Call: Technological solutions for tracking raw material flows in complex supply chains
|Type of Fund||Direct Management|
|Description of programme |
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 4 - Destination 2: Increased autonomy in key strategic value chains for resilient industry"
This destination will directly support the following Key Strategic Orientations, as outlined in the Strategic Plan:
Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to the following expected impact of Cluster 4:
The COVID-19 crisis has shown that global competitiveness and resilience are two sides of the same coin[[Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2021 (COM/2020/575 final)]]. Resilience is about more than the ability to withstand and cope with shocks; it is an opportunity to undergo transitions in a sustainable and fair way. As the EU gears up to becoming a climate-neutral, circular and competitive economy by 2050, resilience will require paying attention to new vulnerabilities as entire sectors undergo deep transformations while creating opportunities for Europe’s industry to develop its own markets, products and services which boost competitiveness.
Research and innovation will be fundamental to spur industrial leadership and enhanced resilience. It will support the modernisation of traditional industrial models while developing novel technologies, business models and processes. This can enhance the flexibility of the EU’s industrial base, and increase its resilience by reducing EU dependencies on third countries for critical raw materials and technologies.
In the first Work Programme, topics under Destination 2 ‘Increased autonomy in key strategic value chains for resilient industry’ will tackle missing segments in strategic areas and value chains, to strengthen the EU’s industrial base and boost its competitiveness and open strategic autonomy. In addition, it will explore how increased circularity has the potential to increase the open strategic autonomy of EU industry through the more efficient use of resources and secondary raw materials.
This will be achieved through R&I activities focusing on four areas key for the resilience of EU industry:
To achieve these wider effects, unprecedented investments in re- and upskilling are central to supporting the green and digital transitions, enhancing innovation and growth potential, fostering economic and social resilience and ensuring quality employment and social inclusion. This is why activities planned under Destination 6 “A human-centred and ethical development of digital and industrial technologies” will also contribute to the objectives of a more resilient industrial base. Further, as industrial leadership and resilience are two sides of the same coin, activities targeting industrial leadership are a key factor in the EU’s long-term industrial resilience. This is why activities supported under Destination 1 ‘Climate neutral, circular and digitised production’ and Destination 3 ‘World leading data and computing technologies’ that further ensure Europe’s productivity growth and competitiveness are also key to safeguarding its open strategic autonomy and resilience.
In addition, activities beyond R&I investments will be needed, in particular in terms of synergies with the European Innovation Council and Pillar III of Horizon Europe given the strong role of SMEs in the development of the innovations planned. Synergies will also be sought to access blended funding and finance from other EU programmes notably under InvestEU; testing and deployment activities under the Digital Europe Programme (DEP); links to the EIT (Raw Materials and Digital KICs); links with the Single Market programme to promote entrepreneurship and the creation and growth of companies and links to the thematic smart specialisation platform on industrial modernisation.
In line with the European Green Deal objectives, research and innovation activities should comply with the ‘do no significant harm’ principle[[as per Article 17 of Regulation (EU) No 2020/852 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment (EU Taxonomy Regulation)]]. Compliance needs to be assessed both for activities carried out during the course of the project as well as the expected life cycle impact of the innovation at a commercialisation stage (where relevant). The robustness of the compliance must be customised to the envisaged TRL of the project. In this regard, the potential harm of Innovation Actions contributing to the European Green Deal will be monitored throughout the project duration.
Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to increased autonomy in key strategic value chains for resilience industry, and more specifically to one or several of the following impacts:
Much of the research and innovation supported under this Destination may serve as a cradle for the New European Bauhaus: this is about designing sustainable ways of living, situated at the crossroads between art, culture, social inclusion, science and technology. This includes R&I on manufacturing, construction, advanced materials and the circular economy approaches.
Business cases and exploitation strategies for industrialisation: This section applies only to those topics in this Destination, for which proposals should demonstrate the expected impact by including a business case and exploitation strategy for industrialisation.
The business case should demonstrate the expected impact of the proposal in terms of enhanced market opportunities for the participants and enhanced manufacturing capacities in the EU, in the short to medium term. It should describe the targeted market(s); estimated market size in the EU and globally; user and customer needs; and demonstrate that the solutions will match the market and user needs in a cost-effective manner; and describe the expected market position and competitive advantage.
