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Marie Slodowska-Curie Action

Marie Slodowska-Curie Action

  • MSCA-IF
  • MSCA-ITN
  • MSCA-RISE
  • MSCA-COFUND

Objective:

The goal of the Individual Fellowships is to enhance the creative and innovative potential of experienced researchers, wishing to diversify their individual competence in terms of skill acquisition through advanced training, international and intersectoral mobility.

Individual Fellowships provide opportunities to acquire and transfer new knowledge and to work on research and innovation in a European context (EU Member States and Associated Countries) or outside Europe. The scheme particularly supports the return and reintegration of researchers from outside Europe who have previously worked here. It also develops or helps to restart the careers of individual researchers that show great potential, considering their experience.

Scope:

Support is foreseen for individual, trans-national fellowships awarded to the best or most promising researchers of any nationality, for employment in EU Member States or Associated Countries. It is based on an application made jointly by the researcher and the beneficiary in the academic or non-academic sectors.

Deadline 14 September 2017

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Objective:

The Innovative Training Networks (ITN) aim to train a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative early-stage researchers, able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit.

ITN will raise excellence and structure research and doctoral training, extending the traditional academic research training setting, incorporating the elements of Open Science and equipping researchers with the right combination of research-related and transferable competences. It will provide enhanced career perspectives in both the academic and non-academic sectors through international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility combined with an innovation-oriented mind-set.

Scope:

ITN supports competitively selected joint research training and/or doctoral programmes, implemented by partnerships of universities, research institutions, research infrastructures, businesses, SMEs, and other socio-economic actors from different countries across Europe and beyond

Deadline 10 January 2017

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Objective:

The RISE scheme will promote international and inter-sector collaboration through research and innovation staff exchanges, and sharing of knowledge and ideas from research to market (and vice-versa).

The scheme fosters a shared culture of research and innovation that welcomes and rewards creativity and entrepreneurship and helps to turn creative ideas into innovative products, services or processes.

Scope:

RISE involves organisations from the academic and non-academic sectors (in particular SMEs), based in Europe (EU Member States and Associated Countries) and outside Europe (third countries).

Support is provided for the development of partnerships in the form of a joint research and innovation project. This is aimed at knowledge sharing via international as well as intersectoral mobility, based on secondments of research and innovation staff (exchanges) with an in-built return mechanism (Maggiori informazioni sul sito della call).

Deadline 05 April 2017

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Objective:

The COFUND scheme aims to stimulate regional, national or international programmes to foster excellence in researchers’ training, mobility and career development, spreading the best practices of Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.

This will be achieved by co-funding new or existing regional, national, and international programmes to open up to, and provide for, international, intersectoral and interdisciplinary research training, as well as transnational and cross-sectoral mobility of researchers at all stages of their career.

Scope:

Each proposal funded under the COFUND scheme shall have a sole beneficiary that will be responsible for the availability of the necessary matching funds to execute the proposal.

Applicants submit multi-annual proposals for new or existing doctoral programmes or fellowship programmes which are expected to have an impact on enhancing research- and innovation related human resources on regional, national or international level.

Deadline 28 September 2017

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European Research Council

European Research Council

  • ERC-2017-COG
  • ERC-2017-ADG
  • ERC-2017-PoC

Scope:

Objectives

ERC Consolidator Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they may still be consolidating their own independent research team or programme. Applicant Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.

Size of ERC Consolidator Grants

Consolidator Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of EUR 2 000 000 for a period of 5 years.

However, up to an additional EUR 750 000 can be requested in the proposal to cover (a) eligible “start-up” costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving the ERC grant and/or (b) the purchase of major equipment and/or (c) access to large facilities.

Profile of the ERC Consolidator Grant Principal Investigator

The Principal Investigator shall have been awarded their first PhD over 7 and up to 12 years prior to 1 January 2016. The effective elapsed time since the award of the first PhD can be reduced in certain properly documented circumstances (see “Eligible Principal Investigator” above).

Deadline 09 February 2017

Webpage not available, see 2016

Scope:

Objectives

Advanced Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are already established research leaders with a recognised track record of research achievements. Applicant Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.

