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Capabilities for border surveillance and situational awareness
Horizon Europe - Cluster 3 - Destination 2: Effective management of EU external borders
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Projects should increase border surveillance capabilities, support fight against illegal activities across external borders while ensuring the protection of fundamental rights.
External borders of the European Union and of the Schengen area, ranging from those closer to the Mediterranean to the Nordic Countries external land borders, present different border surveillance challenges. These differences may lead to difficulties in efficiently monitoring them, deterring illegal activities across the external borders, as well as trafficking of human beings and exploitation of irregular migration that avoid border crossing points.
Furthermore, the border surveillance capabilities’ needs along borders may change in time, often just within a year or a season, and/or allow to respond and adapt within a relatively short notice. Solutions should hence allow re-orienting capacity and resources accordingly (through physical portability and/or other approaches).
Cooperation for surveillance along borders requires compatibility and interoperability among legacy and planned systems. Proposed solutions should allow higher interoperability cross-border among EU and Associated Countries practitioners, cross-systems and across the multiple authorities.
Compatibility and integration with the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) is essential, and compatibility and/or exploitation of other information sharing environments, including the Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) would be an additional asset.
Examples of technologies and approaches that can be explored by the research projects include (non-prescriptive and non-exhaustive): networked deployable, and possibly mobile, semi-autonomous surveillance towers; IoT and advanced mesh connectivity; Virtual and Augmented Reality for enhanced C2 and situational awareness; integrated wide area RPAS management; advanced sensors for geolocalisation; passive, low-energy systems; artificial intelligence.
Equipment and technologies enabling border surveillance should contribute to cost and energy efficiency, limit their environmental impact and be more and more sustainable once operational in the future. This may be addressed, for example, by integrating opportunities of circular economy, self-sustained equipment, lower emissions and/or environmental footprints.
The proposed solutions should include, by design, the protection of fundamental rights such as privacy, and/or the application of privacy-enhancing technologies. They should also ensure secure data collection, access, encryption and decision support processes.
EU and Member States authorities should plan to take up the results of the research, should it deliver on its goals and when compatible with applicable legislation, with the support of the Border Management and Visa Instrument (BMVI).
Research projects should consider, build on (if appropriate) and not duplicate previous research, including but not limited to research by other Framework Programmes projects. In particular, proposals should build on achievements and findings or relevant recent EU-funded civil security research projects, as well as projects from topic HORIZON-CL3-2021-BM-01-01: Enhanced security and management of borders, maritime environment, activities and transport, by increased surveillance capability, including high altitude, long endurance aerial support, and other relevant research.
Proposals should delineate the plans for further development to subsequent TRLs as well as uptake (industrialisation, commercialisation, acquisition and/or deployment) at national and EU level, should the research deliver on its goals.
Proposals submitted under this topic are expected to address the priorities of the European Border and Coast Guard and of its Agency (Frontex). This should start from the definition of requirements and the design phase of their work, including basing on the EBCG Capability Roadmap when available; and on the engagement with the Agency during the implementation of the project. This perspective should be considered and planned when drafting proposals. Proposals should foresee that Frontex will observe projects’ pilots and demonstrations, with the aim of facilitating future uptake of innovations for the border and coast guard community. Cross-community and cross-authority synergies within civil security can be an asset, for example in relation to combat crime and terrorism (i.e. across external borders) and Disaster-Resilient Society (regarding natural hazards and disasters).
Projects’ results are expected to contribute to some or all of the following outcomes:
- Increased border surveillance capabilities, better performing and more cost-efficient, with data and fundamental rights protection by design;
- Better surveillance of border areas, supporting fight against illegal activities across external borders, as well as safety of people and operators in the border areas, including favouring border crossings through border crossing points;
- More efficient and more flexible solutions (including for relocation, reconfiguration and rapid deployment capabilities) than physical barriers to deter and monitor irregular border crossings outside border crossing points.
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
This topic requires the active involvement, as beneficiaries, of at least 2 Border or Coast Guard Authorities from at least 2 different EU Member States or Associated Countries. For these participants, applicants must fill in the table “Information about security practitioners” in the application form with all the requested information, following the template provided in the submission IT tool.
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).
Eligible costs will take the form of a lump sum.
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 50 pages.