Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Optimising interactive innovation project approaches and the delivery of EU policies to speed up innovation in rural areas

Topic identifier: RUR-16-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
04 October 2016
2nd stage Deadline:
14 February 2017 17:00:00
13 September 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Updates
  • 18 December 2017 16:47

    Letters informing on the results of the second stage 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);

  • 14 June 2017 11:10


    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.


  • 24 May 2017 15:54

    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);

  • 11 January 2017 16:41

    As of 1st January 2017, Switzerland is associated to the whole Horizon 2020 programme instead of the previous partial association. More information on this matter can be found here.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

A number of recent initiatives and instruments for speeding up innovation deserve in-depth exploration. Horizon 2020 and the European Commission's Communication on the CAP towards 2020 have focused attention on innovation in agriculture and related sectors. The European Innovation Partnership (EIP) "Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability", a new approach under the Europe 2020 strategy, aims to speed up EU research and innovation by linking existing policies, instruments and actors. The agricultural EIP in particular implements the interactive innovation approach which relies on knowledge exchange and the empowerment of all actors concerned, and focuses on getting results implemented in practice. An EU wide EIP network is connecting the EIP Operational Groups funded under rural development programmes and provides interaction with Horizon 2020 projects. Apart from Horizon 2020 multi-actor research projects and thematic networks compiling practice-ready knowledge, other EU and national policies may also contribute to innovation, e.g. the Farm Advisory System, Rural Development funding supporting farm advisory services, knowledge and information actions, LEADER, specific national/regional or particular H2020 instruments etc. All of these contribute to innovation in agriculture and forestry. The challenge is to improve their targeting and interlinking - if and where needed - , and possibly learn from relevant insights from outside Europe.


Proposals should explore how instruments and approaches under the various policies could be further adjusted and how they contribute to innovation in the agricultural and forestry sector. Learning also from experience at international level, proposals should investigate the design and implementation of interactive innovation projects[1], on the basis of a substantial number of case studies of interactive projects in a broad range of agriculture and forestry sectors.

An essential part of this topic would develop detailed best practices/approaches for H2020 multi-actor projects and thematic networks at project level. On the basis of a series of cases of existing multi-actor projects and thematic networks, proposals should develop best practices for consortia to combine as much as possible both scientific and practical knowledge in their projects and exploit them to the full. Special attention needs to be given to the role of facilitators that mediate between different types of actor and to the particular management/coordination needs of this type of project, with a view to intensifying knowledge exchange between actors. Examples of unsuccessful approaches where project implementation is not delivering as expected are also relevant: 'facts', 'feelings' and group dynamics should be taken into account. Activities should investigate how co-creation and co-ownership of project results can be improved and quantified/qualified in order to speed up the use of project results in practice. Activities will examine how practically/legally to construct consortia with different types of actor, taking into account the different status of the various types of organisations involved (partner, subcontractor, etc). Projects should also explore pathways for involvement of secondary and higher education as actors in interactive innovation projects, including H2020 multi-actor projects, thematic networks and EIP Operational Groups. Furthermore, activities should examine how multi-actor projects and thematic networks can seek synergies and intensify effective linkages with Operational Groups and other interactive innovation projects under national/regional/European policies.

Proposals should fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach'[2] involving key actors in the AKIS (farmers, advisors, researchers, research bodies, social scientists, managing authorities, network agents, enterprises, etc.) and using the work of the SCAR-AKIS Strategic Working Group, as appropriate. They may include insights from outside Europe.

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 the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • a description of supporting mechanisms and governance for a more efficient management of interactive innovation projects, including pathways for improved interaction with existing sectoral, rural and innovation actors and networks at local, regional, national and EU level and to the Farm Advisory System under the Common Agricultural Policy;
  • development of best practices for building and implementing multi-actor project proposals and consortia under H2020, including thematic networks compiling knowledge for practice;
  • delivery of a set of good examples of various types of multi-actor research projects and thematic networks which compile practice-ready knowledge and connect successfully with Operational Groups;
  • better quantitative and qualitative measurement of scientific efforts impacting agricultural practices and systems, including the impact of the facilitating actors and the involvement of education; and
  • suggestions for public policy governance mechanisms, contractual arrangements and appropriate funding instruments providing for effective interactive projects, enhancing innovation-driven research and advisory services leading to more competitive, sustainable and climate-smart agriculture.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

[1]For the interactive innovation model, see the introduction to the Work Programme.

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

Topic conditions and documents

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

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: 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, China, Hong Kong & Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: 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. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

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

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    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.

    Information on the outcome of two-stage evaluation:
          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. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

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

  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    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.

  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.
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.
Further information on the Open Research Data Pilot is made available in the H2020 Online Manual.


  1. Additional documents


Additional documents

  • RUR-2017-2 first stage flash info en
  • RUR-03-2017-Generalised Feedback_EN en
  • RUR-2017-2 second stage flash info en

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