Horizon 2020 Energy Information Days and Brokerage Event – 14th to 16th September 2015

Wind Turbines - Rob Faulkner (CC by 2.0)
Wind Turbines – Rob Faulkner (CC by 2.0)

The Horizon 2020 Energy European Information Days and Brokerage Event are now open for registration. The events will take place in Brussels on 14th to 16th September 2015.

If you work in Energy research this event will be an opportunity to find out more in advance of the launch of the Work Programmes for 2016-17 and to meet with potential partners.

The event targets potential applicants to the calls for project proposals under the H2020 challenge ‘Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy’.

The schedule for the three day event:

Monday 14 September – A presentation of the Work Programme for 2016-2017 in the area of H2020 energy research

Tuesday 15 September – In-depth sessions on various calls of the Work Programme including renewable energy sources, non-bio, renewable energy sources, bio, energy efficiency, flexible and efficient fossil fuel power plants, smart cities and communities, carbon capture & storage, unconventional hydrocarbons and EURATOM

Wednesday 16 September – A brokerage event in the field of Energy Technologies

More information and details about registering for this event are available here.


Horizon 2020: Information Day on Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy

Information Kiosk by Max Sparber CC BY-NC 2.0
Information Kiosk by Max Sparber CC BY-NC 2.0

The EC has given advance notice of an information day in Brussels on 14/15 September 2015. This will focus on the 2016/17 calls in the Energy work programme:

Info Day on the Horizon 2020 Work programme 2016-2017 ‘Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy’

The info day will provide an opportunity to find out more about the forthcoming calls, as well as to network with potential partners. Registration will open in June and interested parties are advised to secure places quickly as they are liable to become booked up.


Innovate UK invites applications for its integrated supply chains for energy systems competition

The aim of this competition is to encourage cross-sector supply chains that can deliver integrated energy solutions at different scales to meet the many energy systems challenges of achieving a low-carbon economy by 2050. Projects should focus on both the demand and supply side across the energy networks of electricity, heat and combustible gases.

Registration closing date 11 Feb 15

Application closing date 12 noon, 18 February

Invited applications for R&D projects due by 12 noon, 22 October 2015


Further information can be found here.


Horizon 2020: Energy Efficiency Call Summaries

Wärmedämmung mit Hohlräumen / Thermal insulation with cavities
Thermal insulation with cavities by BASF CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Horizon 2020 Energy Efficient Buildings Call 2015 is making up to €62M available for research,development, and coordination activities to intensify the drive to energy neutral buildings by 2020:

“By the end of 2020 (2018 for buildings occupied and owned by public authorities), all new buildings should comply with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive obligations and thus meet ‘nearly zero-energy’ performance levels using innovative, cost-optimal technologies with integration of renewable energy sources on site or nearby.”

The following is a summary of some of the individual calls for proposals which make up the Energy Efficient Buildings programme under Horizon 2020. I’ve also included a few other related calls which fall under the wider banner of “energy efficiency” in Horizon 2020. All of these calls are, at the time of publication, currently open and I have included deadlines and an estimated project budget. I’ve grouped the calls by action type, i.e. Research & Innovation Actions, Innovation Actions, and Coordination and Support Actions, with a description of each type under the heading. However, you should read the full text of each call because this will clarify the expected Technology Readiness Level for each project.

Research & Innovation Actions

R&I actions usually aim to establish new knowledge and/or explore the feasibility of a new or improved product or process. They may contain limited demonstration and pilot activities designed to show the new product in an operational environment. Of all the H2020 action types, these are closest to the kind of work funded by Research Councils in the UK. The funding rates for all participants (whether industry, SME, university or other public body) is 100% of eligible direct costs, plus 25% of those costs as a flat rate contribution towards overheads.

