Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : FET Flagship on Quantum Technologies

Topic identifier: FETFLAG-03-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
31 October 2017
Deadline: 20 February 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Excellent Science
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Work Programme Part: Future and Emerging Technologies
Topic Updates
  • 26 February 2018 10:13

    A  total of 141 proposals have been submitted in response to this call.

    1 CSA  & 140  RIAs  as specified per sub-topic below:
    a.Quantum Communication   12
    b.Quantum Computing System 10
    c.Quantum Simulation  7
    d.Quantum  Metrology and Sensing   24
    e. Fundamental Science   87

  • 08 February 2018 12:22

    NB -  Sub-topic "e.fundamental science":  As indicated in the Work Programme and in the template Part B sections 1-3 made available in the sumbission tool, page limitation for sub-topic "e.fundamental science" is restricted to 15 pages, all annexes and cover page included. Please note that the submission tool does not give a warning if your proposal exceeds 15 pages. It is up to the proposer to respect this restriction. Any page in excess of the 15 maximum allowed pages will not be considered as being part of the proposal when relating to sub-topic e. fundamental science.  

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

To build a strongly networked European Quantum Technologies (QT) community around the common goals defined in the Strategic Research Agenda[1]. To create the European ecosystem that will deliver the knowledge, technologies and open research infrastructures and testbeds necessary for the development of a world-leading knowledge-based industry in Europe, leading to long-term economic, scientific and societal benefits. To move advanced quantum technologies from the laboratory to industry with concrete prototype applications and marketable products while advancing at the same time the fundamental science basis, in order to continuously identify new applications and find better solutions for solving outstanding scientific or technology challenges.


A. Research and Innovation Actions

Proposals are expected to address a mix of quantum technology challenges addressing one or more of the following areas, integrating different aspects like physics, engineering, computer science, theory, algorithms, software, manufacturing, control, infrastructures, etc. Each activity should clearly move the technology up the TRL scale[2]. For areas a. to d., proposals can integrate various activities covering the whole value chain, from fundamental to applied research, and with other types of activity, including demonstrators, etc., as appropriate.

a. Quantum Communication[3]: Development of state-of-the art network devices, applications and systems (memories, quantum repeaters, network equipment, high throughput miniaturised quantum random number generators, etc.) for quantum communication mesh-networks. Proposals should target cost-effective solutions, devices and systems compatible with existing communication networks and standard cryptography systems, as well as device-independent protocols. Each proposal should address aspects like engineering, protocols, certification, software, algorithms. Actions should include validation of the proposed solution, proof of its suitability for the targeted application and benchmarking with respect to relevant targets set by the CSA[4] in this area.

b. Quantum Computing Systems: The development of open quantum computer experimental systems and platforms[5], integrating the key building blocks such as quantum processors (>10qubits) with limited qubit overhead, control electronics, software stack, algorithms, applications, etc. Work should address the scalability towards large systems (>100 qubits), the verification and validation of the quantum computation, fault-tolerance and solving a concrete computational problem to demonstrate the quantum advantage. Projects should foresee benchmarking activities. Benchmarks will be identified by the CSA[4] for all the platforms selected in this area.

c. Quantum Simulation: Proposals should aim at delivering operational demonstrators, based on existing physical platforms that have shown a clear perspective to achieve more than 50 interacting quantum units and / or full local control. They should work towards demonstrating a certified quantum advantage for solving difficult scientific or industrial problems (e.g. material design, logistics, scheduling, machine learning, optimisation, artificial intelligence, drug discovery, etc.). The proposed solutions need to include the development of protocols, validation schemes and control, simulation software, system configuration and optimisation. Work should address the scalability towards larger systems with more qubits. Projects should foresee benchmarking activities related to real life applications. Benchmarks will be identified by the CSA[4] for all the platforms selected in this area. Hybrid architectures are also to be considered under this area when relevant.

d. Quantum Metrology and Sensing: Quantum sensors for specific application areas such as imaging, healthcare, geo-sciences, outdoor and indoor navigation, time or frequency, magnetic or electrical measurements, etc. … as well as novel measurement standards[8], making use of the advances in controlling the fundamental quantum properties. It is expected that the work will lead to practical sensing devices, imaging systems and quantum standards that employ quantum coherence and outperform classical counterparts (resolution, stability) targeting TRL 3 and 4 and showing potential for further miniaturisation/integration into industrial systems.

e. Fundamental science: Research and development of basic theories and components, addressing a foundational challenge of relevance for the development of quantum technologies in at least one of the four areas a.-d. described above, to improve the performance of the components or subsystems targeted in those areas. Proposals must clearly indicate how they support a challenge for one or more of these areas.

For areas a. to d., proposals should be based on a close cooperation between academia and industry, define output and impact KPIs[9], include technology benchmarking against other approaches, and include user requirements.

For areas a. to c. above, proposals should seek synergies with relevant national / regional research and innovation programmes running in these areas. They shall clearly specify how they are connected to the programmes and / or how they will incorporate the platforms, testbeds and infrastructures existing in Europe, how they will attract and build communities around them for openly promoting further technology developments as well as testing and benchmarking in the field and how they build on top of these to create European added value. Proposals combining different sources of financing should include a concrete financial plan detailing the use of these funding sources for the different parts of their activities.