Size of ERC Advanced Grants

Advanced Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of EUR 2 500 000 for a period of 5 years. The maximum award is reduced pro rata temporis for projects of a shorter duration.

However, up to an additional EUR 1 000 000 can be requested in the proposal to cover (a) eligible “start-up” costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving the ERC grant, and/or (b) the purchase of major equipment and/or (c) access to large facilities. As any additional funding is to cover major one-off costs it is not subject to pro-rata temporis reduction for projects of shorter duration. All funding requested is assessed during evaluation.

Profile of the ERC Advanced Grant Principal Investigator

ERC Advanced Grant Principal Investigators are expected to be active researchers and to have a track record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years which must be presented in the application. There is little prospect of an application succeeding in the absence of such a record, which identifies investigators as exceptional leaders in terms of originality and significance of their research contributions.

Deadline 31 August 2017

Webpage not available, see 2016

Scope:

Objectives

Frontier research often generates unexpected or new opportunities for commercial or societal application. The ERC Proof of Concept Grants aim to maximise the value of the excellent research that the ERC funds, by funding further work (i.e. activities which were not scheduled to be funded by the original ERC frontier research grant) to verify the innovation potential of ideas arising from ERC funded projects. Proof of Concept Grants are therefore on offer only to Principal Investigators whose proposals draw substantially on their ERC funded research.

Ethical Principles

All proposals will be subject to ethics review as with proposals for the ERC’s frontier research grants.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible Principal Investigator

All Principal Investigators in an ERC frontier research project, that is either on going or has ended less than 12 months before the opening date of this call, are eligible to participate and apply for an ERC Proof of Concept Grant.

Deadline 19 January, 25 April and 5 September 2017

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Research Infrastructure

Research Infrastructure

  • INFRADEV-01-2017
  • EINFRA-12-2017
  • EINFRA-21-2017

Specific Challenge:

New leading-edge research infrastructures in all fields of science and technology are needed by the European scientific community in order to remain at the forefront of the advancement of research, and to be able to help industry strengthen its base of knowledge and its technological know-how. The aim of this activity is to support the conceptual and technical design for new research infrastructures which are of a clear European dimension and interest. Major upgrades of existing infrastructures may also be considered if the end result is intended to be equivalent to a new infrastructure.

Scope:

Design studies should address all key questions concerning the technical and conceptual feasibility of new or upgraded fully fledged user facilities (proposals considering just a component for research infrastructures are not targeted by this topic). Design studies lead to a ‘conceptual design report’ showing the maturity of the concept and forming the basis for identifying and constructing the next generation of Europe’s and the world’s leading research infrastructures. Conceptual design reports will present major choices for design alternatives and associated cost ranges, both in terms of their strategic relevance for meeting today’s and tomorrow’s societal challenges, and (where applicable) in terms of the technical work underpinning the development of new or upgraded research infrastructures of European interest. All fields of science are considered.

Deadline 29 March 2017

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Specific Challenge:

This topic covers two complementary areas of e-infrastructures very closely related with the objective to make research data discoverable, accessible, assessable, intelligible, useable, and wherever possible interoperable – c.f. G8 principles on research data:

(a) Secure and agile data and distributed computing e-infrastructures: fostering the integration of a secure, permanent, on-demand service-driven, privacy-compliant and sustainable e-infrastructure incorporating distributed databases, computing resources and software.

The European data and computing e-infrastructure landscape remains very fragmented which is an obstacle for research collaboration at European and global levels and introduces additional complexity for achieving sustainable governance. The challenge is to integrate at European level the geographically and disciplinary dispersed resources to achieve economies of scale and efficiency gains in providing the best data and computing capacity and services to the research and education communities. This action is interrelated to INFRADEV-04-2016, “European Open Science Cloud for Research”.

(b) Access and preservation platforms for scientific information: supporting the integration and consolidation of e-infrastructure for reliable and permanent open access to digital scientific records, based on existing initiatives across Europe (institutional and thematic repositories, aggregators, etc.).