Call Title Description Deadline Estimated Budget
Integrated solutions of thermal energy storage for building applications (EeB-06-2015) Proposals should address advanced solutions required to reduce thermal losses, reduce pressure drops, and improve heat exchange in and between storage material and heat carrier. Having in mind a system approach, innovations are required at different levels. High energy density storage materials are needed in terms of long term multi-cyclic stability at tuneable temperature levels. These advanced energy storage materials should allow regeneration temperatures in a range below 100oC to enable a higher efficiency and effectiveness of thermal energy storage of at least 6 times the energy storage density of water. 04/02/2015 €3-6M
New ICT-based solutions for energy efficiency (EE-11-2015) The focus should be on the creation of innovative IT ecosystems that would develop services and applications making use of information generated by energy consumers (e.g. through social networks) or captured from sensors (e.g. smart meters, smart plugs, social media) and micro-generation. These applications range from Apps for smart phones and tablets to serious games to empower consumers stimulate collaboration and enable full participation in the market. 04/06/2015 €1.5-2M
Technology for district heating and cooling (EE-13-2015) Proposals should focus on one or more of the following areas: 1) develop, demonstrate and deploy a new generation of highly efficient, intelligent district heating and cooling systems; 2) bring down heat distribution losses and integrate storage; 3) develop optimisation, control, metering, planning and modelling tools; 4) develop new solutions for low temperature heat recovery and recirculation. 04/06/2015 €1.5-2M
New technologies for utilization of heat recovery in large industrial systems, considering the whole energy cycle from heat production to transformation, delivery and end use (EE-18-2015) Research and demonstration on technologies, technical and operational approaches to recover waste heat from industrial processes, from material flows originating in industrial processes (e.g. waste streams, by-products, intermediates) or plant perimeters and to transform it into useful energy forms. 04/06/2015 €3-4M

Innovation Actions

Innovation actions take up more or less where R&I actions finish, they provide funding for activities which may include prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, large-scale product validation and market replication. They may include limited research and development activities, but are primarily geared towards prototyping, demonstrating and testing previously existing technology/knowledge. This is similar to the the kind of work funded by the Technology Strategy Board in the UK. The funding rates are 70% of direct costs for profit-making entities (i.e. SMEs, industry) and 100% of direct costs for non-profits (e.g. universities) plus 25% of direct costs as a flat rate contribution towards overheads.

Call Title Description Deadline Estimated Budget
Buildings design for new highly energy performing buildings (EE-02-2015) Projects should focus on development and demonstration of solutions which significantly reduce the cost of new buildings with at least ‘nearly zero-energy’ performance levels, whilst accelerating significantly the speed with which these buildings and their systems are taken up by the market. 04/02/2015 €3-5M
Innovative design tools for refurbishing of buildings at district level (EeB-05-2015) Research activities should be focused on design at buildings and district level, taking into account the adjacent systems such as district heating/cooling and decentralised thermal energy generation and other interactions with the neighbourhood, giving priority to local renewable resources. Projects should promote and set up an integrated approach in support of innovation, by providing actors with holistic methods and tools. 04/02/2015 €4-7M
New tools and methodologies to reduce the gap between predicted and actual energy performances at the level of buildings and blocks of buildings (EeB-07-2015) At building level, the research focus is on developing methodologies and tools to monitor and assess actual building energy performance, considering relevant factors such as user behaviour, complex energy systems performance and weather forecast, and to be able to predict accurately building energy loads and consumption along the whole lifecycle. 04/02/2015 €4-7M
Integrated approach to retrofitting of residential buildings (EeB-08-2015) Systemic approaches need to be developed which integrate the most promising cost-effective technologies and materials. The solutions could include, for example, energy use through innovative heat pump systems; combination of renewable energy sources at building level; exploitation of heat recovery for water and air as well as ICT, enabling to adapt the system to the end-user behaviour without losing control of the global efficiency of the system.  04/02/2015 €4-7M

Coordination and Support Actions

These are primarily designed to support accompanying measures such as standardisation, dissemination, awareness-raising and communication, networking, coordination or support services, policy dialogues and mutual learning exercises and studies. Like Innovation actions, they are not about discovering new knowledge but will work alongside both the above types of actions to support and improve uptake etc. The funding rates for all participants (whether industry, SME, university or other public body) is 100% of eligible direct costs, plus 25% of those costs as a flat rate contribution towards overheads.

