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Call: Demand-led innovation for situation awareness in civil protection

Acronym HE-CL3-SSRI
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 3 - Destination 6: Strengthened Security Research and Innovation"

The EU-funded security research and innovation framework was launched with the Preparatory Action for Security Research[[COM(2004) 72]]. Since then, the programme has contributed substantially to knowledge and value creation in the field of internal security and to the consolidation of an ecosystem better equipped to capitalise on research and innovation to support the EU security priorities.

While the success of the programme has materialised in relevant scientific findings, maturation of promising technology areas, operational validation of innovative concepts or support to policy implementation, a key challenge remains in improving the uptake of innovation.

The extent to which innovative technologies developed thanks to EU R&I investment are industrialised and commercialised by EU industry, and later acquired and deployed by end-users, thus contributing to the development of security capabilities[[For the purpose of this work programme, the terms “Capability” should be understood as "the ability to pursue a particular policy priority or achieve a desired operational effect”. The term “capability” is often interchanged with the term “capacity”, but this should be avoided. “Capacity” could refer to an amount or volume of which one organisation could have enough or not. On the other hand, “capability” refers to an ability, an aptitude or a process that can be developed or improved in consonance with the ultimate objective of the organisation.]], could give a valuable measure of the impact achieved with the programme. However, there are factors inherent to the EU security ecosystem (often attributed to the market) that hinder the full achievement of this impact. These include market fragmentation, cultural barriers, analytical weaknesses, programming weaknesses, ethical, legal and societal considerations or lack of synergies between funding instruments, among others.

It is worth noting that such factors affect all the security domains addressed in Cluster 3; that there is not one predominant factor with sufficient leverage by itself to change the overall innovation uptake dynamics; and that they exhibit complex relationships among them which are difficult to disentangle. It should also be noted that the innovation uptake process starts before the R&I cycle is triggered, and it is not finalised with the successful termination of a research project. Therefore, the uptake challenge extends beyond the realm of R&I. However, from within R&I it is possible, if not to materialise the uptake in every case, at least to pave the way towards its materialisation.

To that aim, there is a need to create a favourable environment that is designed with the main purpose of increasing the impact of security R&I, that is visible and recognisable to those interested in contributing to this aim, and which provides bespoke tools that serve to tackle the factors that hinder innovation uptake.

The SSRI Destination has therefore been designed with this purpose to serve equally to all the expected impacts of Cluster 3. Research applied in this domain will contribute to increasing the impact of the work carried out in the EU security Research and Innovation ecosystem as a whole and to contribute to its core values, namely: i) Ensuring that security R&I maintains the focus on the potential final use of its outcomes; ii) Contributing to a forward-looking planning of EU security capabilities; iii) Ensuring the development of security technologies that are socially acceptable; iv) Paving the way to the industrialisation, commercialisation, acquisition and deployment of successful R&I outcomes; and v) Safeguarding the open strategic autonomy and technological sovereignty of the EU in critical security areas by contributing to a more competitive and resilient EU security technology and industrial base.

While the other Destinations of this Horizon Europe Cluster 3 Work Programme offer research and innovation activities to develop solutions to address specific security threats or capability needs, the SSRI Destination will contribute with instruments that will help bringing these and other developments closer to the market. Such instruments will help developers (including industry, research organisations and academia) to improve the valorisation of their research investment. They will also support buyers and users in materialising the uptake of innovation and further develop their security capabilities.

In addition, the SSRI Destination will offer an open environment to create knowledge and value through research in matters (including technology, but also social sciences and humanities) that are not exclusive of only one security area, but cross-cutting to the whole Cluster. This will contribute to reducing thematic fragmentation, bringing closer together the actors from different security domains, and expanding the market beyond traditional thematic silos.

Finally, SSRI will allow the allocation of resources to the development of tools and methods to reinforce the innovation cycle itself from a process standpoint, thus increasing its effectiveness, efficiency and impact. This Destination will contribute to the development of an analytical capacity tailored to the specific needs of security stakeholders for the materialisation of a structured long-term capability based planning of research and innovation for security.

In order to accomplish the objectives of this Destination, additional eligibility conditions have been defined with regard to the active involvement of relevant security practitioners or end-users.

Expected impacts:

Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to the following impacts:

  • A more effective and efficient evidence-based development of EU civil security capabilities built on a stronger, more systematic and analysis-intensive security research and innovation cycle;
  • Increased industrialisation, commercialisation, adoption and deployment of successful outcomes of security research reinforces the competitiveness and resilience of EU security technology and industrial base and safeguards the security of supply of EU-products in critical security areas;
  • R&I-enabled knowledge and value in cross-cutting matters reduces sector specific bias and breaks thematic silos that impede the proliferation of common security solutions.
Link Link to Programme
Demand-led innovation for situation awareness in civil protection
Description of call
"Demand-led innovation for situation awareness in civil protection"

Expected Outcome:

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

  • An identifiable community of EU first responders with common user/functional needs for innovative technology solutions for situation awareness in the field of civil protection;
  • Tested and validated capacity of EU technology and industrial base to develop and produce technology prototypes for situation awareness in the field of civil protection that meet the needs of the EU user community;
  • Improved delineation of the EU market (including demand and supply) for situation awareness systems in the field of civil protection that can articulate alternative options for uptake in function of different industrialisation needs, commercialisation needs, acquisition needs, deployment needs and additional funding needs (beyond R&I funding).


