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ForestValue JOINT CALL FOR RESEARCH PROPOSALS
Deadline: 23 Jan 2018   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono Wood Wisdom Net

 Forest Resources
 Low-Carbon Economy
 Eco-Innovation
 Natural Resources
 Environment
 Environmental protection

1. TIMELINE OF THE CALL

17th October 2017

Official launch of the Call for Proposals

 

15th November 2017

Partnering webinar

 

23rd January 2018; 13:00 CET

Deadline for submitting pre-proposals

 

End of May 2018

Letters to applicants / invitation to submit a full proposal

 

14th August 2018; 13:00 CEST

Deadline for submitting full proposals (only for projects that passed the pre-proposal phase)

 

End of October 2018

Communication of funding recommendations

 

End of 2018 / early 2019

Start of funded projects

 

* PARTNERING OPPORTUNITY * NETWORKING WEBINAR * : On 15.11.2017 a networking webinar will be organised to give researchers the chance to interlink with each other and enlarge consortia. To sign up for this, applicants need to express their interest by sending three PPT slides including project idea, existing partners/experience and missing profiles by email to Carina Lemke c.lemke@fnr.de at the Call Office until 9.11.2017. A link to the webinar will be sent to registered participants on 13.11.2017.

2. CONTACT INFORMATION

ForestValue submission website: will be announced later
ForestValue website (incl. link to submission tool): to be opened soon at http://www.forestvalue.org

The administration of the call is led by the ForestValue Call Office on behalf of all the funding partners. General enquiries about this call should be addressed to the call office:

  1. Carina Lemke, Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR), c.lemke@fnr.de

  2. Martin Greimel, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management

    (BMLFUW), Martin.Greimel@bmlfuw.gv.at

  3. Mika Kallio, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MMM), Mika.Kallio@mmm.fi

 

3. BACKGROUND

ForestValue is launching a transnational call for proposals for research, development and innovation in the forest-based sector with a financial commitment from the participating national (or regional) research programmes and the EU.

The topic for this ERA-NET Co-fund on innovative forest-based bioeconomy has been prepared in collaboration with three forest-based ERA-NETs to complement the WoodWisdom-Net1 Research Programme and the targets of the SUMFOREST2 and FORESTERRA3 ERA-NETs with a strategic thematic area of high European relevance.

The following funding organisations and programme owners participate in the joint call:

Finland: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MMM), Academy of Finland (AKA); Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes); Ministry of the Environment (YM)

Austria: Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment & Water Management (BMLFUW)

Czech Republic: Ministry of Agriculture (MoA); Forestry and Game Management Research Institute (FGMRI) in the Czech Republic

France: The French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME); The French National Research Agency (ANR)

Germany: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL); Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR)

Ireland: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)

Latvia: Latvian Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (LAAFS); State Education Development Agency (VIAA)

Poland: National Science Centre (NCN)
Slovenia: Ministry of Education, Science and

Sport (MIZS)

Spain: Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO) through the State

Research Agency, The Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI)

Sweden: The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS); Swedish Energy Agency (SWEA); Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova)

United Kingdom: The Forestry Commissioners (FC)

Norway: Research Council of Norway (RCN)

Switzerland: The Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI; in the Federal Department of Economic Affairs FDEA); Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)

Tunisia: Institution of Agricultural Research and Higher Education (IRESA)

Turkey: The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK)

Argentina: The Argentine Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCyT)

Egypt: Academy of Scientific Research & Technology (ASRT)

Jordan: National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE)

 

4. SCOPE / THEMATIC AREAS OF THE CALL

The primary purpose of the planned ForestValue joint call is to contribute to transforming the global economy from a dependence on fossil and non-renewable raw materials to a sustainable “bio- based economy”.

The call contributes to the overall objectives of ERA-NETs - including the mobility of researchers and practitioners between the countries and intensify researcher training, thereby increasing the quality of European research & innovation actions and their implementation in the market.

The overarching aim of the call is to support projects that will address the development and/or proof of concepts on novel strategies, methods, processes or products designed to support the forestry and forest-based industries including their respective partners, resellers, consumers and end-users in remaining competitive and efficient providers of sustainable bio-products and services. Currently underutilised potential in the forest-based sector shall be used to develop novel ideas and create new markets.

