Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Smart materials, systems and structures for energy harvesting (RIA)

Topic identifier: LC-NMBP-32-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future (LC)

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Planned opening date:
16 October 2018
2nd stage Deadline:
22 January 2019 17:00:00
03 September 2019 17:00:00

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

The realisation of the European goals of increased energy efficiency, reduction in CO2 emissions and the circular economy require novel ways of using, harvesting and storing energy. Smart materials and material systems/structures have already demonstrated the potential to reduce energy consumption as well as harvest, generate and store energy. However, implementation has been limited due to the materials' operational reliability as well as issues of recyclability and dependence on rare elements. In addition, cost concerns or lack of efficient manufacturing processes prohibit the wider implementation of such technologies. The next step is the implementation of these technologies in a wide range of commercial applications allowing the exploitation of the characteristics of smart materials. As the application of smart materials and developments in sensor technologies are dominated by SMEs in the EU, extending their innovation potential for smart materials applications is important for maintaining their market position and has a significant impact in improving EU competitiveness.


Proposals should cover the following:

  • The development of new materials and material combinations with energy harvesting and storage capabilities (e.g. lead-free piezoelectric based devices for energy generation and energy storing automotive structural components or magnetic materials systems);
  • Clearly demonstrate reduction of around 25% in overall materials and processing costs relative to the state of the art and how the implementation of those technologies would be achieved;
  • Demonstrate the recyclability and reliability of new smart materials, as well as a reduction in the dependence on rare elements;
  • Integrate sensor technologies (e.g. MEMS based sensor concepts) and the potential linkage with the Internet of Things (IoT);
  • Assess market perspectives and patents as well as standardisation;

Activities are expected to start at TRL 3 and achieve TRL 5 at the end of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 5 and 7 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:
  • New materials facilitating technology systems for sustainable energy supply allowing a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% based on lifecycle analysis;
  • Reduction of hazardous waste by 50% through efficient manufacturing practices and/or materials selection;
  • Development of new technologies, applications and services providing direct support for the wider implementation of the DSM and IoT, (e.g. enable the development of wireless sensor networks, or, deployment of energy harvesting powered sensor nodes to monitor remote locations);

Relevant indicators and metrics, with baseline values, should be clearly stated in the proposal.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Clean Energy

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.

The following exceptions apply:

The threshold for the criteria Excellence and Impact will be 4. The overall threshold, applying to the sum of the three individual scores, will be 12.

Under 3 (a)
Proposals are first ranked in separate lists according to the topics against which they were submitted (‘topic ranked lists’). When comparing ex aequo proposals from different topics, proposals having a higher position in their respective 'topic ranked list' will be considered to have a higher priority in the overall ranked list.
Under 3 (b)
For all topics and types of action, the prioritisation will be done first on the basis of the score for Impact, and then on that for Excellence.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (two-stage call):
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. 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.

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.


8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
5. Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs) WP 2018-20
5ii. Nanotechnologies, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and processing, biotechnology 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

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