Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Pre-commercial procurement on soil decontamination

Topic identifier: SC5-26-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: PCP Pre-Commercial Procurement
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 Updates
  • 20 February 2017 12:06

    Topic SC5-26-2017: Pre-commercial procurement on soil decontamination :
    The reference to a "maximum duration of 2 years” has to be understood as an indication of a timeframe for the projects but it does not constitute an elimination criteria. Whatever duration would be proposed by the applicants shall be properly justified and will be subject to assessment by a panel of independent experts.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Soil contamination is typically caused by industrial activity, mining and smelting practices, agricultural chemicals or improper disposal of waste and is increasingly becoming a very serious environmental and health problem. Member States are making efforts to establish national decontamination/remediation strategies which are generally very costly. It is therefore crucial for public authorities to be able to identify the most fit-for-purpose and cost-effective innovative solutions.

The challenge is to address the lack of public demand driven innovation in the soil decontamination sector in Europe. This is needed to close the gap between supply and demand for innovative solutions. Pre-commercial procurement (PCP) has the potential to be an effective demand side innovation action par excellence.

PCP enables a buyers' group (consortia of procurers) to procure research and development to create innovative solutions, speed up the time-to-market and provide best value for money.


Launch of PCP – i.e. a joint procurement of research and development services – to find common innovative and sustainable solutions for soil decontamination/remediation, avoiding 'dig and dump'. The proposal is expected to bring radical and innovative improvements to the quality and efficiency of public soil decontamination services, processes and products.

The core of the consortium should be a qualified 'buyers group' (public procurement consortium), able to implement the action. Additional partners such as business/SME support organisations, innovation agencies or sectoral organisations may be included, to assist procurers in knowing what is available on the market through market consultations.

Proposals shall describe the jointly identified challenge, indicating how it fits into the mid-to-long-term innovation plans of the consortium, why solutions currently available on the market or under development are not meeting their needs, and put forward concrete targets for the desired functionality/performance improvement in the quality and efficiency of their public services. Activities shall include: (1) networking relating to preparation, management and coordination, (2) joint research activities relating to the validation of the PCP strategy and (3) activities for the follow-up of the joint procurement, such as activities for awareness raising, networking, training, evaluation, validation and dissemination of results. Proposals should explain clearly how the creation of jobs, economic growth and new businesses will be assessed as an integral part of the project.

The PCP should deliver successful innovative and fully tested product(s) and/or service(s) that meet the common needs of the buyers' group and that is therefore ready to be marketable. The final aim of the action is to develop innovative and fully tested solutions, which are fit-for-purpose and cost-effective, for soil decontamination/remediation.

Proposals should build on and take care to avoid duplication of the activities undertaken by the BRODISE project[1].

Project(s) should have a maximum duration of 2 years.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of around 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 rate for Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) actions is limited to 90% of the total eligible costs (PCP is procurement of R&D services) to leverage co-financing from the procurers.

Expected Impact:

The project is expected to contribute to:

  • deployment of innovative solutions to deal effectively with soil contamination that respond to the common needs and beyond state-of-the-art performance targets of the buyers group;
  • reduced fragmentation of demand for innovative solutions by enabling public procurers to collectively implement PCP in the area of soil decontamination challenges, which, due to their nature, are better addressed jointly, or which they would not have been able to tackle independently;
  • new opportunities for wide market uptake and economies of scale for the supply side through the use of joint specifications, wide publication of results and – where relevant – contribution to standardization, regulation or certification to remove barriers for introduction of innovations into the market;
  • creation of new products, processes and/or services ready for market uptake, leading to viable new businesses, jobs and growth;
  • implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 3 ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’ and SDG 15 'Protection, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss'.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Innovation Procurement


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

    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:

    Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) Cofund:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    Annotated Grant Agreement
    Specific requirements for innovation procurement supported by Horizon 2020 grants (PCP, PPI)

  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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