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Onsite digital technologies to monitor in soil nutritional compounds of food and possible applications for food safety

Digital, Industry and Space
€5 Million
Innovation Action

Onsite digital technologies are emerging in food production and have the potential to detect and eliminate threats to food safety. Similarly, digital applications, such as remote imaging and sensing can be used to monitor nutrients and pollutants in soil and help assess how these threats are e are transmitted to food. There is a need to improve the development and application of digital tools (incl. light-based applications) in primary production and food industries and boost their technological upscale as a means to address more effectively the soil-food nexus.

-Identify challenges to the upscale of existing digital technologies (incl. light-based technologies) related to the soil-food nexus
-Advance and/or develop innovative digital technologies and AI incl. light-based methods/models/tools and remote sensing, including exploratory modelling for calibration and prediction, to identify nutrients (e.g. C, N, P, K) and pollution which have a bearing on food quality and safety
-Explore and mobilize the potential of digital technologies in improving soil management practices (i.e. targeted fertilization, soil remediation) and demonstrate practical applications in relation to food quality and safety
-Improve knowledge on the use of remote sensing methods for the identification and assessment of contaminated soils and their risks for food quality and safety

-Increased availability of effective onsite digital tools (e.g. light-based technologies, remote sensing) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to monitor the presence of nutrients and micro-nutrients, pollutants and pathogens in soil and food in various production phases of post-harvested food grown in soils
-Improved in-field detection of soil parameters leading to better food nutritional composition or posing a risk to food safety
-Digitalised European food industry through a more effective application of technologies including light-based technologies
-Advanced technological solutions are available to estimate polluted (e.g. pathogens, heavy metals) or nutrient surplus soils

Digital, Industry and Space
€45 Million
Innovation Action

“The objective is the development of systems to become open platforms underpinning an emerging open edge ecosystem including midcaps, SMEs and start-ups that foster edge solutions, which represent a modular functional spectrum of executable apps and services critical to establishing a mature European supply chain under challenging and extremely competitive market conditions

Target up-take and up-scaling of emerging EU-driven smart industrial internet of things and edge computing systems to perform under real life conditions, as to mature particular technologies like meta-operating systems for the IoT and the Edge, cognitive cloud technologies and tools for decentralized intelligence and swarm computing for adoption across key applications and sectors crucial for Europe’s competitiveness and open strategic autonomy

-Implementation of edge paradigms in real environments leading to matured and customized IoT and next generation edge computing technologies for adoption in key applications and sectors
-Open platforms underpinning an emerging open edge ecosystem including midcaps, SMEs and start-ups that foster edge solutions, which represent a modular functional spectrum of executable apps and services critical to establishing a mature European supply chain under challenging and extremely competitive market conditions
-Demonstrating cross-domain standardisation and up-scaling of edge infrastructure solutions”

Climate, Energy and Mobility
€1 Million

Support DG Mobility and Transport in addressing new business opportunities as well as new challenges of autonomous vessel operations on inland waterways, supporting the digitalisation and sustainability challenges of the EU.


-Define minimum requirements for safe and secure navigation of automated vessels on European inland waterways, considering technical, operational, and regulatory aspects.
-Conduct pilots utilizing EU Space data (Galileo, EGNOS, Copernicus) to demonstrate and validate the findings. Contribute to the EU policy framework for automated vessels on inland waterways and support the work of CESNI.


Specific Tasks:
-Definition of operational scenarios
-Identification of user requirements
-Safety case definition and design
-Identification and analysis of challenges and barriers for automated vessels
-Prototype development and design of pilot projects
-Implementation, demonstration and validation of pilot projects
-Outreach activities and advisory group

Digital, Industry and Space
€14 Million
Research & Innovation Action

The final objective of this call is to prepare the next phases of the implementation of a Quantum Space Gravimetry pathfinder mission. To achieve this objective, one proposal for a phase B study, as specified in ECSS‐M‐ST‐10C, leading to a preliminary definition of a quantum space gravimetry pathfinder mission, will be selected.

-Covering both quantum space gravimetry payload and satellite platforms
-Implementation of measures that will enhance technological readiness of the critical components leading to TRL 6/7 at the end of the project

-Support the EU space policy and the green deal by providing the detailed definition of a quantum space gravimetry pathfinder mission
-Ensure EU sovereignty and non-dependence for the development of capacities leading to the availability of quantum space gravimetry
-Enhance the TRL of the critical components necessary to build quantum gravimetry for space

Digital, Industry and Space
€2 Million
Coordination and Support Action

The objective of the CSA is to prepare the development of the inland waters part (rivers, lakes, reservoirs, snow and ice etc.) of the Mission Knowledge system, and address activities to be developed to make it integrated or interoperable with the Digital Twin Ocean for a unified Digital twin of Ocean and waters for the Mission and the lighthouses.

