, overcoming the barriers to market uptake.
  • reduced waste in both food and packaging materials, and its negative impacts on the environment (e.g. resource utilisation, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution).
  • strengthening of the EU's position in manufacturing, improving competitiveness as well as opportunities for growth, diversification and job creation for the EU food and packaging sector in general, and SMEs in particular.
  • strengthening the European food value chain through continued support to product quality, contributing to consumer trust and increased consumption.
  • support for the transition from a linear to a circular economy.
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 [, 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:

    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 in the H2020 Online Manual.

8. Additional documents

Submission Service

The submission system is planned to be opened on the date stated on the topic header.

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