In Innovation

The European Commission will launch a call for projects in mid-September to contribute to the objectives of the European Green Deal.
Last update on 17/09/2020

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 will stimulate and finance 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.

A demanding call

The call will fund collaborative projects from groups of actors in “consortia” covering at least three European countries. The application is officially registered by the consortium coordinator on behalf of all others.

The call will be 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 topic, a sub-topic.

Horizon 2020 is a program open to the world. Legal persons from countries outside the European Union will also be encouraged to participate in these consortia for many topics, including one specifically focused on Africa. If all can participate, not all will be 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 is 100% for non-profit organisations and 70 % for profit-making organisations. However, these demanding calls involve collaborative work and reporting to show that the expected impacts have been achieved or why they have not been achieved. 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.

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 will therefore be 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 will fund 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.

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

This new call for projects will be launched in mid-September with a deadline to submit full applications by the end of January 2021. But such international projects require a lot of work, so you must start to prepare as quickly as possible.

So you can already anticipate this call on the basis of preliminary information published in May 2020 by the European Commission.

An infoday in English on this call is organised as part of the “R&I Days” on 23 September afternoon and open to all in a virtual way.

The call will be published on the European Commission’s Funding & Tender opportunity” portal. 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.

How to find partners?

Once the call is published, the NCP CaRE Partner Search tool will be available to facilitate partner search for all Green Deal Call topics. Nevertheless, you can already register yourself but first please 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.

Who can help me?

NCP Brussels, your National contact point for Horizon 2020 in the Brussels Region, accompanies all potential participants in the programme (companies, universities, research centres, local or regional authorities, associations) in setting up their project and beyond, check our services.

NCP Brussels is organising with other Belgian NCPs two webinars to get an overview and go deeper about the European Green Call on 9th and 11th September.

Our experts also help you find partners using our multiple networks, especially the Enterprise Europe Network et NCPs CaRE.

Our team of advisors is available to answer your questions. Our full support can also be wider than the Horizon 2020 programme to adapt to your needs. The first contact person for this call is Camille Lépinay


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