Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : FET-Open research and innovation actions

Topic identifier: FETOPEN-01-2016-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
multiple cut-off
08 December 2015
Cut-off dates: 11 May 2016 17:00:00
17 January 2017 17:00:00
27 September 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Excellent Science
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Work Programme Part: Future and Emerging Technologies
Topic Updates
  • 27 July 2016 12:24

    Following the update of FET H2020 Work Programme for 2017, the submission of FET-Open proposals is reopened. Please note that for topic FETOPEN-01-2016-2017: FET-Open research and innovation actions the indicative amount of the EU contribution has changed: 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.

  • 12 May 2016 13:19

    Please note that the submission of proposals for the cut-off of January 2017 has been temporarily suspended in view of the upcoming update of the H2020 Work Programme.
    Submissions until the cut-off date of 11/5/2016 will be treated according to the Work Programme in force at that date (European Commission Decision C (2015)6776 of 13 October 2015
    More information will follow in July 2016

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The successful exploration of new foundations for radically new future technologies requires supporting a large set of early stage, high risk visionary science and technology projects to investigate new ideas. Here agile, risk-friendly and highly interdisciplinary research approaches are needed with collaborations that are open to all sciences and disciplines and that dissolve the traditional boundaries between them. The renewal of ideas is complemented by the renewal of actors taking these new ideas forward. Therefore, this topic encourages the driving role of new high-potential actors in research and innovation, such as excellent young, both female and male, researchers and high-tech SMEs that may become the scientific and industrial leaders of the future.


This topic supports the early stages of research to establish a new technological possibility. Proposals are sought for collaborative research with all of the following characteristics ('FET gatekeepers'):

  • Long-term vision: the research proposed must address a new and radical long-term vision of a science- and technology-enabled future that is far beyond the state of the art and not currently foreseen by technology roadmaps.
  • Breakthrough scientific and technological target: research must target a scientifically ambitious and technologically concrete breakthrough, argued to be a crucial step towards achieving the long-term vision. The plausibility of the proposed breakthrough(s) to be attained within the life-time of the project must be argued in the proposal.
  • Novelty: the research proposed for achieving the breakthrough must be based on cutting-edge knowledge, new ideas and concepts, rather than in the mere application or incremental refinement of existing ones.
  • Foundational: the breakthroughs that are envisaged must be foundational in the sense that, if achieved, they would establish an essential basis for a new kind of technology and its future uses, not currently anticipated.
  • High-risk: the inherently high risk of the research proposed will be reflected in a flexible but effective methodology for exploring alternative directions and options, supported by open and agile research and innovation practices.
  • Interdisciplinary: the proposed collaborations are expected to go beyond 'waterfall' configurations in multi-disciplinary science- and technology research. Instead they should seek new solutions through genuine exchanges, mutual learning, cross-fertilisation and synergistic advances among distant disciplines in order to open unexplored areas of investigation and new directions for joint research.

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 submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • Initiating or consolidating a baseline of feasibility for a radically new line of technology and its future uses by establishing the essential proofs-of-principle and their foundational scientific underpinnings.
  • Strengthening European leadership in the early exploration of visionary, new and emerging technologies, beyond academic excellence and with global recognition. This impact can be reinforced by involving also new high-potential actors such as young, both female and male, researchers and high-tech SMEs that may become the European scientific and technological leaders and innovators of the future.
  • Impact is also sought in terms of the take up of new research and innovation practices for making leading-edge science and technology research more open, collaborative, creative and closer to society.[1]
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

[1]See also the discussion on public engagement in the introduction to this FET workprogramme.

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 FET-Open RIA proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: The criteria, scoring and threshold are described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme, with the following exceptions: 
     Subcriteria for evaluation criterion 1 "Excellence":

    Compliance with the FET-gatekeepers as described in the call:
    • Clarity and novelty of long-term vision, and ambition and concreteness of the targeted breakthrough towards that vision.
    • Novelty, non-incrementality and plausibility of the proposed research for achieving the targeted breakthrough and its foundational character.
    • Appropriateness of the research methodology and its suitability to address high scientific and technological risks.
    • Range and added value from interdisciplinarity, including measures for exchange, cross-fertilisation and synergy.

    Threshold: 4/5, Weight: 60%

    Subcriteria for evaluation criterion 2 "Impact" :

    Contributions to the impacts listed under this topic in the workprograme:
    • Importance of the new technological outcome with regards to its transformational impact on technology and/or society.
    • Impact on future European scientific and industrial leadership, notably from involvement of new and high potential actors.
    • Quality of methods and measures for achieving impact beyond the research world and for establishing European thought leadership, as perceived by industry and society.

    Threshold: 3.5/5, Weight: 20%

    Subcriteria for evaluation criterion 3 "Quality and efficiency of the implementation":

    The following aspects are taken into account:
    • Soundness of the workplan and clarity of intermediate targets.
    • Relevance of expertise in the consortium.
    • Appropriate allocation and justification of resources (person-months, equipment).

    Threshold: 3/5, Weight: 20%

    3.2 Specific evaluation procedure: The procedure for setting a priority order for proposals with the same score is given in part H of the General Annexes. The following exceptions apply:

    Due to the nature of the FETOPEN-01-2016-2017 call, specific page limits apply. Part B of the proposal should consist of a cover page plus up to a maximum of 15 A4 pages. The limits will be clearly shown in the ‘proposal templates’ in the Participant Portal electronic submission system. Sections which are not subject to limits will be indicated.
    At consensus stage, the consensus score for each evaluation criteria will be the median of the corresponding scores attributed by the individual evaluators and consensus report will comprise a collation of the comments from individual reports, or extracts from them. Final scores and any additional comments are decided by the final panel review.

    3.3 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of evaluation: maximum 5 months after the corresponding cut-off date.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months after the corresponding cut-off date. 

  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic: 

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Specific proposal template for FET-Open research and innovation actions 
    Specific evaluation form for FET-Open research and innovation actions
    H2020 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.

    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. Ethics For all activities funded by the European Union, ethics is an integral part of research from beginning to end, and ethical compliance is seen as pivotal to achieve real research excellence. There is a clear need to make a thorough ethical evaluation from the conceptual stage of the proposal not only to respect the legal framework but also to enhance the quality of the research. Ethical research conduct implies the application of fundamental ethical principles and legislation to scientific research in all possible domains of research.
    • EC Ethics Review Procedure
    All proposals above threshold and considered for funding will undergo an Ethics Review carried out by independent ethics experts and/or qualified staff working in a panel.
    The Ethics Review Procedure focusses on the compliance with ethical rules and standards, relevant European legislation, international conventions and declarations, national authorizations and ethics approvals, proportionality of the research methods and the applicants' awareness of the ethical aspects and social impact of their planned research.
    • General Guidance on Ethics for applicants:
    Research ethics' in FET OPEN typically go well beyond traditional areas like life sciences and medical research. Please check if your planned research implies for example data protection and privacy issues, environmental and safety issues or potential dual use / potential misuse of research results. Please consult the H2020 Guidance 'How to complete your ethics self-assessment' in order to make sure that your proposal takes ethics into account from the start:
  9. Additional documents

    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Future and Emerging Technologies (FETs)
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes


Additional documents

  • H2020-FETOPEN-2016-2017_27-09-2017_percentages_en.pdf en

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