Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Genetic resources and pre-breeding communities

Topic identifier: SFS-28-2018-2019-2020
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
16 October 2018
2nd stage Deadline:
23 January 2019 17:00:00
04 September 2019 17:00:00

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
31 October 2017
Deadline: 13 February 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Updates
  • 08 June 2018 16:18

    Letters informing on the results of the evaluation have been sent to applicants.

    Under the tab 'Topic conditions and documents' the following document is available in the last section "Additional documents": H2020-SFS-2018-1-single stage flash call info

  • 05 March 2018 11:50

    An overview of the number of proposals submitted is now available under the ‘Topic conditions & documents’ section on the topic page.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Genetic resources (GenRes) play a crucial role in agricultural activities and sustainable forest management in Europe. They hold the key to the adaptation of plants and animals to a changing and more variable climate, yet their diversity remains largely underused in current breeding, farming and forest management. Conservation efforts (in-situ, ex-situ) aim to capture, preserve and make available a substantial share of these global assets. However, access to resources is often limited by the quality of the material and the information provided by the various conservation sites. With increasing concerns over biodiversity loss and genetic erosion, there is a need to step up collaborative efforts to expand and improve the preservation as well as the use of plant and animal GenRes in farming and forestry.


A range of activities implemented by a wide range of stakeholders will seek to enhance management and use of GenRes and implement global commitments in this area. While the focus of activities is on Europe, international resources and activities shall be taken into account.

Proposals should address only one of the following sub-topics:

A. [2018]: Joining forces for GenRes and biodiversity management (CSA)

Activities will provide a framework in which the existing mosaic of European, national/regional structures can join forces to develop and implement ambitious approaches and strategies for the management of crop, forest and animal GenRes. In addition to advancing individual roadmaps, inventories and information tools for crop, forest and animal GenRes, cooperation between the different communities shall foster GenRes conservation within a wider (agro) biodiversity context. Particular care shall be taken to building and widening capacities across Europe and neighbouring countries (including Mediterranean countries), exchanging best practices, harmonising standards as well as sharing resources and data.

B. [2019]: Adding value to plant GenRes (RIA)

Activities will improve processes, tools and know-how associated with a dynamic management and documentation of GenRes collections (both ex-situ and in-situ, as appropriate). They will add value to the preserved germplasm to promote its use in breeding, farming, forestry and by consumers. Work will enable the development and testing of solutions to enhance quality and efficiency of operations and services across collections. Major efforts should go into capturing and characterising the genetic diversity in germplasm and revealing novel information to users. This will include acquiring comprehensive and more precise genotypic and phenotypic information on GenRes material, understanding the connections between the two, how they vary in different environmental contexts and having in place appropriate (bioinformatic) tools for data processing, exchange and visualisation. Due account shall be given to disclosing the potential of less adapted material from genebanks/in-situ conservation sites in relation to valuable traits associated with resilience, adaptability and quality of crops.

Proposals should foresee a task for joint activities with other projects financed under this topic.

C. [2020]: The GenRes-user interface and pre-breeding activities (IA)

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 3 million for sub-topic A and EUR 7 million for sub-topic B would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Activities will enhance the status of genetic resources and increase effectiveness of conservation efforts, in particular in Europe.

In the short to medium term work will:

  • result in the development and/or implementation of integrated strategies for conservation and use of crop, forest and animal GenRes as well as for wider biodiversity (sub-topic A);
  • enhance user oriented services provided by networks involved in plant (agriculture and forestry), and animal GenRes management (sub-topic A);
  • help establishing high quality, harmonised standards for the management and description of GenRes across Europe (and beyond) (sub-topics A and B);
  • increase the quantity and quality of data in established information systems for crop, forest and animal GenRes (sub-topics A and B);
  • promote innovative ways of sharing resources and services between genebanks/in-situ conservation sites in Europe and beyond (sub-topics A and B);
  • develop methods and tools for greater insight into the characteristics and the value of collections (sub-topic B);
  • create novel services for users within and outside the conservation communities (sub-topic B).

In the long term activities will allow tapping into the vast potential of GenRes more effectively in order to meet current and future needs of food security, the delivery of non-food products from primary production and support the different functions of forestry.

Delegation Exception Footnote:

It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020

Cross-cutting Priorities:

International cooperation
Open Science

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.


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


3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

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):

Research and Innovation 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.

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

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.


Additional documents

  • Flash call info - SFS single stage_en

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Submission Service

To access the Electronic Sumission Service, please click on the submission-button next to the type of action that corresponds to your proposal. You will then be asked to confirm your choice of the type of action and topic, as these cannot be changed in the submission system. Upon confirmation, you will be linked to the correct entry point.

To access existing draft proposals for this topic, please login to the Participant Portal and select the My Proposals page of the My Area section.

Type of Action Research and Innovation action [RIA]
Topic Genetic resources and pre-breeding communities - SFS-28-2018-2019-2020
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