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Call key data
Digital transformation and ensuring a better use of industrial data, which can optimise steel supply chains (Clean Steel Partnership)
Horzion Europe - Cluster 4 - Destination 1: Climate Neutral, Circular and Digitised Production
Estimated EU contribution per project
between € 3,000,000.00 and € 5,000,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
This topic implements the co-programmed European Partnership on Clean Steel.
As mentioned in the Clean Steel Partnership (CSP) Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), digitalisation and social aspects are both addressed in the Building Block (BB) 10 because of their strong role of enabling the carbon neutral transition. In particular, digitalisation enables all the other BBs, as evidenced in Table 12 of the CSP SRIA. So, an optimal deployment of digitalization implementing the integrated approach along the steel value chain should be provided.
Projects are expected to contribute to one or more of the following outcomes:
- Increasing awareness and effectivity leading to total safety of steel manufacturing processes and CO2 reduction through digital transition with better use of industrial data;
- Extension of inline and real-time tools to monitor and control sustainability of the running process conditions, to set up countermeasures to stay into the optimal process window; this includes, but is not limited to, energy and (intermediate) product quality forecasting, online comparison between forecast and realisation, control of metal slag;
- Enhancement of the in-line classification of feedstock and intermediate products through the continuous analysis of composition and bulk properties by applying holistic soft sensor approaches considering the assembly of sensors, specific models, and advanced data processing according to SRIA (specifically see page 41, 42 of the SRIA);
- Increasing effective and secure data sharing in steel plants to realise the seamless digital integration of the value chain and the interoperability of systems and tools by implementation of existing and enhanced standardised protocols;
- Novel sensors and models for real-time process control (see page 41, 42 of the SRIA), such as, but not limited to, metal slag parameters (e.g., composition) and temperature measurement, slag analysis, off-gas analysis, energy forecasting to match demand and offered mix in the power grid considering energy generated from renewable sources; the latter could require cooperation between steel experts and electric power players in the market. The expected outcome is an enhanced merging of planning activities and approaches to run plant processes;
- Application of digital technologies such as, for example, Digital Twins and/or enhanced statistical analysis, machine learning (ML) algorithms, or artificial intelligence (AI) to develop decision-supported planning and process monitoring tools operable in offline or online modes;
- Traceability of materials and process information throughout the value chain to promote improved product quality, efficiency and process integration control (including multi-scale modelling of structure, and structure vs. properties correlations).
Multidisciplinary research activities should address one or more of the following topics:
- Novel sensors, soft sensors and related models and approaches to reduce the carbon footprint by merging the use of sensors and data processing capabilities for huge volumes of heterogeneous data streams; systems / tools enabling the transition from legacy into new architectures capable to supply data in a seamless way “when, where and what” including the development and testing of implementation guidelines. This should enable the traceability of materials and process information throughout the value chain to promote improved product quality, efficiency and integrated process control and management (including multi-scale modelling of structure, and structure vs. properties correlations);
- Statistics coupled with outstanding analytical capabilities to improve data quality and to help steel plant operators to increase the process yield and to improve the quality of intermediates and final steel products, while addressing the best approach to limit carbon emissions;
- The application of combinations of advanced digital technologies, such as but not limited to model-based, knowledge-based and data-based methods, artificial intelligence (AI), supercomputing, edge computing, cloud systems and internet of things (IoT) to develop decision-supported planning and process monitoring tools for clean steel manufacturing operable in offline or online modes;
- Involvement of operators and process experts in the design and development phases of digital technology integration, ensuring the uptake of human experiences and a user-friendly processing of results for easier industrial integration (see Table 12 row 3 of the CSP SRIA). This may also include issues of skilling and standardisation and man-machine interaction by deploying Virtual and Augmented Reality techniques.
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), New Zealand (Aotearoa), 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.
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).
Eligible costs will take the form of a lump sum.
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 50 pages.