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Transformative action of policy mixes, governance and digitalisation addressing biodiversity loss
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 1: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
In line with the European Green Deal priorities, in particular with the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 and the 2030 climate pact, successful proposals will develop knowledge and tools to understand the role of transformative change for biodiversity policy making, address the indirect drivers of biodiversity loss, and initiate, accelerate and upscale biodiversity-relevant transformative changes in our society.
In line with the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, successful proposals will develop:
- operational knowledge and understanding of transformative change needed to address the indirect drivers of biodiversity loss underpinned by societal values and behaviours, which is available to, and used by policy makers.
- improved and innovative governance tools and policy mixes that can effectively initiate, accelerate and upscale such biodiversity-relevant transformative changes in our society.
- help understanding the impacts of and the opportunities offered by digital transformation, use of data and sensors, emerging technologies such as AI and robotics and social innovation on biodiversity.
- Proposals should look at key indirect drivers of biodiversity loss (including production and consumption patterns, human population dynamics and trends, trade, technological innovations and local through global governance), the kind of transformative changes necessary to tackle these societal drivers, effective governance approaches, tools and policy mixes to enable these changes, and how to further mainstream biodiversity into policy making, science, and governance within and beyond socio-economic, climate and environmental agendas.
- Proposals should generate knowledge on how to tackle biodiversity loss linked to technological and social innovation, which includes digitalisation. Proposals should explain how changes by technological/social innovation are impacting biodiversity – for example by bringing in new and emerging technologies, new production processes, consumer products, regulations, incentives, or participatory processes.
- Proposals should produce case studies on what transformative change means in practice and a collection of good and failed examples of developing and implementing policy tools, best practices and instruments, and on impacts of digitalisation, which could feed into the just transition process and inform and inspire transformative change through learning, co-creation and dialogue.
- Proposals should develop methodologies to assess the impacts of their proposed solutions on policy and its decision making. This includes impacts from energy/electricity infrastructure related to digitalisation, on democracy and on trust in science on environmental, social and economic systems. Such assessments should focus on the direct and indirect effects of digital developments on biodiversity, intertwined with climate change and health.
- This topic should involve contributions from the social sciences and humanities disciplines, as well as social innovation.
- The proposals should build their analysis upon the synergies of multiple Sustainable Development Goals, to deliver direct and indirect biodiversity benefits, and of the role of biodiversity in reaching the set of Sustainable Development Goals, considering the importance of policy mixes, governance and digitalisation.
- Proposals should include specific tasks and allocate sufficient resources to develop joint deliverables (e.g., activities, workshops, joint communication and dissemination) with all projects from the same topic and the portfolio of all projects on transformative change related to biodiversity funded under this destination since 2021.
- Proposals should use or interoperate with existing platforms and information sharing mechanisms relevant for transformational change and on biodiversity knowledge.
- Projects are expected to cooperate with the European partnership on biodiversity, Biodiversa+, and the Science Service project Bio-agora. Proposals should show how their results and outcomes could provide timely information for major science-policy bodies such as the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
- Where relevant, projects are expected to create links to and use information, data and impact-related knowledge from the European Earth observation programme Copernicus, the ESA EO4SD initiative, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).
Proposals will help understanding the impacts of and the opportunities offered by digital transformation, new emerging technologies, and social innovation on biodiversity. Successful proposals will contribute to the following expected impact: mainstream biodiversity, ecosystem services and natural capital in the society and economy: integrate them into public and business decision-making; build approaches for enabling transformative changes to face societal challenges including through the deployment of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS).
Projects should address all of the following outcomes:
- Foresight on society well-being based on realistic assumptions on careful use of natural capital and analysis of the consequences in terms of economic growth.
- Evaluation of feasibility and limits of decoupling economic activities from natural capital use.
- Knowledge and understanding of the transformative changes needed to address the indirect drivers of biodiversity loss underpinned by societal values and behaviours, better design of policy mixes and governance.
- Operational knowledge available to, and used by policymakers, on indirect drivers of biodiversity loss that are underpinned by societal values and behaviours, and on the transformative changes that are necessary to tackle these indirect drivers.
- Improved and new systemic, sustainable policy mixes and governance approaches developed to enable biodiversity-relevant transformative change, based on a range of policy tools, economic research, instruments or regulations.
- Methods and tools promoting win-win solutions for biodiversity and socio-economic objectives, the use and mainstreaming of ‘green over grey’ approaches and the application of the ‘do no harm’ principle are available and taken up across the policy spectrum, planning and investment decisions, business and finance, and civil society.
- Approaches to facilitate the application of such methods and tools are identified and used, while factoring in societal and political processes (such as citizen engagement, political campaigns, science denialism). Solutions can include stocktaking of good practice, standards, agreements, charters, commitments, regulations, engaging society and incorporating lifelong learning.
- A better understanding of the impacts on, risks and opportunities for biodiversity of digital transformation (for example data-driven technologies, artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, miniaturised sensors, citizen science applications, crowd sourcing), new materials (e.g., for biomimicry), the energy sector (e.g., through energy/electricity infrastructure), and new and emerging technologies.
- Identification and assessment of how system-level change affecting biodiversity through social innovation happens.
- Testing active intervention by R&I policy and sector policies (niche creation, reformulation of governance), also by empowering and endowing communities.
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.
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.