Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Technologies for Learning and Skills

Topic identifier: ICT-22-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
IA Innovation action
Opening date:
20 October 2015
Deadline: 12 April 2016 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Learning today takes place in a context of new interactions between formal and informal learning, the changing role of teachers, the impact of social media, and the students' active participation in the design of learning activities. While there is strong demand for (user-driven) innovation in digital learning, the current environment limits development to silo products, creates barriers to technological and market innovation and cross border adoption of new learning technologies. The challenge is to create an innovation ecosystem that will facilitate open, more effective and efficient co-design, co-creation, and use of digital content, tools and services for personalised learning and teaching. It requires co-creation and co-evolution of knowledge and partnerships between business actors and research players, communities of users, educational and training organisations to develop the appropriate components and services and leading edge learning technologies, which in turn will empower teachers and learners and facilitate (social) innovation in education and training.


a. Innovation Action

Develop and test open, interoperable components for a flexible, scalable and cost-effective cloud-based digital learning infrastructure to deliver user-driven innovation in technological solutions and educational services for primary and secondary education for personalised, collaborative or experimental learning and skills validation. The infrastructure shall enable stakeholders to create, manage and deliver more efficient processes, content, services, applications and contextual data across a wide variety of education and training systems. It should enable stakeholders to discover, mix and re-use different components and to create new learning solutions. It should be scalable to meet rapidly changing and expanding needs and software requirements while maintaining high levels of security and privacy for teachers and students

The proposed solutions should cover one or several of the following areas:

  • easy creation, mix and re-use of content, services, applications and contextual data for interactive learning processes (e.g. authoring and modelling tools; syndication tools; networked objects; electronic publishing platforms; social and collaborative networks);
  • environments for new learning experiences and experimentation (e.g. 3D simulation and modelling technologies, visualisation technologies, augmented and virtual reality, location intelligence, intelligent tutors and other adaptive and multimodal technologies);
  • educational support services (e.g. learning analytics for creating, collecting, storing, sharing learner/educational data in a systematic, secure way).

Proposed solutions should have a clearly defined learning context, integrate dynamic real-time assessment of learner's progress and be tested through very large pilots in typical learning circumstances in several European countries to identify strategies for scaling and achieve bigger impacts.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about 5 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

b. Research and Innovation Action

Technologies for deeper learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, combined with Arts (STEAM), improving the innovation and creative capacities of learners and supporting the new role of teacher as a coach of the learner. Activities may cover both foundational research (tapping into a mix of disciplines, including SSH disciplines) and/or component and system level design with pilot testing, to support (user-driven) real-life intervention strategies with new enabling technologies (e.g. new interfaces, affective computing, mixed reality learning environments, 3D technologies, wearable technology).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about 2.5 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. The maximum duration is expected to be 2 years.

Expected Impact:

Projects should address the following impact criteria and provide appropriate metrics:

a. Innovation Action

  • Availability of new, open cloud-based components, tools and services for use in digital learning scenarios;
  • Increased cross-border availability and wider adoption of education technology products/services generating new business opportunities for, European providers;
  • More efficient and effective learning, through mainstreaming new ways of learning with digital technologies and more efficient ways of assessing learning outcomes;
  • Scalable solutions, capable of reaching very large numbers of schools and students, and deliver social innovation in education.

b. Research and Innovation Action

  • Break-through technologies for learning, through novel research-industry collaborations in emerging areas;
  • Improved ability to innovate in key economic growth areas by fostering intertwined development of creative and scientific/technological skills.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Open Innovation
Socio-economic science and humanities

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.

  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

    Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

  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. Additional documents:
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs)
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Information and communication technologies (ICT)
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


Additional documents

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