The co-funded joint transnational call will address the whole forest-based value chain in two areas:

A. Innovative sustainable management of multifunctional forests including:

  1. ... harvesting, planning and logistics systems

  2. ... scenarios based on the induced future alterations of species mix under predicted effects of

    climate change

  3. ... defining tree species and cultivars (including breeding approaches) adapted to changing

    environmental influences (biotic and abiotic)

  4. ... fostering resilience of forest ecosystems and forest production systems (incl. pests, diseases,

    invasive species) e.g. through managing biodiversity, from genes to local communities

  5. ... methodologies for assessing the economic, social and environmental values of forest products

    and services in regional and national scales; deducting trade-offs in management

  6. ...non-wood forest products

B. Innovative industrial production and processing technologies, products, concepts and services focussing at:

  1. ... Circular use of forest-based products, side streams and waste within a circular bio-economy. Energy and resource efficient processes (e.g. by utilising side stream woody biomass for energy)

  2. ... Extraction, separation and fractionation of wood components for innovative added value green

    chemicals, components and other value-added products and their new functionalities from wood,

    wood-based hybrids & composites

  3. ... Management concepts for lean timber construction and other building solutions (new &

    retrofitted; multi-storey & industrial buildings) including the utilization of soft and hardwood

    resources

  4. ... Consequential full life cycle environmental, social and economic impacts of wood and wood

    construction

  5. ... Efficient use of raw materials and other resources taking into account large scale raw material

    use alterations (e.g. by additional users (biorefinery))

  6. ... Quality assessment of wood resources for different uses; also taking into account raw material

    properties induced by future alterations of species mix resulting under the predicted effects of climate change

  7. ... Value-added use of forest-based products for dynamically changing societal needs (e.g. new materials or systems for timber constructions)

 

As these topics covering the whole forest value chain are cross-cutting, applicants are encouraged to make best use of interdisciplinary systems approaches, and to take a look at improving the impact and integration of social research and economics in this sector.

As the following issues pertain to all parts of the value chain, they may be addressed in each part where appropriate:

  •   Digitalization (integration of the above topics with state-of-the-art information and communication technology across company boundaries)

  •   Implications to and from EU and national policy frameworks for the Forest-based sector

  •   Innovative business concepts (incl. business ecosystems) and value added esp. for rural areas

  •   Organisation, harmonisation and standardisation of data storage, formats and protocols. Creation of meta-databases

  •   Societal perceptions and dialogue about the forestry and wood production sector, its products

    and contributions towards a sustainable society

  •   Future development of global circular bio-economy markets and their implication on the European forest based sector

Interdisciplinary collaboration and involvement of companies and stakeholders are highly welcome.

Consortia may cover basic and/or applied research and/or industrial research and development, close-to- market research and innovation actions. Please check the national annexes for specific national funding requirements.

Funding is available for innovative, industrially relevant research and development projects. This means that a significant step beyond the state of the art is an absolute pre-requisite.

 

Please note that some specific topics may be out of scope of a certain national programme!

You should always check with all relevant funding organisations for your consortium before handing in a proposal.

 

Please note that some specific topics may be out of scope of a certain national programme!

You should always check with all relevant funding organisations for your consortium before handing in a proposal.

 

5. RULES FOR PARTICIPATION

5.1 General eligibility criteria

  1. Pre-proposals and full proposals must be written in English and pre-proposals must be submitted by 23.01.2018 (13:00 CET) via the ForestValue submission website that will be provided on the ForestValue website (to be opened soon at www.forestvalue.org) in due time.

  2. Pre-proposals, which do not include all the compulsory information or do not meet the formal requirements listed or mentioned in this call announcement, will not be considered for funding.

  3. If national/regional forms are required, these must be submitted directly to the national/regional agency (see Annex IV).

  4. Consortia must include at least three independent legal entities applying for funding from three different countries with funding agencies participating in the call (see Annex IV). The number of partners per consortium is not limited, but the manageability of the consortium must be demonstrated (efficient consortia of typically 5-8 partners for medium-sized projects with total budget in a range of 1-2 Mio € are expected).

  5. Proposals must demonstrate added value from the international cooperation, in comparison to national projects, which should be evident in the layout and execution of the work packages. The work plan must show real cooperation and project outputs are expected to provide benefits to all partner countries.

  6. Consortia also need to be balanced between countries both in terms of number of partners and distribution of budget; such that all project partners contribute to and benefit from an equitable and balanced cooperation. To address this, the public funding requested by partners of a collaborative project of one country must not exceed 50% of the total public funding requested.

  7. Proposals should strive to foster gender balance especially among the personnel named in the proposal primarily responsible for carrying out the research and/or innovation activities. In addition, gender equality should be promoted at all levels of personnel involved in projects as well as in terms of the expected benefit from the knowledge created.

5.2 Eligible funding recipients / consortia

  1. The initiative is intended to facilitate transnational collaboration between industry, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), stakeholder associations, research organisations, leading- edge scientists from a wider range of disciplines covering forest management, wood material, construction, natural, biological, social, economic and other relevant sciences who will bring their broad expertise to support the transformation of the European forest-based sector and to secure its competitiveness.

