The European Commission is looking for the best innovative ideas to advance the protection and restoration of soil health in Europe. The total available budget is € 62 million. The deadline to submit project proposals for Horizon Europe funding is 24 March.
What kinds of projects does the EU aim to fund?
The 2021 soil mission call for proposals aims to lay the foundations for a structured roll-out of mission activities and set out a credible pathway to contribute to the mission’s goal and objectives.
Funded projects will support the establishment of soil health living labs and the validation and definition of indicators for soil health; and the creation of a new generation of soil advisors to guide landowners and land managers in the implementation of sustainable practices, as well as to guide authorities in decision-making for a positive impact on soil health.
The call also intends to support research to analyse the relationship between soil health and nutritious and safe food, and to raise awareness of the value of investing in soil health and the co-benefits across society.
These are just few of the outcomes expected from the funded projects. In total, there are eight different topics open for the submission of proposals. Some of the topics require the “multi-actor approach” including a balanced mix of key actors from various sectors over the course of the project to ensure co-creation.
How to apply
What is the EU mission: A Soil Deal for Europe?
Healthy soils are essential for life. They provide safe food, clean water, biodiversity and various other important ecosystem services. However, in the EU, a tremendous percentage of soils remain unhealthy due to unsustainable practices, growing population pressure and changes in consumption patterns, and are increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather events.
This is why the EU mission: A Soil Deal for Europe is critical. The mission will engage with citizens and stakeholders across sectors and territories to protect and restore soils in Europe and beyond, and contribute to several Green Deal targets.
The mission is built around four pillars:
- An ambitious research and innovation programme with a strong social science component;
- A network of living labs and lighthouses to co-create knowledge and to test and demonstrate solutions;
- A harmonised framework for soil monitoring;
- Raising citizen awareness on the value of soil.
What is the role of research?
Research and innovation is therefore crucial to co-create knowledge and to demonstrate, scale up and replicate existing and new solutions.
Horizon Europe will invest €320 million from 2021 to 2023 to support the implementation of the mission and REA will be at the forefront of its implementation, managing EU-funded research and innovation projects suggesting solutions to the EU’s current soil challenges.
- Publication date
- 21 December 2021
- European Research Executive Agency