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Call: Fight against trafficking in cultural goods

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Programme
Acronym HE-CL3-FCT
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 3 - Destination 1: Better protect the EU and its citizens against Crime and Terrorism"

One of the main purposes of this Destination is to contribute significantly to the implementation of the Security Union Strategy [[COM(2020) 605 final.]], i.e. to include Research and Innovation as one of the key building blocks enabling the achievement of the overall policy objectives. As such, the topics in this Destination aim at fully addressing all the key issues underlined in the Strategy. In addition, this Destination touches upon the Counter-Terrorism Agenda [[COM(2020) 795 final.]] as well as the security dimension of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum [[COM(2020) 609 final.]], notably the issues related to criminal networks. More specifically, this Destination includes research topics aiming at fighting crime and terrorism more effectively, particularly through better prevention of crime and enhanced investigation capabilities concerning both traditional crime and cybercrime, as well as at better protection of citizens from violent attacks in public spaces, through more effective prevention, preparedness and response while preserving the open nature of such spaces. This Destination will develop the knowledge and technologies to be taken up by the Internal Security Fund, as a complementary instrument that will enable exploitation of research results and final delivery of the required tools to security practitioners.

The goal of this Destination is to bring improved prevention, investigation and mitigation of impacts of crime, including of new/emerging criminal modi operandi (such as those exploiting digitisation and other technologies). Such an approach needs to be based on a deeper knowledge of human and social aspects of relevant societal challenges, such as child sexual exploitation, violent radicalisation, trafficking of human beings, disinformation and fake news, corruption and cyber criminality, including support to victims. Research can further help to transpose such knowledge into the operational activities of Police Authorities [[In the context of this Destination, ‘Police Authorities’ means public authorities explicitly designated by national law, or other entities legally mandated by the competent national authority, for the prevention, detection and/or investigation of terrorist offences or other criminal offences, specifically excluding police academies, forensic institutes, training facilities as well as border and customs authorities.]], as well as civil society organisations.

Research and innovation will support Police Authorities and, when applicable, other relevant end-users in better tackling crime, including cybercrime, and terrorism as well as different forms of serious and organised crime (such as smuggling, money laundering, identity theft, counterfeiting of products, trafficking of illicit drugs and of falsified/substandard medicines, environmental crime or illicit trafficking of cultural goods) by developing new technologies, tools and systems (including digital tools, e.g. artificial intelligence, interoperability solutions, etc.). This support refers especially to capabilities to analyse in near-real-time large volumes of data to forestall criminal activities, or to combat disinformation and fake news with implications for security.

In addition to improved knowledge, preparedness, prevention and response, projects within this Destination will deliver operational tools for enhanced criminal investigation capabilities for Police Authorities and, when applicable, other relevant end-users. Thus, this Destination covers a broad range of activities from forensics, big data management to the investigation of cybercriminal activities, improved cross-border cooperation and exchange of evidence.

With regards to CBRN-E (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives) threats, research and innovation within this Destination allows, among others, to generate knowledge for counter-terrorism on the continuously evolving methods related to dangerous chemicals, contaminants and unknown substances, and the development of technologies to counter and respond to related incidents.

Furthermore, this Destination aims at improved security of public spaces and public safety, while at the same time preserving the open nature of urban public spaces. All measures to be explored by research and innovation in this area should ensure that citizens can continue their daily lives without major intrusions. To achieve higher security for public space, research in this Destination will identify concepts for prevention, preparedness and response of urban actors (city authorities, Police Authorities, public/private service providers, first responders and citizens) in response to threats of terrorist attacks in public spaces. Innovations can be used to design/improve public spaces to be more secure, also with the help of advanced vulnerability assessments. They can increase the capacity to protect spaces against attacks with manned or unmanned vehicles and can help to detect firearms and other weapons, as well as CBRN-E materials being brought into public spaces. In case attacks cannot be prevented, enhanced effectiveness of mitigation measures including through strategies to reduce vulnerability and strengthening the resilience of possible targets have the potential to reduce the potential impacts of such attacks. Advanced data analysis in real time can critically reduce the time-to-react for first responders.

