Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Preparatory Phase and support to early phase of ESFRI projects

Topic identifier: INFRADEV-02-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
15 March 2016
Deadline: 22 June 2016 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Excellent Science
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The ESFRI roadmap, updated periodically, identifies the needs of the European scientific community in terms of research infrastructures. However, inclusion in the ESFRI roadmap does not guarantee that these needed infrastructures will be built. Before proceeding with the construction and/or implementation of the identified infrastructures, many preliminary decisions need to be taken with respect to issues such as the identification of funders, the financial plan for sustainability, the governance by involved stakeholders, the site and legal form of the managing organisation (and of the research infrastructure, if different), the architecture and the service policies. The aim of this activity is to provide catalytic and leveraging support for the preparatory phase and the early phase of ESFRI projects leading to the construction of new research infrastructures or major upgrades of existing ones.


Following the update of the ESFRI Roadmap in 2016, support under this work programme will be provided to:

(a) Preparatory Phase for research infrastructures which enter the active project list of the ESFRI roadmap in 2016 (Coordination and Support actions)

The preparatory phase aims to bring the project for the new or upgraded research infrastructure identified in the ESFRI roadmap to the level of legal, financial, and, where applicable, technical maturity required for implementing it.

Proposal consortia should involve all the stakeholders necessary to move the project forward, to take the decisions, and to make the financial commitments, before construction can start (e.g. national/regional ministries/governments, research councils, funding agencies, in particular, but not limited to, from the countries that have already declared their commitment in the application to ESFRI). Appropriate contacts with ministries and decision-makers should be continuously reinforced, thus further strengthening the consortia. Operators of research facilities, research centres, universities, and industry may also be involved whenever appropriate. Technical work should be carried out when necessary to complete the final technical design, providing a sound technical base for establishing a cost baseline and detailed financial planning. The financial needs of the project should be mapped out to the extent necessary for funding agencies to establish their own medium- and long-term financial planning.

The preparation of the legal and financial agreements (including site, governance, internal rules, financing of the new research infrastructures) is one of the main activities and deliverables and should be finalised before the end of the project (e.g., through the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding).

The detailed list of activities that can be included in a preparatory phase proposal is given in part A of the section ‚ÄúSpecific features for Research Infrastructures‚ÄĚ. Proposals should explain any synergies and complementarities with previous or current EU grants.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 4 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

(b) Support to Early Phase for research infrastructures which enter the ESFRI roadmap in 2016 as emerging projects (Research and Innovation Actions)

This support aims to bring an emerging ESFRI project to the level of maturity required for being in the active project list.

To this extent activities will include the needed scientific, technical and conceptual work: e.g. the drafting of architecture and engineering plans for the construction, the creation of prototypes; plans to coherently integrate the new infrastructure into the European landscape of related facilities; the estimated budget for construction and operation; plans for an international governance structure; the planning of research services to be provided at international level, procedure and criteria to choose the site of the infrastructure. Proposals should explain any synergies and complementarities with previous or current EU grants.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 2 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:

All proposals:

  • The technical work carried out under this topic will contribute to strengthening the technological development capacity and effectiveness as well as the scientific performance, efficiency and attractiveness of the European Research Area.
  • A landscape of first-class sustainable RIs and services, open to researchers, industry, and other interested groups such as policy makers and the public, is progressively established, which will impact on the acceleration of scientific discovery as well as on innovation and competitiveness.

(a) Preparatory Phase (Coordination and Support actions)

  • Funding bodies are able to take funding decisions and to conclude the legal agreements necessary for the construction of new research infrastructures.

(b) Support to Early Phase (Research and Innovation Actions)

  • Policy bodies at the national, European international level have a sound decision basis to establish long-range plans and roadmaps for new research infrastructures of pan-European or global interest.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
International cooperation

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
Note also that 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 (follow the links to Australia, Brazil, CanadaChina, Hong Kong & Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).


2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.

Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.


3. Evaluation

3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.

3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process


4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

Information on the outcome of two-stage evaluation:
      For stage 1: maximum 3 months from the deadline for submission.
      For stage 2: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.


5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

Coordination and Support Action:
Specific proposal template

Research and Innovation Action:
Specific proposal template

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard evaluation form

H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

Specific features for RI

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

Classified information

Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.


7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. 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.

This topic participates per default in the open access to research data pilot which aims to improve and maximise access to and re-use of research data generated by projects:
• The pilot applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available for open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan (to be provided within six months after the project start).
• Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they are part of the Pilot, and will not be penalised for opting out of the Pilot.
• Projects can at any stage opt-out of the pilot. The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.
Further information on the Open Research Data Pilot is made available in the H2020 Online Manual.

8. Additional documents 

H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Research infrastructures (including e-Infrastructures)
H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

Additional documents

  • Flash Call Info (call results) for INFRADEV-02-2016 and INFRADEV-04-2016 en

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