Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Paper-based electronics

Topic identifier: PILOTS-05-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
11 May 2016
2nd stage Deadline:
27 October 2016 17:00:00
04 May 2017 17:00:00

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

On one hand the lifetime of electronics is becoming shorter, now approaching an average in the range of months; this evolution generates technological challenges and poses a growing ecological problem. On the other hand, paper is ubiquitous in everyday life and it is one of the cheapest materials in our society. It is renewable, portable, flexible and in addition cellulose, its main component, is the Earth’s major biopolymer and has an essential economic importance in Europe, which is responsible for 30% of the world’s total production. Paper Electronics represents a new concept which combines the use of paper as a functional part of electronic components or devices. Typical applications include packaging, graphics, novel diagnostic systems and hygiene products for indicating product safety or freshness, support logistics, health-care and safety for example.

Paper-based electronics shows promising technical, economic, and environmental advantages which will allow new recyclable electronics devices like paper displays, smart labels, smart packaging, bio-and medical applications, PoC devices, RFID tags, disposable electrochemical sensors among others. Paper-based electronics represents a promising source of innovation and growth for sectors such as packaging industry which develops smart solutions able to interact with the end users or classic paper publishing industry which are facing challenges from electronic books and journals, healthcare industry which intensify the development of quantitative biosensing, microfluidic and lab-on-chip devices.


The proposal should address the physical, chemical and engineering challenges linked with the use of paper as substrate as well as active components of the electronic devices: it includes the development on new technologies for paper manufacturing (fiber enhancement, porosity, fillers, etc) and converting, new paper coatings (organic, inorganic or hybrid), paper surface characteristics and functionalization (nanocellulose functionalization, plasma or gas treatments, bio and chemical modifications for instance) but also heterogeneous integration of high-added value electronic components on paper and introduction of new materials (conductors, semiconductors, insulators, electrochromic, batteries electrodes). The proposal should develop high-precision, cost efficient, and high output printing or other manufacturing technologies on large area (inkjet, screen printing amongst others, and sheet-to-sheet or roll-to-roll processes). The proposal should also address recyclability and eco-design aspects.

The implementation of this topic is intended to start at TRL 3 and target TRL 5.

This topic addresses cross-KET activities.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 5 and 8 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:
  • To develop a new disruptive and sustainable paper-based platforms for electronics that not only integrate discrete devices but also use the cellulose as an electronic material for insulators, electrolytes, conductors, and semiconductors;
  • To use the same paper substrate that supports the electronics to also drive a bioplatform or a display, process source video data, or provide the power source through an embedded chemical battery;
  • Reduce the environmental impact of electronics;
  • Consolidate paper making industries and wood-harvesting industries;
  • In long term, the developed technologies should pave the way for active, full color, video-rate reflective displays that perform well in high-light conditions, achieving performance equivalent to classical electronics (i.e. for display devices, a contrast ratio from 10:1, reflectivity of over 80%, full color, etc.);
  • Creation of new markets and new business opportunities for the European industry fulfilling or anticipating consumer needs in this area.

Proposals should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of this Work Programme.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Cross-cutting Key-Enabling Technologies (KETs)

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,
    ChinaHong 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:

    The criteria, scoring and threshold are described in General Annex H of the work programme.
    The following exceptions apply:

    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.

    The procedure for setting a priority order for proposals with the same score is given in General Annex H of the work programme. The following exceptions apply:

    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.

    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.


    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.

    - 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.


    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


Submission Service

No submission system is open for this topic.

Get support


National Contact Points (NCP) - contact your NCP for further assistance.

Enterprise Europe Network – contact your EEN national contact for advice to businesses with special focus on SMEs. The support includes guidance on the EU research funding.

Partner Search Services help you find a partner organisation for your proposal



Research Enquiry Service – ask questions about any aspect of European research in general and the EU Research Framework Programmes in particular.

H2020 Online Manual your online guide on the procedures from proposal submission to managing your grant.

Participant Portal FAQ – Submission of proposals.

IT Helpdesk- contact the Participant Portal IT helpdesk for questions such as forgotten passwords, access rights and roles, technical aspects of submission of proposals, etc.

European IPR Helpdesk assists you on intellectual property issues



Ethics – for compliance with ethical issues, see the Participant Portal and Science and Society Portal

CEN and CENELEC, the European Standards Organisations, advise you how to tackle standardisation in your project proposal. Contact CEN-CENELEC Research Helpdesk at

The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their recruitment