This Destination will also promote, whenever appropriate and applicable, the proposals with:

  • the involvement of the Police Authorities in their core,
  • a clear strategy on how they will adapt to the fast-evolving environment in the area of fight against crime and terrorism (evolution of related technologies, evolution of criminal modi operandi and business models related to these technologies, etc.),
  • a minimum-needed platform, i.e. tools that are modular and can be easily plugged into another platform (in order to avoid platform multiplication),
  • tools that are developed and validated against practitioners’ needs and requirements,
  • a robust plan on how they will build on the relevant predecessor projects,
  • the (active) involvement of citizens, voluntary organisations and communities,
  • education and training aspects, especially for Police Authorities and other relevant practitioners, as well as information sharing and awareness raising of the citizens,
  • a clear strategy on the uptake of the outcomes, defined in consultation with the involved stakeholders,
  • a well-developed plan both on how research data for training and testing will be obtained, in order to reach the requested Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs), and on how the specific TRL will be measured.

The Destination will also create opportunities for collaboration on research and innovation among different communities of practitioners operating in the area of fighting crime and terrorism, such as Police Authorities, border and coast guard authorities, and customs authorities. International cooperation is also encouraged where appropriate and relevant.

Expected impacts:

Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to the following expected impact of the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan 2021-2024: “Crime and terrorism are more effectively tackled, while respecting fundamental rights, […] thanks to more powerful prevention, preparedness and response, a better understanding of related human, societal and technological aspects, and the development of cutting-edge capabilities for police authorities […] including measures against cybercrime.”

More specifically, proposals should contribute to the achievement of one or more of the following impacts:

  • Modern information analysis for Police Authorities, allowing them to efficiently fight criminals and terrorists who use novel technologies;
  • Improved forensics and lawful evidence collection, increasing the capabilities to apprehend criminals and terrorists and bring them to the court;
  • Enhanced prevention, detection and deterrence of societal issues related to various forms of crime, including cybercrime, and terrorism, such as violent radicalisation, domestic and sexual violence, or juvenile offenders;
  • Increased security of citizens against terrorism, including in public spaces (while preserving their quality and openness);
  • Improved intelligence picture and enhanced prevention, detection and deterrence of various forms of organised crime;
  • More secure cyberspace for citizens, especially children, through a robust prevention, detection, and protection from cybercriminal activities.

Furthermore, in order to accomplish the objectives of this Destination, additional eligibility conditions have been defined. They refer to the active involvement of relevant security practitioners or end-users.

Proposals involving earth observation are encouraged to primarily make use of Copernicus data, services and technologies.

Projects funded under this Destination are invited to closely cooperate with other EC-chaired or funded initiatives in the relevant domains, such as the Networks of Practitioners projects funded under H2020 Secure Societies work programmes, the Knowledge Networks for Security Research & Innovation funded under the Horizon Europe Cluster 3 Work Programme (”Strengthened Security Research and Innovation” Destination), or the Community of Users for Secure, Safe and Resilient Societies (future CERIS –Community of European Research and Innovation for Security).

Link Link to Programme
Call
Fight against trafficking in cultural goods
Description of call
"Fight against trafficking in cultural goods"

Expected Outcome:

Projects’ results are expected to contribute to some or all of the following outcomes:

  • Robust research methodologies, improved intelligence picture and understanding of mechanisms behind organised crime activities related to trafficking of cultural goods both offline and online, modus operandi, possible nexus with terrorist financing;
  • Enhanced ability of security practitioners to identify organised crime networks involved in trafficking in cultural goods and to detect their illicit business models, including financial aspects and money laundering activities in this sector;
  • Enhanced ability of security practitioners to detect and prevent the emergence of organised crime networks involved in trafficking in cultural goods, and to respond to the threat of existing organisations;
  • Improved and validated tools, skills and training materials (including the lawful court-proof collection of crime evidence) for European Police Authorities, Border Guards and Customs Authorities to tackle criminal activities related to trafficking of cultural goods;
  • Improved cooperation between European Police Authorities, Border Guards and Customs Authorities, as well as with specialised researchers and international actors, in tackling this form of crime;
  • Improved databases on stolen/trafficked cultural goods;
  • Improved evidence-based policy-making against trafficking in cultural goods.

Scope:

Trafficking in cultural goods has become one of the most profitable criminal activities for organised crime groups and the booming art and antiquity market is creating new business models for organised crime. At the same time, the art and antiquity market is also one of the least regulated markets in Europe, characterised by a lack of traceability and speculative pricing of the objects, rendering it an ideal place also for money laundering, tax evasion, etc.

