Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Access technologies and characterisation for Near Earth Objects (NEOs)

Topic identifier: PROTEC-2-2014
Publication date: 11 December 2013

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
11 December 2013
Deadline: 26 March 2014 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020
Topic Description

Specific challenge: In order to conduct close approach missions to NEOs, or to undertake mitigating demonstrations, it will be necessary to have a number of specific technologies and instruments readily available to conduct missions to asteroids with very weak gravitational fields.

In parallel, it is fundamental to acquire in-depth information on the internal structure and other physical properties of NEOs, not only for the design of most impact mitigation missions, but also for the assessment of the consequences of an impact on Earth.

Scope: In the first type of action, research is to be conducted on technologies and instruments relevant to orbiting, hovering, and manoeuvring close to small asteroids with very weak gravity fields. Accurate guidance, navigation and control (GNC) of a high-velocity (> 10 km s-1) kinetic impactor spacecraft into a small NEO or for prolonged hovering around it, as well as orbit determination and monitoring (types of observation and precision) before, during, and after a mitigation attempt, require further technology development. The same applies to means for material sampling and collection, in-situ analysis and sample return to Earth, which are of relevance to physical characterisation.

In actions covering the second specific challenge, scientific research is needed to identify suitable objects for possible missions for detailed characterisation of properties and for developing demonstration and testing of deflection techniques. A characterisation of the NEO population, in particular the small NEOs (50 – 300 m) is to be undertaken. Typical mitigation-relevant physical properties of NEOs include sizes, albedos, mineralogy, shapes, densities, structures, porosities, frequency of binaries, frequency of rubble piles, etc.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 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: For the first type of action, proposals are expected to contribute to the development of essential techniques and instruments, which would allow approaching and navigating in close vicinity and on the surface of asteroids and comets. The proposals should aim at TRL 5-6 (Technology Readiness Level[1]) and are expected to address technologies needed for deflection as well as for sample return missions.

Proposals addressing the second specific challenge are expected to lead to a comprehensive characterisation of NEO properties, which is mandatory for any mitigation or deflection mission. Data is to be made available in an open repository, taking into account complementary with existing databases. The identification of suitable targets and their accessibility for exploratory missions or mitigation demonstration missions is expected. An analysis of possible future actions in European programmes such as Horizon 2020 and ESA actions is expected.

Type of action:  Research and innovation actions

[1] Technology Readiness Levels are defined in part G of the General Annexes. In the specific area of space, further details can be found in the European Space Agency website "Strategic Readiness Level - The ESA Science Technology Development Route". European Space Agency, Advanced Studies and Technology Preparation Division,

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.
  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme with the following exception: the European Space Agency will not participate in corsortia of proposals submitted under this call for proposals.
  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 Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.
  5. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:
    Maximum 5 months from the final date for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 3 months from the date of informing successful applicants.
  6. 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 (administrative forms and structure of technical annex)
    Standard evaluation form
    Annotated Model Grant Agreement
  7. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) 
  8. 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.


Additional documents

  • H2020-PROTEC-2014_Flash Call Info en
  • Legal basis - Framework Programme H2020 en
  • Legal basis - Specific Programme H2020 en
  • WP H2020 - 1. Introduction en
  • WP H2020 - 5. Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs) en
  • WP H2020 - 5iii. Space en
  • WP H2020 - 19. General Annexes en

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 point for advice to businesses with special focus on SMEs. The support includes guidance on the EU research funding.

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

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.

Ethics – to ensure compliance with ethical issues, further information is available on the Participant Portal and on the Science and Society Portal.

European IPR Helpdesk assists you on intellectual property issues.

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

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

Partner Search Services helps you find a partner organisation for your proposal.

H2020 Funding Guide your online guide on the procedures from proposal submission to managing your grant.

H2020-PROTEC-2014 Call specific help: you can send call-specific questions to up to TWO WEEKS before the call deadline.