European Calls

There are regular Photonics Calls for Proposals published by the European Commission. The Photonics21 community is the dedicated body to define the European call topics for photonics.

Additionally, the Photonics21 Mirror Group - one of the bodies of Photonics21 - issues joint cross national calls on Photonics topics that are of common interest to the participating countries.

Photonics21 Mirror Group Call:

Photonics Call 2022 for multilateral research proposals: Next Generation Integrated Photonic Sensing

Please visit the call website for more details! 

Current European Photonics Calls separated by different clusters:

Cluster 4: Digital, Industry and Space

1. Digital and emerging technologies for competitiveness and fit for the green deal (RIA)

Open: 16. June 2022

Deadline: 16. November 2022

Expected Outcome:

Proposal results are expected to contribute to the following expected outcomes:

  • New technological solutions with improved performance and reduced energy consumption providing significant advances towards the integration of 2D materials (2DM) technology, and the emergence of competitive value chains in graphene in Europe.

Scope:

Proposals should cover the development of 2DM-based devices and systems bringing 2DM technology one step further towards the integration in current technologies and to the development of radically new prototypes and/or solutions for industry for a wide range of application areas overcoming integration costs, functionalities and/or power consumption challenges. The proposals should develop 2DM-based electronic and photonic devices including ultrafast circuits, photodetector, and modulators, broadband detectors, switches, as well as sensors, advanced electronics, metamaterials, etc., serving applications such as 5G and 6G data communications, wireless connections, smart machine vision, autonomous robots and vehicles, internet of things, and neuromorphic circuitry and/or imaging applications. The 2DM-based devices and systems should demonstrate their added value in terms of e.g. functionality, integration, miniaturization, performances, power consumption, costs, etc. compared to current conventional technologies. Proposals should integrate the value chain and incorporate the relevant manufacturing technologies needed to bring the developed devices towards the market and indicate how they work with the newly established Graphene Flagship 2D-Experimental Pilot Line (2D-EPL)[1].

Proposals should address a modelling, design, manufacturing and characterization of developed devices and systems. The proposals should also explore, develop and assess the route(s) for integration (e.g. wafer growth, transfer, wafer scale integration, co-integration) of 2DM into the devices and systems favouring industrial uptake in the longer-term.

Proposals should include activities aiming at facilitating future exploitation of results.

Proposals should aim, by the end of the project, at validating technology in relevant environment (TRL 5).

Proposals should also cover the contribution to the governance and overall coordination of the Graphene Flagship initiative.

In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.

Specific Topic Conditions:

Activities are expected to start at TRL 3-4 and achieve TRL 5 by the end of the project – see General Annex B.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Artificial Intelligence
Digital Agenda

[1] https://graphene-flagship.eu/innovation/pilot-line/

Find further information on the Call Website

Cluster 1: Health

Currently no open calls in this Cluster

Cluster 5: Climate, Energy and Mobility

 Currently no open calls in this Cluster

Cluster 6: Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment

1. Life sciences and their convergence with digital technologies for prospecting, understanding and sustainably using biological resources (RIA)

Open: 28. October 2021

Deadline: 1. September 2022

Expected Outcome:

In line with the European Green Deal and other European initiatives such as the circular economy action plan, the industrial strategy, the bioeconomy strategy and the biodiversity strategy, the successful proposal should support the uptake of bio-based innovation, to improve European industrial[1] sustainability, competitiveness and resource independence. They should develop innovative bio-based products using the full benefits of artificial intelligence and other digital technology innovation. They should engage all stakeholders and improve their knowledge and understanding of science, notably biotechnology-based value chains, and improve benefits for consumers.

Project results should contribute to all of the following outcomes:

  • Use the full potential of artificial intelligence applications for prospecting, understanding and sustainably using biological resources within safe planetary boundaries.
  • Digital tools, sensors and methods for improved efficiency, climate change adaptation and sustainability of industrial processes in the bio-based sectors considering the needs of stakeholders are integrated in innovative engineering solutions.
  • Enhanced monitoring, reporting and management of natural resources using artificial intelligence and other digital technology applications.

Scope:

Engineering biology applications have grown beyond chemical production to include the generation of biosensor organisms for the lab, animal, and field, modification of agricultural organisms for nutrition and pest/environmental resilience, production of organisms for bioremediation, and live cell and gene/viral therapies. The rapid expansion of the field has resulted in new tools and new approaches. However, we are still challenged by the need for novel and more robust and interoperable computational tools and models for engineering biology. For example, improved models of synthetic systems (synthetic biology) and of their interaction with their host organisms could help enable more successful engineering.

