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Digital tools for enhancing the uptake of digital services in the energy market
Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 3: Sustainable, secure and competitive energy supply
Estimated EU contribution per project
between € 3,000,000.00 and € 4,000,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Actions should focus on benefits of new digital services and users experience to overcome the expected friction of end-consumer on boarding, developing innovative tools for engagement and literacy. Social innovation tools and multi-disciplinary approaches and engagement of policy makers at various levels, the private sector, civil society and citizens at large are required.
Digitalisation develops faster than the ability of society to adjust. Digital technologies are a driving force for empowering citizens in taking on an active role in the just energy transition. Increased acceptability of new digital technologies is pivotal.
Accordingly, proposed activities will address all of the following:
- Use the data real time provided by real time sensors/ Internet of Things and real time computing resulting from other sectors than energy (e.g. data economy, health, finance, security) to generate new businesses and new ways of benefiting the economy and society by developing of innovative data-driven cross-sector integrated services, solutions and products.
- Help consumers and citizens navigate the new digital technologies entering the energy market, taking into consideration the cross sectorial dimension alongside the sector-specific one, also exploring the possibility of using, among others, AI-based assistant tools.
- Trigger and support the development of a digital tool allowing citizens to visualise and access to all the energy-related data they produce and share with third parties, thus helping to exert their right to understand and control their data.
- Test the developed cross-sector services in at least 3 countries. In the selection of pilots, gender, demographic, geographic and socio-economic aspects should be duly taken into account.
- Develop and test, in at least 3 countries, a digital twin of the (household) energy consumer, making use of AI to assist the consumer (both in terms of optimising the service as well as enhancing digital energy literacy and enhancing understanding and trust of the AI used).
- The digital twin solutions should be developed and made available as Open-Source solutions, while making sure that contributors are recognised and fairly compensated, respecting well defined rules and within a network of trusted data, which guarantees security and sovereignty of data and services in an Open Source way so that the developed software is available.
- Contribute to the communication, outreach and dissemination strategy of the Communication on Digitalisation of the Energy System.
Projects are required to utilize the data exchange infrastructure that is being developed under ongoing EU-funded under Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe Program.
The project is required take into account, and collaborate with, where considered necessary, existing Living Labs (e.g. EnergyVille, TomorrowLab and living labs funded entirely by EU projects as study or demonstration site) to test integrated consumer services the ongoing relevant Blueprint projects from the Erasmus + program, relevant initiatives by Digital Innovation Hubs, the European Climate Pact, EC Digital Education action plan and any other relevant initiative.
Projects are required to seek synergies with Horizon Europe instruments, including those of bottom-up nature like ERC, MSCA, EIT KICs, as well as its European partnerships.
Cooperation with activities of the Green Powered Future Mission (Pillar 3) of Mission Innovation is encouraged.
The selected projects are expected to contribute to the BRIDGE initiative, actively participate to its activities and allocate up to 2% of their budgets to that end. Additional contributions to the ‘Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation’ (AIOTI) and other relevant activities (e.g. clusters of digital projects and coordinating actions) might be considered, when relevant.
Moreover, projects are expected to take into account the outcomes of the work of the Citizens and Consumers Engagement Working Group and data coming from the Consumers Empowerment Benchmark developed by the European Commission.
This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.
Projects’ results are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:
- Development and uptake of innovative data-driven cross-sector integrated services, solutions and products using cross-sectorial data resulted from other sectors than energy (e.g. data economy, health, finance, security) that empower consumers and facilitate consumer investment in the energy transition (e.g. renewables, energy efficiency, renovation, demand response, storage).
- Development and fast market-uptake of digital twin models of household energy consumers to help consumers, citizens, energy suppliers, aggregators and energy communities to optimise data-driven energy (and other sector) services and to enhance digital energy literacy.
- Greater access for consumers to the wide range of emerging services and applications that will be present in the market resulting from data sharing and benefiting from increased interoperability.
- Increased simplification of management and improvement of quality of new and current energy services and new digital platforms, smart meters and tools to provide consumers with seamless omni-channel experiences.
- Assessment of the implications for market design (energy and flexibility markets) of a wide uptake of digital tools and propose relevant modifications to flexibility services and related processes to contract, activate, measure and settle flexibility.
- Creation of value and direct benefit for the consumers and support digital empowerment and energy literacy of citizens: European citizens are educated, motivated, and empowered to use digital tools to be an active participant in the just energy transition.
Regions / countries for funding
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), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
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)
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.
other eligibility criteria
Activities are expected to achieve TRL 6-7 by the end of the project.
For the Technology Readiness Level (TRL), the following definitions apply:
- TRL 1 — Basic principles observed
- TRL 2 — Technology concept formulated
- TRL 3 — Experimental proof of concept
- TRL 4 — Technology validated in a lab
- TRL 5 — Technology validated in a relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
- TRL 6 — Technology demonstrated in a relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
- TRL 7 — System prototype demonstration in an operational environment
- TRL 8 — System complete and qualified
- TRL 9 — Actual system proven in an operational environment (competitive manufacturing in the case of key enabling technologies, or in space)
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).
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.