Societal Challenges


Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials 2018-2020

On 27 October 2017 the European Commission has published the Work Programme 2018-2020 containing new calls for proposals in the Societal Challenge Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials. The overall budget for the 2018 call is EUR  361.05 Million. For the calls in 2019 there will be EUR 392.95 Million available. For the calls in 2020 the Work Programme foresees EUR 370.95 Million and a list with topic titles.

The aim of Societal Challenge 5 is to support projects, which promote a more resource efficient European economy and society.

The work programme 2018-2020 comprises the following research priorities and submission deadlines:

Call - Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future: climate action in support of the Paris Agreement

  • Climate adaptation, impacts and services
  • Inter-relations between climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • The Cryosphere
  • Knowledge gaps

Call - Greening the economy in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • Connecting economic and environmental gains - the circular economy
  • Raw materials
  • Water for our environment, economy and society
  • Innovating cities for sustainability and resilience
  • Protecting and leveraging the value of our natural and cultural assets: Earth observation
  • Protecting and leveraging the value of our natural and cultural assets: Nature-based solutions, disaster risk reduction and natural capital accounting
  • Protecting and leveraging the value of our natural and cultural assets: Heritage alive


Rules for submission: The research priorities are composed of "topics", which are outlined in detail in the work programme and must be integrated into the research proposals. The official opening of the different calls will start on 7 November 2017 on the Participant Portal.

Submission procedure:

Proposal submission for one-stage submissions in calls 2018:

  • 27. 02. 2018

Proposal submission for two-stage submission procedure in calls 2018:

  • Deadline for stage 1 proposals:  27. 02. 2018
  • Deadlines for stage 2 proposals: 04. 09. 2018

Further aspects of the work programme:

A number of topics in this work programme are not directed at consortia of individual research institutions but at funding institutions in the member states which, in the form of ERA-NETs, should coordinate their funding programmes and set up joint calls with co-financing from Horizon 2020.

The work programme contains one topic for ERA-NETs:

SC5-21-2019-2020: ERA-NET Cofund action(s) for climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials

European Innovation Council: Fast Track to Innovation and SME-Instrument

The Pilot initiative ‚European Innovation Council‘ comprises calls for the financing instruments SME instrument (EIC-SME instrument call/H2020-EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020) and Fast Track to Innovation (EIC-Fast-Track-to-Innovation/H2020-EIC-FTI-2018-2020) which can be found under the Horizon 2020 Work Programme Part – Towards the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation: European Innovation Council (EIC) Pilot" (part 17 of this Work Programme).

Please consider:

The two year Work Programme 2018 - 2020 is quite complex in terms of funding objectives, funding schemes, proposal submission procedures and deadlines. All information on the call, the detailed call description and important guidance for applicants in the "Horizon 2020 Grants Manual" are available online on the Participant Portal and should be read carefully. Topics, rules for submission (budgets, deadlines, funding schemes) as well as information on the evaluation procedure are available in General Annex of the Work Programme.