Call Title Description Deadline Estimated Budget
 Empowering stakeholders to assist public authorities in the definition and implementation of sustainable energy policies and measures (EE-09-2015) Proposals should target specific actors among a wide spectrum of stakeholders (utilities, industry, financing institutions, non-governmental organisations, consumer associations, interest groups, trade unions, etc). They should provide large-scale capacity building or engagement activities to those specific groups playing a key role in the definition and/or implementation of sustainable energy policies and measures initiated by public authorities.  04/06/2015 €1.5-2M
Consumer engagement for sustainable energy (EE-10-2015) Project proposals should focus on changing the behaviour of consumers in their everyday life (e.g. at home, at work, at school), using market segmentation and focussing on ‘action’, the last step of the AIDA (Awareness – Interest – Desire – Action) framework.  04/06/2015 €1-1.5M
Removing market barriers to the uptake of efficient heating and cooling solutions (EE-14-2015) Project proposals should focus on one or more of the following areas: 1) Individual heating and cooling; 2) Inspection of heating and cooling systems; 3) Industrial heating/cooling; 4) Energy supply systems; 5) District heating/cooling industry; 6) Develop and demonstrate the tools and methodologies required to conduct the heating and cooling planning procedures necessary at the member state and EU level.  04/06/2015 €1.5-2M
Organisational innovation to increase energy efficiency in industry (EE-16-2015) Activities should focus on removing market barriers, in particular the lack of expertise and information on energy management. Proposals should primarily address the uptake of cross-cutting innovative technologies, such as energy efficient electric motor driven systems and steam/hot water generation, because these represent 75% of the potential savings in industry.  04/06/2015 €1.5-2M



Solving Urban Challenges with Data

Innovate UK, ESRC and NERC are set to invest up to £7.5m in collaborative R&D projects (with a proportion available for relevant feasibility studies) to develop new solutions to urban challenges through their competition ‘Solving Urban Challenges with Data’.

They will be hosting a series of events to across the UK to discuss the competition in more detail and provide an overview of the datasets available whilst giving you the opportunity to network and develop partnerships for the competition. There will also be, on a first come first serve basis, an opportunity to meet with Innovate UK and Research Councils for 1 to 1 discussions about the competition.

The events will benefit academics and researchers in the following sectors: Energy, Transport, Built Environment, Health, Water and/or Financial Services.

For more information and to register for an event please visit the website or contact Jenni McDonnell.


RCUK-Brazil Research Partnerships Call

Brazil 2014 by Adrien Sifre CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Brazil 2014 by Adrien Sifre CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

RCUK has recently released a call for research partnerships with Brazil as part of the £375M Newton Fund, which we blogged about earlier in the year:

RCUK-CONFAP Research Partnerships Call Preliminary Notice – Deadline 17th Oct 2014

What’s the call about?

The aim of this call is to provide flexible short-term support for small-scale research and networking activities, with the objective of establishing sustainable collaborations between UK and Brazilian researchers, helping to build a community that will be better equipped to develop excellent research outcomes through this and future funding opportunities.

What will the awards fund?

The awards will be up to 12 months in duration and funded to a maximum of £50K (direct costs only at 100%) by RCUK with support for matched effort from CONFAP (Brazil). Funds can be used for travel, subsistence and other networking or collaborative activities, such as workshops, summer schools and exchanges (in either direction: from and to the UK). Funds can also be used to support direct research costs; funding for staff time will be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Who can apply?

