Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : FET Proactive: emerging paradigms and communities

Topic identifier: FETPROACT-01-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
31 October 2017
Deadline: 22 March 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Excellent Science
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Work Programme Part: Future and Emerging Technologies
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

To explore and consolidate a new technological direction in order to put it firmly on the map as a viable paradigm for future technology. To foster the interdisciplinary communities that are able to drive this forward, extending from the participating consortia to a wider European pool of expertise. To stimulate the emergence of a European innovation eco-system around a new technological paradigm, well beyond the world of research alone.


proposals are sought for cutting-edge high-risk / high-reward research and innovation projects that aim to demonstrate a new technological paradigm within the scope of one of the following sub-topics:

a. Artificial organs, tissues, cells and sub-cellular structures. Merging the growing understanding of genome, proteome, metabolome and cell behaviour with strategies for the engineering and use of biological and hybrid functional constructs is the core of this initiative. Proposals should build on recent advances in integrative biology (including modelling and simulation) and bio-engineering for engineering biological, artificial or hybrid sub-cellular systems (e.g., synapses, organelles, vesicles), highly specific cell assemblies (including microbial) and proper differentiation, tissues, organs or multi-organ systems. Examples of long-term research targets include synthetic cell building, cell assembly, and organ reproduction, replacement, control or repair of vital organ functions (e.g., following ageing, trauma or disease), their use in the development of personalised treatment, drugs or vaccines, and high-throughput organ- and body-on-chip technologies.

b. Time. This initiative seeks new technological possibilities inspired by notions of time, not seen as a given and singular background against which things unfold, but rather as a resource that can be experienced and used in different ways. Highly interdisciplinary research could address, for instance, technologies for subjective time awareness (and its neural basis) and distortion (e.g., contextual, emotional, pathological); for studying the role of time in processes like aging, healing, learning or evolution and how this can be influenced (e.g., stimulation) or changed in different 'materialities' (combining insights from biological or computational evolution, for instance); or modeling to understand and better anticipate non-linear temporality in complex systems (such as in economies, societies, climate ...). Technologies in, for instance, extreme electronics/photonics, data-streams analytics, time aware artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, bio-engineering or neuroprosthetics could demonstrate new ways to represent, modulate, duplicate or differently experience and use time, thus altering our relationship with time (at individual and collective but differentiated level – e.g., according to gender or culture) and with impacts on, for instance, quality of life, therapy, learning, productivity, social and environmental awareness or the better understanding and management of natural hazards.

c. Living technologies. This initiative seeks to build on the emerging understanding from evolutionary biology, ethology, micro-, plant- and animal biology of essential features of living systems such as physical autonomy, growth, interaction and enaction, adaptation and evolution, among others. The aim is to create new functional biological, technological or hybrid artefacts, with similar capabilities of purposeful stability and change. This can also lead to hybrid materials and systems with programmable features of shape, structure, functionality and evolvability (including for their use in bio-robotics or bio-engineering), potentially constructed from naturally existing complexes, through synthetic biology, systems biology and /or chemical biology. New insights into the multi-level mathematics and complexity of living systems or the boundaries/characteristics of life may also emerge from this. Work on ethical implications should be included.

d. Socially interactive technologies. There is a growing understanding of the changes at cognitive, neural and physiological levels from group interactions in realistic settings, from pairs to large groups and crowds. Based on this, this initiative seeks new technologies for deeper social interaction involving, for instance, context, culture, emotion, and factors of embodiment and cognition. Realistic and larger contexts require new experimental tools and paradigms, combining social sciences and humanities with neuroscience, engineering and computing in new ways. This will lead to new socially interactive media with radical improvement for building trust and understanding, social integration, engagement, collaboration, learning, creativity, entertainment, education and wellbeing, among others. Work on ethical implications and gender should be included.

e. Disruptive micro-energy and storage technologies. This initiative seeks radically new approaches to energy for embedded, personal or local use (including bio-mimicking, the use of soft or intelligent materials to generate, capture or store energy or the development of new types of batteries). Proposals could target in particular the lower end (i.e., micro-energy or nano-scale energy transfer, dissipation and conversion) and/or new technologies for optimal local (close to where-needed) energy storage/release and their smart integration within hybrid/distributed energy systems. Proposals should also address aspects of sustainability and environmental impact.