Building on the results of recently completed projects, the nexus between terrorism and serious and organised crime (including cyber) deserves to be analysed further. The involvement in serious and organised crime may as well allow terrorists to generate funds to finance terrorism-related activities, as it is the case in trafficking of cultural goods. "Blood antiquities" are, unfortunately, nothing new. Works of art and archaeological goods/finds are looted in war zones as well as in regions not experiencing conflict, and then sold to wealthy collectors and antiquities dealers in Europe. Research has shown that crimes related to cultural goods may be conducted by organised crime groups in order to generate profit or to launder illegally acquired funds. Despite the seriousness of this issue, fundamental questions remain: How are these precious items secretly transported and what facilitates their illicit movement? What are the relations with other types of crime? How much does the trafficking of cultural goods bring in? What is the role and extension of online markets and social networks in supporting trafficking (e.g., discussion groups where looters and intermediaries exchange tips and tricks to circumvent police checks)? How can a stolen work be identified? How should the information be stored in accessible databases? What are reliable and ethical ways to gather and share information about this type of crime? What is the relationship between organised crime and the open market for cultural goods (the “grey” market)? What roles do museums and other cultural institutions (unwittingly) play in this trade? And - who defines what is an antiquity and to whom it should belong? Evidence-based research is needed to answer these questions, and to support the development of targeted and effective anti-trafficking policy.

The proposals in this topic should shed a light on these issues through robust research methodologies that prioritise new data collection and analysis, and applications towards the development of evidence-based policy. Proposals should support the gathering of intelligence and the development of tools that Police Authorities and other relevant practitioners need to fight this crime and to collect actionable (cross-border) evidence acceptable in court, with the ultimate goal of disrupting the illicit trade and of mitigating its harmful effects in Europe and beyond.

Activities proposed within this topic should address the issue from various angles, combining both social research with technological development and applications in a logical manner. Therefore, this topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities. Proposals should also include research into the international dimensions of the trafficking of cultural goods, as well an as investigation of the possible connections between this and other forms of crime. Due to the specific scope of this topic, in order to achieve the expected outcomes, international cooperation is encouraged. Police Authorities, Border Guards Authorities and Customs Authorities should be involved in the consortia, in order to tackle effectively all aspects of this crime.

Coordination with successful proposals under topic HORIZON-CL3-2021-FCT-01-09, HORIZON-CL3-2021-FCT-01-10, HORIZON-CL3-2022-FCT-01-05, HORIZON-CL3-2022-FCT-01-06 and HORIZON-CL3-2022-FCT-01-07 as well as with successful proposals under topic HORIZON-CL2-HERITAGE-2021-01-08 (Preserving and enhancing cultural heritage with advanced digital technologies) should be envisaged so as to avoid duplication and to exploit complementarities as well as opportunities for increased impact. Proposed research that could also link with security research for border management (for example, border checks) would be an asset. If relevant, the proposed activities should attempt to complement the objectives and activities of the EU Policy Cycle (EMPACT) – Priority Organised Property Crime. If applicable and relevant, coordination with related activities in the Digital Europe Programme should be exploited too.

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, Administration & Governance, Health, Social Affairs, Sports, Justice, Safety & Security, Art & Culture, Cultural Heritage, History, Media
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Research Institution, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Education and Training Centres, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, Association, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, National Government
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
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.

  • low-and middle-income countries

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.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities - Affiliated entities are eligible for funding if they are established in one of the countries listed above.
  • EU bodies - Legal entities created under EU law may also be eligible to receive funding, unless their basic act states otherwise.
  • International organisations - International European research organisations are eligible to receive funding. Unless their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority, other international organisations are not eligible to receive funding. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’actions and when provided for in the specific call conditions.
Project Partner Yes
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:

  • 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.
Call opens 30.06.2021
Call closes 23.11.2021
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 45 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 5.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 5.00 million.
Typ of ActionResearch and Innovation Actions (RIA)
Funding rate100%

This topic requires the active involvement, as beneficiaries, of at least 2 Police Authorities and at least 2 Border Guards Authorities from at least 3 different EU Member States or Associated countries. For these participants, applicants must fill in the table “Eligibility information about practitioners” in the application form with all the requested information, following the template provided in the submission IT tool.

Some activities, resulting from this topic, may involve using classified background and/or producing of security sensitive results (EUCI and SEN). Please refer to the related provisions in section B Security — EU classified and sensitive information of the General Annexes.

Activities are expected to achieve TRL 5-6 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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