Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Functional biodiversity – productivity gains through functional biodiversity: effective interplay of crop pollinators and pest predators

Topic identifier: SFS-28-2017
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
  • 19 December 2017 10:43

    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 11:42


    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 16:01

    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 16:26

    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:

Biodiversity and various ecosystems serve agricultural production in many different ways, not all of which are well known. The smart use of these services can make agriculture more sustainable and reduce chemical inputs. The development of agricultural systems that maximise such services requires a "knowledge leap" based on advances in various areas of science, from new farming practices to modern technologies. The sustained delivery of these services by semi-natural habitats depends heavily on their botanical composition and spatial configuration and the soil characteristics. Beyond the field and farm level, cooperation between farmers and other actors is required at landscape level. There is a real need for a wide range of data to characterise and benchmark sustainable farming systems under various socio-economic and pedo-climatic conditions in Europe, and to find effective ways of encouraging farmers to adopt them.


Proposals will explore the functional role of biodiversity in the delivery of ecosystem services, in particular the spatial and temporal interactions between plants/animals as pollinators and natural enemies of pests. They will help to improve understanding of the factors and mechanisms that govern the delivery of such services, including agricultural management and landscape characteristics. Proposals will study and test approaches to enhancing the performance of the services by the targeted promotion of pollinators and natural enemies of pests through habitat provision and management. Cost effectiveness of these services will be compared with that of other agricultural practices (e.g. use of agrochemicals), including an evaluation of production stability and risk management for farmers and consumer demand. Work will examine synergies and trade-offs between pollination, the natural control of pests and other ecosystem services for agricultural production and environmental objectives. Prototypes of sustainable agro-ecology systems, including organic systems, agro-forestry and permaculture, will be developed from farm to landscape/territorial levels. Work will cover pastoral, arable and horticultural systems and potential forms of interaction and cooperation between these sectors at landscape level.

Proposals should establish a farm-level observatory and knowledge-exchange network on biological control and pollinator services linking with the European Innovation Partnership with a focus on innovative system solutions for short- and long-term needs. Activities will target farming systems and clearly cover all dimensions of sustainability (environmental, economic and social). Activities will include the collection of the requisite data to monitor, benchmark and analyse the performance of these farming systems in various respects. Proposals will develop and stratify farm networks reflecting relevant European pedo-climatic and socio-economic conditions and involve experimental stations, experimental farms and commercial farms to produce references and identify innovative approaches.

Proposals will use transdisciplinary research methods and should fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach'[1], involving the farming sector with a view to generating cross-fertilisation and co-ownership.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. The duration of the projects should take into consideration the need to coordinate and implement of farm networks.

Expected Impact:
  • effective solutions for the delivery of biological control and pollination services;
  • improved overall sustainability and innovation capacity of the farming systems;
  • reduction of the environmental impact: improvement of ground- and surface-water quality, conservation of biodiversity and wildlife, contribution to climate mitigation and adaptation;
  • strengthened transdisciplinary research and long-lasting implementation of the results obtained through the implementation of the multi-actor approach; and
  • enhanced cooperation and knowledge exchange.

[1]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 [, with the following exceptions]:

    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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

8. Additional documents


Additional documents

  • SFS-2017-2 first stage flash info en
  • SFS-17-2017-Generalised Feedback_EN en
  • SFS-2017-2 second stage flash call info_en.pdf en

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