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European Research Executive Agency
Artiklu tal-aħbarijiet23 Ġunju 2021

EU to invest almost €164 million in sustainable and environmental research

The European Commission has selected 25 projects to ‘green’ the European economy in line with the UN's SDGs and the Paris Agreement

The selected research and innovation projects are expected to promote the sustainable and circular management of natural resources, reverse the decline of biodiversity, prevent and remove pollution, unlock the potential of bio-economy, and make the most of environmental observation while serving the EU’s climate objectives.

More concretely, the projects will improve the sorting, separation and recycling, understand the impacts of plastics pollution and address wild pollinators decline and its effects on biodiversity. The projects will also address forest fires risk reduction and will develop coordinated Earth observations targeting the Artic region and build solutions also on the essential contribution of indigenous knowledge.

These are some of the projects selected

DivAirCity aims at shifting the urban paradigm by valuing human diversity (with a focus on gender and multiculturalism) as a resource to define new urban services and models towards cultural-driven green cities. The project focuses on the Urban nexus that combines people, places, peace, economic growth, climate robustness and its impact on air quality and decarbonization. DivAirCity has an ambitious international dissemination strategy involving Belmont Forum CRAs, key international networks and other Horizon 2020 funded projects.

The overall objective of NICE is to widen the availability of enhanced Natural Based Solutions (NBS) to provide circular urban water solutions. NICE will provide key knowledge for the design and implementation of NBS, closing urban water loops. Solutions will make available reusable water for different purposes. In addition to mitigating pollution and runoff, these solutions aims to constitute an attractive and integral part of the urban landscape. 

CIRCULAR FoodPackintends to facilitate the circular use of plastic packaging addressing the most sensitive product category: Food packaging. This sector contains 87% of all European flexible plastic-plastic multilayer composites (MLC). Innovative designs of recyclable and food-safe mono-material laminates will enable the re-use in high-value film applications, with upcoming food packaging marking with deinkable tracers.

A common challenge in the automotive sector is the lack of incentives and interest of car manufacturers in the recovery of Critical Raw Materials (CRMs), components from End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs). A systemic transformation towards circularity in the sector requires companies to redefine products lifecycles starting from their design phase all the way to their end of life phase. The project TREASURE will develop a scenario analysis simulation tool able to demonstrate benefits and tradeoffs, and thereby leading the European automotive supply chain towards its full transition to the circular economy.

There is a lack of a dedicated process for understanding and quantifying Climate Change effects on urban areas and there exist very limited urban development strategies regarding Climate Change. HARMONIA intends to bridge this gap through a holistic decision support system to quantitatively and qualitatively assess climatic parameters that directly affect European cities and citizens.

The project will guide governmental bodies and municipality authorities to properly adapt their short- and long-term policies towards sustainable and resilient master plans/programs. HARMONIA will also support them in providing efficient damage prevention and mitigation, in addition to rectifying damages that have already been inflicted on the built environment and infrastructure.

The research and innovation activities performed by these projects will support the implementation of some of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Their research results are also meant to support various European strategies: the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, the Circular Economy Action Plan, the EU zero pollution action plan, the EU Bio-economy Strategy, the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030, and the Nature-based Solutions policy goals and the EU Urban Agenda. They will support the implementation of GEOSS, among others in the Arctic in collaboration with Copernicus.

The projects are receiving almost €164 million from Horizon 2020, the EU’s €80 billion research and innovation programme for the period 2014 to 2020.

How were the projects selected?

All projects were selected via the competitive calls of proposals under the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 5 Work programme and the Horizon 2020 “Cross-cutting activities” Work programme. The following calls for proposals werelaunched on 12 November 2019:

  • Competitive, low carbon and circular industries
  • Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future: climate action in support of the Paris Agreement
  • Greening the economy in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The calls for proposals were composed of two stages. 345 project proposals were received by the first call deadline (13 February 2020). 91 projects proposals were retained and invited to submit a full and final proposal by the second-stage call deadline (03 September 2020).

The selected projects received the highest marks in a peer evaluation by independent experts.

When does the research start?

The projects are starting between April and September 2021. The European Research Executive Agency manages the 25 funded projects.

Selected projects and budget assigned per call:

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

Topic identifierTopicNumber of funded projectsBudget  (€ million)

Improving the sorting, separation and recycling of composite and multi-layer materials


Understanding the transition to a circular economy and its implications on the environment, economy and society


Strengthening international collaboration: enhanced natural treatment solutions for water security and ecological quality in cities

CE-SC5-28-2020Develop and pilot circular systems in plastics, textiles and furniture sectors215,69

Plastics in the environment: understanding the sources, transport, distribution and impacts of plastics pollution


Addressing wild pollinators decline and its effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services


Call: Competitive, Low carbon and circular industries

Topic identifierTopicNumber of funded projectsBudget  (€ million)

Develop, implement and assess a circular economy oriented product information management system for complex products from cradle to cradle


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

Topic identifierTopicNumber of funded projectsBudget in (€ million)

Innovative nature-based solutions for carbon neutral cities and improved air quality


Understanding climate-water-energy-food nexus and streamlining water-related policies


Forest Fires risk reduction: towards an integrated fire management approach in the E.U.


Multi-hazard risk management for risk-informed decision-making in the E.U.


Supporting the implementation of GEOSS in the Arctic in collaboration with Copernicus


Integrated GEOSS climate applications to support adaptation and mitigation measures of the Paris Agreement


*This article only mentions the projects managed by REA under the above calls’ topics.


Data tal-pubblikazzjoni
23 Ġunju 2021