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TOPIC : Framework Partnership Agreement in European low-power microprocessor technologies

Topic identifier: ICT-42-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: FPA Framework Partnership Agreement
Opening date:
22 May 2017
Deadline: 26 September 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Updates
  • 06 October 2017 12:54

    The last submission period for proposals for the H2020-ICT-2016-2017 call closed on 26 September 2017. 3 FPA proposals were submitted to topic ICT-42-2017.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

In the Communication one the European Cloud Initiative (COM(2016) 178 final), the EC announced its aim to support, together with the EU Member States and European industry, the creation of a world-class European High Performance Computing (HPC) and Big Data ecosystem built on two exascale computing machines, which would rank in the first 3 places of the world. One of the specific objectives stated in the Communication is to "foster an HPC ecosystem capable of developing new European technology such as low power HPC chips".

The objective of the Call is to establish a stable and structured partnership between the EC and the institutions and organisations who commit themselves to establish, maintain and implement a strategic research and innovation roadmap for building European low-power microprocessor technologies underpinning the build-up of future machines for exascale-class HPC, big data and emerging applications. A co-design approach is necessary to bridge the gap between suppliers and users to develop new components adapted to real application needs. The partnership will be set up through a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA)[1] which will cover the full initiative in order to enable the completion of the research and innovation roadmap within the context of the agreement.

The consortia responding to the call must include manufacturers of microelectronic components and may include research institutes, universities, foundations, SMEs as well as other organisations that are necessary for the development of a European low-power processing unit. The Framework Partnership Agreement shall specify the common objectives, the nature of the actions planned, and the procedure for awarding specific grants.

To support the initiative this Framework Partnership Agreement will be the basis for concluding specific grant agreements. The specific grant agreements are expected to be signed in 2018 and 2020. The overall EC contribution to the initiative in Horizon 2020 is expected to be around EUR 120 million, subject to several factors such as budget availability, quality of proposals and performance of the action.


Proposals should address the following points:

  • The general and specific objectives of the partnership;
  • The related research and innovation roadmap for the development of innovative low-power Processing Units: functional and non-functional requirements; architectural aspects; firmware and system software; boards and blades; power efficiency options; performance measurement metrics; handling of different technology generations, role of open-source hardware and open-source software, building and demonstrating a machine prototype including TRL and size targets for the machine prototype;
  • The initial consortium which will implement the initiative, and its governance structure;
  • The consortium's perspectives of building microprocessor technologies (i.e., today's solutions and their perspectives; the industrial players; a strategy for building up the European approach);
  • The ability of the consortium to seize exploitation opportunities, including the market and business perspectives (targeted market segments and conditions for successful market introduction, representative HPC, cloud, big-data and emerging benchmarks/applications);
  • Links to the implementation of the European HPC strategy: how does the proposal contribute to the strategy, how does it relate to the other activities of the strategy such as the extreme scale demonstrators, the development of the pre-exascale machines, and ultimately how will it lead to the development of an exascale machine based on European technology to be procured in the period 2022-2023;
  • Quantified targets and Key Performance Indicators to assess the expected progress over time;
  • The way the consortium will foster complementarities, and synergies with relevant national, regional and European research and innovation programmes, including structural funds addressing smart specialisation. The consortium should include an indicative financial plan that combines different sources of financing for the different parts of the FPA activities;
  • The commitments made by the consortium members, which would be complementary to EU/national contributions.
Expected Impact:
  • Strengthening the competitiveness and leadership of the European industry & science, in particular the European technology supply, in low-power microprocessor technologies for HPC, Big-Data and other emerging applications.
  • Potential for European microprocessor technology with drastically better performance/power ratios compared to current offerings for HPC, Big-Data and emerging applications.
  • Covering important segments of the broader and/or emerging HPC and Big-Data markets

[1]Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 of 29 October 2012, Article 178. See also article 18(7) of the Rules for Participation.

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. See the information in the Online Manual.

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

  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:

    Framework Partnership Agreement:

    Specific provisions and funding rates (FPA & SGA)
    Proposal templates are available after entering the submission tool below.
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 MGA Framework Partnership - Multi-Beneficiary
    H2020 MGA Framework Partnership - Mono-Beneficiary
    H2020 MGA Specific – Multi-Beneficiary
    H2020 MGA Specific – Mono-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. 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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