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Build up of knowledge on Nature Positive Economy and supporting its scale-up
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 1: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
date - 2nd stage
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Nature-based solutions (NBS) can play a particularly key role in leveraging of the economic and societal potential of nature with the development of existing and new market sectors with ‘nature-based enterprises’ (NBEs) at the core. Such innovative NBEs use nature (and ecosystem services) as an input to deliver nature positive outputs - products, services and jobs that are sustainable, future-oriented, and more resilient.
The EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 states that “industry and business have an impact on nature, but they also produce the important innovations, partnerships and expertise that can help address biodiversity loss”. From the perspective of the private sector, integrating natural capital and biodiversity considerations into their decision-making processes makes economic sense as it can enhance corporate resilience and minimise investment risks. At the same time, economic activities that aim at reversing of biodiversity loss can create positive outcomes for the society such as job creation and sustainable economic growth in rural, post-industrial and disadvantaged areas and strengthen resilience against environmental and climate stressors, contributing to a fair and green transition and recovery in line with the European Green Deal. According to the World Economic Forum, a nature-positive recovery “can unlock an estimated $10 trillion of business opportunity by transforming three economic ecosystems that are responsible for almost 80% of nature loss and create 395 million resilient jobs by 2030 in the process”.
However, nature-positive economy where such NBEs can thrive is still at its infancy and enabling framework conditions are required to improve market conditions and to unlock investment. The market is encountering many specific difficulties due to market fragmentation, early stage of development and difficulty in assembling the required knowledge, skillset, and governance structures for supplying and maintaining “living solutions” such as nature-based solutions. There is a need at the same time to increase manyfold the investment in NBS.
The action should:
- On Concept: Undertake in-depth research into the key concepts underpinning nature positive economy, establishing synergies and trade-offs with other policies, strategies, and business models such as bioeconomy related, and exploring the role of nature positive activities and NBS in promoting transformative change to provide holistic solutions that address global challenges such as climate, biodiversity, and pollution crisis;
- On Market Knowledge: Building on the work of Horizon 2020 projects and their taskforces, identify barriers and analyse market potential in different economic sectors, at European and national level when possible, for each sector, identify the stakeholders of the different value chains for the different types of nature positive economic activities, estimating the net job creation potential with a view to supporting the framing of nature positive economy narrative. This work should include identification and analysis of representative case studies and reflections on positioning towards nature positive economic activities as defined by the Sustainable Finance Taxonomy;
- Foster collaboration between nature-based entrepreneurs, research and technical organisations, policy makers, financiers and investors, business development bodies through, for example, participatory arrangements and spaces, to close the Science Policy Implementation gap;
- On Indicators: Building on previous research, notably natural capital valuation methods including both monetary and non-monetary economic valuation approaches for nature-based solutions, deliver progress towards standardised, widely accepted economic indicators, reflecting wider socio-economic, biodiversity and natural capital benefits;
- On Market development: using the collaborative and participatory arrangements, develop and pilot strategies, measures (both market and non-market) and approaches for scaling and speeding up the implementation of nature positive economic activities, including Nature-based Solutions (NBS), both from supply and demand side perspective to boost nature-based market development, innovation, and job creation in EU and beyond. This may comprise for market supply economic, finance and governance innovations, capacity building and training;
- Explore and facilitate synergies and interconnection with different EU, MS and Horizon Europe Associated Countries initiatives, such as: EU and national Business and Biodiversity platforms, national restoration plans, Business Acceleration Services, Climate KIC, Smart Specialisation Strategies, Recovery Plans, the EU Biodiversity Partnership, Circular Bio-based Europe Partnership, European Bioeconomy Policy Forum, for more coordinated actions and aggregated impact on NBS and nature positive activities;
- Set up and/or collaborate with relevant marketplaces and similar initiatives at the relevant scales, so that potential project partners, entrepreneurs, investors, and innovation stakeholders can match supply, demand and expertise on designing, implementing, managing, monitoring, valuing, financing NBS, ecosystem services and nature positive activities;
- On Standardisation: support the engagement of the relevant communities (including the communities engaged in the relevant Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe and LIFE projects) in contributing to the development of sector-specific standards and/or certification schemes;
- Build on and/or establish synergies with the relevant work by initiatives/projects/studies including, but not limited to the EIB led study on facilitating access to finance for Nature-based solutions, the EC publication ‘The vital role of NBS in the Nature-Positive Economy’, the World Economic Forum’s New Nature Economy Report Series, The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review, The State of Finance for Nature 2021;
- Actions should bring together from the start multiple types of scientific expertise in social sciences and humanities, in particular in economics and finance, as well as scientific expertise in biodiversity and natural capital.
Actions should envisage clustering activities with the projects with the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe Natural Capital Accounting and NBS project portfolio and respective task forces as well as any Horizon Europe relevant projects on NBS and Bioeconomy. To this end proposals should foresee dedicated tasks and appropriate resources for coordination measures, foresee joint activities and joint deliverables.
In line with the European Green Deal priorities, in particular the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 and the revised climate targets, the successful proposal will support the development of policies and market conditions to scale up and accelerate the implementation of nature positive economic activities with particular focus on Nature-based Solutions (NBS). It will promote mainstreaming of biodiversity, ecosystem services and natural capital valuation in the society and economy.
Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Increased clarity of concepts around nature positive economy and its components, with better understanding of the synergies and trade-offs with other sustainable economic activities, such as a circular and sustainable bioeconomy, and the interactions with the EU sustainable finance taxonomy;
- New knowledge and increased expertise of relevant stakeholders in both public and private sectors, including economic and financial decision makers, on the market and determinants of nature positive activities with NBS at the core;
- Creation of an EU community of ‘nature-based enterprises’ as a basis for promoting EU global leadership;
- New enabling policy, regulations, support, tools, and capacity building measures, addressing market barriers, and leading towards better integration of innovative nature-based entrepreneurship and nature-based solutions in the current economic and financial system;
- Support to the implementation of the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, the new EU climate adaptation strategy, the new EU sustainable finance strategy, and increased synergies with other key policy areas in support of European Green Deal priorities.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), 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), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
EU Body, Education and training institution, International organization, Natural Person, 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)
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.
- 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.
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)
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.