Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Future Hyper-connected Sociality

Topic identifier: ICT-28-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017

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

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

Future social networks, media and platforms will become the way our societies operate for communication, exchange, business, creation, learning and knowledge acquisition. The challenge is to mobilise a positive vision as to the role that Social Media will increasingly play in all these areas, and to overcome today's critical issues about trust and governance through democratic reputation mechanisms, and user experience.


Analysing and building the foundation of next generation Social Media platforms towards a "Global Social Sphere", based on peer-to-peer/decentralised, community approaches and free/open source principles. This foundation shall enhance the role of prosumers, communities and small businesses, mastering technological barriers, introducing innovative and participatory forms of quality journalism, and using various data in a secure manner. These activities should contribute to overcome the current accumulation of power by central intermediaries often located outside Europe. Proposals are invited for one of the following four subtopics:

Innovation Action

Trustful and Secure Data Ecosystem for Social Media and Media.

a) Content verification - Development of intermediary-free solutions addressing information veracity for Social Media. The solutions to be developed shall contribute to the understanding of information cascades, the spreading of information and the identification of information sources, the openness of algorithms and users' access to and control of their personal data (such as profiles, images, videos, biometrical, geolocation data and local data). Proposals are expected to develop and pilot solutions with a large existing community of citizens, and consortia may include inter alia partners from media, social media, distributed architectures, security and blockchain developers. Linked to this and in order to allow mastering better the complexity for users of Social Media, a Digital Companion interaction component may also be realised. The actions on this subtopic will cooperate for setting-up the basis of an observatory as described in d).

b) Secure Data Ecosystem - Creation of media and social media data business and innovation ecosystem to ensure privacy and secure sharing, as well as fair trade of federated media relevant data produced by media, social media and operators from other industrial sectors across Europe. The involvement of non-media sectors is considered critical to achieve volume and variety of data sets comparable with the ones of leading content aggregators. The action should address the necessary technical, organisational, legal and commercial aspects of data sharing/brokerage/trading to enable data-driven services. The action must also develop pilots to demonstrate the potential and sustainability of the federated data solution.[1]

Research and Innovation Action

c) Support of new Social Media initiatives, and transition to peer-to-peer federated social networks based on smart decentralised architectures. This should be carried out by multidisciplinary and cross-sectorial consortia (technologist, sociologists, artists,…), including inter alia academic and industry partners focussing on web media, platform and application development. Proposals should include the creation of an open decentralised platform exploiting the added value derived from data aggregation and data analytics, exploring possible applications of blockchain technologies and enabling the development of innovative services and novel forms of distribution of media content. This includes research and innovation on open API, interface design, content production, consumer/prosumer business models including crowd-sourcing models for identification and rewarding of user generated content, open management and portability of profiles, gaming and art aspects. Proposals may also consider aspects of a “Social Networks of Objects", integrating latest European advancements on smart objects, big data, autonomous systems, real-time geolocation[2] and augmented/virtual reality. Proposals should include demonstrations and validation, also leveraging on concepts and technologies addressed elsewhere in the NGI programme.

Coordination and Support Action

d) Support of Social Media ecosystem community building between different Social Media actors such as developers, designers, users of all ages, artists, entrepreneurs, researchers, at European and national level, also linking to important international initiatives. This should include a dynamic app-based tool for community-mapping and an analysis of a future hyper-connected society, considering societal, economic, educational, legal and community-based self-regulation aspects. In addition, the action shall establish with actions on Content Verification under subtopic a) the basis for an observatory on information veracity and best Social Media practices.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of maximum 2,5 MEUR for subtopic a), 5 MEUR for subtopic b) and c) and 1 MEUR for subtopic d) would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

At least one proposal will be selected for subtopics a) and b). Proposals should clearly state which subtopic they address.

Expected Impact:
  • Increased trust and improved governance and value for Social Media and Media
  • New federated Social Media platforms and innovative media data driven services
  • Societal change towards digital literacy and citizen participation
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

[1]This action is to be followed up in the Big Data Innovation Hubs, planned for 2020, with a subtopic aiming at incubating ideas for data driven services and tools able to improve the media value chain.

[2]Where use is made of geolocation, data from Galileo and EGNOS should be used wherever relevant.

Topic conditions and documents

A small piece of text, which is also relevant for this topic, can be found in the 'Call Summary' under the subheading 'Next Generation Internet (NGI)'.

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):

Research and Innovation Action:

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

Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
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

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
5. Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs) WP 2018-20
5i. Information and communication technologies (ICT) 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.


Additional documents

  • Flash Call Info en

Submission Service

No submission system is open for this topic.

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