Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Access to commercial services through the EOSC hub

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

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
05 December 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
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

To achieve excellence in their research activities, researchers need to use a broad range of state-of-the-art services that sometimes are not made available by their public e-infrastructure facilities, either because not offered by them or because they are developed more efficiently by commercial operators. The challenge is to set-up a legal and technical mechanism to integrate these supplementary commercial services into the EOSC hub in order to make them available to the scientists.


The action will cover the following activities:

  • research activities for understanding how various needs from researchers can be aggregated and the complementary commercial services required to maximise the impact of the tools already available in the EOSC catalogue of services which enable inter-disciplinary research;
  • technical integration of the complementary commercial services into the EOSC catalogue of services, including management of the access rights and establishment of appropriate legal agreements (contracts, service level agreements, etc.) that are necessary to make accessible the commercial services to the EOSC users; due consideration should be given to the use of open standards and interoperability of the services;
  • provision of access to the services through the EOSC catalogue of services.

Proposals will address the availability of both types of services listed below:

a) Commodity type commercial digital services that are necessary for interdisciplinary research activities including, but not limited to, e.g. cloud services (storage, computing, and applications), software licenses, simulation tools, collaboration and virtualization tools.

b) A wide variety of secure Earth Observation commercial services[1]. Proposals should address commercial services stemming from the use of Copernicus open data accessible through the 'DIAS' platforms and its smart integration into the service catalogue of the EOSC. These commercial services may include other space or non-space inputs.

The proposals should include:

1) an outline of the methods to be used for gathering specifications and requirements from scientists/users that would properly reflect the user-focused perspective of the EOSC;

2) the proposed criteria for the selection of the most relevant commercial services addressing the needs discussed under point (1) above, that can generate positive impact on research activities;

3) the proposed indicators for continuous monitoring of the quality of the service taking into account the feed-back received from the users as well as appropriate criteria for ensuring broad usage of the services.

4) a clear description of how the interoperability and use of open standards will be taken into account during the project execution.

These services will have to be integrated in the EOSC via procurement. A specific target of this action is the development of a value-added capability for procuring and brokering commercial services for the EOSC. Public e-Infrastructures should act as aggregators of demand for such commercial services and provide access to the acquired resources through the EOSC hub for the benefit of the scientific community. The commercial services targeted by this action should complement the service offering of the EOSC catalogue of services. In order to limit the costs of integration into the EOSC catalogue of services, the action should focus on commercial services that are compliant with any available standards and guidelines set for the management of the EOSC services. The access mechanisms to the services proposed in this topic should be based on pan-European identity management and authentication services, aligned with those used in the EOSC framework and build on the experience and outcomes provided by the AARC project and its continuation, AARC2.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 11 and 12 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. A balanced allocation of the budget between the above two types of commercial services is expected (50% each). Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Set-up a value-added procurement mechanism for commercial services that creates economies of scale in procuring and brokering resources for the EOSC and helps optimising investments enabling long-term sustainability for the EOSC;
  • Enable the creation of new market opportunities and new solutions by facilitating cross-fertilisation of heterogeneous data and services;
  • Lower access barriers for scientific community to commercial services, including DIAS-supported added value services and enhance industry‚Äôs potential to take advantage of scientific market opportunities.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Open Science

[1]Copernicus is the Union Earth observation and monitoring programme. In this context, the Commission is setting up for Copernicus consolidated Data Access and Information Services (DIAS) platforms primarily addressing open data and other components from the EO Community that will eventually lead to (data-related) EO commercial services. The commercial services based on DIAS would become available to the scientific community also through the EOSC.

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.

For the criterion Excellence the third and fourth sub-criteria are substituted by:

  • The extent to which the proposed mechanism to aggregate demand by scientific community and manage the procurement process and the resulting contracts is fit-for-purpose
  • Appropriate consideration of researchers' needs and interdisciplinary approaches

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 will be 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

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
4. Research infrastructures (including e-Infrastructures) 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

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