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TOPIC : Smart Cities and Communities

Topic identifier: LC-SC3-SCC-1-2018-2019-2020
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future (LC)

Types of action: IA Innovation action
DeadlineModel:
Planned opening date:
single-stage
05 September 2018
Deadline: 05 February 2019 17:00:00

Types of action: IA Innovation action
DeadlineModel:
Planned opening date:
single-stage
05 December 2017
Deadline: 05 April 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Work Programme Part: Secure, clean and efficient energy
Topic Updates
  • 03 November 2017 14:26

    The FAQs for this call are being updated and will be available soon.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The COP21 Paris Agreement recognises the role of cities and calls on them to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change. The EU is committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Development Goal 11 ("Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable"). Many forward-looking cities have set themselves climate goals whose achievement rests on wide scale roll out of highly integrated and highly efficient energy systems.

To achieve the necessary energy transition in cities, it is essential to increase energy systems integration and to push energy performance levels significantly beyond the levels of current EU building codes and to realize Europe wide deployment of Positive Energy Districts by 2050[1].

This call will also contribute to the specific objectives of the SET Plan action 3.2 - Smart cities and communities - focussing on positive-energy blocks/districts[2].

Scope:

Integrated innovative solutions for Positive Energy Blocks/Districts will be developed and tested and performance-monitored in the Lighthouse Cities. Projects will consider the interaction and integration between the buildings, the users and the larger energy system as well as implications of increased electro-mobility, its impact on the energy system and its integration in planning.

Lighthouse Cities will closely collaborate with the Follower Cities and should act as exemplars helping to plan and initiate the replication of the deployed solutions in the Follower cities, adapted to different local conditions.

As a sustainable energy transition will see increased electro-mobility, its impact on the energy system needs to be understood and well integrated in planning.

Definition: Positive Energy Blocks/Districts consist of several buildings (new, retro-fitted or a combination of both) that actively manage their energy consumption and the energy flow between them and the wider energy system. Positive Energy Blocks/Districts have an annual positive energy balance[3]. They make optimal use of elements such as advanced materials, local RES, local storage, smart energy grids, demand-response, cutting edge energy management (electricity, heating and cooling), user interaction/involvement and ICT.

Positive Energy Blocks/Districts are designed to be integral part of the district/city energy system and have a positive impact on it. Their design is intrinsically scalable and they are well embedded in the spatial, economic, technical, environmental and social context of the project site.

To increase impact beyond the demonstration part of the project, each Lighthouse City and Follower City will develop, together with industry, its own bold city-vision for 2050[4]. The vision should cover urban, technical, financial and social aspects. Each vision should come with its guide for the city on how to move from planning, to implementation, to replication and scaling up of successful solutions.

Proposals should also:

  • Focus on mixed use urban districts and positively contribute to the overall city goals;
  • Develop solutions that can be replicated/gradually scaled up to city level. The technical, financial, social, and legal feasibility of the proposed solutions should be demonstrated in the actual proposal.
  • Make local communities and local governments (particularly city planning departments) an active and integral part of the solution, increase their energy awareness and ensure their sense of ownership of the smart solutions. This should ensure sustainability of Positive Energy Blocks/Districts;
  • Promote decarbonisation, while improving air quality.
  • Incorporate performance monitoring (ideally for more than 2 years) of deployed solutions from the earliest feasible moment. All relevant performance data must be incorporated into the Smart Cities Information System database (SCIS)[5].

Projects should also deliver:

  • Effective business models for sustainable solutions;
  • Practical recommendations arising from project experience on:
    • regulatory, legal aspects and data security/protection;
    • gender and socio-economics (Social Sciences and Humanities);
    • storage solutions (from short-term to seasonal);
    • big data, data management and digitalisation;
    • electro-mobility: i) its impact on energy system and ii) appropriate city planning measures to support large scale roll-out;

Eligible costs are primarily those that concern the innovative elements of the project needed to:

  • connect and integrate buildings;
  • enable Positive Energy Blocks/Districts;
  • foster innovative systems integration;
  • complement the wider energy system.

