About Horizon 2020 ICT
Digital technologies underpin innovation and competitiveness across private and public sectors and enable scientific progress in all disciplines. The topics addressed cover the ICT technology in a comprehensive way, from technologies for Digitising European Industry, HPC, Big Data and Cloud, 5G and Next Generation Internet. Pursuing the change initiated under Work Programme 2016-2017, activities will continue to promote more innovation-orientation to ensure that the EU industry remains strong in the core technologies that are at the roots of future value chains.
Through a successful application to the programme, companies can get:
- €1-5 M for technology and product development
- IPR – Intellectual Property Rights
- New partner networks
- Access to new markets
- Technology and knowledge transfer
Possibilities with Horizon 2020 ICT
The ICT program offers opportunities for a variety of organisations (SMEs, large companies, public bodies, NGOs) to co-finance development of new technologies or the application of existing technologies in new a context. The applicants must face a technological challenge or address a problem relevant to society. Horizon 2020 ICT co-financing research, development and demonstration activities.
The Horizon 2020 ICT calls will be offered to projects within the following categories (see specific topics below):
- Technologies for Digitising European Industry
- European Data Infrastructure: HPC, Big Data and Cloud technologies
- 5G & Next Generation Internet (NGI)
- Support to Hubs
- Cyber Security
Requirements for Horizon 2020 ICT
There are a number of requirements that need to be met to be considered for Horizon 2020 ICT:
- Innovation height – the product or technology needs to be novel and solve a European problem
- Large market potential or great socio-economic impact – minimum € 100 M over 5 years
- The project requires international cooperation
Below are the upcoming deadlines for Horizon 2020 ICT. Expect 1-2 months for the proposal writing process.
Cyber-physical Systems of Systems (CPSoS), like transport networks or large manufacturing facilities, interact with and are controlled by a considerable number of distributed and networked computing elements and human users. These complex and physically-entangled systems of systems are of crucial importance for the quality of life of the citizens and for the European economy.
The focus is on dependable physically-entangled systems for applications in industrial sectors. Work is complementary to the initiative on European low-power microprocessor technologies, which addresses technology for HPC applications, and to the ECSEL programme, which addresses computing for CPSoS at higher TRL.
Photonics is driving innovation in many different application areas. The challenge is to help European companies become more competitive by improving their business/production processes as well as products and services by means of photonics technology.
The focus is on Manufacturing Pilot Lines: actions should provide open access to manufacturing of advanced photonics components and systems and offer related services including design and characterization.
Photonic technologies for health applications is a very promising field, where the EU has produced significant results during the past decades; however, industrialization is still lagging behind. The challenges are to develop methods that provide the clinicians with photonics enabled tools to improve or to assess the successes of therapies.
For Innovation Actions the focus in on the following themes: Photonics devices to support monitoring therapeutic progress; Sensor-Based Optimization of Production Processes.
For Research and Innovation Actions the focus in on the following themes: Photonics System on Chip/ System in Package for optical interconnect applications; And photonics systems for advanced imaging to support diagnostics driven therapy.
The challenge is to maintain Europe's position at the forefront of advanced nanoelectronic technologies developments. This is essential to ensure strategic electronic design and manufacturing capability in Europe avoiding critical dependencies from other regions.
Projects will aim at demonstrating the viability of new approaches to computing components. The focus should be on demonstrating new concepts at transistor or circuit level which bring the potential of highly improved performance for generic or specific applications.
As addressed in the multi-annual roadmap of the FoF cPPP, physically-entangled systems used in manufacturing environments have some specific requirements in terms of reliability and security, which are now challenged by the need for manufacturing facilities to be digitally connected with external partners in the value chain.
Proposals need to develop tools and services guaranteeing an adequate level of data security for digital collaboration between manufacturing environments and value chains. Solutions need to be practically usable in real manufacturing facilities, taking into account the operational requirements needed for factory usage in real-world conditions, including reliability and resilience.
While robots originated in large-scale mass manufacturing, they are now spreading to more and more application areas. In these new settings, robots are often faced with new technical and non-technical challenges.
Research and Innovation Actions: Proposals are expected to enable substantially improved solutions to challenging technical issues, with a view of take-up in applications with high socio-economic impact.
Innovation Actions: Establish large-scale pilots capable of demonstrating the use of robotics at scale in actual or highly realistic operating environments; showcase advanced prototype applications built around platforms operating in real or near-real environments and demonstrate high levels of socio-economic impact.
Autonomy in robotic systems is built on a combination of four core technologies: AI and Cognition, Cognitive Mechatronics, Socially cooperative human-robot interaction, Model-based design and configuration tools.
Proposals should address one of the four core technologies and target the development of core technology modules (modular, open and non-proprietary) and tool kits for use in deployable system platforms that meet the requirements of applications in the following four prioritised application areas: Healthcare, Infrastructure Inspection and Maintenance, Agri-Food and Agile Production.
The lack of trusted and secure platforms and privacy-aware analytics methods for secure sharing of personal data and proprietary/commercial/industrial data hampers the creation of a data market and data economy by limiting data sharing mostly to open data.
Innovation Actions for setting up and operating platforms for secure and controlled sharing of "closed data" (proprietary and/or personal data). The actions should address the necessary technical, organisational, legal and commercial aspects of data sharing/brokerage/trading, and build on existing computing platforms.
