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Call: Uptake and validation of citizen observations to complement authoritative measurement within the urban environment and boost related citizen engagement

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Programme
Acronym HORIZON-CL6-GOVERNANCE
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 (https://earthobservations.org/canberra_declaration.php 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
Call
Uptake and validation of citizen observations to complement authoritative measurement within the urban environment and boost related citizen engagement
Description of call
"Uptake and validation of citizen observations to complement authoritative measurement within the urban environment and boost related citizen engagement"

Expected Outcome:

A successful proposal will contribute to the wide deployment of and adding value to environmental observations, by improving the uptake and validation of data collected by citizens and by increasing citizen involvement and engagement, thus contributing to the European Green Deal objectives and a strengthened Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

Proposals are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:

  • A more widespread participation of citizens, (e.g. new and/or existing associations/groupings of citizens observers) in the monitoring, observation, and protection of the urban environment, complementary to governmental measures;
  • Greater availability of qualitative and quantitative in-situ data for long time series and better geographical coverage, contributing to the in-situ component of existing observation systems (such as Copernicus, European research infrastructures and GEOSS);
  • Broader use of data and information collected by citizens in policy and research, with crowdsourcing and citizen observations acknowledged as valuable information complementary to authoritative observations;
  • Increased use of existing toolkits and development of new toolboxes (methodologies, methods, technologies) for broad use, which could include the development of efficient passive sampling systems;
  • Leveraged use of wearables for citizens and other low-cost technologies in the domain of environmental observation.

Scope:

Successful proposals are expected to support citizen engagement, specifically the active role of citizens in the collection and use of data and information within the urban environment to complement the data and information collected through other means of observation (space-based, airborne, etc.). The proposals selected under this topic should increase societal awareness about the urban environment and lead to an increase in actions necessary to protect it. The proposals should contribute to more comprehensive and available data and information of good quality to assess the state of the urban environment in support of the climate transition and the European Green Deal and to the GEO initiatives related to urban environment and urban resilience.

The information derived by the selected projects should help in shaping policies targeting the monitoring and greening of the urban environment, in addition to monitoring schemes already set out by public authorities at different levels (regional, national, European, even global).

Proposals should pay particular attention to encouraging the validation and uptake of citizen observations for policy and compliance use.

The proposals should ensure that the observations/data produced will be available on relevant existing platforms such as GEOSS, European research infrastructures, INSPIRE and EMODNet.

The sustainability of the (existing) validation methods should be ensured for a broader use in the future, through the development of toolboxes, containing tested methodologies, methods and technologies.

The social and cultural dimensions of the citizen observation should be given due consideration within the proposals and therefore be looking into possibilities to engage citizens through e.g. social innovative, cultural or art-related initiatives. This should be in the context of further engaging and raising the interest and awareness of all citizens in observing their environments, but also in looking into the possibilities for co-creation of solutions for the urban environment. Particular attention should be paid to engaging women and marginalised groups, such as ethnic minorities and disabled persons, in co-creation efforts.

Particular attention should be directed to cooperation between different groups of engaged citizen observers, strengthening mutual learning and the exchange of good practices (in particular with respect to data quality). This could include the build-up of skills, capacity and networking possibilities between citizen associations to help them get involved in citizen observations. Applicants should seek cooperation with local, regional, national and European environmental agencies.

Selected projects are expected to be developed in co-creation and to build upon the results of the WeObserve project, as well as demonstrating measures to communicate and cooperate with other relevant citizen science projects funded under Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe as far as possible.

The Commission Staff Working Document ‘Best Practices in Citizen Science for Environmental Monitoring’ published on 27 July 2020 is of interest in the context of this topic.

This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.

Projects should seek to contribute to the New European Bauhaus initiative by supporting the green and digital transitions in communities’ living environments through merging sustainability, inclusiveness and quality of experience. Projects, by considering the social and cultural dimensions of citizen observation of the urban environment, are well placed to contribute to the objectives of the initiative by bringing the European Green Deal into citizens’ lives and living spaces.

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, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management, Rural & Peripheral Development, Regional Development & Regional Planning, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Competitiveness, SME, Urban development, Art & Culture, Cultural Heritage, History, Media
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: 45 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of between EUR 3.00 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 14.00 million.
Typ of ActionInnovation Actions (IA)
Funding rate70% (except for non-profit legal entities, where a rate of up to 100% applies)

Activities are expected to achieve TRL 6-8 by the end of the project.
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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