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TOPIC : Advancing the integration of Materials Modelling in Business Processes to enhance effective industrial decision making and increase competitiveness

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

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
15 October 2015
2nd stage Deadline:
08 December 2015 17:00:00
24 May 2016 17:00:00

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

Sustaining and growing businesses requires continuous product innovation. Making meaningful business strategy decisions is an ever more challenging task in a global context. The combination of materials and business modelling to explore what technical solutions are economically viable is not yet exploited to the extend it could. The sheer volume of data and information combined with its dynamic nature demands an ever better understanding of possible options. There is a need for a Business Decision Support System that supports the selection of the optimal material and process taking into account the implementation costs but also the associated risks, uncertainties and costs related to the modelling and simulation; a priority, especially for SMEs.


The proposals should develop an integrated Business Decision Support System (BDSS) that can support decisions on new materials and new processes by calculating through hypothetical scenarios.

The BDSS should enable the integration of materials modelling and business tools and databases into a single work-flow, allowing for flexibility of application to different industrial sectors.

Proposals should create a framework that allows the flexible integration of existing or future discrete and continuum materials models with structured and unstructured data from multiple data bases containing materials data, commercial data and information on market trends, pricing, customer needs and demands.

The BDSS should enable a multi-criteria optimisation over all stages of product development by allowing the end-user to mirror the operational framework of their company. The structure of the BDSS should allow back-engineering from the end-goal. BDSS should be designed such as to optimise the integration of humans in new more complex industrial environments. The tool should be available to and usable by decision makers in manufacturing companies in the form of a platform which can be confidentially applied by a company.The tool should be validated against measurements, existing data and real financial arguments. Validation of the developed systems on public case studies and training of translators on the system is required.

Development of innovative methodologies should be included addressing innovative ways to connect existing and future models and how to use them in varying contexts (adaptive systems and networks). If appropriate, model development in terms of accuracy, robustness, uncertainty qualification and speed to allow a large design space to be explored may be included in order to enable exchange of modules and to prove flexibility of the framework. The consortium is expected to provide expertise on multiple discrete and continuum materials models[1], business decision support systems, data search technology (incl. optimalisation, genetic algorithms, symbolic regression, machine learning and cognitive learning).

Activities are expected to target Technology Readiness Level 5.

Funded proposals will be invited to participate in a cluster, to agree on standards to achieve seamless integration of their frameworks and of the modules to be linked into the framework. Projects are expected to contribute actively to on-going activities e.g. in the EMMC (European Materials Modelling Council), and EU funded clusters.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 3 and 4 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:
  • Reduction of company costs and increased performance and commercial impact based on effective materials models driven business decisions;
  • Guidance to companies in developing their strategies with an effective, user friendly materials models driven business decision system;
  • Increased industrial use of existing materials knowledge and effective materials models;
  • Improved trust of industrial decision makers in materials modelling and their commercial advantage;
  • Essential company savings in time and money, especially via the elimination of the need for (some) plant trials.


Topic conditions and documents

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

    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).
    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.


    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme , with the following exceptions:

    For single-stage and second-stage evaluations, 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.

    In case of equal overall scores in the ranked list, the priority order of proposals will be established in accordance with part H of the General Annexes, except that proposals will be ranked on the basis of individual scores for the Impact criterion before the Excellence criterion.

    In case of equal overall scores in the ranked list, the priority order of proposals will be established in accordance with part H of the General Annexes, except, when comparing ex aequo proposals of different topics, the proposals will be ranked first according to the position in the topic ranked lists

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

    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.

    for the type of action 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

    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.

    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.

    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment

    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation

    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs)

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Nanotechnologies, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and processing, biotechnology

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Cross-cutting activities (Focus Areas)

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes


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