  2. Wherever possible and meaningful, the participation of commercial and industrial partners – especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – is strongly recommended to ensure the relevance of the research to technological development and to the needs of society. The participation of young scientists in the research teams is encouraged. Please note, however, some national programmes are not open to commercial and industrial partners (see Annex IV).

    If industry participation is not feasible due to the scope/outlay of the envisaged work, the reasons for this decision should be explained in the proposal. Note that detailed exploitation and dissemination plans are an important feature of every proposal.

  3. Innovative forms of cooperation are encouraged, i.e. interdisciplinary research and implementation across disciplinary boundaries of forest-related sciences which deliver meaningful cooperation between biophysical/natural and social scientists. Additionally, involvement of a variety of stakeholders from different geographic areas will better enable exchange of experience and expertise from varied academic backgrounds.

  4. Partners from countries which are not participating in the call are also encouraged to join a consortium (as additional partners; the minimum number of three partners from countries participating in this call remains). These so-called “third country” partners must finance their activities from other sources and need to state in advance the source of funding for their part in the project. In the full proposal phase, a letter of commitment must be included in the proposal confirming the source of funding. Projects must ensure that the exploitation of results focuses on the ForestValue partner countries and that all exploitation in third countries clearly indicates the Union funding that contributed to this project. These so-called “third country” partners are entitled to follow any applicable H2020 participation rules.

  5. The coordinator of any applying consortium must be from an organisation that is eligible for funding from one of the agencies participating in the call, i.e. an organisation that plans to participate at their own expense, without public funding provided via the ForestValue joint call, cannot act as coordinator. The project coordinator will represent the consortium externally and towards the Call Office and will be responsible for its internal scientific management (such as controlling, reporting, intellectual property rights (IPR) issues and contact with the Call Office). Each project partner will be represented by one (and only one) principal investigator. Within a joint proposal, each project partner’s principal investigator will be the contact person for the relevant national/regional funding organisation.

  6. National funding regulations are applied within this joint call. In addition to the general rules and procedures laid down in this document, there may be specific national rules to be followed by the applicants. It is strongly recommended that these are checked with the contact person at the respective funding agency before submitting a proposal.

 

Please note that individual national funding organisations may be limited in the kind of project and the kind of organisation they could support. These restrictions, as well as other important national regulations, can be found in Annex IV “Specific National Rules” at the end of this document.

Projects with ineligible partners at pre-proposal stage risk ineligibility of the whole project!

 

6. APPLICATION & ASSESSMENT

In this call a competitive two-stage submission process is used. The planned work is first presented as a short pre-proposal which is checked for eligibility and suitability for national funding. After the scientific evaluation by independent experts, consortia will be informed if they are invited to submit a full proposal based on this initial concept.

6.1 Step 1: Pre-proposals

  • Pre-proposal applications must be submitted via the electronic submission system which will be available on the ForestValue website. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure their proposals are submitted on time, as the electronic submission system will close at 13:00 CET and late submissions (after 13:00 CET) will not be taken into account in order to ensure the fairness towards other applicants. Pre-proposals exceeding the maximum number of pages (7 plus partner details and CVs; specified in the submission system) will not be taken into account.

    After the closing date for submission of the pre-proposal the information given cannot substantially deviate in the full proposal phase in content of the proposed project, approach, composition of the consortium and budget, unless this has been explicitly requested. For the partners budget only minor changes might be allowed with specific justification (the final requested amount of each partner may not increase!). All changes need to be consulted with all respective funding agencies.

    Some national funding bodies may also require specific national documents (application forms or similar) from “their” applicants at this stage. Such national documents are NOT submitted centrally, but directly to the relevant ministry or agency. Please consult the relevant Specific National Rules at the end of this document for further details.

DEADLINE for submission of pre-proposals: 23rd January 2018 13:00 CET

 

  1. All applications are subject to confidential evaluation.

  2. The pre-proposals will first be checked for eligibility by the Call Office with regard to mandatory eligibility criteria defined in the call text (“5. Rules for participation”). Afterwards the funding organisations will check the eligibility of the pre-proposals and their suitability for national funding in line with the restrictions laid down in the Specific National Rules in Annex IV.

  3. Eligible pre-proposals will be scientifically evaluated by at least three international experts with regard to the criteria laid down in Annex I to this call text.

  4. Expert panel members must sign a “declaration on conflict of interest” to ensure confidentiality and avoid any conflict of interest during the evaluation and selection procedures of the joint call. The online evaluation tool will include a feature which will prevent access to the proposal in case a conflict of interest is declared by the expert.

