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TOPIC : International Cooperation with Mexico on geothermal energy

Topic identifier: LCE-23-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
27 October 2015
Deadline: 16 February 2016 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Updates
  • 20 November 2015 11:38

    Informationon the The Mexican funding organizations has been added in the section 'Topic conditions and documents', (8. Additional Documents)

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Mexico and Europe have high potential for geothermal energy generation; in particular the Mexican geothermal resource settings provide a unique opportunity to apply and further develop methodologies and technologies in the field of EGS (Enhanced Geothermal Systems) and of superhot systems. Cooperation activities are proposed in the framework of the Bilateral Agreement on Science and Technology between the European Union and the United States of Mexico.

The challenge is to increase knowledge and expertise to reduce technological and social risks associated with the development and exploitation of EGS and superhot geothermal fluids. For EGS, issues such as long-term productivity and unwanted side effects, such as induced seismicity, need to be controlled. In superhot systems the geothermal community needs more experience to address the specific challenges arising from the very hot fluids. These challenges include reliable characterization of the geothermal potential and the interaction of these very hot fluids with subsurface and surface installations. Scientific challenges to be addressed include: prediction of chemical and geological properties and their effect on geothermal operations; advanced fracture characterization technologies to determine the ideal exploitation scheme; identification of ideal areas for locating deep wells; high temperature well-logging tools and sensors; smart (high temperature) tracers.


The development of unconventional geothermal systems such as EGS and superhot geothermal resources (including those above the critical point of water) needs further validation and demonstration in specific high-temperature geological environments. Mexico is chosen for testing and developing these technologies further in a relevant geological environment. The focus should be on establishing an inventory of the expanded resource base and on the development of test sites in specific locations.

Proposals shall aim at moving from TRL 3-4 to TRL 4-5 (please see part G of the General Annexes).

Beyond the appropriate regional approach in Mexico, generalised environmental aspects and public acceptance concerns need to be addressed in every phase of the project. Transfer of the knowledge gained to different areas should be pursued. Exploration studies will be performed to provide a comprehensive knowledge of the sites and applied to meet the specific challenges highlighted above.

Proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of around EUR 10 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 project is expected to progress in the technology development applying and consolidating concepts and technologies in different geological contexts therefore reducing technological and social risks of geothermal developments. The project will promote innovation and technological development in Mexico, establishing a reliable scientific framework to increase the number of commercial geothermal activities. In the project context a strengthening of the European geothermal technology base is also expected, expanding European market for geothermal technologies and creating growth and jobs. Scientific exchange of researches and capacity building are envisaged as an indirect project impact.

Proposals should appropriately exploit the complementarities between the EU and Mexico, and pave the way for significant enhancement in the cooperation between researchers and research institutions.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

International cooperation

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.
IMPORTANT: Please also read the introductory policy context for the activity RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES of the COMPETITIVE LOW CARBON ENERGY call under the Societal Challenge 3 'Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy' of the Work Programme 2016 - 2017.


  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 China, 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, with the following exception:

    For the topic LCE-23-2016, this additional eligibility condition applies:
    Proposals which do not include coordination with a Mexican project will be considered ineligible. Therefore, the EU proposals must unambiguously identify the coordinated Mexican proposal to be submitted to the Mexican authorities, and include a detailed description of this proposal.
    Participants in the EU collaborative project are required to conclude a coordination agreement with the Mexican participants in the coordinated project funded by the Mexican authorities.
    Proposals will only be selected on the condition that their corresponding coordinated Mexican project is also selected for funding by the Mexican authorities.

    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.

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

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 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.

    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.
  8. Additional documents



Additional documents

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