Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : A European Social Catalyst Fund to scale up high performing social innovations in the provision of social services

Topic identifier: GOVERNANCE-19-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
06 November 2018
Deadline: 14 March 2019 17:00:00

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

Government funding of social services is often capped and undergoing reductions while other sources of funding are fragmented or highly uneven. There are also disparities in the delivery of social performance and difficulties in transposing regional or national best practices to other regions or Member States and in scaling up such practices to the EU level. In addition, significant geographical variation exists between Western and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs).


This coordination and support action will establish a consortium composed of a representative set of actors involved in the financing of social services and their provision such as venture philanthropists, foundations, social impact investors, government agencies and/or social service providers. The consortium will set up a European Social Catalyst Fund that will be funded jointly by the European Commission and the members of the consortium, i.e. the consortium will be under the obligation of signing on to the project. The Fund shall be of at least EUR 600.000, with the EU contribution accounting for a maximum of 25%, and it will put forward a call for proposals that will result in at least five social innovation implementation plans.

The proposal must clearly detail a fixed and exhaustive list of the different types of socially impactful activities supporting the priorities of the European Commission, including the European Pillar of Social Rights, for which a third party may receive financial support via the European Social Catalyst Fund. Examples of priority areas include aging, poverty and marginalisation, homelessness, vulnerable populations including people with disabilities, mental health difficulties and dementia, digital inclusiveness, employment and job creation, inequalities, education and training, skills, community development, the role and place of young people in the society, and intergenerational solidarity. Links to the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030 could be considered.

The proposal should define the organisational process for selecting the implementation plans for which financial support will be granted, including the process of selecting, allocating and reporting on the use of independent experts and ensuring no conflicts of interest. It should also clearly detail the criteria for awarding financial support and simple and comprehensive criteria for calculating the exact amount of such support. The open call must be published widely, including on the Horizon 2020 Participant Portal and through National Contact Points.

The selected implementation plans should demonstrate a capacity to valorise unexploited potential by transposing or scaling up regional or national best practices. The plans should also offer means of overcoming geographical fragmentation by being implementable in at least five EU Member States of which at least two in Central and Eastern Europe. Plans should be implementable within a maximum of two years. The network should improve the selected plans as needed—striving towards them reaching investment grade—and oversee their implementation. In the process, it should help de-risk innovations, unlock bottlenecks at system level, overcome agency problems (e.g., when no one stakeholder benefits enough to justify the cost) and stimulate projects with marginal profitability. The network should specify how it will monitor and report on call results and how it will assess the quality of the outcomes and measure the impact achieved.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 250.000 of which at least EUR 150.000 should go to the Catalytic Fund 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 action will strengthen the capacity of organisations and/or individuals to develop and upscale innovative and effective solutions to pressing societal challenges. It will contribute to the diffusion of solutions in a timely and geographically balanced manner. It will also raise awareness on the opportunities and challenges associated to social innovation in the provision of social services.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

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
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility


For grants awarded under this topic [GOVERNANCE-19-2019: A European Social Catalyst Fund to scale-up high performing social innovations in the provision of social services] beneficiaries may provide support to third parties as described in part K of the General Annexes of the Work Programme. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants. 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.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-2020
2. Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies WP 2018-2020
3. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-2020

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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Submission Service

To access the Electronic Sumission Service, please click on the submission-button next to the type of action that corresponds to your proposal. You will then be asked to confirm your choice of the type of action and topic, as these cannot be changed in the submission system. Upon confirmation, you will be linked to the correct entry point.

To access existing draft proposals for this topic, please login to the Participant Portal and select the My Proposals page of the My Area section.

Type of Action Coordination & support action [CSA]
Topic A European Social Catalyst Fund to scale up high performing social innovations in the provision of social services - GOVERNANCE-19-2019
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