The Commission considers that proposals for Research and Innovation Actions of a 3-year duration and requesting a contribution from the EU up to EUR 10 million would allow the areas a. to d. to be addressed appropriately; and proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 2 and 3 million would allow the area e. to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals of another duration and/or requesting other amounts.

When appropriate, proposals may provide financial support to third parties established in a EU member state or country associated with Horizon 2020 and in line with the conditions set out in General Annex K, for example to access specific expertise or infrastructure. The consortium will define the selection process of third parties for which financial support will be granted (with a maximum of EUR 100 000[10] per party). A maximum of 10% of the EU funding requested by the proposal should be allocated to this purpose.

All projects shall make provisions to actively participate in the common activities of the Quantum Flagship and in particular: coordinate technical work with the other selected projects of the Flagship; and contribute to the activities of the Coordination and Support Action defined under item B. below.

Note that special Grant Conditions will apply for projects granted under this topic. Please see under Call Conditions.

B. Coordination and Support Action

Proposals should aim at coordinating the relevant stakeholders, notably academia, RTOs and industry participating in the Flagship initiative. In particular, it is expected to establish a communication platform, facilitate dialogue, promote the objectives of the Flagship and monitor the progress, support the governance structure, organize outreach events (including addressing the impact of technology development on economy and society), identify training and education needs and promote European curricula in quantum engineering, identify and coordinate relevant standardisation, IPR actions, and international collaboration and help networking of respective national and international activities in the field. The action will also identify, together with the community, benchmarks for all communication/computing/simulation platforms selected under areas a. to c. of the Research and Innovation Actions described under item A. above.

It is expected that such an activity is driven by the relevant actors of the field including academia, RTOs and industry.

The Commission considers that proposals for Coordination and Support Actions 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:

A. Research and Innovation Actions

  • Contribute to the strategic objectives of the Flagship;
  • Expand European leadership and excellence in quantum technologies;
  • Scientific breakthroughs that form the basis for future technologies;
  • Synergetic collaboration with existing European platforms and infrastructures;
  • Kick-start a competitive European quantum industry;
  • Availability of open platforms and infrastructures accessible to the European Quantum technologies Community.

B. Coordination and Support Action

  • A well-coordinated European initiative on Quantum Technologies, involving all relevant stakeholders and linked with relevant international, national and regional programmes, while assuring an efficient support to the governance of the Flagship;
  • Spreading of excellence on Quantum Technologies across Europe, increased awareness of European activities and availability of European curricula in the field.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

International cooperation

[1]building on the Quantum Manifesto (, the Commission Expert Group on Quantum Technologies – High Level Steering Committee has delivered on 28 June 2017 a first version of the Strategic Research Agenda in its final report (

[2]See the definition of Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) in the General Annexes to the work programme.

[3]See also the dedicated topic on Quantum Key Distribution Testbed in the LEIT ICT work programme (topic SU-ICT-04-2019).

[4]See item B. under this call topic.

[5]Including, if relevant, hybrid approaches linking quantum and classical systems or linking different quantum platforms.

[6]See item B. under this call topic.

[7]See item B. under this call topic.

[8]Measurement standards used in metrology for electrical quantities, mass, length, time, frequency, etc…

[9]KPI = Key Performance Indicator.

[10]In line with Article 23 (7) of the Rules for Participation the amounts referred to in Article 137 of the Financial Regulation may be exceeded, since this is necessary to achieve the objectives of the action.

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.

The following specific page limits apply for proposals addressing area "e. fundamental science". Sections 1 to 3 of the part B of the proposal should consist of a maximum of 15 A4 pages. The limits will be clearly shown in the "proposal templates" in the Participant Portal electronic submission system. Sections that are not subject to limits will be indicated.

Grants will be awarded to proposals according to the ranking list and, where applicable, within the indicative funding budget per area. However, in order to ensure a balanced portfolio of supported actions, at least each of the two highest-ranked RIA proposals per area a. to d. will be funded provided that it attains all thresholds. Proposals under area e. will be selected for funding according to their own ranking list. At most one CSA proposal will be funded under this topic.

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):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Specific proposal templates are available in the electronic submission system.
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

Coordination and Support Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
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

For grants awarded under this topic for Research and Innovation Actions the Commission or Agency may object to a transfer of ownership or the licensing of results to a third party established in a third country not associated to Horizon 2020. The respective option of Article 30.3 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

Grants awarded under this topic shall be implemented as a programme through the use of complementary grants and the respective options of Article 2, Article 31.6 and Article 41.4 of the Model Grant Agreement will then be applied. In particular the projects are required to conclude a collaboration agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

For grants awarded under this topic beneficiaries may provide support to third parties established in a EU member state or country associated with Horizon 2020 and as described in General Annex K of the Work Programme. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants, within the limitations set out in the call text for this topic. The respective options of Article 15.1 and Article 15.3 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

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

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.


8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
2. Future and Emerging Technologies (FETs) WP 2018-20
3. 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



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