Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : EU-India water co-operation

Topic identifier: SC5-12-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
07 November 2017
Deadline: 27 February 2018 17:00:00

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

In recent years, India and Europe have collaborated extensively to enhance and enrich each other's technological and scientific knowledge and management capacities to cope with increasing stress on water resources. Increasing heterogeneity in the uneven distribution of water resources triggered by climate change, extreme water-related events (floods and droughts) and increasing demand due to population growth and economic development add additional stress to water, environment and food security and to the national economy. Many of these water challenges are common to India and some of the EU Member States. Therefore there is a need for a concerted effort of India and EU to address these issues. This will also help in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals' (SDGs) agenda on water.


This action should develop new and/or adapt the most suitable existing innovative and affordable solutions for Indian conditions, both in urban and rural areas, addressing one or more of the following broad challenges:

  • drinking water purification with a focus on emerging pollutants;
  • waste water treatment, with scope for resource/energy recovery, reuse, recycle and rainwater harvesting, including bioremediation technologies;
  • real time monitoring and control systems in distribution and treatment systems.

Actions should therefore take into account India's water challenges both with regard to quantity and quality. In doing so, allocation of water should be facilitated and the supply should become more competitive or lead to an optimisation of costs; it should also lead to better water management and quality by finding solutions to the treatment of widely varying pollution loads including those from emerging pollutants. The impact of extreme climate and hydrological conditions (monsoon floods) also need to be taken into consideration.

Actions addressing wastewater treatment should focus on sustainable use/reuse of water in rapidly expanding urban areas, as well as smaller cities lacking any type of suitable wastewater treatment. Actions may also address the development of appropriate decentralised water treatment and wastewater treatment and recycling systems, including the improvement of sewage collection and urban drainage systems. Water and energy efficient and cost-effective processes, optimising use and maximising energy and materials recovery from wastewater treatment, reliable monitoring schemes to ensure safe water use and reuse, and simple and affordable operation and maintenance methods also need to be considered.

Actions focusing on drinking water purification should address multiple contaminants or focus on the identification and removal of specific classes of pollutants (e.g. pesticides, fertilisers, geogenic contaminants, etc.).

In actions on wastewater treatment and drinking water purification, the design, development and deployment of sensors and decision support systems for real time monitoring and control of water quantity and quality, should be considered.

In all cases, the involvement of relevant stakeholders, including industry partners, local authorities, water users, research centres and social communities, and consideration of possible gender differences in the use and need of water, is essential in order to enable a strong demonstration component involving transfer of European knowledge, expertise and technology to facilitate future in-house replication. Understanding and assessing the impacts of the developed innovative solutions to the society, in particular for the vulnerable societal groups, should be duly considered. Moreover, in addressing water allocation, the governance of water management and the efficiency of water use, especially for irrigation which is the largest water consumer, should be considered. Actions may also choose to address a combination of the above challenges at river basin scale and should capitalise on knowledge acquired in the projects supported by the joint coordinated EU-India call on water under FP7. Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 3 to 6.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012) 497), international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with the EU's strategic partners – which India is, as confirmed at the EU-India Summit on 30 March 2016. Actions should include Indian partners in a balanced way. This call should also contribute to the objective stated in the Memorandum of Understanding on water cooperation between India and the EU adopted on 7 October 2016[1] aiming at strengthening the technological, scientific and management capabilities of India and the EU in the field of water.

Proposals should pay attention to the special call conditions for this topic. Both the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) within Indian Ministry of Science and Technology, are committed to co-fund the Indian entities and thus Indian participants will not be eligible for EU funding. This call text will also be available on the websites of DST and DBT respectively and it will refer to the agreed Co-Funding Mechanism (CFM)[2] between the EC and DST and DBT. Proposals are to be developed jointly with the Indian entities. For funding purposes, the Indian entities must submit the proposal to DST and/or DBT. Evaluation will be done jointly according to the conditions specified in the CFM and respecting the EC peer review rules.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting an overall contribution (including both EU and India funding) of between EUR 3 million and 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. The funding support for the Indian entities will be according to the DST and/or DBT funding guidelines.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • improved and efficient wastewater treatment systems, combined with recovery and reuse of energy, substances and treated water;
  • improved novel drinking water purification technologies for safe drinking water with easy access at affordable cost both in rural and urban regions;
  • improved smart and comprehensive solutions for both quality and quantity monitoring and management of water resources;
  • strengthening the Sustainable Development Goals' ( SDGs) agenda on water;
  • boosting initiatives like the Ganga Rejuvenation Initiative[3], fostering the emergence of quick–win business, affordable, innovative solutions based on integrated Indian and EU best practices;
  • creating a level playing field for European and Indian industries and SMEs working in this area, paving the way for a potential joint venture for manufacturing of water treatment technologies and systems.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
Open Innovation
International cooperation




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.

Specific Eligibility and admissibility conditions apply to this topic:

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 three participants from India.

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):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Proposal templates are available after entering the submission link below.
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.

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

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
12. Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials 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

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