Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Coordinated approaches to funding and promotion of research and innovation for the circular economy

Topic identifier: CE-SC5-05-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Connecting economic and environmental gains - the Circular Econonmy (CE)

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
07 November 2017
Deadline: 27 February 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Authorities throughout the EU continue to fund research and innovation in the field of circular economy at a national or regional level. Programme owners do so on the basis of their own mandates, though doubtlessly to a large extent in accordance with national and European priorities. Nevertheless, fragmentation of scarce resources, difficulties in implementing international synergies without a joint platform and lack of institutionalized outreach throughout Europe all hamper progress towards achieving common EU objectives. Moreover, the progress made in research and innovation underpinning circular economy varies throughout the EU.

This calls for a strategic approach to the coordination of objectives and programming of the regional, national and European funding programmes throughout the area of research and innovation for a circular economy. A strategic approach would help build international synergies among programme owners (in order to overcome and avoid fragmentation), and strengthen dissemination of lessons learned and new solutions for the circular economy resulting from currently isolated national programmes and funding.


The action should establish a joint platform which will formulate, based on a thorough understanding of the state-of-the-art, the research and innovation needs and priorities for circular economy development in the EU. To this end, this action should bring together national and regional programme owners which will adequately represent the diversity of conditions and approaches from around the EU. The action should encompass joint development of objectives, priority setting, impact assessment, and programme and project organisation. It should produce a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, summarising recommendations for research priorities and coordinated programming and funding mechanisms. Innovation involving SMEs should be explicitly addressed. The action should disseminate best practices and promote multinational research and innovation actions within national and regional programmes. It should also include a mechanism whereby it could draw from the expertise and experience of leading research organisations as well as industry and civil society organisations. It should seek cooperation and synergies with relevant initiatives addressing the circular economy, including those funded by the EU.

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 submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • alignment and coordination of regional, national and European programming of R&I in the area of the circular economy and associated environmental impacts;
  • effective regional, national and European R&I funding in the field of the circular economy, with special attention to SMEs;
  • accelerated diffusion of state-of-the-art circular economy solutions and best practices in circular economy R&I throughout Europe;
  • implementation of national and EU-level action plans including the Circular Economy Action Plan[1], the Green Action Plan for SMEs[2], and Eco-Innovation Action Plan[3].

[1]COM(2015) 614 final

[2]COM(2014) 440 final

[3]COM(2011) 899 final

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
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. See the information in the Online Manual.

2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme.

Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below. 

3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

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

5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Coordination and Support Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Proposal templates are available after entering the submission link below.
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
12. Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

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.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement

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