End-users and public procurers from several countries are invited to send proposals for launching a Pre-Commercial Procurement action for the acquisition of R&D services for the development of technology solutions for situation awareness in the field of civil protection.

The proposals should build on the outcomes of the SAYSO project, which followed the call 2016 of H2020 Secure Societies work programme, under the topic SEC-02-DRS-2016 - Situational awareness systems to support civil protection preparation and operational decision making. The successfull proposals will therefore give continuity to the works initiated by the SAYSO project.

Applicants should note that this project responds not only to the needs of EU stakeholders and to the policy priorities of the European Commission in the field of civil protection, but also to the capability needs and gaps identified by the International Forum to Advanced First Responders Innovation (IFAFRI). Therefore, applicants are encouraged to seek alignment with the needs of first responders as set out in the respective Gap Analysis, Statement of Objective and Deep Dive Analysis Documents which IFAFRI has produced.

The proposals are expected to provide clear evidence on a number of aspects in order to justify and de-risk the PCP action, including:

  • That the challenge is pertinent and that indeed a PCP action is required to complete the maturation cycle of certain technologies and to compare different alternatives;
  • That there is a consolidated group of end-users and procurers with common needs and requirements which are committed to carry out a PCP action in order to be able to take an informed decision on a future joint-procurement of innovative solutions;
  • That there is a quantifiable and identifiable community of potential buyers (including and beyond those proposed as beneficiaries in the proposal) who would share to a wide extent the common needs and requirements defined and who could be interested in exploring further joint-uptake of solutions similar to those developed under the PCP, should these prove to be technologically mature and operationally relevant by the end of the project;
  • That the state of the art and the market (including research) has been explored and mapped to the needs, and that there are different technical alternatives to address the proposed challenge;
  • That the PCP tendering process is clear, that a draft planning has been proposed and that the supporting documentation and administrative procedures will be ready in due time in order to launch the call for R&D services according to the PCP rules.
  • That there is a commitment to pursue the exploitation of results beyond the end of the project through engagement with stakeholders and implementation of exploitation strategies towards future uptake.

The open market consultations required prior to launching the PCP call for tenders must have taken place in at least three EU Member States. Market consultations conducted during the SAYSO project can be used if this requirement is fulfilled, and if it is justified that: i) their purpose was enough to guarantee the viability of the procurement and; ii) that the state-of-the-art has not changed since they were conducted.

In relation with the PCP tendering process, the applicants should clarify how they intend to guarantee that:

  • The principles of the EU Directive for public procurement and in particular with the provisions related to PCP will be duly respected;
  • Conflict of interests will be avoided, including through the ineligibility of bids from technology providers who are also beneficiaries of the project or who have been beneficiaries of the previous SAYSO project;
  • The confidentiality of the intellectual property of potential bidders will be protected;
  • The technology developments to be conducted in the PCP will be done in compliance with European societal values, fundamental rights and applicable legislation, including in the area of free movement of persons, privacy and protection of personal data;
  • In developing technology solutions, societal aspects (e.g. perception of security, possible side effects of technological solutions, societal resilience) will be taken into account in a comprehensive and thorough manner;
  • All participating public buyers commit to comply with EU data protection legislation in the development of innovative, advanced systems to support security and in particular the principles of data protection by design and by default;
  • The guidance for attracting innovators and innovation, as explained in the European Commission Guidance on Innovation Procurement C(2018) 3051, will be duly taken into account, in particular those measures oriented to reduce the barriers to high-tech start-ups and innovative SMEs.

Applicants should propose an implementation of the project that includes:

  • A minimal preparation stage dedicated to finalise the tendering documents package for a PCP call for tenders based on the technical input resulting from project SAYSO, and to define clear verification and validation procedures, methods and tools for the evaluation of the prototypes to be developed throughout the PCP phases.
  • Launching the call for tenders for research and development services. The call for tenders should envisage a competitive development composed of different phases that would lead to at least 2 prototypes from 2 different providers to be validated in real operational environment at the end of the PCP cycle;
  • Conducting the competitive development of the prototypes following the PCP principles including, at least, a design phase, an integration and technical verification phase and a validation in real operational environment phase. In evaluating the proposals and the results of the PCP phases, the applicants should consider technical merit, feasibility and commercial potential of proposed research efforts.
  • Consolidating the results of the evaluation of the developed prototypes, extracting conclusions and recommendations from the validation process, and defining a strategy for a potential uptake of solutions inspired in the PCP outcomes, including a complete technical specification of the envisaged solutions and standardisation needs and/or proposals. This strategy should consider joint-cross border procurement schemes and exploit synergies with other EU and national non-research funds.

The applicants are expected to maximise the visibility of the project outcomes to the wide community of potential EU public buyers. Liaison with other communities beyond civil protection is encouraged (e.g. Border Guard and Police Authorities) in order to assess the possible application of the identified solutions in different security research domains, such as infrastructure resilience, border management or disaster resilience.

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, Justice, Safety & Security, Administration & Governance, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management, Demographic Change, Migration
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Public Services, 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.
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 6.00 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 6.00 million.
Typ of ActionPre-commercial Procurement
Funding rate100%

This topic requires the participation of at least 3 relevant end-user organisations and 3 public procurers from 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.

One organisation can have the role of end-user and public procurer simultaneously, both counting for the overall number of organisations required for eligibility.

The specific conditions for actions with PCP/PPI procurements in section H of the General Annexes apply to grants funded under this topic.

Activities are expected to achieve TRL 6-8 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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