This information infrastructure for biological design is at an early stage compared to engineering disciplines such as mechanical and electrical engineering, as the biomanufacturing field has emerged only recently. A critical bottleneck is a lack of established "design rules," core aspects of biological and biomolecular function that apply to diverse systems and applications. Furthermore, technologies for the utilization, manufacture, and deployment of innovative bio-based systems are still under development. These roadblocks have hampered the development of standard computational frameworks to represent, process and store information on biological components, predict system behaviour, and diagnose failures. Therefore, widespread automation in the bio-based sectors remains out of reach.

A mature computational infrastructure for biodesign requires powerful access to information on biological parts and systems, their environments, their manufacturing processes, and their operations in and beyond the laboratory in which they are created. This in turn requires findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable data that enable effective aggregation information on bio-based systems, their environments, and their processes of manufacture, and the establishment of standard models of data processing and analysis, including bioinformatics, biosensors, bioindicators, '-omics' technologies that allow open-development and scalable execution in the bio-based sectors.

The topic aims to prevent pollution and sustainably manage and use natural resources within safe planetary boundaries, including in the deployment of the bioeconomy and the bio-based sectors. The topic focuses on bioinformatics, "cheminformatics" and artificial intelligence as approaches and tools to transform available information into biologically or biotechnologically applicable knowledge. It also aims to efficiently integrate digital technologies into bio-based operations to optimise value chains from a technical, economic, social and environmental point of view.

Proposals should:

  • Enable prospecting, understanding and sustainable use of biological resources based on their convergence with digital technologies that lead to optimised and more efficient bio-based operations.
  • Identify and characterise advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence, and their benefits for the utilisation, manufacture, and deployment of innovative bio-based systems.
  • Develop integrated biological designs and data models for improved prospecting, understanding and deployment of higher efficiency and sustainability of biological resources and industrial bio-based operations (e.g. bioinformatics, biosensors, bioindicators, data analysis, '-omics' technologies).
  • Improve the economic and environmental sustainability of bio-based operations.
  • Focus on the integration of -omics and machine learning techniques such as active learning for the design-build-test-learn (DBTL) cycle.
  • Develop improved models and model standards of synthetic systems (synthetic biology) and of their interaction with their host organisms to facilitate more successful engineering and broader application in the bio-based sectors.
  • Establish bio computer-aided design (BioCAD) tools and design-of-experiment (DoE) approaches.
  • Reinforce and maintain scientific infrastructures to integrate existing biodiversity information (species, habitats and environmental processes).
  • Consider contributing data and results to the European Commission's Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy hosted by the JRC.

For this topic, it is not mandatory to integrate the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) into research and innovation.

Specific Topic Conditions:

Activities are expected to achieve TRL 4-5 by the end of the project – see General Annex B.

[1]In synergy with European partnerships under Cluster 6, in particular Circular Bio-based Europe (CBE).

Find further information on the Call Website

 

2. Harnessing the digital revolution in the forest-based sector (IA)

Open: 28. October 2021

Deadline: 1. September 2022

Expected Outcome:

In line with the EU forest strategy and the European digital strategy, successful proposals will demonstrate the potential of digital solutions in forestry and forest-based value chains contributing to the multifunctionality and management of forests in Europe based on the three pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental and social). Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Deployment of information and communication technology (ICT) innovations in forestry to optimise productivity as well as the delivery of ecosystem services.
  • Application of innovative approaches along the forest-based value chain by more accurate tracing methodologies of forest resources.
  • A greater competitive advantage for European industries that utilise forest resources more efficiently.

Scope:

The improved use of information flows and intelligent digital solutions that are increasingly available in forest monitoring, management and forestry operations, could help to significantly improve and unlock the efficiency of wood supply chain activities. Modern digital applications also provide promising possibilities to improve forest managers' decision making in a precious and complex forest environment and to improve ecosystem monitoring.

This topic addresses innovations in information systems for forest managers, forest-based industries and policy makers as well as advances in precision forestry, harvesting systems and forest nursery operation, optimised harvest planning, operations management, timber transport and logistics, as well as safety, ergonomics and smart assistance for human workers. The synergetic use of geo-spatial, statistical, and modelling technologies together with information and communication technologies such as aerial and satellite retrievals, (in particular from the Copernicus programme) and the 'web of things' combined with big-data analytics is highly encouraged.

The aim is to harness the potential of ICT and new technologies to improve the sustainability of forest management and logging operations with a view to sharing data throughout the wood value chain, thereby driving greater sustainability, to offer new business models along the value chain and to improve the traceability of forest resources for optimised and transparent supply chains. The integration in the new technologies of climate change impacts on these wood chains should be an essential component. Activities may also include robust and transparent methods and tools for high resolution forest and ecosystems services assessments, natural disturbance risk monitoring and analysis (including pests and forest fires) and disaster response systems.

