Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Innovative and citizen-driven food system approaches in cities

Topic identifier: CE-SFS-24-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Connecting economic and environmental gains - the Circular Econonmy (CE)

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Opening date:
16 October 2018
Deadline: 23 January 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:

The challenge of providing the inhabitants of European cities with affordable, safe, and nutritious food is both urgent and complex. Moreover, the health and wellbeing of EU citizens and consumers are directly affected by the way cities and regions themselves are shaping a sustainable food environment. Research and (open) innovation co-created with citizens are part of broader city-region food system approaches. Such initiatives stimulate the development of cities as innovative food hubs. Nevertheless, there are barriers to the application and demonstration of systemic food-related innovative approaches due to the diversity of European cities and regions that are not well understood, leading to market failure in the uptake of promising research results and innovation in cities. Demonstration and first application in the market of innovative solutions, co-created with citizen and cities with the involvement of public authorities, economic actors and non-profit organisations, could be one way to support sustainable food security in cities.


The proposals shall identify several food-related innovative approaches based on citizen science and engagement, to be practised in cities to foster sustainability of the food system. Proposals shall explore and share the application of these approaches in a wider range of European cities and shall be built on results of existing research, best practices and existing platforms and programmes. Proposals could comprise activities such as prototyping testing, demonstrating and piloting in a (near to) operational environment, as well as experimental production, all with a view to subsequent replication and application in other cities. Proposals shall include the development of a classification and assessment of the benefits (economic, environmental and societal) of existing approaches for dissemination purposes, accessible online. Proposals may include limited R&D activities and a clear focus on validating the benefits of pilot activities for citizens with a view of increasing engagement and replication. The action shall cover cities in rural and coastal areas and urban agglomerations. Proposals shall also include co-creation between social innovation and technological innovation. Following the RRI principles, proposals will ensure that societal actors work together during the whole research and innovation process in order to better align both the process and its outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of society. Active participation of municipalities and SMEs is strongly encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of the order of EUR 7.5 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:

In the framework of SDG no 2, 3, 9, 11 and 12, the EU's Bioeconomy Strategy 2012, and the FOOD 2030 Staff Working Document[1], proposals should explain how activities included are expected to contribute to:

  • Job creation in EU cities in which good practices for sustainable food security are applied in the short term (up to 3 years), fostering thriving urban, rural and coastal economies and communities;
  • Intensified interactions between all actors in the food chain[2] such as research, (small scale) food production, city municipalities, education centres, consumers and citizens in the medium to long term;
  • Empowered local communities by using their potential to contribute to ensuring food and nutrition security at city level, which in turn supports the relevant SDGs;
  • Increased participatory and citizen science initiatives in the area of food and nutrition security in cities;
  • Easy and increased knowledge-sharing;
  • In the long term, positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas, meeting the needs, values and expectations of society in a responsible and ethical way.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
Blue Growth

[1]European Research and Innovation for Food and Nutrition Security, SWD(2016)319.

[2]OECD/WTO (2013), developing on FAO (2005) on agrifood value chain: "A ‘value chain’ in agriculture identifies the set of actors and activities that bring a basic agricultural product from the field to final consumption and add value at each stage of the production process."

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.

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):

Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
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
9. Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy 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

Legal basis: EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda

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.


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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 Innovative and citizen-driven food system approaches in cities - CE-SFS-24-2019
Guidance on proposal submission: H2020 online manual
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