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Call key data

SESAR digital sky demonstrators for a greener, more scalable and resilient ATM – works

Funding Program

Connecting Europe Facility for Transport

Call number




30.01.2024 17:00

Funding rate


Call budget

€ 400,000,000.00

Link to the call

Link to the submission

Call content

short description

The general objective is to modernise transport infrastructure on the Core and Comprehensive Networks of the TEN-T.

Call objectives

In accordance with the Article 9(2)(b)(ii) of the CEF Regulation, works related to DSDs addressing the 5 areas related to the key R&I flagships listed below will be supported. Proposals are not requested to address all the elements under these areas. Applicants are free to select certain elements within the areas:

1. GBAS demonstrations leading to environmental benefits for airports and TMAs

Deploying GBAS for CAT II and III operations in European airports and TMAs can unlock substantial environmental benefits such as reduced noise and CO2 emissions by improving precision approach, landing and departure in all-weather operations conditions, thereby increasing operational efficiency and capacity. The technology can enable a number of enhanced green procedures e.g. RNP to GLS landing procedures, curved approaches, variable approach glide slopes and/or multiple runway aiming points, etc.

The demonstrations must build on the work done by SESAR solution 55 “Precision approaches using GBAS CAT II/III” and solution PJ.14-W2-79a “GBAS GAST D extended scope” (for adverse ionospheric conditions and conditions outside the mid latitudes, i.e. high and low latitude issues, large and complex airport environments). The DSD may also address the benefits that can be derived from GBAS expanded service volume (ESV) and increased Dmax requested by airspace users beyond 23 nautical miles. The demonstrations must address certification aspects beyond GPS augmentation only (i.e. GBAS GAST-D) by including processing signals from European Navigation Satellite capabilities (Galileo and/or EGNOS V2). This must enable Cat III landings along with sufficient consideration of reversion scenarios to Cat II (i.e. can similar to the approach applied in AAL-2 for GAST-C (SESAR solution #119 “GLS CAT II operations using GBAS GAST-C”, processing signals from the European satellite Systems (Galileo / EGNOS V2 signals)). This can be considered as an intermediate step towards the DFMC (dual frequency multi-constellation) developments to increase robustness compared to SFSC (single frequency single constellation). These demonstrations must bring valuable operational experience that can be fully reused for future DFMC GBAS Galileo operational implementation in terms of procedures, design, safety case, training and ops approval.

The demonstrator must consider:

  • GBAS Ground stations Cat III processing with signals from the European Satellite Systems with Cat II Reversion Scenarios (EGNOS V2 to TRL8 and Galileo to TRL6).
  • Prepare certification for GBAS Cat III Ground Stations processing signals from the European Satellite Systems (EGNOS V2 to TRL8 and Galileo to TRL6).
  • A minimum number of 100+ GBAS Cat III landings using GBAS Cat III Ground Stations processing signals from the European Satellite Systems (EGNOS V2 to TRL8 and Galileo to TRL6) must be demonstrated with GAST-D equipped aircraft conducting Cat. III (with reversion to Cat II) to TRL8. The demonstration must if available, additionally take the opportunity to demonstrate the integration of European Satellite Capabilities within GBAS Cat III avionics using Galileo to TRL6;
  • As reversion scenario for Cat. III, the scope may also cover the demonstration of the potential benefits of GAST-C equipped aircraft (for Cat. II operations supported by a GAST-D ground station).
  • Fast-track standardisation activities to allow for the installation of GBAS GAST-D station processing signals from the European Satellite Systems at selected airports.
  • Appropriate engagement with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on the certification aspects must be duly considered.

This DSD requires Air Navigation Service Providers’ (ANSP) and Airspace Users’ (AU) participation, the equipage of sufficient aircraft (minimum 20) with GBAS GAST-D to enable periods of runway allocation for this service and the installation of an GBAS GAST D ground station processing signals from the European Satellite Systems at the selected airports. The demonstration must target 10 but address at a minimum 6 European airports in different states that could benefit from CAT III implementation.

