Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Connecting ESFRI infrastructures through Cluster projects

Topic identifier: INFRAEOSC-04-2018
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:

Research Infrastructures such as the ones on the ESFRI roadmap and others, are characterised by the very significant data volumes they generate and handle. These data are of interest to thousands of researchers across scientific disciplines and to other potential users via Open Access policies. Effective data preservation and open access for immediate and future sharing and re-use are a fundamental component of today’s research infrastructures and Horizon 2020 actions but researchers are still confronted with a fragmented research data landscape. The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) will help addressing the current situation. Major stakeholders, such as the pan-European research infrastructures, must actively contribute to the setting up of its services.


This topic will ensure the connection of the research infrastructures identified in the ESFRI Roadmap to the EOSC. Support to this activity will be provided through cluster projects gathering ESFRI projects and landmarks in each of the following large thematic domains: Biomedical Science, Environment and Earth Sciences, Physics and Analytical Facilities, Social Science and Humanities, Astronomy, Energy. While the ESFRI infrastructures represent the core component of any cluster, other relevant world class research infrastructures with a European dimension, established as ERICs or International Organisations, can also be involved in a cluster. Each infrastructure should participate to only one cluster.

Proposals will address the stewardship of data handled by the involved research infrastructures according to the FAIR[1] principles and in line with the objectives of Open Science. This will include the definition of domain specific data policies (e.g. acquisition, deposit, curation, preservation, access, sharing and re-use), addressing any legislative or interoperability issues which affect data handling across geographical and discipline borders, as well as the development of appropriate tools for depositing, curating and analysing data. Research infrastructures will have to expose their data and tools under the EOSC catalogue of services and take all the necessary steps to ensure that the used repositories are compliant with the FAIR principles. In doing so proposals should develop synergies and complementarity in data handling between research infrastructures, optimise technological implementation, and ensure integration and interoperability of data and tools within the EOSC.

Proposals may address the development of domain specific skills for data stewardships and the specific training of research infrastructure staff. Activities should contribute to a faster adoption of best practices and foster the use of open standards and interoperability in data and computing services. The detailed list of activities that can be supported under this topic is given in part C of the section “Specific features for Research Infrastructures”.

Consortia should include key participants of the involved infrastructures and/or the infrastructure legal entities as well as other partners needed to address the challenges or develop the required solutions. Proposals should build upon the state of the art in ICT and e-infrastructures for data, computing and networking and work in cooperation with e-infrastructure service providers.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 and 24 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. The requested contribution should however be in line with the number of pan-European research infrastructures[2] the cluster aims to connect to the EOSC.

Expected Impact:

  • In line with the objectives of Open Science, improve access to data and tools enabling new and interdisciplinary research leading to new insights and innovation for the society at large
  • Facilitate access of researchers across all scientific disciplines to the broadest possible set of data and to other resources needed for data driven science to flourish.
  • Contribute to the creation of a cross-border and multi-disciplinary open innovation environment for research data, knowledge and services with engaged stakeholders and organisations.
  • Rise the efficiency and productivity of researchers thanks to an easier and seamless access to reliable and open data services and infrastructures for discovering, accessing, and reusing data;
  • Foster the establishment of global standards, ontologies and interoperability for scientific data.
  • Develop synergies and complementarity between involved research infrastructures, thus contributing to the development of a consistent European research infrastructures ecosystem.
  • Research communities adopt common approaches to the data management lifecycle (data and metadata curation), which leads to economies of scale.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

International cooperation
Socio-economic science and humanities
Open Science

[1] Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable

[2]A fair indication would be that the requested contribution does not exceed EUR 1.5 million for each ESFRI project and EUR 2 million for each ESFRI landmark or other established pan-European research infrastructure involved in the cluster.

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 Impact of Research and Innovation Actions the second sub-criterion will be substituted by:

  • Where relevant, any substantial impacts not mentioned in the work programme, that would enhance innovation capacity; create new market opportunities, strengthen competitiveness and growth of companies, address issues related to climate change or the environment, or bring other important benefits for society;

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 at the time of call opening.
Specific evaluation form is foreseen for this topic, based on the specific evaluation criteria provided in the Work Programme.
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.

For grants awarded under this topic capitalised and operating costs of ‘large research infrastructures’ as defined in the Article 6.2.D.4 of the Model Grant Agreement are not eligible.

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

  • Flash Call Info (call results) H2020-INFRAEOSC-2018-2 en

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