The lead UK applicant must be a current RCUK award holder and the lead Brazil applicant must be from a state whose FAP has signed up to the Newton Fund MoU. For the UK, there are a couple of exceptions: the AHRC exceptionally allows PIs who have been in receipt of an AHRC award within the last 5 years; the ESRC allows applications from researchers not currently in receipt of RCUK funding as long as they are part of a research group or cluster, in an institution eligible for ESRC funding, with a significant portfolio of externally funded research within the broad theme of the application.

What kinds of research will be funded?

Applications across all research council areas are welcome, as long as they make a strong case for UK-Brazil cooperation, but in particular the following areas have been highlighted as particularly welcome:

  • Health
  • Urban transformations
  • Food energy water environment nexus
  • Biodiversity and ecosystems resilience
  • Economic development and welfare reform

How do I apply?

There is a single form for both the UK and Brazil applicants, available here: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/international/newton/confap/. This needs to be completed and submitted to international@rcuk.ac.uk (for UK applicants) and to fundonewton@confap.org.br (for Brazilian applicants) by the call deadline (17th October 2014). Potential applicants are encouraged to contact your relevant Research Funding Manager as soon as possible to discuss.


EU Graphene Project Calls for Additional Partners

Model of graphene structure by CORE-Materials CC BY-SA 2.0The FP7-funded FET Flagship project Graphene has recently announced a call for additional project partners.

The deadline for applications is 5th Feb 2014 (16:00 Brussels time). The purpose is to attract strong new partners with complementary expertise.

There are 12 research topics, plus an additional coordinating topic:

  1. Standardisation
  2. Chemical sensor, biosensors and bio-interfaces
  3. Membrane technologies: from nanofluidics to nanoresonators
  4. Catalysts for energy applications
  5. Functionalized materials for composites and energy applications
  6. Functional coatings and interfaces in high-performance, low-weight technological applications
  7. Integration of graphene and related materials (GRMs) with semiconductor devices: a scalable back-end approach
  8. New layered materials and heterostructures
  9. Passive components for RF-applications
  10. Integration with Si photonics
  11. Prototypes based on graphene, related two-dimensional crystals, and hybrid systems
  12. Open topic, dedicated to bottom-up blue sky research
  13. Updating the Science and Technology roadmap for graphene, related two-dimensional crystals, and hybrid systems

Full descriptions of each of these topics, as well as instructions on how to apply, are available on the call documents page.

The expected average EC contribution is €708K for each topic except for 13, where the contribution is limited to €250K. Standard FP7 participation and financing rules apply: so 75% of total costs (direct plus indirect) for HEIs.

This call and other recent calls for additional participants to other projects are some of the few remaining FP7 funding opportunities available in advance of the launch of Horizon 2020.


Horizon 2020 Information Days and Brokerage Events

horizon2020In preparation for the launch of the new EU research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, there are a number of information days and partner brokerage events coming up in the fields of key enabling technologies, energy and under Societal Challenge 5: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials.

Details are below. We will continue to add details of future events of potential interest to Northumbria researchers as we receive them.

EU Brokerage Event on Key Enabling Technologies in Horizon 2020, 29 November 2013, Strasbourg

The EU Brokerage Event on Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) in Horizon 2020 will focus on:

  • Nanotechnologies
  • Advanced materials
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Processing
  • Energy efficiency in Buildings
  • Factories of the Future
  • Sustainable process industries

Participants will have the opportunity to present their own project concepts and to meet representatives from companies/SMEs, universities and research organisations in order to exchange ideas during pre-arranged meetings. In your profile you can state what kind of technology/product/expertise you are offering, what kind of cooperation you are looking for and which ideas you would like to discuss with potential collaboration partners.

The aim is to pave the way for future co-operations and European projects including Horizon 2020 call topics for 2014 and 2015. More information and registration details are available from the workshop website.

Horizon 2020 Energy Information Day for 2014 and 2015 calls, 5 December 2013, Brussels.