The demonstration activities represent the opportunity to advance and in particular to include the ATC dimension, in the deployment of the following enhanced green approach procedures that have been researched under SESAR: PJ.02-W2-14.2 “second runway-aiming point (SRAP)”, PJ.02-W2-14.3 “increased second glide slope (ISGS)”, PJ.02-W2-14.5 “increased glide slope to a second runway aiming point (IGS-to-SRAP). These procedures aim at reducing the aviation environmental impact (e.g. noise, fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, etc.) on the airport neighboring communities.

Regarding PJ.02-W2-14.2 and PJ.02-W2-14.5, which cover SRAP, due consideration should be given to the landing distance when using an aiming point further down the runway since these solutions only work on sufficiently long runways.

Within the opportunity of demonstrating enhanced green approach procedures:

  • Proposals shall avoid duplicating the scope of DSD-01a ‘HERON’ project;
  • The DSD must quantitatively assess the environmental benefits of these new procedures. The demonstration must ensure a minimum number of flights to demonstrate the benefits of the SESAR solutions under scope.
  • The proposals must take into consideration the results and recommendations provided by the SESAR VLD ‘DREAMS’, in particular the need to better consider the ATC dimension (i.e. acceptability and feasibility aspects). In addition, the proposals must adequately address safety aspects (e.g., risk of confusion for pilots, etc.) and ensure the required engagement from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
  • The DSD scope may include two optional technical enablers that can facilitate these new procedures (e.g., during the approach to an unfamiliar airport in bad weather conditions): energy management and flare assistant

2. Trajectory based operations enabling the aviation green deal

Trajectory based operations (TBO) is an ICAO and global strategic operational goal, which can be summarised as enabling a fully collaborative environment where each flight trajectory is shared, maintained and used by all the concerned actors during all phases of flight. The objective of TBO is to provide benefits across multiple key performance areas, in particular environmental sustainability. TBO developments need to be coordinated at the global level through ICAO. All TBO demonstrations should report their results to the relevant ICAO panels, which are ATMRPP, ATM Operations Panel and Communications Panel.

Initial TBO applications are already being deployed under Common project one (CP1) (e.g. flight and flow - information for a collaborative environment (FF-ICE) release 1 in the network TBO domain and initial trajectory information sharing via the extended projected profile (EPP) in the ATC TBO domain); while building on CP1, the TBO demonstrators’ objectives reach beyond and aim at addressing the following key aspects of TBO:

  • The demonstrators must address the operational benefits of ATS-B2 beyond CP1 scope (e.g. ED-228 rev. B), with a focus on the environmental benefits, based for example on facilitating airline’s preferred trajectory using the top-of-descent TOD information or enhanced vertical clearances delivered via R/T or CPDLC.
  • In terms of performance assessment, the demonstrators must:
    • Assess the potential of using EPP to measure inefficiencies due to early descent, which are not captured by CDO/CCO metric time-in-level-segments, potentially considering the difference between the actual and FMS TOD, EPP variability, etc.
    • Perform an environmental impact assessment of the concepts under demonstration
    • Assess the impact of the demonstrated concepts on human performance for flight dispatchers, controllers and pilots, including the assessment of the impact on workload
    • Perform a full assessment of the safety aspects and provide recommendations for further deployment, in particular in the area of training;
    • Quantify the increased data traffic because of aircraft downlinking ADS-C reports and the impact on A/G datalink e.g. VDLM2 load
  • Demonstrators may address the envisioned operational and technical capabilities described in FF-ICE release 2, which focuses on strategic operations of the execution phase of flight (e.g. once the flight is in execution, the trajectory may need to change – for example - due to weather hazards, crossing traffic, and procedures at the destination airport). The demonstration must address the collaborative process for agreeing the change between ground actors (FOC, NM, ANSPs); where the change is not the consistent with the clearance held by the aircraft, the demonstration must include the delivery of the clearance to the flight deck via voice and/or CPDLC. The demonstrators’ objective is to contribute to develop the world-wide ICAO TBO FF-ICE release 2 concept and identify potential provision amendments and implementation guidance required for global, harmonized implementation of FF-ICE release 2.
  • The demonstrators may address the uplink of closed trajectory revisions instead of using a vector and resume voice instruction in en-route airspace. The controller amends the flight-planning trajectory, changing its horizontal shape, while keeping the aircraft in a closed-loop clearance. If necessary, the controller could initiate a coordination with neighbouring sectors to ensure the acceptance of the new trajectory. This will deliver benefits in terms of reduced ATCO workload, and consequently increases ATC capacity allowing more efficient trajectories (SESAR solution PJ.10-02a1 ‘Integrated tactical and medium conflict detection & resolution (CD&R) services and conformance monitoring tools for En-Route and TMA’).
  • The demonstration may address the implementation of ICAO descend-via procedures, in combination with the re-cruise flight management system (FMS) function and the EPP downlink. The focus of the demonstration will be on addressing the ground and airborne challenges in order to allow the widespread adoption of descend-via procedures in Europe and the adoption of the re-cruise concept in order to mitigate the negative impact on the environment of early descent clearances. This demonstration builds on the SESAR Optimized Descent Profiles demonstration.