Develop competitive cloud solutions based on advanced cloud platforms and services and cloud-based software and data applications, as well as the opportunities brought by considering the edge devices capacities.
Proposals for Research and Innovation actions will address at least one the following areas: New modelling techniques and mechanisms are needed to compose and coordinate resources across heterogeneous clouds; Edge computing (fog computing) technologies that integrate the limited memory, storage and computation of fog nodes; New management strategies aimed to design and develop an efficient, coordinated, robust, secure and service agnostic management of the set of resources brought by combining cloud, IoT, Big Data and fog computing
Whilst 5G early introduction targets "local" network improvements (e.g. at radio access level), the longer term vision targets the realisation of pervasive mobile virtual services, through a network managing compute, storage and transport connectivity functions in an integrated way. The challenge is to transform the network into a low energy distributed computer.
Proposals may cover only one strand or cut across several strands.
Strand 1: Extension of virtualisation technologies and architectures for Network Management.
Strand 2: Security: hardware, software technologies and architectures, level of abstraction for information sharing enabling tenants workloads to trust the host systems.
Strand 3: Radio network enabling technologies, architectures and advanced signal processing
This initiative aims at developing a more human-centric Internet supporting values of openness, cooperation across borders, decentralisation, inclusiveness and protection of privacy; giving the control back to the users in order to increase trust in the Internet.
Each Research and Innovation Action (R&I Action) will focus on a given research domain supporting the objective of a human-centric Internet. It will build a European ecosystem of researchers, innovators and technology developers by selecting and providing financial support to the best projects submitted by third parties in a competitive manner.
Every citizen, from all walks of life, should be able to fully take part in the Digital Single Market. This means that the Next Generation Internet will have to empower users, including its most vulnerable or disabled one, to have access to the same digital learning opportunities, in forms that are accessible, perceivable and understandable by everybody.
Scope for Innovation Actions: The objective of this action is to advance personalised and inclusive digital learning through a fast-paced adoption cycle of technological and methodological solutions.
Building upon the EU-US collaboration in previous work programmes in the area of research experimentation, the aim is to reinforce cooperation and strategic partnerships in the area of Next Generation Internet, to establish a continuous dialogue among the key actors in the US and European programmes and to implement focused projects for joint developments.
Proposals shall foresee twinning with entities participating in projects funded by the US to exchange knowledge and experience and exploit synergies.
The challenge is to scale up innovative businesses across the EU, detect high potential innovations and support innovators in going to market.
Actions should help startups and scaleups achieve market success and mature the innovation excellence of high potential innovators. Actions should support the creation of new jobs and high growth businesses and support their growth on a pan-European and international level.
Innovation Actions: Connecting local tech startup ecosystems and supporting cross-border activities: among the 4-5 startups ecosystems connected by each project, at least half of them will be located in less developed ecosystems.
"Smart anything everywhere" stands for the next wave of products that integrate digital technology. The challenge is to accelerate the design, development and uptake of advanced digital technologies by European industry in products that include innovative electronic components, software and systems, and especially in sectors where digital technologies are underexploited.
As Phase 3 of Smart Anything Everywhere, this sub-topic calls for Digital Innovation Hubs that strengthen European SMEs and mid-caps by experimenting and testing with technologies, or by supporting them to manufacture these products.
Digital manufacturing platforms play an increasing role in dealing with competitive pressures and incorporating new technologies, applications and services. The challenge is to fully exploit new concepts and technologies that allow manufacturing companies (especially mid-caps and SMEs) to fulfil the demands from changing supply and value networks.
Proposals should focus on the following: Develop and establish platforms for the connected smart production facilities of the future including their supply chains, driven by EU actors and safeguarding European interest in an area of key importance for the European economy.
Tomorrow's energy grids consist of heterogeneous interconnected systems, of an increasing number of small-scale and of dispersed energy generation and consumption devices, generating huge amounts of data. The electricity sector, in particular, needs big data tools and architectures for optimized energy system management under these demanding conditions.
Innovation Actions targeting large-scale pilot test-beds for big data application in the electricity sector. The aim is to develop/pilot and deploy a reference architecture for large-scale multi-party data exchange, management & governance and real-time processing (including distributed/edge processing) in the electricity sector and to translate this reference architecture into an open, modular data analytics toolbox for the safe and effective operation of grids and provision of innovative energy services.
The Internet of Things and the convergence of HPC, Big Data and Cloud computing technologies are enabling the emergence of a wide range of innovations. Building industrial large-scale application test-beds that integrate such technologies and that make best use of currently available HPC and data infrastructures will accelerate the pace of digitization and the innovation potential in Europe's key industry sectors.
Innovation Actions targeting the development of large-scale HPC-enabled industrial pilot test-beds supporting big data applications and services by combining and/or adapting existing relevant technologies (HPC / BD / cloud) in order to handle and optimize the specific features of processing very large data sets.
Algorithms, software and hardware systems must be designed having security, privacy, data protection and accountability in mind from their design phase in a measurable manner.
Proposals are invited against at least one of the following three subtopics: Cybersecurity/privacy audit, certification and standardisation; Trusted supply chains of ICT systems; and/or designing and developing privacy-friendly and secure software and hardware.
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