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Call: Strengthening bioeconomy innovation and deployment across sectors and all governance levels

Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 7: Innovative Governance, Environmental Oberservations and Digital Solutions in Support of the Green Deal"

Transformative changes such as the ones required within the Green Deal are dynamic processes that require appropriate governance. At the same time, to ensure coordination and for collaborative decision-making, governance requires multiple channels and networks that provide readily available data and information coming from different sources.

R&I activities under this destination aim at both: experimenting with new ways to govern the transition process and modernising the governance, in particular by making information and knowledge available and accessible. R&I for governance to support the Green Deal shall provide insights into institutional barriers such as lock-ins, path dependency, political and cultural inertia power imbalances and regulatory inconsistencies or weaknesses.

Innovative governance supporting the Green Deal objectives needs to recognise, cope with and promote resilience in the face of on-going shocks and disruptions both globally and across Europe, whether these be climatic, ecological, economic, social, geo-political or related to health. Critical risk assessment and reduction strategies need to be incorporated, including the diversification of infrastructures, resources and knowledge through more self-sufficiency and autonomy.

Taking advantage of the use, uptake, deployment and exploitation of environmental observations[[The capacity to observe the environment, including space-based, in-situ-based (air, sea, land) observation, and citizen observations]] as well as digital solutions, assessed through the “do not harm” principle of the Green Deal, is key for innovative governance models and a more science-based policy design, implementation and monitoring. To maximise impacts of R&I on the ground and spark behavioural and socio-economic change, the knowledge and innovation produced throughout the whole cluster should be widely disseminated to key stakeholders of the relevant sectors of the cluster. In particular, the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) needs to be reinforced to accelerate the required transformative changes.

Data and information obtained through Environmental Observation is of great value when assessing the state of the planet and is delivering crucial information to support the Green Deal and the climate and ecological transition. Integration of this information from different sources (space-based, airborne including drones, in-situ and citizens observations) with other relevant data and knowledge while ensuring (better) accessible, interoperable or deployable information, delivers information necessary for shaping the direction of the development of policies in the broad context of Cluster 6 of Horizon Europe. A strong link to the European Earth observations programme Copernicus (in Cluster 4) and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth observation programme, as well as support to the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), its European regional initiative (EuroGEO) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) is foreseen for topics on environmental observations under this destination. R&I activities relevant to ocean, seas and coastal waters will complement and support the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and UN Decade on Restoration, the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative, the pan-Commission Destination Earth initiative, the European Global Ocean Observing System (EOOS) and the GOOS 2030 strategy.

Digital innovation, in complementarity with Cluster 4 and Digital Europe Programmes activities, should bring benefits for citizens, businesses, researchers, the environment, society at large and policy-makers. The potential of the ongoing digital transformation, and its wider impacts, positive and negative, need to be better understood and monitored in view of future policy design and implementation, governance, and solution development

This destination will develop innovative digital and data based solutions to support communities and society at large, and economic sectors relevant for this cluster to achieve sustainability objectives. R&I activities will add value to the knowledge and cost-effectiveness of innovative technologies in and across primary production sectors, food systems, bioeconomy, ocean and biodiversity.

Knowledge and advice to all actors relevant to this cluster are key to improve sustainability. For instance, primary producers have a particular need for impartial and tailored advice on sustainable management choices. Knowledge and Innovation Systems are key drivers to enhance co-creation and thus speed up innovation and the take-up of results needed to achieve the Green Deal objectives and targets. This will include promoting interactive innovation and co-ownership of results by users, as well as strengthening synergies with other EU Funds in particular the CAP, reinforcing the multi-actor approach and setting up structural networking within national/regional/local AKISs. AKIS goes beyond agriculture, farming and rural activities and covers environment, climate, biodiversity, landscape, bio-based economy, consumers and citizens, i.e., all food and bio-based systems including transformation and distribution chains up until the consumer.

Expected impacts

Proposals for topics under this destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to innovative governance and sound decision making in policy for the green transition, and more specifically to one or several of the following impacts:

  • Innovative governance models enabling sustainability and resilience notably to achieve better informed decision-making processes, societal engagement and innovation;
  • Green Deal related domains benefit from further deployment and exploitation of Environmental Observation data and products ;
  • A strengthened Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) [[The European Commission is a member and co-chair of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), as such the European Commission adopted the GEO Canberra Declaration ( and Commission Decision C(2019)7337/F1) and committed to contribute to the GEO objectives, including to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).]];
  • Sustainability performance and competitiveness in the domains covered by Cluster 6 are enhanced through further deployment of digital and data technologies as key enablers;
  • More informed and engaged stakeholders and end users including primary producers and consumers thanks to effective platforms such as Agriculture Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS)
  • Strengthened EU and international science-policy interfaces to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

When considering their impact, proposals also need to assess their compliance with the “Do No Significant Harm” principle [[as per Article 17 of Regulation (EU) No 2020/852 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment (EU Taxonomy Regulation)]] according to which the research and innovation activities of the project should not be supporting or carrying out activities that make a significant harm to any of the six environmental objectives of the EU Taxonomy Regulation.

