Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Supporting Joint Actions on sustainable urban accessibility and connectivity

Topic identifier: MG-4-6-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: ERA-NET-Cofund ERA-NET Cofund
Opening date:
04 December 2018
Deadline: 25 April 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:

The proposed ERA-NET Cofund action addresses specific challenges of sustainable urban accessibility and connectivity. Sustainable urban accessibility and connectivity is defined as the ease with which activities and opportunities may be reached in an urban transport system, with lower negative environmental impacts. Network connectivity reflects the directness of routes, using different modes to travel between points. It applies both for passenger and freight transport.

Providing accessibility and connectivity can boost economic and societal development, which is supported by much of the EU, national, regional and local transport policy (infrastructure investments, providing public transport).

Despite the high transport network densities in urban areas, there are still accessibility and connectivity challenges, sometimes specifically for various socio-economic groups. Some forms of mobility (especially road-based) raise issues with respect to local environment and space utilisation, encouraging policies aiming to reduce car-use but possibly affecting mobility for specific user groups. The interaction is complex and not always well understood.


The projects funded by the ERA-NET Cofund action especially address the potential impact and possibilities for deployment of new mobility services and initiatives by analysing behavioural responses and estimating effects on the various aspects of sustainability (i.e. the environment, economic development and people’s well-being), for both passenger and freight transport.

Proposals should pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programs with a view to implementing a joint call for proposals resulting in grants to third parties with EU co-funding in this area.

Participation of legal entities from third countries, and/or regions, including those not automatically eligible for funding in accordance with General Annex A is encouraged in the joint call as well as in other joint activities including additional joint calls without EU co-funding. Participants from countries not listed in General Annex A are eligible for EU funding under this topic and may request a Union contribution (on the basis of the ERA-NET unit cost) only for the coordination costs of additional activities.

The aim of this ERA-NET Cofund is to launch a joint research and innovation call for proposals. The funded proposals should specifically address the interaction between socio-economic development and accessibility and connectivity with regards to any of the following topics and combinations of these topics:

  • Main reasons and drivers behind mobility behaviour (i.e. responses to new technologies and policies), taking into account various types of actors, and the intricate behavioural interactions;
  • Potential solutions (technological, social, economic, etc.) to increase accessibility and connectivity in low density areas and for disadvantaged groups in urban areas;
  • Potential variables supporting a shift towards more sustainable mobility behaviour to more sustainable modes (particularly ‘soft’/‘slow’/‘active’ modes) and alternatives for personal mobility. Possible behavioural rebound and compensational effects should be taken into account;
  • Possible contribution of improving accessibility and connectivity to socio-economic development in urban areas that are typically defined by their spatial concentration and proximity.
  • Assessment of the most effective strategies for improving connectivity, intermodality and systems integration in urban areas.
  • Assessment of how innovative mobility concepts and services developments could benefit or affect specific groups in urban areas, and possible consequences for them.

The proposal should demonstrate that these co-funded other activities exclude any overlaps with related on-going actions co-funded by the EU under Horizon 2020. Also, synergies should be achieved with other actions funded by Horizon2020, activities by the CIVITAS initiatives, the European Innovation Partnership in Smart Cities and communities and the EU Urban Agenda.

The project deliverables (e.g. surveys, user/ IT platforms, modelling tools, Apps and other project deliverables) generated by the Co-funded Action projects and the projects from the non-Co-funded Action need to be collected and curated at the programme level so that these can be readily used in future R&D projects. Therefore, the proposal should provide how (by clear tasks and deliverables) this will be carried out by the consortium.

In addition, the proposal should demonstrate and implement at programme level how the results from the Co-funded Action projects and the projects from the non-Co-funded Action will be collected and transferred to existing European urban mobility actions, notably the ELTIS database (e.g. all city case studies) and dissemination actions of the CIVITAS and European Innovation Partnership in Smart cities and communities.

A strong involvement of local, regional or national transport organisations (that are for example operators, managers or transport planners) is highly encouraged for all Co-funded Action projects and the projects from the non-Co-funded Action. This involvement will maximise the impacts of the project results on European, national, regional and local urban mobility policies, as well as to ensure dissemination of results and alignment of policies.

The proposal should provide a clear strategy about how existing initiatives, notably expert groups linked to CIVITAS (support action), will be involved in prioritising funding topics and in providing dissemination of project results.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 4 and 5 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:

The ERA-NET Co-fund action will bring about effective trans-national, pan-European research networking and synergies among national/regional and EU research programmes in sustainable urban accessibility and connectivity and in increasing the evidence base for urban mobility policies at local, regional, national and European level, as well as global level through the involvement of Chinese organisations.

The ERA-NET Co-fund action should lead to a considerable number of funded projects in the above fields. The results of the funded projects are expected to make a clear contribution to the attainment of EU Transport Policy objectives (including TEN-T) and to strengthen the competitiveness of the EU transport sector.

This shall be achieved by delivering a set instruments, approaches and tools (notably SUMPs[1] and SULPs[2]) that can help cities, citizens, communities, businesses and institutions (including in less-developed parts of the EU) to use new developments to their full potential and to limit their possible adverse effects in urban mobility. Relevant impacts can be extended to peri-urban and rural-urban mobility flows.

In addition, this ERA-NET is expected to influence national strategies, build critical mass and lead to greater alignment of national policies in participating states, in particularly urban mobility, research and innovation in urban mobility.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
International cooperation

[1]Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan

[2]Sustainable Urban Logistics Plan

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):

ERA-NET Cofund:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
MGA ERA-NET Cofund - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement
Thematic clusters of previous ERA-NET projects
Practical guidance how to organise ERA-NET joint calls


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  
11. Smart, green and integrated transport 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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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 ERA-NET Cofund [ERA-NET-Cofund]
Topic Supporting Joint Actions on sustainable urban accessibility and connectivity - MG-4-6-2019
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