Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : New and improved transport concepts in waterborne transport

Topic identifier: MG-2.3-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
15 October 2015
2nd stage Deadline:
20 January 2016 17:00:00
29 September 2016 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Bringing waterborne much deeper into multi-modal transport concepts, in particular to the benefit of domestic shipping and inland navigation in the EU is a necessity. The specific challenges are to overcome the traditional barriers between transport modes; to work on the greening, expansion and optimisation of the entire (waterborne) transport chain, including in the urban environment; and to contribute to the EU´s energy union through new energy transportation concepts for natural gas (in particular in short sea trades), including discharging and safety considerations. Short sea, river and canal transport can offer particular opportunities for automation (in terms of operations as well as maintenance) that can improve safety and address current employment challenges and the competitiveness of SMEs in the sector. European GNSS services can play an important role in this.


In order to meet these challenges, proposals should address one or several of the following aspects:

―New or much improved systems for waterborne operations, feedering and short sea vessels, addressing one or several of the following issues: smart connections to deep sea shipping and inland waterways transport, new unitised multi-modal cargo concepts, and reliable transport services even in extreme seasonal weather conditions.

―New cost-efficient vessel concepts for the transport and distribution of natural gas, including safe discharging.

―Automation in all waterborne operations, including in short sea trades and in inland navigation (with a view to bringing about a Digital Inland Waterway Transport Area) and in the urban environment; this may include remotely controlled and autonomous vessels and docking systems and the regulatory developments necessary to implement joint operations of conventional and unmanned vessels.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 to 12 million each 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 outcome of activities will yield measurable contributions to a more efficient waterborne transport, fully integrated into multimodal transport or energy supply chains in Europe, through the proof of concept for new and significantly improved transport systems including a full cost-benefit analysis and a quantitative and qualitative comparison to current systems. Concepts for the automation of waterborne transport operations will be proven, including an assessment of cost-benefits and the impact on the waterborne work environment and the skills requirements. Where feasible solutions will be made available directly to operators, in particular SMEs

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  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 Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong & Macau, India, 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.

    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.

    Information on the outcome of two-stage evaluation:
          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. 

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.
  4. Additional documents:


Applicants can find introductory remarks to the activities of this respective area of the call in the text of the H2020 Work Programme 2016-17 for Societal Challenge "Smart, green and integrated transport" which can be accessed by clicking in the link above.

Additional documents

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