The European Commission is launching a call for projects to contribute to the objectives of the European Green Deal.

Last updated on 08/10/2020 16:00 CET

Why this call?

End 2019, the European Commission presented the European Green Deal promised by its new President Ursula Van der Leyen. This action plan aims to make the EU carbon neutral by 2050, to promote a clean, circular economy, restore biodiversity and reduce pollution. To implement this plan, several programmes have been highlighted to provide funding directly or to stimulate private investment. They concern both the European programmes in place until the end of 2020 and the future programmes for the period 2021-2027 under negotiation.

One of the funding source is the current European programme to support research and innovation Horizon 2020. The European Green Deal Call stimulates and finances the implementation of large, multi-stakeholder and multidisciplinary collaborative projects. The aim is to provide tangible and visible results in terms of solutions which research and innovation can provide to the priorities of the European Green Deal.

Where to find it?

The call is opening on 22th September 2020 with a deadline (single stage submission) on 26 January 2021.

The text of the Green Deal Call is included in 2018-2020 Work Programme on Cross-Cutting issues, p.62 onwards. It is also now published on the  EU funding and Tenders Portal (easier access through the button “apply for funding” on the webpage of the call).

Get an overview of the call in our useful guide.

A demanding call

The call funds collaborative projects from groups of actors in “consortia” covering (for Research and Innovation Actions and for Innovation Actions) at least three European countries. The application is officially registered by the consortium coordinator on behalf of all others.

The call is divided into 20 very diverse topics from biodiversity to mobility, energy and health, as well as citizen engagement. These topics are succinctly but very precisely written in terms of results to be achieved and expectations. A consortium applies for a topic and, for some topics, a sub-topic.

Horizon 2020 is a program open to the world. Legal persons from countries outside the European Union is also encouraged to participate in these consortia for many topics, including one specifically focused on Africa. If all can participate, not all are eligible for funding but many developing countries are eligible. UK actors are still eligible for funding from this call for projects.


The Horizon 2020 grants have quite substantial and interesting financial terms. The co-financing rate

  • 100% for Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) and Coordination and Support Actions (CSA)
  • For Innovation Actions (IA) : 100% for non-profit organisations and 70 % for profit-making organisations.

However, this demanding call involve collaborative work and reporting to show that the expected impacts have been achieved or why they have not been achieved.

Is it for me?

To participate it is imperative to be registered as a legal person. However, any type of legal person (company, association, public authority, etc.) can participate as long as it can demonstrate its financial and operational capacity.

A good command of English is also essential to participate in these international consortias.

This call is therefore directed primarily to experienced actors with specific expertise related to the description of the 20 topics. However, the European Commission is pushing to involve stakeholders, actors on the ground and experts in citizen participation notably to increase the impact of the results of these research projects on society.

¨The call funds international collaborative projects so you cannot use this call to fund your own project but rather think how your expertise can contribute to a consortia aiming at reaching the expected impacts listed in the call. 

Notwithstanding, participating in such a project can enable you to valorize and develop your expertise and innovations in collaboration with other actors in other countries. Investing time and resources to participate in these calls can therefore be part of your organization’s  development strategy notably to go further than local collaboration and to develop an international network.

If the priority is to find partners in other countries, it is also possible in such a consortia to collaborate with other Brussels or Belgian players, for example with universities that have more experience with these projects and can benefit from local expertise “on the ground”.

Prepare yourself

Such international projects require a lot of work, so you must start to prepare as quickly as possible.

An infoday in English on this call was organised as part of the “R&I Days” on 23 September afternoon and 24th September open to all in a virtual way. A list of the recording and slides is available here.

The call will be published on the European Commission’s  “Funding & Tender opportunity” portal on 22th September. This is the gateway for many EU calls for projects. The application is made online by the consortium coordinator on behalf of all others. But each partner must also be registered on this portal with a PIC number, another step you can anticipate.

Targeted themes within the European Green Deal Call  will be covered during these 2 events (also with matchmaking opportunities):

Many useful ressources are available on our website, for instance the following useful guides:

How to find partners?

The NCP CaRE Partner Search tool is available to facilitate partner search for all Green Deal Call topics. Please first read the registration information. Past entries in the tool could also be relevant partners.

A matchmaking session is organised on the side of the infoday in the framework of the R&I Days on 24th September, register on the dedicated website distinct from the one from the R&I Days.

Moreover, in collaboration with other networks and the Enterprise Europe Network, NCPs CaRE informs you about coming brokerage events to find partners. In particular, the following two brokerage events are dedicated to this call :

And in the framework of the permanent Brokerage event Virtual International Partnering  – Innovation in Environment & Energy & Circular Economy, Bayern Innovativ is organizing a webinar on 14th September about the Green Deal reserved for the participants registered for the brokerage event.

Lost in partner search? Check out the slides from our webinar on partner search from 8/10/2020.

Who can help me?

Your National Contact Points for Horizon 2020 can help you, notably those for Societal Challenge 5 (“Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency & Raw Materials)

! Find them under “Climate” in the NCP Search function on the Funding & Tender Portal.

NCPs CaRE, the network of Societal Challenge 5 NCPs, provide useful materials on its website.

For the next updates, follow up on Twitter @NCPsCaRE and LinkedIn.

Article partly republished with the kind authorization of NCP Brussels   – Camille Lépinay