Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

TOPIC : Validation of diagnostic tools for animal and plant health

Topic identifier: SFS-13-2017
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:

The simple, swift and reliable detection, accurate identification and proper quantification of pathogens and other factors affecting plant and animal health, including zoonotic agents, and correlates of infection (e.g. host-response biomarkers) and/or immunity are critical for the monitoring and control of their introduction or spread. These tools are essential to avoid or reduce costs to the economy, trade disruptions and sometimes even human health risks. The methods are used not only by competent authorities (i.e. the national authorities responsible for organising official controls), but also by private laboratories or directly by veterinarians at the point of care, practitioners and business operators.

In recent years, most research efforts have focused on the developing high throughput, generic, quick and cheap methods, a number of which have been validated on an intra-laboratory basis or through limited ring trials. Before they are used outside research laboratories, these methods often have to undergo additional testing, e.g. further ring tests, development of reference materials, harmonisation or adaptation for implementation in field conditions (sampling methods, multi-targeting, pen-side tests, mobile analysis).


The projects aim to harmonise and validate (including through ring trials) existing and new protocols for the detection and quantification of pathogens and other factors of concern for the health of plants and terrestrial animals, and correlates of infection/immunity. Work will build on existing knowledge and resources, and support the further development of promising existing protocols to deliver close-to-market end-products, including swift, portable tools for field testing. Cooperation among stakeholders is encouraged to ensure the use of generic technologies for a broader spectrum of organisms. There should be liaison with EU and international reference and standardisation bodies. Projects should take due account of dissemination to relevant stakeholders to facilitate the uptake of results.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Individual proposals should focus on either plants or animals. Funding will allow for support for at least one project relating to plants and one to animals.

Expected Impact:

Projects outputs will result in:

  • validated protocols for the detection and quantification of pathogens and correlates of infection/immunity;
  • support for plant and animal health policies in the form of validated protocols to be used by competent authorities and reference laboratories;
  • the bringing to the market of end-products, such as swift, portable tools for field-testing by veterinarians, practitioners and business operators.

More generally and in the longer term, the outputs will support the improvement of animal/plant health and food safety, thus contributing to the sustainability and competitiveness of the agri-food sectors.

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:

    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.
  8. Additional documents

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