Proposals shall avoid duplication with the scope of the DSD-1a HERON project.

3. Long-haul flights SWIM-enabled in-flight trajectory optimisation

The scope addresses the demonstration of the environmental benefits enabled by SWIM –compliant information exchange in the particular context of the in-flight optimisation of the trajectory of long-haul flights with an FF-ICE flight plan (SESAR solution PJ.18-02c “eFPL distribution to ATC”). The objective is to deploy (target TRL8) initial use cases to allow the AU to request from the ATM system a strategic revision of the trajectory of an airborne flight with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of the flight, e.g. in response to updated weather information. The demonstrator must include the whole process, from the original request from the airline’s flight operations centre (FOC) to ATCM to the delivery of the clearance to the cockpit via CPDLC and its on-board implementation. For oceanic flights, demonstrators may leverage available satellite networks, which allow oceanic flights to be tracked more accurately while remaining a safe distance apart. This represents an opportunity to design more flexible and efficient flight trajectories (e.g., better following favourable tailwinds and avoid headwinds) and therefore reducing aviation emissions. The long-haul flights are an opportunity to address FF-ICE release 2 operational and technical capabilities allowing the revision and update of the flight plan during the execution phase. This demonstration should report its results to the relevant ICAO panels, which are ATMRPP, ATM Operations Panel and Communications Panel.

The oceanic flights may take the opportunity to bring to TRL8 (including certification) the airborne capabilities (station-keeping avionics and/or the aircraft-to-aircraft communications) required to support the wake energy retrieval ATM concept under development in the SESAR Industrial Research programme. Appropriate engagement with EASA on the certification aspects must be duly considered. The new airborne capabilities (already at TRL6 level) will be demonstrated in one or more airliners representative of long-haul operations. The demonstration must collect data on the environmental benefits and on the human performance impacts considering flight dispatchers, controllers and flight crew. Wake-energy retrieval demonstration results should be reported to the relevant ICAO panels (ATMRPP, ATM Operations Panel and ATM Communications Panel).

4. Greener ATM operations at European airports

This area addresses the introduction of a series of environmental indicators in the daily operation of an airport in the execution phase, triggering and influencing operational decisions. The environmental indicators must consider those used in the performance plans, but could also include additional local indicators if needed. This build on the work performed by SESAR solution PJ.04-W2-29.3 “Environmental performance management” that has shown the feasibility of introducing in the airport operations plan (AOP) an environmental dashboard that is monitored from the mid-term/short-term planning phase (D-1) and improves collaborative decision-making process in the APOC. The monitoring of the airport environmental performance can trigger the implementation of potential solutions to reduce the airport impact on noise and emissions near the airport. These potential solutions include: use of cameras and machine learning/artificial intelligence to optimise turn-around operations, reduce emissions applying green taxiing techniques (e.g., single engine taxiing, engine-off taxi-out and taxi-in, sustainable taxiing vehicles, auxiliary engines, etc.), link landside and airside processes to increase predictability of operations, improve on-time performance and use of resources such as parking stands, etc. The main targeted airports are large and very large airports and medium hub airports with daily or weekly DCB & capacity issues resulting in a decreased environmental performance, but the solution could also be applicable to medium hub airports that encounter regular capacity shortfalls or can propagate delays in the network.

