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Call: Piloting approaches and tools to empower citizens to exercise their “data rights” in the area of food and nutrition

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
Piloting approaches and tools to empower citizens to exercise their “data rights” in the area of food and nutrition
Description of call
"Piloting approaches and tools to empower citizens to exercise their “data rights” in the area of food and nutrition"

Expected Outcome:

A successful proposal will support the deployment of digital and data technologies as key enablers for the European Green Deal priorities, the EU's Climate ambition for 2030 and 2050 and the farm to fork strategy for a fair healthy and environmentally friendly food system. It will help to bring about innovative and inclusive governance, better informed decision-making processes, social engagement, and innovation.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the expected outcomes:

  • empower citizens to exercise their “data rights” and to contribute to a just transition of food systems
  • pilot digital solutions in food systems and nutrition with enhanced personal data protection and data sovereignty and which achieve a fairer distribution of wealth and benefits
  • advance alternative approaches to food system data sharing that promote innovation and increase competition


Proposals should support the implementation of the European Data Strategy in food systems. The European Data Strategy has the ambition to make the EU the leading role model for a society empowered by data, for the benefit of all. It outlines a future in which the way that data is collected and used, places the individual first, in accordance with European values, fundamental rights and rules. It also emphasises that citizens will only trust and embrace much needed data-driven innovations – in food systems and beyond - if they are confident that any personal data sharing in the EU is compliant with strict data protection rules and respectful of their data sovereignty. Current centralised platforms for big and social data management in food systems tend to consolidate the dominance of existing incumbent actors. They allow limited control over the data by citizens (e.g. food purchasing data, data from wearables on activity and health, online behaviour regarding diet and food, data from personalised nutrition solutions), and enable lock-ins by limiting data portability.

Proposals should build on recent research and innovation about new architectures for managing online identity, personal and other data as an alternative to current dominant models. They should pilot new approaches to digital solutions in food systems and nutrition, which enhance personal data protection and data sovereignty, and which achieve a fairer distribution of wealth and benefits. The pilots should test and fine-tune new approaches that address the lack of sovereignty of European citizens on food and nutrition related data, and allow them to decide what is done with their data (purchasing data, data on dietary behaviour, nutritional health data, physical activity data). This data also includes the data that is generated by smart connected devices used by citizens. The tools and concepts of the pilots can include consent management tools, personal information management apps (including fully centralised solutions building on blockchain), as well as personal data cooperatives or trusts acting as novel neutral intermediaries in the personal data economy.

Proposals and their pilots should demonstrate the feasibility of achieving a more acceptable trade-off between the need for data-driven innovation in food and nutrition and the need for personal data protection and data sovereignty. They should be focused on 2 key areas of digital transformation and data driven innovation in food systems (such as online food retail, home delivery of food, personalised nutrition, digital tracking of food and nutrition related consumer behaviour, food advertising) whose future development is likely to have significant impact on reaching the objectives and targets of the EU’s Farm-to-Fork Strategy, on meeting the EU's Climate ambition for 2030 and 2050 and on contributing to a just transition. Proposals should explain and map how the pilots will achieve co-benefits relevant to the four Food 2030 priorities: nutrition for sustainable healthy diets, climate and environment, circularity and resource efficiency, innovation and empowerment of communities. Gender aspects should be considered, where relevant.

Proposals may provide support to third parties to develop and implement the pilots. This support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants. As a reference, 50% of the EU funding can be allocated to financial support to the third parties, through grant amounts that are in the EUR 150 000 to 300 000 range. The amounts are deemed sufficient to pilot solutions that enough impact to be able to advance alternative approaches to food system data sharing. Proposals should focus their support for the pilots on third party projects from outstanding academic research groups, start-ups and SMEs, so that multiple third parties can be funded in parallel contributing to the same key area of digital transformation and data driven innovation, using short research cycles targeting the most promising ideas. Each of the selected third parties projects should pursue its own pilot and objectives, while the proposal should provide the programme logic and vision, the necessary technical support, as well as coaching and mentoring, in order that the collection of third party projects and pilots contributes towards a significant advancement and impact in the key area. The focus should be on advanced research that can be brought quickly to the market; apps and services that innovate without a research component are not covered by this model.

Proposals should make explicit their capacity to attract top talent, to bring about disruptive innovation in line with EU policy objectives, to engage with a broad range of with food system actors and stakeholders as well as with communities and citizens, to deliver a solid value-adding services package to the third party projects, as well as their expertise and capacity in managing the full life-cycle of the open calls transparently. They should explore synergies with other research and innovation actions, supported at regional, national or European level, to increase the overall impact.

Where possible they should make data available for broader communal use (as part of “data commons for food and nutrition”) and seek integration of the data and value-added services on those data through federated infrastructure such as the European Open Science Cloud.

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, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management, Rural & Peripheral Development, Regional Development & Regional Planning, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Competitiveness, SME, Justice, Safety & Security, 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: 45 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 8.00 million.
Typ of ActionResearch and Innovation Actions (RIA)
Funding rate100%

Beneficiaries may provide financial support to third parties. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants. The maximum amount to be granted to each third party is EUR 300 000 in order to cover the expenses related to the development and implementation of the pilots.

The proposals must use the multi-actor approach.
Activities are expected to achieve TRL 4-6 (according to the activity) 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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