Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Transforming historic urban areas and/or cultural landscapes into hubs of entrepreneurship and social and cultural integration

Topic identifier: SC5-20-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Opening date:
14 November 2018
2nd stage Deadline:
19 February 2019 17:00:00
04 September 2019 17:00:00

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

Over the past decades, abandonment and decay of urban, industrial and rural heritage has occurred in many historic urban areas[1] and cultural landscapes[2] due to reduction of economic activities and closing down of industries. This has led to unemployment, disengagement and economic stagnation. Other areas, in contrast, have implemented regeneration processes, yet these have not always been successful as they were based on top-down decision making and implementation without engaging the local population. This has led to breaking up of traditional social structures, gentrification and over-reliance on volatile sectors, such as tourism.

Thanks to their symbolic and cultural value, and to their specific urban fabric, historic areas have the potential to be transformed into hubs of entrepreneurship, creativity[3], innovation, new lifestyles, and social and cultural integration reaping the opportunities offered by, for instance, emerging creative sectors, digital technologies, the sharing and 'maker' economy, and social innovation. Evidence-based intelligent leveraging of the value of historic and cultural assets can transform challenges into economic, social and cultural opportunities, while fully respecting the identity of the historic urban areas and cultural landscapes.


Actions should develop, demonstrate and document strategies, approaches and solutions to re-activate and re-generate historic urban areas[4] and/or cultural landscapes[5]. They should foster innovation by relevant start-ups, cultural and creative industries, including from the digital technologies sector, small scale advanced manufacturing producers and local 'makers', craft workshops, etc. for adaptive re-use and leverage of heritage assets and social integration. Solutions should be co-created, co-managed and co-implemented at the appropriate scale (e.g. for districts, buildings, public spaces etc.) within the broader context of urban and regional development, and involving local populations, research centres, appropriate authorities, innovators, universities, city-makers movements and, where relevant, new population groups. Systemic approaches and methodologies to identify the latent capacities of historic urban areas and to activate them may be developed. They should assess cultural and heritage values, respect the identity of the places and promote social innovation, also accounting for the gender dimension, economic sustainability, inclusiveness, social cohesion and integration in the long term. Innovation in its various forms (e.g. regulatory, governance, business, finance) should be considered. Synergies with other ongoing relevant projects, such as the European Creative Hubs Network[6], should be sought where appropriate.

Proposals should pay attention to the special call conditions for this topic.

Actions should envisage clustering activities with other relevant selected projects[7] for cross-projects co-operation, consultations and joint activities on cross-cutting issues and share of results as well as participating in joint meetings and communication events. To this end proposals should foresee a dedicated work package and/or task, and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 7 million and EUR 8 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:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • reversing trends of abandonment and neglect of historic heritage in urban areas and landscapes;
  • new and tested blueprints for the socially and economically viable regeneration of European historic urban areas and cultural landscapes, with enhanced well-being and quality of life, social cohesion and integration;
  • boosting heritage and culture-relevant innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and light 'reindustrialisation' of historic urban areas and cultural landscapes;
  • cross-sector collaboration, creation of job opportunities and skills in cultural and creative sectors and innovative manufacturing linked to historic heritage.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Open Innovation
Socio-economic science and humanities

[1]For a definition, see

[2]For a definition, see the European Landscape Convention - ELC (2001),

[3]Building on the EU-funded European Creative Hubs Network:

[4]For a definition, see

[5]For a definition, see the European Landscape Convention - ELC (2001),


[7]Cultural heritage funded projects under previous, current and future Horizon 2020 calls within Societal Challenge 5 as well as relevant projects to be funded under topics CE-SC5-03-2018 and SC5-14-2019.

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:

To ensure geographic, socio-economic and cultural diversity coverage across Europe, consortia must include at least 4 historic areas and/or cultural landscapes from different Member States or Associated Countries that are committed to implement and assess the proposed schemes during the project for transforming them into hubs of entrepreneurship and social and cultural integration.

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 (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):

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.

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

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.

Partner Search
Organisations are looking for collaborating partners for this topic
View/Edit Partner Search

LEARs, Account Administrators or self-registrants can publish partner requests for open and forthcoming topics after logging into the Participant Portal.

Submission Service

To access the Electronic Sumission Service, please click on the submission-button next to the type of action that corresponds to your proposal. You will then be asked to confirm your choice of the type of action and topic, as these cannot be changed in the submission system. Upon confirmation, you will be linked to the correct entry point.

To access existing draft proposals for this topic, please login to the Participant Portal and select the My Proposals page of the My Area section.

Type of Action Innovation action [IA]
Topic Transforming historic urban areas and/or cultural landscapes into hubs of entrepreneurship and social and cultural integration - SC5-20-2019
Guidance on proposal submission: H2020 online manual
IT Guidance: IT help

Get support

H2020 Online Manual is your guide on the procedures from proposal submission to managing your grant.

Participant Portal FAQ – Submission of proposals.

National Contact Points (NCP) - contact your NCP for further assistance in your national language(s).

Research Enquiry Service – ask questions about any aspect of European research in general and the EU Research Framework Programmes in particular.

Enterprise Europe Network – contact your EEN national contact for advice to businesses with special focus on SMEs. The support includes guidance on the EU research funding.

IT Helpdesk - contact the Participant Portal IT helpdesk for questions such as forgotten passwords, access rights and roles, technical aspects of submission of proposals, etc.

Ethics – for compliance with ethical issues, see the Online Manual and Science and Society Portal

European IPR Helpdesk assists you on intellectual property issues

CEN and CENELEC, the European Standards Organisations, advise you how to tackle standardisation in your project proposal. Contact CEN-CENELEC Research Helpdesk at

The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their recruitment

Partner Search Services help you find a partner organisation for your proposal.