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Call: Maximising the impact and synergy of European climate change research and innovation

Acronym HE-CL5-D1
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 1: Climate sciences and responses for the transformation towards climate neutrality"

Europe has been at the forefront of climate science and should retain its leadership position to support EU policies as well as international efforts for a global uptake of climate action in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including biodiversity objectives. Advancing climate science and further broadening and deepening the knowledge base is essential to inform the societal transition towards a climate neutral and climate resilient society by 2050, as well as towards a more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030. It will involve research that furthers our understanding of past, present and expected future changes in climate and its implications on ecosystems and society, closing knowledge gaps, and develops the tools that support policy coherence and the implementation of effective mitigation and adaptation solutions. Due to the inherent international character of this subject, international collaboration is encouraged for topics under this destination.

The activities implemented under this section will enable the transition to a climate-neutral and resilient society and economy through improving the knowledge of the Earth system and the ability to predict and project its changes under different natural and socio-economic drivers, including a better understanding of society’s response and behavioural changes, and allowing a better estimation of the impacts of climate change and the design and evaluation of solutions and pathways for climate change mitigation and adaptation and related social transformation.

This Destination contributes directly to the Strategic Plan’s Key Strategic Orientation C ”Making Europe the first digitally enabled circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy through the transformation of its mobility, energy, construction and production systems” and the impact area “Climate change mitigation and adaptation”.

In line with the Strategic Plan, the overall expected impact of this Destination is to contribute to the “Transition to a climate-neutral and resilient society and economy enabled through advanced climate science, pathways and responses to climate change (mitigation and adaptation) and behavioural transformations”, notably through:

  1. Advancing knowledge and providing solutions in the any of following areas: Earth system science; pathways to climate neutrality; climate change adaptation including climate services; social science for climate action; and better understanding of climate-ecosystems interactions.
  2. Contributing substantially to key international assessments such as those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or the European Environment Agency (e.g. European environment state and outlook reports, SOER).
  3. Strengthening the European Research Area on climate change.
  4. Increasing the transparency, robustness, trustworthiness and practical usability of the knowledge base on climate change for use by policy makers, practitioners, other stakeholders and citizens.

Coordination and synergies between activities supported under Destination 1, as well as in other Destinations and Clusters, and in particular complementarities with Cluster 4 and Cluster 6 should be taken into account by planning for adequate resources for co-ordination and clustering activities. Following a systemic approach, Destination 1 concentrates on activities related to climate science and modelling, whereas Cluster 6 supports R&I in the areas covered by Cluster 6, notably on the implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions.

Link Link to Programme
Maximising the impact and synergy of European climate change research and innovation
Description of call
"Maximising the impact and synergy of European climate change research and innovation"

Expected Outcome

Project results are expected to contribute to some of the following expected outcomes:

  • Raising awareness of citizens, business, social partners, policy-makers and other relevant audiences towards climate change, based on more efficient, transparent and engaging communication of authoritative and timely science-based information originating from EU-funded climate change research projects.
  • Better coordination of both on-going and future EU-funded climate change research initiatives and a more efficient use of resources.
  • Enhanced impact of research investments and accelerated transfer of knowledge to inform policy and climate actions in Europe.
  • Increased robustness, coherence and visibility of the results of EU-funded climate change research and innovation leading to increased uptake of the knowledge and solutions and more robust decisions by the public sector, businesses, industry and society.
  • Curation of research and innovation project results related to climate change, such that stakeholders can discover and understand what EU-funded research is ongoing in their area of interest.
  • Innovative and tailor-made tools and strategies to communicate the results of EU-climate change research leading to improved science – civil society interface, while considering drivers for active citizen engagement in climate action and more sustainable behaviours, including social innovations.
  • Better coordination of climate change research, innovation and technology initiatives within the European Research Area, facilitating complementarity and coherence between EU-level, national and regional efforts and a more efficient use of resources.
  • Identification of complementary research and innovation activities among the past, present and future work supported by national and regional R&I programmes on climate change, facilitating coherence between EU-level and national efforts and a more efficient use of resources, and taking into account international developments where relevant.
  • Showcasing national and regional research and innovation activities and findings that could be of interest for cooperation between countries.
  • Improving prioritisation of European climate change research by identifying priority topics (in terms of knowledge gaps and/or societal needs), and taking stock of national and EU-level climate change R&I research activities, in order to enhance the ability of existing and future European R&I to respond to societal needs.
  • Accelerating the transfer of knowledge on climate change research to policy-makers, practitioners and the society.
  • Implementation of collaborative activities to enhance the market, regulatory or societal uptake of R&I solutions related to climate change across Europe, for example by replicating national or local success stories in Europe.
  • Identify good practices at European, national and regional level on communication, dissemination and exploitation of climate change research findings and projects results and facilitate their scaling up.


Actions should cover one of the following areas:

a) Maximising the impact of EU-funded climate change research

The action should deliver effective mechanisms to strengthen the science-policy and science-civil society interface on the state-of-the-art climate change research in order to increase Europe's capacity to accelerate the response to the climate crisis and, biodiversity and other environmental challenges. Climate change research is understood here as projects dealing with climate, mitigation and adaptation science that will result mainly from Destination 1 of Cluster 5 - “Climate sciences and responses”- of Horizon Europe as well as relevant legacy projects of Horizon 2020. Other relevant projects, in particular from Cluster 3 and 6, as well as other Destinations in Cluster 5 should also be considered where relevant and possible. Synergies with the topic HORIZON-CL5-2021-D1-01-06: Supporting and standardising climate services should be established as necessary.

