Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : STARTS – The Arts stimulating innovation

Topic identifier: ICT-32-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
31 October 2017
Deadline: 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:

The ever-increasing role of technology in our daily life offers huge potential for added value for our society. Artists can help unleash this potential. They can help shape a better relation of technology and humans and stimulate human-centred innovation through their transversal competencies and unconventional thinking. The challenge of the S+T+ARTS=STARTS program – innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology and the Arts - is to better address innovation in industry and society by engaging artists in European R&I projects to explore unconventional art-inspired solutions to industrial/societal problems.


The topic will support art-driven innovation in European R&I projects by inclusion of artists in research consortia.

a) STARTS lighthouse pilots (RIA instrument) will explore art-inspired solutions to industrial/societal challenges in two chosen areas. Pilots will engage industry, technology, end-users, and artists in a broad artistic exploration of technologies with the aim of creating novel products, processes and services that respond better to human needs. The added value of artistic practices to realise unexpected solutions via artistic exploration must be clearly put forward in the two light house pilots.

(i) Lighthouse pilot in 'art-inspired interactive human-centred environments' created by digital objects and novel media, like IoT, augmented reality or social media. The pilot will explore how these digital objects and media can lead – via artistic exploration – to novel experiences and new models for creativity and thereby to unexpected solutions for challenges in the city, in the home or for mobility.

(ii) Lighthouse pilot in 'art-inspired urban manufacturing' driven by de-centralised digitally-enabled production systems and co-creation in urban environments. The pilot will explore how digitally-enabled small-scale production/manufacturing systems and networks combined with artistic exploration and creativity in design and process - can revive the social, ecological and economic urban space and lead to unexpected products and services in an urban environment.

It is expected to fund one lighthouse pilot in each of the two chosen areas (i) and (ii). For grants awarded under this topic for Research and Innovation Actions at least 30% of the EU funding requested shall be allocated to contributions to the work by artists and creatives.

For grants awarded under this topic for Research and Innovation Actions 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. Third party support is expected to help cover the work of artists and creatives.

b) Coordination and Support Action (CSA instrument) to create a STARTS ecosystem by coordinating artistic and innovation relevant aspects of the two lighthouse pilots and of other European/international R&I projects that put artists and creatives at the centre of innovation. Tasks comprise analysing and helping implement best practices for including artists in R&I, organising events, providing online spaces for artists and technologists to meet, presenting the results from art-technology collaborations in exhibitions that are highly visible in the art world and in industry, and assisting European research teams to learn from art and design thinking as a strategy for innovation.. It is expected to fund one Coordination and Support Action.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 4 million for each of the two light house pilots for Research and Innovation Actions and of up to EUR 1 million for maximum one Coordination and Support Action would allow the areas to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. All proposals under a) and b) should target a duration of 3 years.

Expected Impact:
  • The demonstration of value-added to industry and society in having artists contribute to the development of radically new products, services and processes.
  • Signalling effect for future uptake of art-driven solutions to concrete industrial and societal challenges and art-driven user-centred products and services.
  • Efficient working models how art-technology collaboration can contribute to innovative processes in research, industry and society.
  • Burgeoning STARTS ecosystem involving industry, technology, research, end-users, societal stakeholders, and the Art world that reconciles and unites the goals and thinking of industry and technology with that of the Art world.
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):

Research and 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

For grants awarded under this sub-topic for Research and Innovation actions 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 2018-20
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

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