Besides activities such as prototyping, testing, demonstrating and piloting in a near to operational environment, proposals may include limited research activities. Assessing and deepening the understanding of economic, social and environmental impacts through an enhanced application of digital technologies for foresters, small and medium-sized enterpirses (SMEs) and industries, as well as end-consumers will be of special interest, including the assessment of risks and opportunities for jobs in forestry, the wider forest-based sector and rural communities.

Proposals must implement the 'multi-actor approach' and ensure adequate involvement of the primary sector and the wider forest-based value chain. Cooperation with other selected projects under this topic and other relevant projects is strongly encouraged.

In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.

Specific Topic Conditions:

Activities are expected to achieve TRL 6-7 by the end of the project – see General Annex B.

Find further information on the Call Website

 

3. Smart solutions for the use of digital technologies for small- and medium-sized, farms and farm structures (IA)

Open: 28. October 2021

Deadline: 6. September 2022

Expected Outcome:

In line with the farm to fork strategy and the Headline ambitions of a Digital Age and Economy that works for people, leaving no one behind, and the biodiversity strategy, the successful proposals will support the development of small- and medium sized farms to benefit from digital technologies and strengthen their capacities to their effective and efficient deployment. Projects will therefore contribute to the development of sustainable, productive and climate-neutral and resilient farming systems providing consumers with affordable, safe, healthy and sustainable food, minimising pressure on ecosystems, improving public health and generating fair economic returns for farmers through the development of smart solutions for the use of digital technologies for small- and medium-sized, farms and farm structures. Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:

  • Innovative solutions for the use of digital technologies (fostering soft- and hardware) tailored to the needs of small- and medium-sized farms and farm structures, including crop- and livestock production;
  • Increased uptake of innovative digital technologies by farmers;
  • Contribution to avoiding an increased digital divide between small and large farms;
  • Increase in the environmental and economic performance of small- and medium-sized farms in the EU and Associate Countries.

Scope:

Despite the potential of digital technologies to increase the economic and environmental performance of the agricultural sector, there is still need to increase the uptake of precision farming tools, particularly among small- and medium-sized farms. An increase in the digital divide between small and large farms is to be avoided.

While one main reason for this circumstance is – as for many investments in agricultural equipment – investments in digital technologies frequently only become cost-effective, if a critical mass of production volume is given. In addition, small- and medium-sized farms and farms structures have in some areas specific needs and strengths, because of e.g. a small average parcel seize, which should be considered in the development of digital solutions for the sector.

Proposals should cover all of the following aspects:

  • Development and piloting of cost-effective digital solutions for small- and medium-sized farms and farm structures for at least grass land and arable crops under representative consideration of the diverse environmental, climatic and socio-economic conditions across the EU and Associated Countries.
  • Development of business and/ or governance models facilitating the roll-out of the piloted innovation at larger scale in several countries; if relevant, models may not only consider financing the purchase of the digital solutions but also the establishment of other framing conditions or propose public intervention (e.g. data provision) or public-private partnerships or cooperative (digital) service provision and taking.

Proposals must implement the multi-actor approach, involving at least scientists, , SMEs, and representatives of the agricultural sector. Proposals are expected to demonstrate how networking activities fostering the exchange of experiences and knowledge transfer are organised. Exchange/ collaborate with Digital Innovation Hubs[1] and the consideration of the potential of social innovation to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the wider application of the developed innovative digital solutions are encouraged. Special attention may also be given to certain crops and / or sub-branches, and/or specific production processes for which currently less dedicated precision farming technologies are available on the market.

Proposals may involve financial support to third parties to provide direct support (e.g. in the form of cascading grants) to researchers, developers, SMEs, start-ups and other multidisciplinary actors in particular for populating, testing and validating use cases and/ or other actions contributing to the objectives of the project. A maximum of € 60 000 per third party might be granted. Conditions for third parties support are set out in Part B of the General Annexes. Consortia need to define the selection process of organisations, for which financial support will be granted. Maximum 20% of the EU funding can be allocated to this purpose. The financial support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants.

In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.

Specific Topic Conditions:

Activities are expected to achieve TRL 6-7 by the end of the project – see General Annex B.

[1]For more information on Digital Innovation Hubs, please see https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/digital-innovation-hubs.

Find further information on the Call Website

Open Calls by the European Innovation Council:

EIC Accelerator: It focuses on scientific discoveries or technological breakthroughs, which need significant funding over a longer timeframe before returns can be generated. Such innovations often struggle to attract financing because the risks and time involved are generally too high. This funding enables the innovators to attract the full investment amounts that are needed to scale up in a shorter timeframe.

EIC Pathfinder: Interdisciplinary teams of researchers can apply for research and innovation grants that will support them to realise their breakthrough ideas and have a transformative positive effect on our economy and society.