Knowledge synthesis and valorisation of results across EU funded projects and initiatives are expected to constitute an important element of work and should lead to integrated policy briefs and (joint) scientific publications that consolidate findings from different projects on priority issues and challenges that are central to climate action at all scales. To deliver these objectives, the action should consider activities such as curating, clustering, co-ordinating and supporting the creation of synergies between EU-funded climate change research and innovation activities, where relevant also considering national as well as international initiatives such as Global Covenant of Mayors and Mission Innovation.

The actions should identify and systematically update research needs emerging from science and/or policy discussions, and, where possible, match these needs against the themes that are addressed (or could be addressed) by ongoing EU-funded research projects.

The action should build on the knowledge and tools accumulated during previous and existing EU-funded initiatives. It should provide for adequate resources to take over and manage selected knowledge curation platforms, including the EU climate change mitigation portal. It is also expected to facilitate exploitation and maintenance of selected decision support tools developed by other EU-funded climate change research projects in close cooperation with the Commission services.

Communication, dissemination and cross-fertilisation of research results will be an important component of the action and should include support to upscaling the efforts of individual projects under Destination 1. These activities are expected to account for the majority of the action’s budget and should be accordingly substantiated in the proposal. Activities should go beyond standard (passive) practices and could include, for example, Massive Online Open Courses, videos, mobile apps, festivals, citizen debates and other forms of active outreach, where possible and appropriate building on existing tools and materials developed by EU-funded projects. They should address a broad range of audiences, including policy makers, business and civil society with particular emphasis on young people, taking into account each audience’s specific needs and paying attention to gender differences, with a view to increase awareness about the state of climate science, build support for climate action and trigger broader societal transformation. National, regional and local level initiatives should be an important component of the outreach. Innovative approaches, such as, for example, UNEP’s “Earth School”, podcasts or TED talks, fully leveraging digital and social media opportunities, are strongly encouraged. The action should mobilise and promote direct interaction between the scientific community and civil society/practitioners. In addition, it should also support efforts to counter misconceptions, fake news and conspiracy theories regarding climate change.

The action is also expected to contribute to the objectives and activities of the European Climate Pact.

This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, notably as regards exploration of the most effective techniques of communication, dissemination and engagement, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities. Social innovations should also be considered, notably as new tools, ideas and methods leading to active citizen engagement and as drivers of social change, social ownership and new social practices.

b) Maximising the synergy of climate change research and innovation in Europe

This action will help strengthen the European Research Area by ensuring coordination, cooperation and synergies between research, innovation and technology policies and programmes in the area of climate change research, including mitigation and adaptation, at European, national and regional level.

Maximising the societal impact of climate change research in Europe requires coordination among European, national and regional initiatives and research programmes. For example, climate services, mitigation and adaptation options pioneered in one location may be deployable in another. In basic climate science, coordination among programmes avoids duplications, and ensures optimal use of resources (like IT infrastructure or data).

The action is expected to help prioritise investments in climate change R&I and to add value to current and future R&I occurring across the ERA by exploiting potential synergies in R&I planning and activities, and opportunities for partnerships or complementary activities. To achieve this objective, the action should facilitate dialogue and exchange of information among the relevant scientific communities and funding bodies at European, national and regional level. It should identify and systematically update research needs emerging from science, policy discussions and the society, and enable the inclusion of these priorities in national and regional research strategies and agendas to finance ongoing and future projects.

A science-policy and science-society dialogue should be established, when possible in coordination with similar initiatives organised by other projects or entities, to improve access to and communication and dissemination of excellent climate change research and innovation. Activities will enhance cooperation between climate research scientist, professionals and all relevant stakeholders (e.g. universities, business and other research and innovation actors), accelerate the transfer of knowledge to inform policy and climate actions in Europe.

Activities should identify, analyse and support the scaling up of good practices at European, national and regional level on communication, dissemination and exploitation of climate change R&I projects results and solutions, as well as on climate change policies and strategies (e.g. comparative reports on national and regional R&I policies addressing climate change).

The scope should include the organisation of the European Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA) Conferences and contribution to other international conferences on climate change adaptation.

Coordination should be ensured with relevant European, national and regional initiatives (e.g. Joint Programming Initiatives, EIT Climate-KIC…).

The activities should build links with relevant EU programmes such as Copernicus, as well as build upon and link to global structures like the IPCC, the Global Carbon Project and the Global Covenant of Mayors.

Projects funded under this topic should ensure coordination between their activities.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Mobility & Transport/Traffic , Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Health, Social Affairs, Sports, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management, Administration & Governance
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities - Affiliated entities are eligible for funding if they are established in one of the countries listed above.
  • EU bodies - Legal entities created under EU law may also be eligible to receive funding, unless their basic act states otherwise.
  • International organisations - International European research organisations are eligible to receive funding. Unless their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority, other international organisations are not eligible to receive funding. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’actions and when provided for in the specific call conditions.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 45 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of between EUR 4.00 and 5.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 9.00 million.
Typ of ActionCoordination and Support Actions (CSA)
Funding rate100%
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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