Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Promoting food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture in Africa: the role of innovation

Topic identifier: SFS-42-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
27 October 2015
2nd stage Deadline:
17 February 2016 17:00:00
13 September 2016 17:00:00

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

Scientific cooperation with Africa on agriculture is critical to achieving sustainable food and nutrition security. To prepare of the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA), it is considered necessary to investigate how to support innovation processes allowing acquired knowledge to be more widely disseminated and mobilised and have greater impact. Moreover, extension and advisory services (EASs), which are a critical part of innovation systems, have seen profound changes in recent decades in Africa: they have been privatised and decentralised and the thematic content and the objectives of their missions have also evolved. Various EASs coexist, with uneven coverage and delivery.


Proposals will review the various approaches towards innovation promoted and implemented in past and present activities in Africa or other regions in the world as a basis for developing a strategy for fostering innovation and enhancing the impact of the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on FNSSA. This strategy will look at the involvement of various categories of stakeholders in all stages of the research process and include elements related to the linkages with farmers' organisations and ways of empowering farmers, the role of civil society organisations, the role of advisory services, private sector and other intermediaries both at the value chain and territorial scale. It will develop and test relevant approaches scaling out of results achieved through EU-Africa cooperation on research and innovation. Proposals will also include mappings of national EASs in African countries, elaborating EAS typologies. The capacity of the EASs to facilitate appropriate links between researchers and other (private and public) actors in innovation systems will be assessed. Various farming approaches will be covered, including the organic sector. Particular attention will be paid to orientations given through governance mechanisms (particularly in terms of farmers' involvement in orientation and programming) and funding.

Proposals should secure the commitment and participation of a variety of concerned partners established in the EU and in Africa and should develop and implement pilot innovation actions. Proposals will be expected to establish relevant links with other projects involved in the preparation of the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on FNSSA. Proposals should fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach'[1].

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 will contribute to:

In the short term:

  • delivery of relevant activities, schemes, approaches and strategies through pilot actions to foster innovation in FNSSA in Africa and to achieve widespread local impact;
  • support for the development of an EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on FNSSA; and
  • recommendations for relevant policies in support of innovation processes (agricultural and agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKIS) and cooperation policies), in particular as regards linking local innovation needs to a research agenda and the role of knowledge brokers such as EAS.

In the long term:

  • increased capacity of multi-actor groups to innovate; and
  • improved implementation of research and innovation results in the farming sector in Africa.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
International cooperation

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

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.
    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, China, Hong Kong & Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme. Due to the specific challenge of this topic, in addition to the minimum number of participants set out in the General Annexes, proposals shall include at least five participants from Africa.
    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme [, with the following exceptions]:

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: 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 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.

  5. 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
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement
  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    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.

  7. 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.
  8. Additional documents
Additional documents

  • H2020-SFS-2016-2 second stage Flash info en
  • H2020-SFS-2016-2 first stage Flash info en
  • Generalised feedback en

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