  5. The Call Steering Committee will, based on the recommendations of the independent experts, select those pre-proposals that may enter the full proposal phase. After the evaluation of the pre- proposals all research consortia will be informed of the outcome of the evaluation and will receive a short evaluation assessment statement. Only consortia whose pre-proposals pass the first evaluation stage will be invited to submit a full proposal.

6.2 Step 2: Full proposals

DEADLINE for submission of full proposals: 14th August 2018 13:00 CEST

Full proposal applications must be submitted ON TIME via the electronic submission system on the ForestValue website.

 

  • Full proposal applications must incorporate the feedback provided during the pre-proposal stage assessment. A non-confidential abstract of the description of work is required (for later publication in case of success only).

  • Any amendments from pre-proposal to full proposal have to be declared as such in the full proposal.

  • All full proposals are subject to confidential evaluation.

  • Submitted full proposals will be briefly checked if eligibility is still guaranteed and after this evaluated centrally by a joint and independent international peer review based on the evaluation criteria stated in Annex I to this call text. Each proposal will be evaluated by at least three independent experts.

  • At the end of the evaluation process, the evaluator panel will determine on one final ranking list of proposals. Based on the ranking list and the available funding, the ForestValue partners will decide in accordance with the H2020 ERA-NET Cofund rules and the national and/or regional budget availability on the projects to be funded.

  • The Call Office will inform the coordinators of all research consortia of the evaluation outcome by sending an evaluation summary. Those consortia recommended for funding will additionally be informed of the next steps to be taken in order to start national contract negotiations. The coordinators of the research consortia are responsible for communicating the decisions to the consortium partners.

 

7. FUNDING & MONITORING

  • Research will be funded from national sources, i.e. research grants will be administered through the participating national funding organisations. In addition to the general rules and procedures laid out in the call text, applicants must comply with the terms and conditions of their responsible funding agencies and programmes (see Annex IV: Specific National Rules).

  • Projects funded through this initiative are expected to have a duration between 24 and 36 months. Applicants can choose the duration according to the scope of their project. The start and end date should be the same for all partners in a consortium.

ATTENTION: please note that, due to legal restrictions, projects under this call cannot be granted any extensions!

  • If a proposal is selected for funding, the partners are required to sign a consortium agreement which specifies Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and other issues regarding responsibilities within the project and exploitation of results. The consortium agreement must be signed before the first payments can be made.

  • A list of the funded projects will be published at the end of the co-funded call. Therefore, applicants should be aware that the following information may be published by ForestValue and by the European Commission: project title, project acronym, project duration, total funding, name of the project coordinator (including contact information as email and telephone number), country 

    and organisation name of each partner, the publishable summary of the project from the application. Information on each funded project, including data on each participant and an overview on the results will be sent to the European Commission after the end of the project period.

  • In addition to the standard requirements of your funding agency, brief annual reports and a final report are needed to meet the requirements of the ForestValue Research Programme. In addition, the consortia of funded projects will be asked to provide data on the impact of the research project via one brief annual questionnaire. The annual reports will be kept confidential, except that they will all include a non-confidential summary which will be made available to the public (see below). The final reports should not include any confidential information since they will be published on the ForestValue website.

  • In addition, brief project updates suitable for immediate publication have to be provided to the ForestValue consortium annually and a minimum of 3 stakeholder-oriented articles during the entire project duration. Detailed information on the reporting and monitoring procedures as well as templates will be provided to the coordinators of the funded projects right after the projects have started. The coordinator of each project will be responsible for compiling and submitting reports and other deliverables to the ForestValue Research Programme on behalf of the project consortium.

  • Representatives from funded consortia are requested to participate and represent their projects in three follow-up seminars throughout the duration of the programme: kick-off, mid-term and final seminar. The seminars will aim to bring together researchers and stakeholders from industry, academia and policy-making organisations in the forest-based Bioeconomy sector in order to discuss the projects’ objectives/results as well as to facilitate information exchange and networking. For each seminar, the projects are asked to produce policy briefs targeting regional/national/European policy/decision makers.

  • The funded projects will also be encouraged to arrange focused joint workshops with thematically related projects.

  • Researchers are encouraged to actively exploit the results of the research project and make them available for use, whether for commercial gain or not, in order for public benefit to be obtained from the knowledge created.

  • In case of ANY significant changes in the work program or the consortium composition, besides contacting the respective funding agencies, the coordinator must inform the Call Office, who will, together with the relevant funding organisations decide upon the proper action to be taken.

 

 



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