• European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Programme

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Horizon 2020 (H2020) is the European Commission (EC) research and innovation funding programme and has been developed as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs across Europe, and has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and Members of the European Parliament. The goal of H2020 is to ensure that Europe produces world-class science; It also aims to remove barriers to innovation and facilitate the collaboration of the public and private sectors to deliver innovation.

With a total budget allocation understood to be around €70.2B available over the seven years from 2014 to 2020, H2020 is the largest EC research and innovation programme to date.  More information can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/  

One of the key societal challenges addressed by H2020 is ‘Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy’, and this theme is likely to receive 7.7% of the available budget for H2020 – over €5B for the period 2014-20 (this compares to €2.35 billion under the previous programme, Framework Programme 7).

As I write this MNM, the bulk of the Calls for 2017 under H2020’s Work Programme for Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy (see details in the 2016-2017 work programme http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/wp/2016_2017/main/h2020-wp1617-energy_en.pdf) have already past their submission deadlines, including two Calls of direct relevance to IFRF Members (i.e. LCE-28-2017 ‘Highly flexible and efficient fossil fuel power plant’ and LCE-29-2017 ‘CCS in industry, including bio-CCS’, both of which had deadlines of 5th January 2017).

However, although these 2017 Call opportunities are already closed, consultations are happening across the 28 EU Member States concerning the set of actions that might be taken forward in an Energy work programme for 2018-2019 and also 2020

These early-stage discussions include the following seven ‘elements’ (although it should be noted that the elements being considered may well change in both content and structure – even substantially):
• Energy efficiency
• Renewable energy
• Energy system
• Smart cities and communities
• Transforming the energy sector through digitisation
• Nearly-zero CO2 emissions from fossil fuels
• Joint actions among countries.

The ‘Nearly-zero CO2 emissions from fossil fuels’ element has the following possible ‘actions’ identified as under consideration, with the possible year of the Call and the ‘type of action’ indicated in brackets:
• Pilot demonstration of new and advanced capture technologies (2018, Innovation Action)
• Strategic planning for carbon capture and storage (CCS) (2018, Coordination and Support Action)
• Conversion of captured CO2 (2018, Research and Innovation Action)
• Demonstrating the full CCS chain at commercial scale (2019, ERA-Net)
• Low-carbon industrial production using full-chain carbon capture and utilisation (CCU)/CCS (2019, Innovation Action)
• Integrated solutions for flexible operation of fossil fuel power plants through ‘power-to-x’ and energy storage (2020, Innovation Action)

It will be interesting to watch how this early thinking for H2020 in 2018-2019 and 2020 (the final year) develops, but what we can be sure of is that early Calls under the work programme (once it is agreed) could be open for proposals from the Autumn of this year…  so, watch this space!
As Calls are announced by the EC, we will bring them to your attention through the MNM.

For reference, a Research and Innovation Action (RIA) includes basic and applied research, technology development and integration, testing and validation on a small-scale prototype in a laboratory or simulated environment.  It must involve three independent legal entities from different Member States or Associated Countries, and the funding rate is up to a maximum of 100%.  

An Innovation Action (IA) includes demonstration or pilot to validate technical and economic viability of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution in an operational (or near to operational) environment, and ‘market replication’ i.e. support for the first application or deployment in the market of an already demonstrated innovation.  It must involve three independent legal entities from different Member States or Associated Countries, and the funding rate is up to a maximum of 70% (except for non-profit legal entities where a maximum of 100% applies). 

A Coordination and Support Action (CSA) includes improving market conditions and aiding market transformation e.g. standardisation, fostering dialogue, capacity building.  It only requires one legal entity from a Member States or Associated Countries, however EU collaboration may be favoured for some topics.  The funding rate is up to a maximum of 100%. 

ERANET Co-fund is for public-public partnerships only, including joint programming initiatives between Member States.