Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Technologies to enhance the fight against crime and terrorism

Topic identifier: SU-FCT02-2018-2019-2020
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Boosting the effectiveness of the Security Union (SU)

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Planned opening date:
14 March 2019
Deadline: 22 August 2019 17:00:00

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Planned opening date:
15 March 2018
Deadline: 28 August 2018 17:00:00

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

Organized crime and terrorist organisations are often at the forefront of technological innovation in planning, executing and concealing their criminal activities and the revenues stemming from them. Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) are often lagging behind when tackling criminal activities supported by advanced technologies.


There is a growing need to focus on technology opportunities provided by new and emerging technologies. To this end, it is necessary to identify new knowledge and targeted technologies for fighting old, new and evolving forms of criminal and terrorist behaviour supported by advanced technologies. Challenges are numerous. In conventional investigations, rapid and near real-time forensics is often crucial for preventing subsequent attacks or crimes. A consequence of the increasing digitisation of society and ever increasing adoption levels is that virtually any type of crime has a digital forensics component, which is a challenge in itself. Money-flow tracking represents yet another challenge. The issues of location and jurisdiction need to be addressed, taking into account highly probable cross-border nature of such crimes.

Proposals should be submitted under only one of the following sub-topics:

  • Sub-topic 1: [2019] Trace qualification

Forensic analysis of trace material can be extremely helpful in the initial phase of investigation, if the answers are rapid (near real-time), at an acceptable cost and compliant with criminal justice. Novel robotized or automated tools for forensic analysis should be developed. There is a need for a better knowledge and interpretation of: trace composition, time when they were left, cause of their origin (crime-related or inoffensive), etc.

  • Sub-topic 2: [2018] Digital forensics in the context of criminal investigations

New forensic tools, techniques and methodologies are needed, based on common practices, standards, protocols and/or interoperability requirements that allow for rapid retrieval, storage, analysis and validation of digital evidence (including the one stored in the cloud) that upholds in court, and enables investigations to identify perpetrators as well as victims, in particular in cases of child sexual abuses. They should focus on data gathering, data exploitation, and speedy exchange of information. All types of crime, terrorist activities and propaganda, and malicious acts by foreign-state perpetrators are concerned. Research in this domain should take into account new and emerging trends (for instance, abuse of encryption for criminal or terrorist purposes), while fully respecting fundamental rights such as the right to privacy and the right to protection of personal data.

  • Sub-topic 3: [2020] Money flows tracking
  • Sub-topic: [2018-2019-2020] Open

Proposals addressing other issues relevant to this challenge (for instance: technologies to improve LEAs capabilities (including augmented reality); autonomous systems to improve the fight against crime and terrorism; technologies to support better protection of public figures; tracking and monitoring technologies, including automated prevention of uploading terrorism-related content; capabilities to detect the widest possible range of threats and concealments (including complex concealed weapons)) and supported by a large number of practitioners are invited to apply under this sub-topic (see eligibility and admissibility conditions).

In all sub-topics and in order to facilitate the EU-wide take-up of new technologies, proposers are encouraged to include the design of innovative curricula for LEAs training and (joint) exercises, and of information packages for the wider public and civil society organisations.

Proposals should lead to solutions developed in compliance with European societal values, fundamental rights and applicable legislation including in the area of privacy and protection of personal data. Societal aspects (e.g. perception of security, possible side effects of technological solutions, societal resilience) have to be addressed in a comprehensive and thorough manner.

The centre of gravity for technology development with actions funded under this topic is expected to be up to TRL 4 to 6 – see General Annex G of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 7 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:

Medium term:

  • novel, user-friendly technologies, tools and/or systems, addressing traditional or emerging forms of crime and terrorism at acceptable costs;
  • improved investigation capabilities, especially regarding quality and speed;
  • increased efficiency and effectiveness of the information sharing among EU LEAs.

Long term:

  • prevention/reduction of criminal and terrorist threats;
  • harmonisation of information formats at international level, improved cross-border acceptance and exchange of court-proof evidence, standardised evidence collection and harmonised procedures in the investigation of trans-border crimes in full compliance with applicable legislation on protection of personal data.
Delegation Exception Footnote:

It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

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.

Predefined sub-topics require the active involvement of at least 3 Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) from at least 3 different EU or Associated countries. Where applicable Sub-topic: Open requires the active involvement of at least 5 such organisations, from at least 5 different EU or Associated countries.

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.


Grants will be awarded to proposals according to the ranking list. However, in order to ensure a balanced portfolio of supported actions, at least the highest-ranked proposal per sub-topic will be funded provided that it attains all thresholds.

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.


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.

For grants awarded under this Security call for Coordination and Support Actions, Pre-Commercial Procurement Actions, Innovation Actions and/or Research and Innovation Actions, the Commission or Agency may object to a transfer of ownership or the exclusive licensing of results to a third party established in a third country not associated to Horizon 2020. The respective option of Article 30.3 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

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

14. Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens 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.


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Submission Service

To access the Electronic Submission Service of the topic, please select the type of action that is most relevant to your proposal from the list below and click on the 'Start Submission' button. 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.

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