Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Contracts for effective and lasting delivery of agri-environmental public goods

Topic identifier: RUR-03-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
31 October 2017
2nd stage Deadline:
13 February 2018 17:00:00
11 September 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Updates
  • 28 May 2018 17:45


    The generalised feedback, resulting after the 1st stage evaluation of this topic, is published on this page. To download the document, just expand the "Topic conditions and documents" area (i.e. click on '+ More'), scroll down until "Additional documents" and the generalised feedback can be downloaded in pdf.


  • 22 May 2018 19:06


    Letters informing on the results of the evaluation are being sent to applicants.




    Under the tab 'Topic conditions and documents' the following document is available in section 8. "Additional documents":
    ◦An overview of the evaluation results (Flash Call Information);

  • 05 March 2018 11:26


    An overview of the number of proposals submitted is now available under the ‘Topic conditions & documents’ section on the topic page.

  • 11 December 2017 17:15

    Under the point "5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA)" of the "Topic Conditions" area, the 1st stage proposal template is now embedded in the general template.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The links between the richness of the natural environment and farming practices are complex. Many valuable habitats in Europe are maintained by extensive farming and forestry, but inappropriate agricultural practices and land uses have also had an adverse impact on natural resources, such as soil, water and air pollution, fragmentation of habitats and loss of native biodiversity in farmland landscapes, as well as on climate change adaptation and mitigation. Beyond providing food, fibre or biomass, farmers can provide environmental public goods through the land management activities necessary to grow crops and rear animals. Farmers often face trade-offs between sustainability and short-term profitability. Providing environmental public goods, in domains such as biodiversity, water, carbon sequestration and recreation can require collective actions for the necessary scale and scope of the action and its existence over time.


Proposals will look into effective ways of coupling public and/or private incentives to the delivery of one or more environmental goods at land and value chain levels. Proposals will review and investigate existing and new initiatives addressing the delivery by farmers of environmental public goods and services and their longevity. They will explore existing and design new approaches to improve cooperation between farmers as well as between farmers and other stakeholders (e.g. land owners, forestry sector, food industry, retailers, consumer associations, environmental NGOs, public bodies, water management authorities, protected areas, tourism services).

Activities will cover the three following issues in a combined or stand-alone way in each of the analysed approaches: (1) how land tenure systems can strengthen the longevity of both agricultural activities and environmental protection; (2) how result-based approaches, as compared to practice-based approaches, can be implemented effectively (considering the use of the most appropriate indicators); (3) how collective implementation of practices can be managed to enhance the delivery of ecosystem services at different scales. Proposals will take into account the diversity of European situations, e.g. with regard to legal and historical contexts or different categories of land ownership.

Proposals will analyse how duties and responsibilities are shared in arrangements between two or more parties, including as relevant, the distribution of the added value and the financial and/or production risks inherent to the agricultural sector and its complex links with the natural environment. Proposals will analyse the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches regarding their transaction costs, their relationship with market trends and their impacts on the ecosystem services over time. Proposals will fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach'[1] and ensure appropriate involvement of the farming sector. They should also seek contributions from social and economic sciences to cover the broader economic, social, behavioural and environmental issues associated with the adoption of novel agri-environmental contracts.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 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:

Funded activities will showcase cooperation models enabling the delivery of agri-environment-climate public goods and guaranteeing their longevity over time. In the short to medium term work will:

  • Lead to the development of innovative agri-environment-climate contractual models based on the review of existing initiatives and the design of new ones;
  • Unlock and improve economic viability of agri-environment-climate initiatives through a renovated and coherent agri-environment-climate contractual framework;
  • Provide support to policy makers and stakeholders (set of incentives/legal/economic instruments) by sharing the good practices at national and regional level;
  • Strengthen transdisciplinary research and integrated scientific support for consistent approaches between agricultural and environment-climate priorities and identify, when relevant, data management needs for the implementation of these approaches.

In the longer term funded activities will help to foster the necessary socio-economic contractual framework to enable farmers to reconcile agricultural production with the delivery of environmental public goods and services, including climate adaptation and mitigation benefits.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

[1]See definition of the 'multi-actor approach' in the introduction of this Work Programme part

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.

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.


Additional documents

  • Flash call info - RUR second stage_en en
  • Flash call info - RUR first stage_en en
  • Generalised_Feedback_CE_RUR_08_2018_2019_2020 en

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