Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Aviation operations impact on climate change (InCo flagship)

Topic identifier: LC-MG-1-6-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future (LC)

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
04 December 2018
Deadline: 25 April 2019 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

This action is part of the Aviation International Cooperation Flagship called "Safer and Greener Aviation in a Smaller World" mentioned in the introduction to this work programme 2018-2020.

Aviation alters the composition of the atmosphere globally, thus can potentially contribute to anthropogenic climate change and ozone depletion. The last major international assessment of these impacts was made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1999. In addition to CO2, the climate impact of aviation is strongly influenced by non-CO2 emissions, such as nitrogen oxides, influencing ozone and methane, and water vapour, which can lead to the formation of persistent contrails in ice-supersaturated regions.

Beyond the perennial challenge in developing new technologies that can minimize the impact in the medium and longer term, the main objective of this action is expected to address mitigation strategies that will minimise those negative effects by aviation on climate in the short-medium term and are relevant for greener flight trajectories and operations.


The proposals may aim at one or more of the following areas: ‚Äč

A. Advance further the international state-of-the-art, through better scientific understanding of aviation emissions with high degree of uncertainty and high estimated impact to climate change, in order to enable greener flight operations.

B. Propose and evaluate mitigation strategies towards operational improvements.

C. Propose and evaluate mitigation strategies towards greener flight trajectories (ensuring complementarities with SESAR JU activities).

D. Propose and evaluate mitigation strategies based on the use of alternative jet fuel pathways that have been approved under or intended to apply for the ASTM D7566 approval standard. A detailed Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) approach needs to be included taking into account the following key elements: proper co-product allocation methodology, system boundaries, attributional vs consequential LCA and uncertainties from the time horizon, the potential of Green House Gases (GHGs) reduction and economic implications. Regarding the feedstocks, the impact of indirect land-use change (ILUC) on GHGs emissions must also be taken into account and addressed.

Proposals are expected to address the need to design and implement international measurement campaigns, in order to contribute to better climate metric assessments and more reliable physical and climate models.

This action does not address new aircraft technologies on structures, systems, engines nor their integration, towards minimising the impact in the medium and longer term. The projects are expected to formulate specific recommendations for stakeholders on flight planning and on the use of alternative fuels.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged. In particular bilateral international cooperation with China is encouraged for areas C and D with the aim at promoting substantial coordinated and balanced research and innovation cooperation between the EU and China. Proposals under those research areas C and D are encouraged to have an appropriate balance in terms of effort and/or number of partners between the EU and China. China-based participants have the possibility to apply for funding under the Chinese co-funding mechanism and other Chinese sources.

Although the association of TRL to better understanding aviation emissions is not uniquely defined, the implementation of the proposed topic may cover TRL spectrum from 2 to 4.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 2 and 3 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:

The topic aims to deliver scientifically founded and globally harmonised policy, regulations and operational improvements to support climate-friendly flight operations. Expected impacts are:

  • Better understanding the impact of aircraft emissions on climate towards better policy.
  • International measurement campaigns and international validation of physical and climate models.
  • Operational improvements in support to achieve the collective medium term global aspirational goal of keeping the global net CO2 emissions from international aviation from 2020 at the same level (so-called "carbon neutral growth from 2020").
  • Enhanced role of the Union in International Organisations and multilateral fora as well as strengthened implementation, governance, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Collaboration and sharing expertise on operational improvements and global market-based measures with EU and National aviation and environment research programmes.
  • Contribution to UN's Sustainable Development Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

International cooperation

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.

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
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
11. Smart, green and integrated transport 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.


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Submission Service

To access the Electronic Sumission Service, please click on the submission-button next to the type of action that corresponds to your proposal. You will then be asked to confirm your choice of the type of action and topic, as these cannot be changed in the submission system. Upon confirmation, you will be linked to the correct entry point.

To access existing draft proposals for this topic, please login to the Participant Portal and select the My Proposals page of the My Area section.

Type of Action Research and Innovation action [RIA]
Topic Aviation operations impact on climate change (InCo flagship) - LC-MG-1-6-2019
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