Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Food Systems Africa

Topic identifier: LC-SFS-34-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future (LC)

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
16 October 2018
2nd stage Deadline:
23 January 2019 17:00:00
04 September 2019 17:00:00

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

Nutritional imbalances in both Europe and Africa are increasing, characterised by growing diet-related, non-communicable diseases and persistent under-nutrition. The UN projects that the global population will increase from 7 billion to more than 9 billion by 2050[1], of which the majority is expected to occur in Africa. To anticipate such population growth and challenges associated with enhanced climate change, agricultural systems need to become more sustainable and better linked to nutrition performance by strengthening the agro-biodiversity of resilient cropping systems, thereby increasing the range of food products for a balanced, healthy diet. Furthermore, resource-efficient, resilient food value chains need to be developed to deliver sufficient, safe, affordable and nutritious food to local consumers and for high value global markets. Africa has a wealth of local varieties, food intelligence and healthy African diets including plant based proteins, which are currently largely untapped and not reaching the market, neither in African cities nor in Europe.


Proposals shall assess and deliver better nutrition performance of African farming systems, strengthening the agro-biodiversity (and integrated aquaculture systems) and food diversity. They shall address innovative approaches in local food systems while covering technological, food safety, social and gender issues[2], and address sustainable postharvest technologies, including bio-based packaging, to reduce food waste along the post-harvest/consumer chain and plastic littering. Empowerment of small farmers (including aquafarmers) and processors benefitting rural areas leading to diversity of diets and improving food identity is essential. Food supply chains (conventional and organic) for both local urban markets and high value global markets shall be targeted. Proposals need to ensure the commitment and participation of a variety of partners established in the EU and in Africa, and shall establish relevant links with other projects involved in the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security & Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA). Proposals should include a task to cluster with other projects involved in the EU-Africa R&I Partnership on FNSSA and with the cooperation platform established under SFS-33-2018.

The Commission considers that proposals following a multi-actor approach including civil society organisations requesting a contribution from the EU of the order of EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

In the framework of SDG no 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15 and 17, the EU-Africa R&I Partnership on FNSSA[3], the EU's Bioeconomy Strategy 2012, and the FOOD 2030 SWD[4], proposals shall describe how projects can contribute to:

  • Improved food systems resulting in sustainable, healthy African diets (comparable to the Mediterranean diet) that on the short term are to become mainstream in 10 African cities;
  • Empowerment of small farmers (including aquafarmers) combined with sustainable growth of food chain operators (SMEs) in rural areas in Africa, both for internal markets and export;
  • New market opportunities for novel food products, tools and processes applicable in Africa that are taking into account food safety issues across the entire food value chain (e.g. improved food storage under mycotoxins free conditions) and reduce food waste;
  • Significant reduction of malnutrition in Africa and particularly in relation to children, including those within the first 1,000 days of life, by implementing nutritional recommendations (proportion/figures to be specified in the proposals as well as reflections on specific food strategies for crisis and civil war situations);
  • Major progress towards the establishment of the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on FNSSA and impact at local level;
  • Development and implementation of pilot innovation actions for the benefit of African and European consumers at TRL 4-5.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Blue Growth
International cooperation
Socio-economic science and humanities


[2]Applicants may be interested in a separate but connected call topic on " Implementation research for maternal and child health" under Societal Challenge 1.

[3]Joint communication to the EP and Council for a renewed impetus to the Africa-EU Partnership’, JOIN (2017) 17

[4]European Research and Innovation for Food and Nutrition Security, SWD(2016)319.

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.


Due to the specific challenge of this topic, in addition to the minimum number of participants set out in the General Annexes, proposals shall include at least four participants from a specific region of Africa (as defined by African Union) and a minimum of five participants from Africa.

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 (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):

Research and 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.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
9. Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy 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.


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No submission system is open for this topic.

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