Call for proposals for Growing a Low Carbon, Resource Efficient Economy with a Sustainable Supply of Raw Materials H2020-SC5-2015-one-stage Closed!


The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) is implemented by specific programme and work programmes.

The “Societal challenges” responds directly to the policy priorities and societal challenges that are identified in the Europe 2020 strategy and that aim to stimulate the critical mass of research and innovation efforts needed to achieve the Union's policy goals.

The specific objective is to fully exploit the potential of Europe's talent pool and to ensure that the benefits of an innovation-led economy are both maximised and widely distributed across the Union in accordance with the principle of excellence.

Funding shall be focused on the following specific objectives:
(a) Health, demographic change and well-being.
(b) Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research. and the bioeconomy.
(c) Secure, clean and efficient energy.
(d) Smart, green and integrated transport.
(e) Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.
(f) Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies.
(g) Secure societies - Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.


Actions foreseen within this call for proposals include the following topics:

  • SC5-10c-2015: An EU support mechanism for evidence-based policy on biodiversity & ecosystems services. 
  • SC5-05b-2015: Earth-system modelling and climate services. The pace of current developments and uncertainties surrounding likely future trends in ecosystems and their services requires further steps to maintain and strengthen the evidence base to ensure that policy makers, businesses and citizens in the EU and Associated Countries can continue to draw on a sound understanding of the state of natural resources and the wider environment, the possible impact of response options and their consequences in social, economic and environmental terms. Better coordination of often fragmented research and innovation actions within Europe and beyond is needed, accompanied by timely and open exchange of information and research results to enhance the impact of research and ensure a more efficient use of resources and scientific developments. Innovative ways are required to mobilise all relevant actors, increase policy coherence, resolve trade-offs, manage conflicting interests, increase participation of citizens in decision-making and improve public awareness and business uptake of research results.
  • SC5-18b-2015: Integrating North African, Middle East and Balkan Earth Observation capacities in GEOSS. The specific challenge is to strengthen the Earth Observation networks (space-based, airborne, and particularly in-situ) of the broad European and North African, Middle East, and Balkan region to reinforce its contribution to the knowledge base for climate, natural resources, and raw materials. The EU's contribution to the monitoring of our planet by land, sea, air and space-based Earth Observation systems remains too fragmented. In addition, geopolitical and economic events in recent years in the EU's southern and south-eastern neighbourhood regions have had adverse effects on infrastructures and services as well as on its already quite modest Earth Observation capacities. An improvement is therefore urgently needed to enable effective, sustainable planning and management of measures to cope with regional and global challenges such as food security, climate change and access to raw materials and energy.
  • SC5-19b-2015: Mapping Member State research and innovation in climate change, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials. Better transnational cooperation and coordination of research and innovation policies, programmes and initiatives in the area of climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials within the EU is needed to enhance the impact of research and innovation and ensure a more efficient use of resources and R&I developments. Trans-national cooperation between National Contact Points (NCPs) within this Societal Challenge should be facilitated with a view to identifying and sharing good practices and raising the general standard of support to programme applicants, taking into account the diversity of actors that make up the constituency of this Societal Challenge. Innovative ways are required to link up all relevant actors, increase policy coherence and improve public awareness of EU research and innovation.
  • SC5-11e-2015: New metallurgical systems.
  • SC5-11c-2015: Deep mining on continent and in sea-bed.
  • SC5-11d-2015: New sustainable exploration technologies and geomodels. The EU is highly dependent on imports of raw materials that are crucial for a strong European industrial base, an essential building block of the EU's growth and competitiveness. However, Europe is confronted with a number of challenges along the entire raw materials value chain, starting with exploration, to secure a sustainable access to raw materials, including Critical Raw Materials (CRM). The major challenges are the geological uncertainty, technological and economic feasibility of mine development, and high and growing costs for exploration. In Europe, additional challenges include difficult operation in densely populated areas (access to land) and the fact that the majority of new deposits in Europe will be found at greater depths or in extreme environments such as the Arctic and the oceans. Europe is also facing the fact that it has been actively mined over many centuries so easy-to-access mineral deposits are mostly exhausted, and exploration activity in the past decades was too low to enable the identification of a sufficient amount of new resources. The major