Links between “Societal Challenge 5” and “Space” in Horizon 2020

Horizon’s 2020 Societal Challenge 5 (Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials) is covering topics that represent one of the global and biggest challenge facing humanity. Many of Earth’s most critical natural resources (forests, fisheries, water, coal, oil) suffer from mishandling, mismanagement and unsustainable use. As a result, their long-term sustainability is at risk. New approaches to conservation, resource management and governance are needed for freshwater resources, global food production, sea levels, raw materials and human security.

The space-based solution can provide researchers and policy-makers with vital information about the Earth’s climate system, enabling the monitoring, prediction, modelling and implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures. Remote-sensing and communication satellites can be used to help develop Arctic infrastructure, to sustainably manage the Arctic environment, to aid scientific research and improve our knowledge. Space-based technologies also allow for improved observation, tracking and management of resource abundance and reduction. 

Activities under the »Space« part of Horizon 2020 Work Programme focus on the evolution of Copernicus and the exploitation of existing European space infrastructure by promoting the development of innovative products and services based on remote sensing, geo-positioning or other types of satellite enabled data as well as geo-information generated already by services such as Copernicus services.

Proposals addressing application and uptake of Earth Observation (EO) for the development of innovative applications addressing specific challenges can also be submitted to the Horizon 2020 »Societal Challenges 5« topics in adition to »Space« call as shown in table below:


For further information you are kindly ask to approach your National Contact Point for Societal Challenge 5 or Space and visit webpages  of the Networks of these NCPs:

  • NCPs CaRE:
  • COSMOS2020:

Written by1: Petra Žagar, SC5 NCP Slovenia and Ivan Skubic, SPACE NCP Slovenia

[1] Based on Report by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Space Security: Bringing Space Down to Earth,  Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-2017 – part 5iii. Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies – Space and Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-2017 – part 12. Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.