f. Topological matter, strongly based on topology and quantum physics, is a rapidly emerging area that after an initial focus on insulators now touches the whole range of material properties, providing advances in spintronics, photonics, plasmas, mechanics, superconductivity, elasticity, acoustics and their combinations, among others. Here concept development together with design, realisation and testing of topological devices are called for to unleash the promise of topological matter beyond the pure physics and mathematics aspects. The much expected robustness, wide spectral range and topologically-protected spin- and transport properties call for an engineering approach to apply the multi-physics of wave-matter interactions to novel, potentially lossless communication components and circuits. Challenges to be addressed include compact designs and fabrication technologies, setting figures of merit and benchmarks relevant to functions.

FET Proactive projects shall establish a solid baseline of knowledge and skills and assemble the interdisciplinary communities around them. They shall further foster the emergence of a broader innovation ecosystem and create a fertile ground for future take-up of its new technological paradigm (e.g., public engagement, informal education, policy debate).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 4 to 7 million (but up to EUR 5 million for proposals on the sub-topics of 'Time' and 'Topological matter') and with a duration of up to 5 years would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals of different size and duration.

This topic allows for the provision of financial support to third parties established in an EU member state or country associated with Horizon 2020 in line with the conditions set out in General Annex K, either to enhance impacts through punctual small scale experimentation and use of project results by third parties, or to award a prize following a contest organised by the beneficiaries.

Expected Impact:
  • Scientific and technological contributions to the foundation and consolidation of a radically new future technology.
  • Potential for future returns in terms of societal or economic innovation or market creation.
  • Spreading excellence and building leading innovation capacity across Europe by involvement of key actors that can make a difference in the future, for example excellent young, researchers, ambitious high-tech SMEs or first-time participants to FET under Horizon 2020[1].
  • Build-up of a goal oriented interdisciplinary community (within and beyond the consortium).
  • Emergence of an innovation ecosystem around a future technology in the theme addressed from outreach to and partnership with high potential actors in research and innovation, and from wider stakeholder/public engagement, with due consideration of aspects such as education, gender differences and long-term societal, ethical and legal implications.
Delegation Exception Footnote:

A second series of sub-topics under FET Proactive will be called for in 2020

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

[1]First time participation here refers to the individuals involved, not to their institution or organisation.

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.


The following aspects are taken into account:

  • Clarity of long-term vision of a science-enabled technology.
  • Concreteness and ambition of the proposed science-to-technology breakthrough that addresses this vision.
  • Range and added value from interdisciplinarity, novelty and non-incrementality of the research proposed.
  • High-risk of the research proposed and plausibility and flexibility of the approach.

Threshold: 4/5, Weight: 60%


  • The extent to which the outputs of the project would contribute to the expected impacts mentioned in the work programme under the relevant FET topic.
  • Effectiveness of measures and plans to disseminate and use the results (including management of IPR) and to communicate the project to different target audiences.

Threshold: 3.5/5, Weight: 20%

Quality and efficiency of the implementation

The following aspects are taken into account:

  • Coherence and effectiveness of the work plan to achieve project objectives and impacts, including adequate allocation of resources to tasks and partners.
  • Appropriateness of the research and innovation management structures and procedures.
  • Role and complementarity of the participants and extent to which the consortium as a whole brings together the necessary expertise.

Threshold: 3/5, Weight: 20%

The following specific page limits apply. Sections 1 to 3 of the part B of the proposal should consist of a maximum of 30 A4 pages. The limits will be clearly shown in the ‘proposal templates’ in the Participant Portal electronic submission system. Sections which are not subject to limits will be indicated.

Grants will be awarded to proposals according to the ranking list. However, in order to ensure a balanced portfolio of supported actions, within the indicative funding budgets per sub-topic, at least each of the two highest-ranked proposals for each sub-topic will be funded provided that it attains all thresholds. Any remaining funding budget will then be allocated according to the ranking list.

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):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Specific proposal template is available in the submission system.
Specific self-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, beneficiaries may provide support to third parties established in a EU member state or country associated with Horizon 2020 and as described in General Annex K of the Work Programme either in form of grants or prizes and within the limitations as described in the call text of this topic. The respective options of Article 15 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.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
2. Future and Emerging Technologies (FETs) 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

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.


Additional documents

  • Call results en

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