The scope also addresses airport related solutions delivered by SESAR that could bring substantial benefits in reducing fuel consumptions and CO2 emissions. The demonstrator must include at least three European airports, quantify the CO2 emissions saved during the demonstration and provide a quantification of the prospective yearly savings. Activities related to green taxi must consider the previous work undertaken in SESAR e.g. ALBATROSS, PJ.02-W2 in this area.

5. Scalable and resilient network management operations

This area brings together a number of SESAR solutions aiming at improving network management operations e.g., on traffic flow management, flight planning and AU fleet management and airport operations management and their connection with the network. The demonstrator requires the participation of NM, airports, ANSPS and AUs (including military) and must ensure the required engagement from EASA and the National Supervisory Authorities (NSAs). These solutions, which have been validated independently within previous SESAR programme(s), are now ready to progress together towards TRL8:

  • The seamless integration of dynamic airspace configurations and integrated network management ATC planning (INAP) (PJ.09-W2-44 “dynamic airspace configurations (DAC)”). This includes the demonstration of new capabilities on: enhanced traffic prediction, spots detection, traffic analysis and measures monitoring, improved catalogue of DCB measures, what-if/what-else, complexity and uncertainty assessment, automated/ artificial intelligence (AI)-driven digital NMOC functions, integration of complexity, ATCO workload and ATCO availability within the sector configuration optimisation process, etc.
  • New operating methods for the development of mission trajectory (MT) in the context of DAC, thus improving collaboration between civil and military ATM actors. The integrated military ATM demand evolves through trajectory lifecycle and local collaborative decision-making (CDM). This covers the integration of dynamic mobile areas (DMA) of type 1 and type 2 design principles for airspace reservation (ARES) into both of the MT development and DAC processes and the dynamic coordination between wing operation centre (WOC) and local DAC actors (PJ.07-W2-40 “initial 4D MT development with integrated DMA types 1 and 2 supported by automation and dynamic civil-military CDM”)
  • The extension of the AUs’ ability to influence the sequence of arrivals whilst the flights are in pre-departure phase. AUs provide UDPP prioritisation in a harmonised format via a single entry point, with the aim to allow the NM and other ATM stakeholders to utilise the AU prioritisation for the resolution of capacity-constrained situations on arrivals (PJ.07-W2-39 “Collaborative framework managing delay constraints on arrivals”)
  • Provision of enriched DCB information like protection hotspots, which NMF can declare to protect an airspace from undesired rerouted flights. The protection hotspot information is provided to the AU, mainly in the context of what-if functions, to be used prior to their decision to change a flight plan. In addition, to support trajectory negotiation processes, the AU can provide to NMF information about critical flights of the fleet before any DCB measure is allocated and for which DCB delay is particularly costly and should be avoided (pro-active flight delay criticality indicator (FDCI)) (PJ.07-W2-38 “Enhanced integration of AU trajectory definition and network management processes”).

