Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Space hubs for Copernicus

Topic identifier: DT-SPACE-07-BIZ-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Digitising and transforming European industry and services (DT)

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
31 October 2017
Deadline: 06 March 2018 17:00:00

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

The Commission has identified the need to support the creation of voluntary participative networks related to Earth observation and Copernicus. The Copernicus Relays and Academy have been set up under their own funding and act as channels of promotion and target, targeting intermediate and end-user communities.

The Commission does not finance the members of the Copernicus Relays and Academy directly. The Commission finances:

  • The Copernicus Support Office, which provides non-financial support to members of the two networks (e.g. speakers, advice, promotional material);
  • The Copernicus User Uptake Framework Partnership Agreement, through which the Commission co-finances user uptake activities with Member States. Some of these activities might be organised by members of the Copernicus Relays or Academy, but will focus exclusively on stimulating the use of Copernicus data and information (e.g. awareness events, booths).

The Commission wishes to provide financial support to these two networks in order to strengthen their R&D dimension. These networks need to be better linked with research and innovation activities and with the ESA Space Solutions. Moreover, the expertise and tools developed by the Copernicus Relays and the Copernicus Academy need to be used also at the service of research and innovation with a view to boosting their innovation potential: and the uptake of space in general.


Support the activities of the Copernicus Relays and the Copernicus Academy by:

  • Organising joint initiatives of interest to the network and its members, such as events and educational opportunities;
  • Sharing communication tools to ensure updates about the latest Copernicus events, lectures, new members, new training tools, best practices, and new funding opportunities;
  • Develop publications and reference lectures for training on Copernicus data and information use, under a public license and Including Copernicus-related material and modules in existing courses;
  • Fostering user uptake and spin-off strategies of the members, notably by interacting with the Copernicus entrusted entities, Copernicus partners and local actors;
  • Supporting the organisation of events and initiatives at local level to promote Copernicus to potential users.

Proposals shall demonstrate that they avoid overlap with the various activities financed under Copernicus, such as the Copernicus support office and Copernicus User Uptake Framework Partnership Agreement.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

This topic contributes to the Horizon 2020 focus area "Digitising and transforming European industry and services".

Expected Impact:
  • Strengthen the synergies and cooperation between members by sharing knowledge building, education experiences, best practices and Copernicus-related research and applications outcome and by enabling developed innovations to ‘hit the market’ as quickly as possible;
  • Build up a knowledge culture and a strategic think-tank around the benefits of the Copernicus programme and its potential for both public services needs and societal challenges;
  • Increase awareness about Copernicus toward all potential user communities.
  • Expand these two networks to other European Regions and to other space technologies (e.g. Galileo) and activities from other major space and innovation actors (such as those of regional clusters, national space agencies and the ESA).
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

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):

Coordination and Support 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
5. Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs) WP 2018-20
5iii. Space 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.


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