The European infrastructures need to respond to the emerging requirements for seamless and reliable access to publications, research data and software. These requirements are complemented by the need for long term preservation and curation of scientific information to fully support data and computing intensive science. The challenge is to support the integration at European level of a robust and sustainable e-infrastructure, based on existing initiatives across Europe (institutional and thematic publishing platforms, aggregators, etc.) and services supporting European Open Access policies. An additional challenge is the building of capacity to link all kinds of digital research objects in order to enable a more transparent evaluation of research and reproducibility of results, enabling trust and facilitating access by innovative business actors.

Scope:

Grants awarded under this topic will be complementary between them. The respective options of Article 2, Article 31.6 and Article 41.4 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied. The main purpose of the collaboration agreements referred to in Article 41.4 of the Model Grant Agreement is to work on potential synergies, overlaps and gaps in the overall service offering. In addition, links should also be established with projects selected under topic INFRADEV-04-2016, to collaborate, exploit potential synergies and ensure complementarity.

Deadline 29 March 2017

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Specific Challenge:

Prepare the capacity required to future generations of e-infrastructure is the key challenge. e-Infrastructure platforms and services need to evolve through innovation actions to respond to the long-term needs of research and education communities (e.g. in case of large RIs entering in functions in a 5 to 10 years’ timeframe). Platforms and services are first designed, prototyped and piloted with “supply and demand-side” approaches triggered by to the most demanding cases. The innovative developments bringing state-of the-art technology need to evolve and mature to be integrated and offered as dependable e-infrastructures.

Scope:

[…]

(b) Research and Innovation Actions for e-Infrastructure prototypes:

Proposals will address only one of the points below. At least one proposal for each point will be selected:

  1. Universal discoverability of data objects and provenance(proposals should address all points below):

Prototyping an e-infrastructure service, based on standards and best-practices, for the uptake of a Digital Identifier e-infrastructure for digital objects (articles, datasets, collections, software, nomenclature, etc.), researchers and contributors, which cuts across geographical, temporal, disciplinary, cultural, organisational and technological boundaries, without relying on a single centralised system but rather federating locally operated systems to ensure interoperability. The requirements of all relevant stakeholder groups (researchers, libraries, data centres, publishers, etc.) should be addressed as well as global interoperability through agreed mechanisms (e.g. in consensus building through the Research Data Alliance).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 4 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. It is expected that one proposal will be selected.

  1. Computing e-infrastructure with extreme large datasets(proposals should address all points below):

Develop service prototypes to cope with very large data resources. It should include the basis software layers supporting applications such as modelling, simulation, pattern recognition, visualisation, etc. The developments should be supported by robust mathematical methods and tools. Prototypes should follow an open source approach and aim at common interfaces to access and analyse underlying data collected/stored in different platforms, formats, locations and e-infrastructures and be tested against requirements of very large or highly heterogeneous research data sets. Clean slate approaches to high-performance computing and data management (e.g. HPC-through-the cloud, support of most innovative server’s architectures for distributed computing in particular high Memory/Cores ratios allowing “in memory” processing) targeting 2020+ ‘data factory’ requirements of research communities and large scale facilities (e.g. ESFRI projects) are encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 2.5 and 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Deadline 29March 2017

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Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)

Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)

  • FET-OPEN

Specific Challenge:

The successful exploration of new foundations for radically new future technologies requires supporting a large set of early stage, high risk visionary science and technology projects to investigate new ideas. Here agile, risk-friendly and highly interdisciplinary research approaches are needed with collaborations that are open to all sciences and disciplines and that dissolve the traditional boundaries between them. The renewal of ideas is complemented by the renewal of actors taking these new ideas forward. Therefore, this topic encourages the driving role of new high-potential actors in research and innovation, such as excellent young, both female and male, researchers and high-tech SMEs that may become the scientific and industrial leaders of the future.