opportunities to access the fresh raw materials within the EU are in greater depths or in smaller deposits where larger mining operations may not be feasible. In the processing step, the available primary and secondary raw materials feeds are becoming more complex and low grade, and they may also vary in composition over time and contain different size of particles from coarse to very fine grains. Efficient processing requires a series of complex and integrated solutions leading to high investment installations, that will only be economically viable when operating at certain size (economy of scale) and for a predictably-sufficient long time taking into consideration volatility of metal prices. The production process also faces challenges related to water and sediment pollution, atmospheric dispersion, transport and deposition of toxic particles, noise, transport of ores etc.
  • SC5-13e-2015: Raw materials intelligence capacity.
  • SC5-13f-2015: Strategic international dialogues and cooperation with raw materials producing countries and industry. 
  • SC5-13c-2015: Innovation friendly minerals policy framework.
  • SC5-13d-2015: Raw materials research and innovation coordination. The appropriate and sustainable supply of raw materials requires framework conditions which relate to mineral policies, permitting procedure and data reporting system, raw materials knowledge infrastructure, research and innovation coordination, and international cooperation. Mineral policies are sometimes not clear, too dispersed in their implementation or insufficiently linked to other related policies (e.g. land-use planning) to be fully effective. A common understanding of which mineral deposits are of public importance is lacking. Permitting procedures can be lengthy and sometimes conflict with other public authorities’ requirements. Knowledge of raw materials reserves and resources is dispersed, terminology is often heterogeneous and reporting standards vary throughout the Member States. There is no raw materials knowledge infrastructure at EU level. Research and development in the area of raw materials is scattered between different players. Further coordination is required between industrial players, researchers in the EU and across the whole value chain and EU and Member State funding authorities. There is a need to better exploit synergies in R&D with the best world players in raw materials technology and scientific developments, as well as to learn from the experience of raw materials-producing countries.
  • SC5-12b-2015: Materials under extreme conditions. High-tech products, including electric and electronic equipment, green energy technologies or extreme applications, contain substantial amounts of certain Critical Raw Materials (CRM). Although the amount of CRM per product in general is very low, the huge number of products manufactured makes the total amounts very impressive. The prices and availability of CRM varies in time. There is therefore a need to find alternative solutions to replace certain CRM in concrete applications, or to diversify the supply of raw materials sources. Substitution of CRMs can also increase the recyclability of waste products, allowing for more efficient processes and reduce environmental impacts.
  • SC5-15-2015: Strengthening the European Research Area in the domain of Earth Observation. Decision makers require access to the information they need, when they need it, and in a format they can use. Bringing together and strengthening European national and regional research and innovation programmes in the domain of Earth Observation can contribute to this. Many European countries and pan-European organisations are conducting research and innovation programmes on Earth Observation but these activities remain quite fragmented. They need to be better integrated at institutional level to reach the critical mass that would enable the EU to be better positioned with regard to its main competitors.
  • SC5-02-2015: ERA for Climate Services. Proposals should pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing a joint call for proposals with EU co-funding to develop better tools, methods and standards on how to produce and use reliable data, new sets of projections and impact indicators relevant for users’ needs and capabilities. These are required by users to assess impacts of and adaptation responses to future climate variability and extreme conditions for specific regions, sectors and relevant time periods (seasonal-to-decadal) at regional and local scale. This should also include consideration of specific requests for services and multi-drivers risk analyses, which require an inter- and trans-disciplinary two-way dialogue between scientists, information providers and end-users. Links with international climate service initiatives should be established. Proposals should promote a wide representation of EU Member States.

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the call for proposals is:

  • 116,00 Million EUR (Global Budget)

All the important deadlines

  • 21 April 2015 - 6 years ago (Deadline for the presentation of proposals)

Further information about the call

Official webpage of the call

Useful documents

  • Growing a Low Carbon, Resource Efficient Economy with a Sustainable Supply of Raw Materials (Legal base)

Organisations eligible to participate

Opened to the following bodies or institutes with legal status established in the covered areas:

  • Any legal organisation

Covered areas

Bodies or institutes must have their registered legal seat in one of the countries taking part in the Programme which are:

  • European Union (EU)

Directorate-Generale responsible

Directorate-General for Research

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