Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Artificial Intelligence

Topic identifier: ICT-26-2018-2020
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
31 October 2017
Deadline: 17 April 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:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a key technology for the further development of the Internet and all future digital devices and applications. Driven by the wider availability of large amounts of data and increasingly higher performance computing and networking, AI brings additional autonomy to all types of physical and virtual artefacts and opens the door to a wave of innovations and opportunities. It is already transforming important sectors ranging from data analytics and Web platforms up to driverless vehicles and new generation of robots for our homes, hospitals, farms or factories.

The challenge is to fully exploit the potential of AI in the economy and society. Building notably on Europe's Scientific and Technology strengths in the field, the supported activities should reinforce industrial competitiveness across all sectors including for SMEs and non-tech industries and help address societal challenges (e.g. ageing, transport). The focus is on R&I areas in AI where collaborative work at European level can make a difference amidst the fierce world-wide competition in the field. The ambition is therefore to make AI technologies and resources available to developers and innovators in all sectors and actively engage with a wide user community, including non-AI experts.


The ultimate goal is a European AI-on-demand platform mobilising the European AI community to support businesses and sectors in accessing expertise, knowledge, algorithms and tools to successfully apply AI thereby generating market impact.

The platform should:

  • serve as a central point to gather and provide access to AI-related knowledge, algorithms and tools;
  • support potential users of AI in order to facilitate the integration of AI into applications;
  • facilitate the interaction with existing data portals needed for AI algorithms, and resources, such as HPC or cloud computing, and support interoperability.

Research and Innovation Action - Building a European AI on-demand platform

The goal is to develop a European AI ecosystem bringing together the knowledge, algorithms, tools and resources available and making it a compelling solution for users, especially from non-tech sectors. The action should build on and link to existing relevant initiatives, including for instance existing platforms, data repositories, cloud computing, HPC. Proposals will be expected to plan efforts to connect and cooperate with the DIHs, Pilots and other relevant activities of this workprogramme, as appropriate. The action called for is expected to include the following activities:

  • Mobilising the European AI community including researchers, businesses and start-ups to provide access to knowledge, algorithms and tools;
  • Defining sustainable processes and structures (governance, access, business models, licensing, etc.) as well as developing a suitable software infrastructure (APIs and tools to aggregate existing tools and algorithms and to make them easily deployable in applications, as well as to access data and computing resources);
  • Filling important technology gaps through challenge-based and/or user-driven research and innovation efforts. These efforts could have an application or technology focus, covering major domains such as robotics, IoT, CPS, intuitive interfaces, personalised applications, healthcare, manufacturing or agriculture;
  • Gathering user requirements: based on representative set of its future users (researchers and industry). In particular, the research and innovation efforts expected from this action will have strong synergies with the platform building (providing user requirements, guiding its development, exploiting its resources, and contributing to its content) but additional efforts might be necessary to ensure that the needs of the various types of potential users of the platforms are represented;
  • Putting in place a comprehensive service layer to facilitate the use and uptake of the platform both by end-users and researchers;
  • Reaching out to new user domains and boosting the use of the platform. The task may involve financial support to third parties to fund promising projects (selected through open competitive calls) exploiting the resources and services offered by the platform to foster technology transfer of AI-based solutions, in line with the conditions set out in part K of the General Conditions. Maximum 3M€ funding could be dedicated to it, with EUR 50.000 to EUR 200.000 per third party[1];
  • Developing a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for AI including ELSE (Ethical, Legal, Socio-Economic) aspects, taking into account and building on relevant initiatives and strategies (e.g.: Big Data PPP, Robotics PPP, AIOTI , CPS (CyPhERS), cybersecurity cPPP).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to 20 million € would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • Building a sustainable AI-on-demand platform, becoming a reference, mobilising the entire European AI community, and ensuring a leading position for Europe in AI.
  • Reinforcing European excellence and leading position worldwide in major research and application domains, especially through the research and innovation efforts to fill important technology gaps.
  • Boosting technology transfer of AI, especially towards SMEs and non-technology sectors, and disseminating the economic benefits of AI to a large user base.
Delegation Exception Footnote:

It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020.

[1]In line with Article 23 (7) of the Rules for Participation the amounts referred to in Article 137 of the Financial Regulation may be exceeded when this is necessary to achieve the objectives of the action.

Topic conditions and documents

A small piece of text, which is also relevant for this topic, can be found in the 'Call Summary' under the subheading 'Next Generation Internet (NGI)'.

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):

Research and 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

For grants awarded under this sub-topic for Research and 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.

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


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

  • Flash Call Info en

Submission Service

No submission system is open for this topic.

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