Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Governing innovation of nanotechnology through enhanced societal engagement

Topic identifier: NMBP-34-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
20 September 2016
Deadline: 19 January 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Updates
  • 11 January 2017 10:28

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Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

In order to foster responsible research and innovation (RRI) in nanotechnologies, innovative processes are needed to improve the responsiveness of research & innovation processes to public values and concerns, and to ensure that research & innovation truly respond to societal challenges and take into account the social and environmental consequences from the outset.


The proposed action should build on previous EU and national projects in the field of public engagement by addressing the governance and implementation of responsible nanotechnology research and innovation. It will launch a participatory multi-actor engagement process (i.e. deliberations, workshops and/or working groups) focussing on early-stage product development in order to explore ways in which nanotechnologies can help address societal challenges while considering the needs and concerns of society. This multiactor engagement process should include researchers, producers, professional users, relevant civil society organisations and consumers/citizens. The proposed action should take into account the diversity of cultural contexts of processes and communication within Europe and should demonstrate state of the art public engagement concepts. The proposed project should also include an ex-post evaluation of the mutual learning process between stakeholders in previous relevant nanotechnology projects as well as societal debates on emerging technologies. Furthermore it will contribute to the concrete realisation of RRI conditions in nanotechnologies, and produce policy recommendations on how to govern research & innovation in nanotechnologies (and other emerging technologies) in a responsible way. The project must ensure a strong degree of policy alignment and be designed to deliver useful outcomes to relevant policy initiatives and innovation partnerships, such as European Technology Platforms.

Supporting activities to be undertaken in the project could include the empowering of stakeholders to co-create nanotechnology research and innovation by enabling them to formulate and communicate their needs and concerns, and designing ways to give them a voice in R&I processes. Additional activities could also include the development of: teaching material and the training of researchers and engineers in ways to include societal considerations in their work; training of researchers/scientists in science communication; establishing a 'journalist in the lab' exchange scheme; the development of balanced, reliable and easily accessible information on how nanotechnology is contributing to solving specific societal challenges and is used in daily life, e.g. published by the mass media with supplements and media micro sites or using existing multimedia and other relevant technology; guidance on how to bring about institutional changes that may contribute to a better engagement of civil society in nanotechnology-relevant R&I organisations; and policy recommendations on how best to integrate societal considerations in nanotechnology research & innovation.

This action is to be based on the concept of Mobilisation & Mutual Learning (MML) platforms. Proposals should include the appropriate disciplines of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). Gender aspects should be taken into account.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 1.5 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

No more than one action will be funded.

Expected Impact:
  • The early and continuous engagement of all stakeholders will be essential for sustainable, desirable and acceptable innovation in nanotechnologies, where R&I is aligned to the values, needs and expectations of society;
  • The outcomes of the project are to be fed back into policy making and innovation partnerships such as European Technology Platforms, aiming to achieve a responsive R&I system and co-production of knowledge;
  • The project will lead to enhanced public understanding of nanotechnology, will build trust and foster mutual understanding between citizens, and public and private institutions, leading to co-creation of new R&I and increased confidence of companies to invest in new technologies.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
Open Innovation

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

    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 (follow the links to Australia, Brazil, Canada,
    ChinaHong Kong &Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).
    described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.


    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold:

    The criteria, scoring and threshold are described in General Annex H of the work programme.

    The procedure for setting a priority order for proposals with the same score is given in General Annex H of the work programme. The following exceptions apply:

    Under 3 (a)
    Proposals are first ranked in separate lists according to the topics against which they were submitted (‘topic ranked lists’). When comparing ex aequo proposals from different topics, proposals having a higher position in their respective 'topic ranked list' will be considered to have a higher priority in the overall ranked list.

    Under 3 (b)
    For all topics and types of action, the prioritisation will be done first on the basis of the score for Impact, and then on that for Excellence.

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process


    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.
    for the type of action under this topic

    Coordination and Support Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement


    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.


    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.

    - 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.


    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment

    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation

    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

    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: Nanotechnologies, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and processing, biotechnology

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Cross-cutting activities (Focus Areas)

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes


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