Costs of commercial technologies are not eligible, for example:

  • Buildings: purchase, construction, retrofitting and maintenance;
  • Electric vehicles and charging stations: purchase, installation and maintenance;
  • City-level ICT platforms: purchase, development and maintenance;
  • Standard, commercially-available RES: purchase, development and maintenance.

Projects are expected to cooperate with other Smart Cities and Communities projects funded under Horizon 2020[6] [7] as well as the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC)[8].

Therefore, proposals should foresee a work package for cooperation with other selected projects and earmark appropriate resources (5% of the requested EU contribution) for coordination and communication efforts and research work associated with cross-cutting issues.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 15 to 20 million[9] would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Typically, projects should have a duration of 48 to 60 months.

Expected Impact:

Projects should contribute to:

  • Meeting EU climate mitigation and adaptation goals and national and/or local energy, air quality and climate targets, as relevant;
  • Significantly increased share of i) renewable energies, ii) waste heat recovery and iii) appropriate storage solutions (including batteries) and their integration into the energy system and iv) reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Lead the way towards wide scale roll out of Positive Energy Districts;
  • Significantly improved energy efficiency, district level optimized self-consumption, reduced curtailment;
  • Increased uptake of e-mobility solutions;
  • Improved air quality.

The higher the replicability of the solutions across Europe, the better.

Delegation Exception Footnote:

It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Open Innovation
Clean Energy
Gender
Socio-economic science and humanities

[1]See also: Communication on Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation - http://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/1_en_act_part1_v6_0.pdf

[2]For further information please consult the SETIS website: https://setis.ec.europa.eu/actions-towards-implementing-integrated-set-plan

[3]For a comparison across the EU of the blocks/districts – to guarantee equal evaluation conditions – standard references inspired by the two following documents are used in the assessment of the energy balance:

1) the Guidelines 2012/C 115/01 accompanying Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 244/2012 supplementing Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings by establishing a comparative methodology framework for calculating cost-optimal levels of minimum energy performance requirements for buildings and building elements; and

2) the forthcoming standard ISO/FDIS 52000-1 "Energy performance of buildings - Overarching EPB assessment.

The Primary Energy Factors (PEF) stemming from these documents are applied in the new BEST table (available at the participant portal) that must be used to show that the proposed measures result in Positive Energy Blocks/Districts under the working definition of this call.

[4]Building on and further concretising their i) Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP) or ii) Sustainable Energy (and Climate) Action Plans (SECAP) or iii) a similar, at least equally ambitious plan. These shall be approved by the corresponding authorities by the end of the project.

[5]http://www.smartcities-infosystem.eu/

[6]http://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/horizon-2020/h2020-energy/projects-by-field/smart-cities-and-communities

[7]For the website of the Lighthouse project group, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

[8]http://ec.europa.eu/eip/smartcities/

[9]Indicatively, EUR 6 to 8 million for a Lighthouse city and between EUR 0.5 and 1.0 million for a follower city.

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.

 

Consortia shall be composed of 2 lighthouse cities and at least 5 follower cities.

By the call deadline, all lighthouse cities must have a validated[[Validated by DG JRC. See also FAQ for more detail.]]: i) Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP)[[http://www.covenantofmayors.eu/actions/sustainable-energy-action-plans_en.html]] or ii) Sustainable Energy (and Climate) Action Plans (SECAP)[[http://www.covenantofmayors.eu/0-4.html]] or iii) a similar, at least equally ambitious, plan.

A city can be funded as a lighthouse city only once under Horizon 2020.

Proposal page limits and layout: The page limit for a full proposal (Part B Sections 1-3) is 150pages. For the 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.

Information on the outcome of evaluation (two-stage call):
For stage 1: maximum 3 months from the deadline for submission.
For stage 2: 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):

Innovation 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
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

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.

 

8. Additional documents:

BEST Table

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
10. Secure, clean and efficient energy 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

Submission Service

To access the Electronic Submission Service of the topic, please select the type of action that is most relevant to your proposal from the list below and click on the 'Start Submission' button. 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 Innovation action [IA]
Topic Smart Cities and Communities - LC-SC3-SCC-1-2018-2019-2020
Guidance on proposal submission: H2020 online manual
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