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Call key data

Industrial leadership in AI, Data and Robotics boosting competitiveness and the green transition (AI Data and Robotics Partnership)

Funding Program

Horizon Europe - Cluster 4 - Destination 4: Digital and Emerging Technologies for Competitivness and Fit for the Green Deal

Call number

HORIZON-CL4-2024-DIGITAL-EMERGING-01-04

deadlines

Opening
15.11.2023

Deadline
19.03.2024 17:00

Funding rate

70% (NPO:100%)

Call budget

€ 60,000,000.00

Estimated EU contribution per project

€ 10,000,000.00

Link to the call

Link to the submission

Call content

short description

Proposals should demonstrate the added value of integrating either AI and Data, or AI, Data and Robotics technologies through large-scale validation scenarios reaching critical mass and mobilising the user industry, while demonstrating high potential impact contributing to the European Green Deal objectives. For example in the recycling of electric car batteries, cleaning and monitoring the oceans, decommissioning energy infrastructure, supporting the recycling of materials, the optimisation of energy usage, the minimisation of resource waste in value-chains, for example through the better adaption of production to demand, etc.

Call objectives

Focus should be given to attracting new user industries, and/or showing new business opportunities to boost the uptake of AI, Data and Robotics in major sectors and stimulate the involvement where appropriate of end-users to define the technological barriers to uptake and the use cases for deployment.

Proposals should address the involvement of SMEs and/or start-ups with significant potential to foster innovation through their engagement with large scale pilots. Focus will be on leveraging and nurturing emerging collaborations between stakeholder communities shaping an effective eco-system fit for the challenge of European AI, Data, Robotics, and on accelerating European R&I through structural involvement of innovative SME and deep-tech start-ups.

Proposals should target sectors and application domains with wide-scale deployment potential and maximum contribution to the green deal.

Multidisciplinary innovation activities should address one of the following:

  • Large scale pilots bringing major industries from key application sectors in Europe – facilitating collaboration between small and large companies with the goal of exploiting and integrating existing tools, sub-systems and solutions that are re-usable from other sectors (thereby showing scalability/versatility, and enabling economies of scale) to have significant impact on the objectives of the green deal. The focus will be on the integration of tools, systems sub-systems and solution in the pilot by the grant beneficiaries. In this case, proposals are not expected to involve the use of financial support to third parties.
  • The development of large-scale pilots addressing key applications with a significant and scalable impact on the objectives of the green deal by facilitating collaboration between small and large companies able address key challenges in the deployment of AI, Data and Robotics.

Financial Support to Third Parties: Projects should use FSTP to leverage novel technical advantage to address the operation of the pilot and to thereby support end users and service providers in addressing the challenges of the green deal. Third parties are expected to use the pilots for developing, testing and validating innovative solutions with significant impact on the green deal. Proposals should clearly delineate the expected contributions from the main beneficiaries as well as from the third parties, to ensure their coherence and impact. 40% of the EU funding requested by the proposal should be allocated to the purpose of financial support to third parties.

Proposals should either involve directly, or indirectly, appropriate expertise in other relevant disciplines for example related to environmental science and, as necessary, Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) disciplines, especially where this is relevant to validating the effectiveness of proposed systems and technologies with respect to the green deal objectives.

Proposals should include a clear business case and exploitation strategy.

All proposals are expected to embed mechanisms to assess and demonstrate progress (with qualitative and quantitative KPIs, benchmarking and progress monitoring, as well as illustrative application use-cases demonstrating well defined added value to end users), and share communicable results with the European R&D community, through the AI-on-demand platform and/or the Digital Industrial Platform for Robotics, public community resources, to maximise re-use of results, either by developers, or for uptake, and optimise efficiency of funding; enhancing the European AI, Data and Robotics ecosystem through the sharing of results and best practice.

This topic implements the co-programmed European Partnership on AI, data and robotics.

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Expected results

Projects are expected to contribute to one of the two following outcomes, exclusively:

  • The creation of systems to address large scale challenges using combined robotics data and AI solutions that have significant impact on the objectives of the green deal. For example; in improving domestic energy consumption or in the cleaning up of contaminated land and waterways or in accelerating the circular economy along the complete value chain through automated waste avoidance and waste processing or reuse of materials.
  • The creation of systems to address large scale resource optimisation challenges using combined AI and Data solutions, that have significant impact on the objectives of the green deal, such as optimisation of any kind of resources, from production to use along the complete value chain in order to minimise waste or foster the reuse of resources or in using AI and data solutions to maximize energy efficiency, ensuring energy security.

Which will contribute to

  • The validation of solutions at scale by demonstrating the potential of integrating these technologies to address challenges in industrial ecosystems and develop solutions that are environmental friendly and contribute to the green deal
  • Making and exploiting major advances in science and technology, to maintain Europe’s scientific excellence and ensure sovereignty of these key technologies expected to affect the society in contributing to addressing major societal challenges affecting the environment.
  • Exploring deployment solutions that can ensure efficient scale up.
  • Boosting the uptake of AI, Data and Robotics to exploit the major contribution expected to environmental sustainability.

Proposals should clearly identify the outcome it will focus on.

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Eligibility Criteria

Regions / countries for funding

EU Member States, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom

eligible entities

Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Mandatory partnership

Yes

Project Partnership

To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:

  • the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
  • the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
  • third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries

Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:

  • 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.

Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.

A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
  • Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
  • Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
  • EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
  • Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
  • Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.

other eligibility criteria

  • If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used). 
  • Activities are expected to start at TRL 3-5 and achieve TRL 6-7 by the end of the project.
  • To ensure a balanced portfolio coverage, grants will be awarded to applications not only in order of ranking but at least also to the two highest ranked proposals for each of the two expected outcomes (1. The creation of systems to address large scale challenges using combined robotics data and AI solutions, 2. The creation of systems to address large scale resource optimisation challenges using combined AI and Data solutions). Proposals should clearly identify the outcome it will focus on.
  • Beneficiaries may provide financial support to third parties. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants. As third parties' grants may include robotics components, requiring high equipment investment and/or important effort to integrate in a use-case to address robotics challenges, the maximum amount to be granted to each third party is EUR 200 000. 40% budget for FSTP in sub-area ‘creation of systems to address large scale resource optimisation challenges using combined AI and Data solutions’.

Additional information

Topics

Air Quality, Biodiversity & Environment, Climate & Climate Change, Water quality & management, 
Circular Economy, Natural Resources, 
Digitalisation, Digital Society, ICT, 
Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy

Relevance for EU Macro-Region

EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region

UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)

Additional Information

All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.

Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
  • Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.

Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).


The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.

Contact

National Contact Points for Horizon Europe
Website

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