Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Interoperable and smart homes and grids

Topic identifier: DT-ICT-10-2018-19
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Digitising and transforming European industry and services (DT)

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Opening date:
26 July 2018
Deadline: 14 November 2018 17:00:00

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

When energy production is becoming decentralised and ICT is increasingly present in homes, the integration of renewable energy sources (RES) and promotion of energy efficiency should benefit from smarter homes, buildings and appliances, as well as (the batteries in) electric vehicles. Smart homes and buildings are one crucial element because system integration and optimisation of distributed generation, storage and flexible consumption will require interoperable smart technologies installed at building level. Internet of Things (IoT) enables a seamless integration of home appliances with related home comfort and building automation services allowing to match user needs with the management of distributed energy across the grid, and to gain access to benefits from Demand Response. Novel services should lead to more comfortable, convenient and healthier living environment at lower energy costs for consumers whilst enabling an active participation of consumers in the energy system and energy markets.


The aim of the pilot is to exploit IoT reference architectures models that allow for combining services for home or building comfort and energy management, based on platforms that enable the integration of relevant digital technologies like IoT, AI, cloud and big data services and where applicable, combined with blockchain technologies. Energy services, where appropriate, can be combined with additional non-energy services and foster the take-up of smart energy communities (in particular peer-to-peer energy markets). The aim is also to demonstrate platforms through a large-scale pilot for experimentation and co-creation with users under real-life conditions in interaction with the electricity and wider energy system, and to demonstrate the benefits of energy management through IoT application and services for the users. The envisaged architecture should allow for third party contributions that may lead to new value added services both in energy and the home/building domain.

This shall be done by developing interoperability and seamless data sharing, through aligning existing standards from the utility and ICT domains, across the devices and systems to enable innovative building energy management services, with the aim to save costs to consumers, to facilitate the integration of renewable energy from distributed intermittent sources and to support energy efficiency. The pilot needs to demonstrate plug-and-play energy management solutions within the home, by taking into account legacy of existing smart home or building solutions, mapping their approach to common architecture models and implementing relevant standards (such as SAREF). Pilots need to ensure interoperability in the communication interfaces between smart devices and from the smart device to the gateway/energy manager and/or to the cloud, i.e. a service provider that uses the data generated from the device, so that smart home services can also be used for the benefit of the electricity and wider energy system. Selected pilots should promote the use of these interoperable solutions as widely as possible involving many different types of appliances (e.g. including white-goods, heating, cooling and ventilation, home & building automation energy management, metering and control, batteries, photovoltaic panels, charging for electric vehicles), and explore the need for further standardisation and legislation. Pilot work plans should include feedback mechanisms from the users to allow adaptation and optimisation of the technological and business approach to the particular use case.

The selected large-scale pilot shall in particular address all of the following issues:

  • demonstrate scalability and stimulate spill-over effects; demonstrate that such platforms lead to a marketplace for new services in EU homes and buildings; identify best-practices, inter alia for consumer involvement, in installation, and in sales packages of devices and services;
  • for large-scale piloting and ecosystem building, proposals shall involve financial support to third parties, in particular SME's and start-ups, to support the incorporation of users of the pilots, developers of additional applications, replication of the pilots through new sites or new connected devices, and complementary assessment of the acceptability of the use case where appropriate;
  • the selected project shall cover the whole value chain for IoT-based services: appliance manufacturers and technology providers, ICT suppliers, energy suppliers, as well as independent aggregators or energy service companies (ESCOs), and one or more grid service operators (transmission system operators (TSOs) and distribution system operators (DSOs));
  • the selected project is expected to contribute to the consolidation and coherence work in cooperation with similar EU-funded projects[1] through the BRIDGE initiative [2] and the CSA supporting the activities defined under "DT-ICT-13-2019: Digital Platforms/Pilots Horizontal Activities a)" below by contributing their results of horizontal nature (interoperability approach, standards, security and privacy approaches, business validation and sustainability, methodologies, metrics, etc.);
  • link with Member States' and Associated Countries' initiatives in this area.

For this topic, the four activities and impact criteria described in the introductory section 'Platforms and Pilots' have to be applied. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU up to EUR 30 million for Innovation Actions would allow the areas to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • Increasing number of energy apps/services and home devices and appliances that are connected through the Internet allowing to shift consumption according to wholesale market or grid-constraints-related price signals.
  • Validation of user acceptance, as well as demonstration of viable concepts that ensure privacy, liability, security and trust in connected data spaces.
  • Accelerated wider deployment and adoption of IoT standards and platforms in smart homes and buildings in Europe and development of secure, cost-effective and sustainable European IoT ecosystems and related business models.
  • Demonstration that such platforms lead to a marketplace for new services in EU homes and buildings with opportunities also for SMEs and start-ups.
  • Contribution to increasing the use of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency, offering access to cheaper and sustainable energy for consumers and maximising social welfare.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Clean Energy

[1]Wherever appropriate, actions should seek synergies from other R&I initiatives like LC-SC3-EE-13-2018-2019-2020, LC-SC3-EC-1-2018-2019-2020, LC-SC3-ES-5-2018-2020.


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

For grants awarded under this topic for Innovation actions beneficiaries may provide support to third parties as described in part K of the General Annexes of the Work Programme. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants. The respective options of Article 15.1 and Article 15.3 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

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.


8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
5. Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs) WP 2018-20
5i. Information and communication technologies (ICT) 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

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