Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

TOPIC : Adaptive tree breeding strategies and tools for forest production systems resilient to climate change and natural disturbances

Topic identifier: BB-03-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Planned opening date:
04 October 2016
2nd stage Deadline:
14 February 2017 17:00:00
13 September 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:

Climate change and associated natural disturbances will increasingly influence the current distribution and productivity of tree species, within the constraints of physical barriers, long production cycles and regulations on forest reproductive materials. They will also affect the areas in which trees of different species and provenance could grow, or grow better, in the future. Assisted migration of tree species from one region (or continent) to another has contributed to increased wood production in Europe in recent centuries. Though there are examples of good practice and benefits of genetic variation, there is still limited evidence of the inherent genotypic/phenotypic plasticity of tree species and provenances, and their symbionts, to adapt rapidly enough and survive the current pace of environmental change. To counteract climate-induced decline and maintain/enhance forest productivity and meet the growing needs of society and the bioeconomy, we may enhance the resilience of forests through the selection/development of new genotypes, through traditional methods of genome sequencing and selection of desired traits and/or novel methods of genome improvement.


Proposals should aim to develop novel tree breeding strategies and tools aimed at sustained yields (wood and non-wood products), while addressing resilience to climate change and natural disturbances (including pests and disease outbreaks), and considering biodiversity-related aspects. Proposals will aim to identify/develop genotypes with appropriate adaptation profiles for possible extension/change of tree species range, both vertically and horizontally, including those genotypes with potential for use on marginal land. Coniferous and broadleaved species that are of specific importance for forestry and ecosystem services EU-wide should be targeted. Compliance with biosafety and other relevant legislation (e.g. biodiversity and invasive alien species) should be taken into account. Complementarity with previous (FP7/LIFE) projects and COST actions should also be considered.

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:

To counteract climate change, maintain and enhance forest productivity and the sustainability of forestry systems, proposals should show how some, or all, of the following impacts will be achieved:

  • direct technical support for forest managers on the choice of tree species and provenances to increase stress tolerance to underlying environmental change and meet increasing societal demands on forest goods and services;
  • better understanding of benefits and risks related to the economic performance of wood-value chains and the environmental effects of the enhanced use of novel biotechnologies.
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
    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. 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.

7. 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.

8. Additional documents


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

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