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TOPIC : Agri-Aqua Labs

Topic identifier: SFS-30-2018-2019-2020
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
DeadlineModel:
Planned opening date:
two-stage
16 October 2018
Deadline:
2nd stage Deadline:
23 January 2019 17:00:00
04 September 2019 17:00:00

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
DeadlineModel:
Planned opening date:
two-stage
31 October 2017
Deadline:
2nd stage Deadline:
13 February 2018 17:00:00
11 September 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Updates
  • 11 December 2017 17:08

    Under the point "5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA)" of the "Topic Conditions" area, the 1st stage proposal template is now embedded in the general template.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Agriculture and aquaculture are increasingly knowledge-intensive sectors that need to be supported by advances in basic science domains in tandem with translational research. This nexus between basic and applied research requires specific openings for testing ideas and their potential application in plant and animal production, both terrestrial and aquatic.

Recent developments in genomic selection have revolutionised animal breeding and resulted in significant gains in production efficiency of animals. However, our understanding of the biological mechanisms underpinning traits remains limited. Most phenotypes, in particular for traits related to health, biological efficiency and robustness, are complex and a major goal of biological research is to use genome information to predict such complex outcomes.

In the area of crop production there is a fundamental interest in deciphering the dynamic responses of plants as they (pre)adapt to local conditions or adjust their growth and development to changes in the environment within their plasticity range. These adaptive traits are all the more important as plants are sessile and therefore require effective strategies to deal with uncertainty and to tolerate rather than avoid stress. Understanding the different adaptation strategies, and the circumstances that favour one strategy over another, is vital for understanding how annual or perennial crops perform in a given environment or under changing conditions. It will also help to assess how plants may respond to future environmental changes.

Scope:

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

A. [2018]: Understanding the genome of farmed animals, its expression and translation into traits (RIA)

For the purpose of sub-topic A, the terms 'animal' and 'farm' apply to both terrestrial and aquatic animals. Research activities should generate experimental data to map out what part of farmed animal genomes are active (whether coding or regulatory), and under which circumstances, characterise the resulting phenotypes and assess how phenotypes are affected by genetic and epigenetic changes. Bioinformatic analyses should support identification of these functional and structural elements in genomes, and enable the development of tools for genotype to phenotype prediction. Work should also help to develop or extend terminologies (ontologies) to describe, represent and standardize annotation. Proposed projects should target one or more farmed animal species with high-quality genome assemblies (in particular cows, chicken, pigs, sheep, salmon and other relevant species), focussing on specific tissue panels, and address correlations between normal and abnormal situations. They may target different physiological and developmental stages and different breeds within the same species, where this brings added value to the understanding of the genotype to phenotype relationship. As regards genome annotation, the proposed projects should use FAANG[1] metadata standards and core assays and coordinate with other projects in order to minimise overlaps. The data should be submitted to relevant European biological data archives in accordance with these standards to ensure they are available to the whole community (EMBL-EBI[2]). The proposed projects should develop and test, where appropriate, innovative tools to measure related phenotypes, including intermediate phenotypes. Activities may include biomarkers and their proxies, as well as sensors, together with ways to record related phenotypes at population level (whether reference populations or not). Proposals should include a task to cluster with other projects financed under this topic.

B. [2019]: Looking behind plant adaptation (RIA)

Proposals shall advance our understanding of the ability of plants to (pre)adapt to specific – often extreme - conditions or to react to sudden changes in their environment.

They will look into the specific mechanisms (genetic, epigenetic, physiological, morphological, metabolic…) and dynamics that underlie adaptive processes of crops and how these responses are modulated by the type and severity of conditions/stresses. In studying adaptation of crops to single or multiple abiotic conditions, work shall also establish potential fitness trade-offs. Proposals are expected to improve capacities for modelling plant adaptation responses to better predict changes in plant performance and inform crop improvement and crop management strategies. While taking advantage of findings from (semi) model crops, work shall focus on crop plants and relevant agronomic conditions.

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

C. [2020]: Plant energy biology

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 6 million for sub-topic A and EUR 5 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:

Results of funded activities will help to create knowledge hubs in their respective domains and develop specific pathways to feed biological insight into agricultural (husbandry, crops) and aquaculture practices.

In the short to medium term work will:

  • deliver comprehensive genome annotation maps of high quality in the targeted farmed animal species/tissues (sub-topic A);
  • progress in understanding genotype per environment interactions and deciphering the mechanisms by which some effects induced by environment/stressors can be transmitted across generations (sub-topic A);
  • pave the way for subsequent use of annotated genomes to improve precision breeding in farmed animal production, by linking genome to phenotype and improving means to measure/record phenotypes (sub-topic A);
  • contribute to international cooperation on genome annotation (sub-topic A);
  • provide insight into the range of mechanisms that underpin plant responses (from single cell to whole plant) to specific and/or multiple environmental change (sub-topic B);
  • deliver more accurate models for the prediction of crop adaptation in response to environmental stresses (sub-topic B);
  • translate knowledge on the adaptive plasticity of plants and complex genotype by phenotype interactions into crop improvement and management strategies sub-topic (sub-topic B).

In the long term activities will enhance the sustainability of farmed animal production (sub-scope A). They will allow making more solid assertions on how crops will respond and can possibly better adapt to the effects of climate change (sub-scope B).

Delegation Exception Footnote:

It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Blue Growth
Open Science
International cooperation

[1]http://www.faang.org/index

[2]http://data.faang.org

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)".

 

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):

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.

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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Type of Action Research and Innovation action [RIA]
Topic Agri-Aqua Labs - SFS-30-2018-2019-2020
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