This event will give essential information on the calls for proposals which will be open in 2014 and 2015. These calls are expected to cover Energy Efficiency, Competitive Low Carbon Energy and Smart Cities and Communities. Activities extend from research to market including activities build on the experience of the previous Intelligent Energy Europe Programme in facilitating market uptake of energy technologies and services, fostering of social innovation and accelerating the cost effective implementation of the Union’s energy policies.

It will be an excellent networking opportunity for potential participants as well as a chance to understand the new rules for participation under Horizon 2020.

The deadline for registration is 28 November 2013. Please note that this event is expected to be heavily over-subscribed. You can register here. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fmi/scic/ENERINFO13/start.php

EU Brokerage Event for the first Horizon 2020 Energy calls, 6 December 2013, Brussels

To support participation in the calls outlined in the event above, on the following day a Brokerage Event for the first Horizon 2020 Energy calls will be held. It aims to target a wide spectrum of companies, universities and researchers from Europe and beyond and will support the creation of consortia for the upcoming Horizon 2020 Energy calls on the 3 focus areas:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Competitive Low Carbon Energy
  • Smart Cities and Communities

The event is free of charge. The deadline for registration is 20 November.

Information day on Horizon 2020 2014 calls in Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials, 17 November 2013, Brussels.

The European Commission is holding an InfoDay on 12 November on the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 5: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials. The event aims to explain the 2014-2015 Work Programme and will provide guidance on the preparation and submission of proposals under the 2014 calls.

Registration for this event has closed but if you are interested, you can watch the event online. More information



UKRO Annual Visit – Horizon 2020 Briefing

horizon2020Emma Carey, Northumbria’s representative from UKRO, will be visiting the university on Wednesday 11 September to give us an update on the European Commission’s upcoming research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

There will be a general introduction to Horizon 2020 from 10am-12pm in MEA House Auditorium, followed by bookable slots for individuals to meet with Emma to discuss their particular interests and potential projects. These slots will be limited so please contact Sam King as soon as possible to book.

Horizon 2020 is a 70.2 billion programme for research and innovation commencing in January 2014. The programme is organised under 3 ‘pillars’:

  • Excellent Science: Marie Curie Fellowships, European Research Council, Future and Emerging Technologies (responsive mode funding)
  • Industrial Leadership: Innovation in SMEs, Access to Risk Finance, Leadership and Industrial Techologies (innovation and enterprise funding)
  • Societal Challenges: Seven cross-disciplinary challenges addressing major concerns shared by all European citizens (multi-partner research networks involving a range of stakeholders)

There will be opportunities to find out about forthcoming calls across the three Horizon 2020 “pillars” (see our previous post for more information on the structure of Horizon 2020) as well as to ask questions about the programme and to initiate discussions with colleagues about potential proposals.


Materials Science and Engineering Network Issues Calls for Proposals

M-Era.net is a European network of public funding organisations and funding programmes in the areas of materials science and engineering research. The network provides a coordinated approach to these topics by issuing calls for transnational research proposals to support the exploitation of knowledge from basic research to applied innovation.

The first joint call for proposals was opened in late September 2012 and covers the following topics:

  • Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME)
  • Secondary raw materials
  • Design of new interfaces, surfaces and coatings
  • Hybrid composites
  • Materials for energy systems

The call is a two-stage process and the pre-proposal deadline is 27th November 2012, 12 noon Brussels time.

UK involvement is funded through the Technology Strategy Board and is limited to applied research in Integrated Computational Materials Engineering; Design of new interfaces, surfaces and coatings; and Hybrid composites. Other countries may focus on basic or applied research in these areas and other criteria may apply so please be sure to check each country’s funding regulations.

Full details about these thematic priorities are given in Annex 1 of the call for proposals document [PDF] alongside expected impact and target groups.

Project consortia consisting of at least 3 parties from 2 different participating countries in the M-ERA.NET call 2012, or 2 regions in different countries can apply for funding. The consortia may involve as many partners as necessary to carry out the project.