The exploitation strategy should identify obstacles, requirements and necessary actions involved in reaching higher TRLs, for example: matching value chains, enhancing product robustness; securing industrial integrators; and user acceptance.
For TRLs 7-8, a credible strategy to achieve future full-scale manufacturing in the EU is expected, indicating the commitments of the industrial partners after the end of the project.
Activities beyond R&I investments will be needed to realise the expected impacts: these include the further development of skills and competencies (also via the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, in particular EIT Manufacturing); and the use of financial products under the InvestEU Fund for further commercialisation of R&I outcomes.
Where relevant, in the context of skills, it is recommended to develop training material to endow workers with the right skillset in order to support the uptake and deployment of new innovative products, services, and processes developed in the different projects. This material should be tested and be scalable, and can potentially be up-scaled through the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+). This will help the European labour force to close the skill gaps in the relevant sectors and occupational groups and improve employment and social levels across the EU and associated countries.
|Link||Link to Programme|
Technological solutions for tracking raw material flows in complex supply chains
|Description of call |
"Technological solutions for tracking raw material flows in complex supply chains"
Projects outcomes will enable achieving the expected impacts of the destination by increasing access to primary raw and secondary raw materials, in particular critical raw materials for EU industrial value chains and strategic sectors.
Projects are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:
There is a need to improve supply chain data transparency and traceability, enabling consumers and downstream producers to have information about the origins of metals in finished products. In order to achieve the expected outcomes, it is advised to involve industrial users from the downstream side. Due diligence has numerous research gaps in this area which need to be addressed in order to limit complexity and enable a level playing field for responsible sourcing of minerals.
This action should close those gaps by the setting up of technological solutions for tracking raw material flows (material passports), building upon comparable criteria, reporting and audit approaches. Examples would include transparency in payments and traceability from beginning to end of the supply chain, through a chain of custody certiﬁcation, and the use of block chain technology in an eﬀort to improve supply chain transparency and traceability.
The action should build on the experience of existing EU projects on international responsible sourcing and contribute to strengthening responsible sourcing agenda.
It is foreseen that this will facilitate responsible sourcing in complex supply chains and put companies downstream in the supply chain in a better position to inﬂuence companies upstream.
The proposal should build on the state of the art in sustainable raw materials traceability with regard to sustainability certification schemes, standards and initiatives as well as block chain technology. The proposal should also build on the experience from earlier Horizon 2020 projects in the area of responsible sourcing of raw materials in global value chains. The proposal should cover CRMs in at least five complex supply chains, including a batteries value chain.
The action should also contribute to improving the awareness of relevant external stakeholders and the general public across the EU about the importance of raw materials for society and of the challenges related to their sustainable supply.
In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.
|Link||Link to Call|
|Thematic Focus||Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Competitiveness, SME|
|Origin of Applicant|| EU Member States |
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
|Eligible applicants||Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association|
|Applicant details|| |
eligible non-EU countries:
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.
Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.
|Project Partner Details|| |
Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:
|Further info|| |
Proposal page limits and layout:
The application form will have two parts:
Page limit - Part B: 45 pages
|Type of Funding||Grants|
|Financial details|| |
In order to achieve the expected outcomes, and safeguard the Union’s strategic assets, interests, autonomy, or security, namely to increase EU resilience in raw materials supply chains for EU industrial value chains and strategic sectors to enable their green and digital transition and to reduce current EU over-dependence on a few third countries for critical raw materials by increasing sustainable and responsible sourcing of primary and secondary raw materials and by using technological solutions to improve supply chain data transparency and traceability, participation to the topic is limited to legal entities established in Member States, associated countries, OECD countries, African Union Countries, and MERCOSUR, CARIFORUM, and Andean Community.
Proposals including legal entities which are not established in these countries will be ineligible.
The above exception is aligned with the Communication (2020) 474 on Critical Raw Materials Resilience, on the need to develop strategic international partnerships on raw materials.
Activities are expected to achieve TRL 3-5 by the end of the project.
|Submission||Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.|
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Published on 26.01.2022
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