Scope:

This topic supports the early stages of research to establish a new technological possibility. Proposals are sought for collaborative research with all of the following characteristics (‘FET gatekeepers’):

  • Long-term vision: the research proposed must address a new and radical long-term vision of a science- and technology-enabled future that is far beyond the state of the art and not currently foreseen by technology roadmaps.
  • Breakthrough scientific and technological target: research must target a scientifically ambitious and technologically concrete breakthrough, argued to be a crucial step towards achieving the long-term vision. The plausibility of the proposed breakthrough(s) to be attained within the life-time of the project must be argued in the proposal.
  • Novelty: the research proposed for achieving the breakthrough must be based on cutting-edge knowledge, new ideas and concepts, rather than in the mere application or incremental refinement of existing ones.
  • Foundational: the breakthroughs that are envisaged must be foundational in the sense that, if achieved, they would establish an essential basis for a new kind of technology and its future uses, not currently anticipated.
  • High-risk: the inherently high risk of the research proposed will be reflected in a flexible but effective methodology for exploring alternative directions and options, supported by open and agile research and innovation practices.
  • Interdisciplinary: the proposed collaborations are expected to go beyond ‘waterfall’ configurations in multi-disciplinary science- and technology research. Instead they should seek new solutions through genuine exchanges, mutual learning, cross-fertilisation and synergistic advances among distant disciplines in order to open unexplored areas of investigation and new directions for joint research.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Deadline 17 January 2017, 27 September 2017

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Spreading Excellence and Widening Partecipation

Spreading Excellence and Widening Partecipation

  • WIDESPREAD-04-2017
  • WIDESPREAD-05-2017
  • COST

Specific Challenge:

Despite a recent tendency for the research and innovation performances of individual countries in the EU to converge, sharp differences among Member States still remain. These disparities are due to, among other reasons, the insufficient critical mass of science and lack of centres of excellence having sufficient competence to engage countries and regions strategically in a path of innovative growth, building on newly developed capabilities. Moreover, by putting national budgets under constraint, the ongoing financial crisis is threatening to widen gaps. Exploiting the potential of Europe’s talent pool by maximising and spreading the benefits of research and innovation across the Union is vital for Europe’s competitiveness and its ability to address societal challenges in the future. This could help countries and regions that are lagging behind in terms of research and innovation performance to attain a competitive position in the global value chains.

Teaming will address this challenge by supporting the creation of new centres of excellence or upgrading the existing ones in low R&I performing countries, building on partnerships between leading scientific institutions and partner institutions in low R&I performing countries, that display the willingness to engage together on this purpose.

Scope:

Teaming, will involve in principle, two (2) parties:

(1) The main applicant organisation (the coordinator) established in a “Widening” country (see section on specific eligibility criteria for more details) that must be either a national/regional authority or a research funding agency or a university or a research organisation. In case the coordinator organisation is not a public authority, it will need to provide a letter of intent (the Commission will provide a relevant template) to ensure the long-term nature and accountability of Teaming projects.

(2) A university or research organisation with an international reputation in research and innovation excellence.

Partner organisations will have to explain clearly their vision for the establishment of a new Centre of Excellence (or the upgrading of an existing one) that would be hosted in the “Widening” country. This will include details on the long-term science and innovation strategy of the future Centre, in particular, the detailed provisions for the good management of the project between the partners. Furthermore, proposers should include a clear analysis of how this strategy would fit broadly with the relevant Smart Specialisation Strategy of the Widening country, where relevant, or an equivalent growth strategy. In the case of an upgrade of an existing centre of excellence, additional information concerning organisation profile, activities and strategy of the centre should be provided.

Deadline 15 November 2016

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Specific Challenge:

The specific challenge is to address networking gaps and deficiencies between the research institutions of the Widening countries and internationally-leading counterparts at EU level. Driven by the quest for excellence, research intensive institutions tend to collaborate increasingly in closed groups, producing a crowding-out effect for a large number of promising institutions. This is the challenge that a specific Twinning action will try to address.

Scope:

Twinning aims at significantly strengthening a defined field of research in a university or research organisation from a Widening country by linking it with at least two internationally-leading research institutions in other Member States or Associated Countries. Twinning will:

  • Enhance the S&T capacity of the linked institutions with a principal focus on the university or research organisation from the Widening Country;
  • Help raise the research profile of the institution from the Widening country as well as the research profile of its staff.

