MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Metropolitan University

Horizon 2020 – Focus on … Societal Challenges for 2016/17

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In the first of our series looking at the new 2016/17 Work Programme, we focus on the Societal Challenges.(SCs).

1.What’s the big idea?

The SCs address key challenges facing Europe and reflect policy priorities. The Commission invites groups of interested parties from across the academic and non-academic sectors to propose projects which will address needs that have been identified by experts in each area. Each project has a ‘brief’ in terms of scope, scale and expected impacts and applicants are asked to set out how they will address this brief. Typically projects are large (there are exceptions) and will involve a blend of researchers and end users.

2. What are the priorities and how do I find out more?

There are seven SCs (follow the links to find out more about specific topics):

SC 1. Health, demographic change and well-being – the calls focus on different aspects of Personalised Medicine. These include developing better understanding of health, well-being and disease, preventing, treating and managing disease, self-management of health, underpinning methods and data and health care provision and integrated care.

The 2016 call opens on 19 October 2015, with a closing date of 13 April 2016.

SC 2. Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy – the calls focus on four key areas (click links to access more information): Rural Renaissance; Blue Growth; Sustainable Food Security and Bio-based innovation for sustainable goods and services.

2016 call opens on 26 October 2015, with a closing date of 17 February 2016.

SC 3. Secure, clean and efficient energy – the calls focus on: Competitive low-carbon energy and Energy efficiency.

The 2016 call opens on 14 March 2016 with a closing date of 15 September 2016.

SC 4.  Smart, green and integrated transport – the calls focus on Mobility for Growth (including aviation, waterborne, safety, urban mobility, logistics, intelligent transport systems, infrastructure and socio-economic and behavioural research); Automated Road Transport; and Green Vehicles.

The 2016 call opens on 14 October 2015, with closing dates of 20 or 26 January 2016.

SC 5. Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials – the calls focus on Greening the Economy and covers waste; water innovation; and the low carbon economy.

The 2016 call has a range of opening dates 14 October 2015, 9 November 2015, and 13 April 2016  with closing dates of 26 January, 8 March and 8 September 2016.

SC 6.  Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective societies – the calls focus on Reversing inequalities and promoting fairness; Engaging together globally; Co-creation for growth and inclusionand Understanding Europe – promoting the European public and cultural space.

2016 call opens on 26 October 2015 with a closing date of 4 February 2016.

The 2016 call has a range of opening dates 26 October 2015, 7 December 2015, and 4 January 2016 with closing dates of 4 February, 14 April, and 24 May 2016.

SC 7. Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens – the calls focus on Critical Infrastructure Protection; Security and Digital Security.

The 2016 call opens on 14 March 2016 and has a closing date of 25 August 2016.

3. It won’t work for me if …

… I have a project idea which isn’t in line with the brief

… I don’t have a strong, balanced partnership (preferably with experienced partners!)

… I’m looking for ‘quick’ funding (time between application deadline and funding approval is up to 8 months)

If you’d like to get involved or find out more, then do get in touch (


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