The following airport related SESAR solutions are also in scope for this demonstrator:

  • For very-large/large airports + medium-hub airports (SESAR solution PJ.04-W2-28.3 “connected large airports”). The objective is to demonstrate the benefits of anticipating the exchange of airport departure planning information (DPI) messages with the NM based on the operational information. Whenever it is possible, DPI messages can be sent earlier than nowadays (i.e. based in actual flight events instead of the current A-CDM time rules). If this solution is addressed, the demonstrator must include at least three European airports within this category), and provide an estimation of the network capacity gains and their corresponding environmental benefits (due to avoided vertical and/or horizontal re-routing).
  • For regional airports, which are not included in the CP1 regulation (SESAR solution PJ.04-W2-28.1 “connected regional airports”). The demonstrator aims at improving connectivity between regional airports and NM. The provision of DPI messages to NM based on target times and a reduced set of CDM milestones implemented and calculated in a quasi-automatic fashion will allow the integration of these airports in the network without the need for airline / ground handler inputs, thereby increasing the precision and availability of data. The demonstrator must include at least five European airports within this category, and provide an estimation of the network capacity gains and their corresponding environmental benefits (due to avoided vertical and/or horizontal re-routing).

The objective is also to improve airport performance and resilience under MET conditions through the pro-active assessment, monitoring and management of the impact of meteorological events on the airport operations (SESAR solutions PJ.04-W2-29.2a “Management of airport performance under MET conditions at very-large/large and medium-hub airports” and PJ.04-W2-29.2b “Monitoring of airport performance under MET conditions at medium/small airport”).

The Airspace Architecture Study (AAS) clearly highlighted the lack of flexibility in the sector configuration capabilities at pan-European level. This is caused by the close coupling of ATM service provision to the ATS systems and operational procedures, preventing air traffic from making use of cloud-based data service provision. To ensure sustainable air traffic growth, it is necessary to speed up the modernisation of the air infrastructure to offer more capability and capacity, making it more resilient and adaptable to future traffic demand.

A more flexible use of external data services, considering data properties and access rights, would allow the infrastructure to be rationalised, reducing the related costs. It will enable data- sharing, foster a more dynamic airspace management and ATM service provision, allowing ATSUs to improve capacity in portions of airspace where traffic demand exceeds the available capacity. It furthermore offers options for the contingency of operations and the resilience of ATM service provision.

The scope includes the demonstration of the delegation of ATC services based on Virtual Centre (PJ.10-W2-93 “Delegation of ATM services provision amongst ATSUs”) e.g. supporting the implementation of dynamic airspace configurations (DAC), increasing efficiency and resilience of the ATC service thanks to better use of resources across ATSU borders.

The scope also addresses the demonstration of new ATS business operating model based on the ATM Data Service Providers (ADSPs) concept outlined in the Airspace Architecture Study and later complemented by a European Commission study. In the framework of the European Commission study, ATM data services have been defined as services that provide ANSPs, airspace users, airports and other operational stakeholders with information on the intended movement of each aircraft, or variations therefrom, and with current information on the actual progress of each aircraft, based on operational data received from surveillance (SUR), aeronautical information services (AIS), meteorological services (MET), network functions and any other relevant operational data. The objective of the demonstration is to deploy a new service delivery model for existing services (e.g. consolidation of FDPSs) and/or the deployment of new services using the new model (e.g. deployment – with target TRL8 – of TRL6-mature SESAR solutions like PJ.10-W2-96 ASR ‘Automatic speech recognition’ using the triangle architecture).

The focus of the demonstrations is to complete TRL8 for SESAR solutions that provide quantifiable benefits to environmental sustainability (reduced impact of aviation on the climate and/or reduced impact on airport neighbouring communities in terms of noise and local air quality). The demonstrator must provide an estimation of the ATC capacity gains and the corresponding environmental benefits (through avoided vertical and horizontal re-routing) and confirm the benefits validated during industrial research activities. The performance benefits must be expressed when applicable in terms of existing KPIs under the performance scheme.

