Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Coordination of citizens' observatories initiatives

Topic identifier: SC5-19-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
08 November 2016
Deadline: 07 March 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Citizens' observatories[1] are community-based environmental monitoring and information systems which build on innovative and novel Earth observation applications embedded in portable or mobile personal devices. Thanks to the vast array of ubiquitous information and data they can provide, citizens' observatories can enable authorities to obtain evidence and inform environmental policy making, complementing more authoritative in-situ observation and monitoring networks and systems with a very positive cost-benefit ratio.

Citizens are also provided with new opportunities to address environmental issues affecting them and to influence local decision making. Social innovation can be achieved through these novel partnerships which involve the private and public sector, NGOs and citizens, offering new business opportunities for SMEs in the fields of Earth observation and mobile technologies.

These activities are, however, at an early stage and still largely rely on research funding. Risks and opportunities still have to be explored, which requires a comprehensive analysis of their full potential and applicability. There is a need to create a citizens' observatories knowledge base in Europe across disciplines to avoid duplication, ensure interoperability, create synergies and facilitate its gradual uptake by environmental authorities. With an increasing number of citizen-based initiatives, a coordinated approach for the integration of citizens' observations is becoming necessary in Earth observation systems at local, regional and also global level.


This action should bring environmental citizens' observatories and related communities together with existing relevant activities to benchmark and pinpoint best practices, identify barriers and synergies, promote standards, facilitate integration and stronger cooperation solutions, and stimulate a gradual uptake by public authorities of these new technological and methodological approaches. Relevant issues such as technologies and methodologies for engaging citizens, social innovation opportunities, sustainability approaches including the role of the European private sector, especially SMEs, as well as data management and interoperability of platforms should be addressed. A coherent approach should also be taken to ensuring the delivery and uptake of in-situ data and information coming from citizens observatories through GEOSS and Copernicus. Hence, proposals should include a broad range of stakeholders, including public bodies, private sector representatives, research institutions – including from social sciences and humanities – NGOs and citizens' associations.

To address these points effectively, social science research tools and methods will be required.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Up to one action shall be funded.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • improved coordination between existing environmental citizens' observatories and related activities at regional, European and international level;
  • expanded geographical coverage and use of environmental citizens' observation through an effective promotion and uptake of best practices and standards;
  • wider dissemination and uptake of efficient information and data management and preservation strategies for existing and future citizens' observatory platforms;
  • increased opportunities for SMEs and businesses in the field of in-situ Earth observation systems;
  • better awareness and use of the citizens' observatories by environmental and disaster risk and emergency management decision makers;
  • increased value added of GEOSS and Copernicus through the use of citizens' observations;
  • a leading role for Europe in the integration and uptake of citizens' information in GEOSS;implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 9 'Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation'.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

[1]See for more information about previously EU funded Citizens' Observatories activities

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. See the information in the Online Manual.

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme, with the following exceptions:

    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.

  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Coordination and Support Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Proposal templates
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 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.
    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.


  8. Additional documents:

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
Additional documents

  • Flash Call Info SC5 2016 OneStage en
  • Flash Call Info SC5 2017 One Stage en

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