Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Fuelling the potential of advisors for innovation

Topic identifier: RUR-16-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Planned opening date:
16 October 2018
Deadline: 23 January 2019 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Despite the continued generation of scientific knowledge, its impact and application in practical farming and forestry is disappointing and its innovative impact poor. Although there are some good examples, the EIP-AGRI evaluation study recommends that more advisors need to be involved in interactive innovation[1] projects to fuel cross-fertilisation and implementation of results. Advisors indeed have clear impact on farmers' and foresters' decisions and should play a key role in linking science and practice. Whereas the term ‘advice’ until recently merely referred to a given recommendation in the context of linear knowledge ‘transfer’, advisors should now also develop the skills to be able to take on a more interactive role in projects. These new forms of interaction and 'knowledge exchange' among advisors, farmers, private forest owners, scientists and other actors are unfamiliar to most. There is a need to network advisors to promote this approach and to boost advisors' innovation potential in order to ultimately improve knowledge flows in national and regional agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKISs).


Activities shall aim at networking advisors to for learning and exchanging interactive innovation techniques that support the transition to a more productive, sustainable and climate-smart agriculture and a higher level of development in rural areas. Projects shall identify and showcase best practices from a broad series of practical cases of advisory services across the EU, with a view to support advisors on how to capture grass-roots innovative ideas from farmers and foresters and further develop them into innovation projects. The activities shall create peer-to-peer learning for active and future advisors as well as training opportunities, e.g. through exchanges and cross-visits abroad. They shall teach advisors the skills for managing and participating in interactive innovation projects and how to intermediate in farmer-to-farmer learning processes. Projects shall identify best practices from a broad series of practical cases of advisory services across the EU. Proposals must expand and update the inventory of advisors in the EU by the PRO-AKIS project, with a particular focus on including all private and public advisors and ensuring an EU wide coverage. Based on this, projects shall collect best practices for well-organised, well-connected and effective advisory services supporting innovation and facilitating complementary partners to work together in innovative projects. Proposers are encouraged to establish links between their activities and existing activities, services and networks, such as those related to the farm demonstration networks, research organisations etc. and seek synergies with national or regional EIP networks and EIP Operational Groups. Projects should provide input to and coordinate their strategy with the SCAR-AKIS Strategic Working Group. Special attention should be given to the CEE countries where knowledge sharing attitudes and interconnectivity within the AKISs are still limited.

In order to achieve the objectives of the call, projects should have a minimum duration of four years and shall fall under the concept of the multi-actor approach[2]. To network all public and private advisors across the EU, consortia shall include as many key actors – private and public – in the EU with practical advisory experience as possible. They should be engaged in a broad range of technical advisory subjects for a more sustainable and competitive agriculture and forestry.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Activities shall contribute to better interconnected advisors with a focus on innovation at national/regional level, able to support EIP-AGRI Operational Groups and Horizon 2020 multi-actor projects, by:

  • improving networking and peer-to-peer learning of advisors, stimulating the interactive role of advisors to boost innovation and providing a set of best practices for advisors, thereby building an advisory network covering the EU in a balanced and comprehensive way;
  • enhancing the impact of advisors on the strengthening of knowledge flows between scientific research and practical implementation for more productive and sustainable agricultural practices and rural development;
  • improving education by developing efficient material and dedicated training systems for advisors that help to preserve practical knowledge in the long-term, and by delivering a substantial number of “practice abstracts” in the common EIP-AGRI format, including audio-visual material.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

[1]For the interactive innovation model, see the introduction to this Work Programme.

[2]See definition of the 'multi-actor approach' in the introduction to this Work Programme part.

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
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. See the information in the Online Manual.


2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme. SME instrument: described in the Work Programme part "European Innovation Council (EIC)".


In order to achieve the objectives of the call the project should have a minimum duration of four years.

Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.


3. Evaluation:

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): 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 evaluation (two-stage call):
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.

5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Coordination and Support Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
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

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

7. 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. See the Online Manual.

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.


8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
9. Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

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