Topics under this destination will have impacts in the following areas: “Climate change mitigation and adaptation”; “Clean and healthy air, water and soil”; “Enhancing ecosystems and biodiversity on land and in water”; “Sustainable food systems from farm to fork on land and sea”; “High quality digital services for all”; and “A Competitive and secure data-economy”.

Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake.

Link Link to Programme
Strengthening bioeconomy innovation and deployment across sectors and all governance levels
Description of call
"Strengthening bioeconomy innovation and deployment across sectors and all governance levels"

Expected Outcome:

The successful proposal will contribute to the development of a Strategic Deployment Agenda for the Bioeconomy, including Food Systems, one of the actions in the 2018 bioeconomy strategy and Action Plan. The European bioeconomy strategy and Action Plan aims to deploy innovations across Europe to ensure that the bioeconomy as a whole is a vehicle for inclusive and sustainable growth at the local level, and is a key contributor to EU's Climate ambition for 2030 and 2050. It will contribute to improved governance for innovation ecosystems and enable advances in sustainability and resilience.

Project results are expected to contribute to all following expected outcomes:

  • Improved understanding about which measures should be taken, by EU, Member States, and others to strengthen the innovation ecosystem within and across food systems and bio-based sectors, based on a detailed mapping exercise and on a comprehensive view on issues related to deployment
  • Improved impact and efficiency of bioeconomy innovation and innovation systems

These outcomes will also support the farm to fork strategy for fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food systems, the EU Green Deal policy priorities and the EU's Climate ambition for 2030 and 2050.


Innovation today and the initiatives and structures that are part of it at EU, national, regional, and local level already contribute to the uptake and deployment of innovative solutions for example by supporting testing, demonstration, and training, and by investing in the infrastructure that enables these activities. However, more action is needed to (1) address the fragmentation of this innovation ecosystem across food systems and bio-based sectors, (2) to create linkages between the different levels of governance, and (3) to improve the interfacing between the research communities, the innovation communities, investors and citizens. Actions that address these areas of improvement across the bioeconomy are to be preferred because their crosscutting nature and trans-disciplinarity might be a further source of innovation and system transformation, and because they enable sharing of best practices across sectors and actors.

Proposals are expected to:

  • Identify instruments and initiatives that contribute to spreading knowledge and deploying innovations in and across food systems and bio-based sectors, at EU, national, regional, and local level. Identify links with other policies (e.g. education) and instruments (e.g. financial instruments, regulation);
  • Analyse possible interactions and complementarities between initiatives, instruments and policies;
  • Identify opportunities for improved governance and for enhanced cooperation between instruments and initiatives within the bioeconomy’s innovation ecosystems, across the EU, Member States and private sector;
  • Recommend actions to improve bioeconomy innovation and the deployment of new knowledge, technologies and practices, in particular by strengthening cooperation between entities and activities that support different forms of innovation.

Proposals should:

  • Map the structures, instruments and initiatives that make up the innovation ecosystem of the bioeconomy with respect to food systems, bio-based sectors (including the blue economy), at local, regional, national and EU level
  • Put in place networking and matchmaking activities to allow these structures, instruments and initiatives to raise their profile, to identify opportunities for new collaborations both amongst themselves, and across the different sectors of the bioeconomy
  • Provide advisory support to these structures, instruments and initiatives to align themselves to policy priorities at different levels of governance, and in full awareness of existing schemes of sustainability and circularity indicators of the bioeconomy
  • Identify best practices to improve the exploitation of outcomes from funded research within innovation communities, innovators and entrepreneurs, and public and private investment communities
  • Examine the possibilities for improved reporting on the state-of-play and results of innovation in the bioeconomy
  • Address specific barriers to reducing the fragmentation of the innovation ecosystem
  • Deliver specific recommendations related to thematic financial instruments and tools applicable to sectors of the bioeconomy and to innovation. Targets of this activity should be previously mapped public and private investors, entrepreneurs and all the structures, institutes, programs and initiatives. Advice should focus on the effective and integrated use of financial tools to support innovation in the long term, and on the contribution to building a sustainable and responsible financing framework in Europe
  • Where appropriate, link to Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe projects that demonstrate innovative and cross-sectoral solutions, as well as to relevant EU initiatives (for example those linked to : European Innovation Partnerships, European Innovation Council, European Institute of Innovation & Technology).
  • Engage with policy makers and other stakeholders/initiative-owners that are responsible for innovation support at different levels of governance, to co-create recommendations to improve bioeconomy innovation and the deployment of new knowledge, technologies and practices

Proposals should set out a clear plan on how they foresee to collaborate with other projects selected under this and any other relevant topics/calls, by participating in joint activities, workshops, as well as common communication and dissemination activities.

This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Administration & Governance, Agriculture & Forestry, Fishery, Food, Health, Social Affairs, Sports, Children & Youth, Education & Training, Consumer Protection
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Public Services, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, National Government
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: 30 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 4.00 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 4.00 million.
Typ of ActionCoordination and Support Actions (CSA)
Funding rate100%

The proposals must use the multi-actor approach.
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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