Successful Twinning proposals will have to clearly outline the scientific strategy for stepping up and stimulating scientific excellence and innovation capacity in a defined area of research as well as the scientific quality of the partners involved in the twinning exercise. If relevant, any links with sustainable development objectives are to be outlined.

Such a strategy should include a comprehensive set of measures to be supported. These should include at least a number of the following: short term staff exchanges; expert visits and short-term on-site or virtual training; workshops; conference attendance; organisation of joint summer school type activities; dissemination and outreach activities.

Deadline 15 November 2017

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COST is a unique means for European researchers, engineers and scholars to jointly develop their own

ideas and new initiatives across all fields of science and

technology through trans-European networking of nationally funded research activities.

Next collection date 1 December 2016

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Industrial Leadership

Industrial Leadership

  • ICT-14-2016-2017

Specific Challenge:

Europe lacks a systematic transfer of knowledge and technology across different sectors and there is an underdeveloped data sharing and linking culture. Traditionally, data has been collected and used for a certain purpose within sectorial “silos”, while using data across sectors for offering new services opens new opportunities for solving business and societal challenges. The lack of agreed standards and formats, and the low rates of publishing data assets in machine discoverable formats further hold back data integration. The fact that textual data appears in many languages creates an additional challenge for sharing and linking such data. Finally, there is a lack in Europe of secure environments where researchers and SMEs can test innovative services and product ideas based on open data and business data.

The challenge is to break these barriers and to foster exchange, linking and re-use, as well as to integrate data assets from multiple sectors and across languages and formats. A more specific challenge is to create a stimulating, encouraging and safe environment for experiments where not only data assets but also knowledge and technologies can be shared.

Scope:

Proposals should cover one of the following bullets:

  1. Data integration activities will address data challenges in cross-domain setups, where similar contributions of data assets will be required by groups of EU industries that are arranged along data value chains (i.e. such that the value extracted by a company in a given industrial sector is greatly increased by the availability and reuse of data produced by other companies in different industrial sectors). The actions will cover the range from informal collaboration to formal specification of standards and will include (but not be limited to) the operation of shared systems of entity identifiers (so that data about the same entity could be easily assembled from different sources), the definition of agreed data models (so that two companies carrying out the same basic activity would produce data organised in the same way, to the benefit of developers of data analytics tools), support for multilingual data management, data brokerage schemes and the definition of agreed processes to ensure data quality and the protection of commercial confidentiality and personal data. The actions are encouraged to make use of existing data infrastructures and platforms.
  2. Data experimentation incubators should address big data experimentation in a cross-sectorial, cross lingual and/or cross-border setup. This setup should include access to data in different domains and languages, appropriate computational infrastructure, and open software tools. The incubator should make these available to the experimenters, who are expected to be mainly SMEs, web entrepreneurs and start-ups. Experimentation is to be conducted on horizontal/vertical contributed data pools provided by the incubator. At least half of the experiments should address challenges of industrial importance jointly defined by the data providers, where quantitative performance targets are defined beforehand and results measured against them. Effective cross-sector and cross-border exchange and re-use of data are key elements in the experiments ecosystem supported by the incubators. Therefore, the incubators are expected to address the technical, linguistic, legal, organisational, and IPR issues, and provide a supported environment for running the experiments. To remain flexible on which experiments are carried out and to allow for a fast turn-over of data experimentation activities, the action may involve financial support to third parties, in line with the conditions set out in part K of the General Annexes. The proposal will define the selection process of the experimenters running the data activities for which financial support will be granted (typically in the order of EUR 50 000 – 100 000 per party). At least 70% of the EU funding shall be allocated to this purpose. Experiments are expected to run for a maximum of 6 months, while the incubator should run for a minimum of three years. The proposals are expected to explain how the incubator would become self-sustaining by the end of the funded duration of action.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 3 million (for the data integration activities under a) or about EUR 7 million (for the incubators under b) would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Deadline 25 April 2017

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