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Eligibility Criteria

Regions / countries for funding

EU Member States, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)
Moldova (Moldova), Ukraine (Україна)

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


Project Partnership

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:

  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs)) 
    • Third countries associated to the CEF Programme (list of participating countries)

Specific cases:

  • Project applications located in associated third countries are eligible for funding in the present calls under the conditions set out in Article 8(1) of the TEN-T Regulation (EU) N° 1315/2013 and Articles 5(2) and 9(2) of the CEF Regulation (EU) 2021/1153.
  • Exceptional funding — Entities from other countries (not listed above) are exceptionally eligible for projects of common interest in the field of transport if the granting authority considers their participation essential for the implementation of the project.
  • Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legalpersonality separate from that of the natural person).
  • International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them.
  • Entities without 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 guaranteesfor the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons.
  • EU bodies can NOT be part of the consortium.

other eligibility criteria

Financial support to third parties is not allowed.

The available call budget is split between 12 calls for proposals:

  • CEF-T-2023-SIMOBGEN-ERTMS-UNITS: ERTMS – unit contribution 
  • CEF-T-2023-SIMOBGEN-ITS-WORKS: ITS – studies, works or mixed 
  • CEF-T-2023-SIMOBGEN-RIS-WORKS: RIS – studies, works or mixed 
  • CEF-T-2023-SIMOBGEN-EMSWe-WORKS: EMSWe – studies, works or mixed 
  • CEF-T-2023-SIMOBGEN-VTMIS-WORKS: VTMIS – studies, works or mixed 
  • CEF-T-2023-SIMOBGEN-eFTI-WORKS: eFTI – studies, works or mixed 
  • CEF-T-2023-SIMOBGEN-DATA-WORKS: Data – studies, works or mixed 
  • CEF-T-2023-SIMOBGEN-NEWTECH-STUDIES: New technologies and innovation – studies, works or mixed 
  • CEF-T-2023-SIMOBGEN-REMIB-WORKS: Removing interoperability barriersstudies, works or mixed 
  • CEF-T-2023-SIMOBGEN-SESAR-DSDU-WORKS: SESAR digital sky demonstrators for a greener, more scalable and resilient ATM – works 
  • CEF-T-2023-SIMOBGEN-SESAR-CP-WORKS: SESAR Common Project One implementation projects – works 
  • CEF-T-2023-SIMOBGEN-SESAR-OP-WORKS: Other ATM Projects – Works or Mixed

In order to ensure efficiency in EU funding interventions, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications for projects with a total requested EU contribution to the eligible costs of no less than EUR 1 000 000. Where possible, related projects should be grouped and submitted as one proposal.

The grant will be a budget-based mixed actual cost grant (actual costs, with unit cost and flat-rate elements). This means that it will reimburse ONLY certain types of costs (eligible costs) and costs that were actually incurred for your project (NOT the budgeted costs). For unit costs and flat-rates, you can charge the amounts calculated as explained in the Grant Agreement (see art 6 and Annex 2 and 2a).

The costs will be reimbursed at the funding rates fixed in the Grant Agreement: 

  • maximum 50% for the costs of works and maximum 70% for the costs of works in outermost regions.

Please be aware that project management costs (including related tasks, such as consortium-internal progress meetings, project reporting etc.) should not exceed 10% of total costs for the project.

The foreseen duration of the works and mixed projects should be 4-5 years maximum. For studies projects it should be 2-3 years maximum. In both cases, the end date set in the Grant Agreement will not be later than 31.12.2028.

Additional information


Digitalisation, Digital Society, ICT, 
Mobility & Transport

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)

project duration

between 24 and 60 months

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 participants (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), and the summarised budget for the project
  • 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.

Mandatory annexes and supporting documents (templates available to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed, assembled and re-uploaded): 

  • detailed budget table per WP/calculator 
  • activity reports of last year (unless exempted from operational capacity check; see section 7 of call document)
  • list of previous projects (key projects for the last 4 years) (template available in Part B)
  • timetable/Gantt chart 
  • agreement of the concerned Member State (letter of support)
  • environmental compliance file (for works, for studies with physical interventions and for studies without physical interventions. 

For applications concerning projects subject to an EIA, you may include a summary of the climate proofing process in the Portal Submission System under “Other Annexes".

The limit for a full application (Part B) is 120 pages.


European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency - CINEA

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