-Address the various facets of fresh water systems from static knowledge to dynamic monitoring of runoffs, hydrology, hydrodynamics, biogeochemistry to biology, interactions with soils and seas, for climate purposes, water management or natural disasters (e.g. flood, drought) etc.
-Address different scales from catchment to global perspectives of the water cycle

-Inventory and prioritisation of EU/cross-boundary or international policies (WFD but not only) and topics to be addressed by the knowledge system on inland waters including principles of interfacing with national meteorological services duties including for climatology
-Inventory of current actions and projects (including European and National research projects and Research Infrastructures) ongoing to get access and further develop inland water monitoring (from observations to forecasting or projections) that goes beyond the duties of the national meteorological services
-Digital service portfolio relevant for a digital twin on inland waters -Roadmap for the integration of existing assets and development of necessary digital functionalities in a digital twin for inland waters, aligned with the Destination Earth and EU data spaces initiatives

Digital, Industry and Space
€9 Million
Research & Innovation Action

“To ensure safety of CCAM, it is essential that vehicles are not only safe during the (first) type approval, but also during their complete lifetime in a fast-changing road transport system. Changes can result from the evolution of the CCAM system itself, for example, as a result of increasing connectivity using V2X communication, the use of AI-based systems, and (OTA: over-the-air) software updates. The traffic system, in which CCAM systems are being deployed, is changing at a rapid pace as well, with an increased market share of vehicles with higher levels of automation, new (personal) mobility devices and autonomous mobility robots (e.g., for package delivery).

-Develop validation methodology for scenario-based safety assurance of AI-based CCAM functions
-Develop validation procedures for CCAM systems that rely on V2X for safety-critical functions i.e., the inclusion of the connectivity context
-Develop an approach for a continuous safety validation methodology, to monitor the safety state of deployed CCAM systems in operation (real traffic) during its service life, following type approval
-Develop tools that ensure the relevant degree of detail and the appropriate representation of other road users’ behaviour in virtual scenario-based testing
-Develop a safety assurance methodology that incorporates the assessment of Human Machine Interaction concepts for higher levels of automation ensuring safe communication between driver and vehicle and between vehicle and other road users, making Human Machine Interaction inclusive

-Safe scaling up of the deployment of CCAM systems for all levels of automation, including systems that for part of the driving phases rely on human-machine interaction
-Assurance of vehicle safety despite system changes, e.g., due to software updates and data exchanges between vehicles and the infrastructure
-Facilitating the introduction of fast developing technological innovations in the CCAM system’s functionality, such as AI.”

Digital, Industry and Space
€18 Million
Research & Innovation Action

Photonics – the technology of light – underpins daily life from smartphones to the internet and medical instruments to laser technology. It is an essential building block for the digital transformation of industry and society and for a green and healthy future in Europe.

R&D activities fostering:
-Light-based solutions to let the communication network sense while transporting data
-Light-based solutions to bring internet everywhere, with the most relevant access technologies

-Sensors/probes to monitor the quality of the communication network and of photonic signals transported in the communication network
-Methods to use the network as large-scale distributed sensor
-Development of foundational optical technologies, systems and networks that provide the future access infrastructure

Digital, Industry and Space
€5 Million
Innovation Action

Peat is commonly used as a growing medium in horticulture, as it has an excellent water retention capacity, is highly fertile due to reduced leaching of nutrients and improves soil buffering capacity. It is used both in nurseries and greenhouses and it is also commonly mixed with soil as a nutrient improver. The extraction of peat is highly contentious as it leads to habitat loss, soil degradation, CO2 emissions and flood risk. Therefore, sustainable alternatives to natural peat are required. Improved use of alternatives to peat and greater attention to impacts of horticulture on local soil would contribute to EU climate action, the Organic Action Plan and the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

-Develop alternative products to be used as sustainable substitute for peat to use as substrate in organic and conventional horticulture (e.g. for potted plants and herbs)
-Demonstrate the feasibility of alternatives to production and use of peat in horticulture, in accordance with relevant EU regulatory frameworks related to their placing on the market, and generate data to support improved social and environmental performance
-Analyse vulnerabilities, barriers, dependencies, and need for critical infrastructure that may hinder the upscaling of production and marketing of alternative soil-friendly practices
-Monitor the pre-market processes (i.e., design, production, testing, etc.) to demonstrate upscaling feasibility and economic profit

-The overall carbon and environmental footprint of the horticultural sector is reduced and value chains are more sustainable, in particular with regard to soil health
-Alternatives for peat are available and their sustainability is demonstrated in conventional and organic horticulture
-Novel products (alternative potting materials) show improved environmental, health and safety performance including through improved testing and validation methods throughout the entire life cycle
-Improved management, including reduced removal of peat, of natural and agricultural peatland ecosystems, mitigating the CO2 release into the atmosphere in the long term

Digital, Industry and Space
€7 Million
Research & Innovation Action

Land is a limited resource and needs to be managed carefully to meet the various, conflicting societal demands on land and soil. This includes demands arising e.g. from urbanisation, food/biomass production and environmental protection. Inadequate practices in land management and in land use planning are main drivers of land degradation and result in the loss of important soil functions. Spatial planning has a considerable role in steering a more balanced and sustainable use of land and ensuring that net land take is reduced, in particular if applying the principles of a “land take hierarchy”

-Improve the knowledge on trade-offs required to keep ecosystem services provision with expansion of urban, peri-urban and rural areas
-Identify good planning practices that integrate soils and their ecosystem Services (SES) into the spatial planning
-Demonstrate the impact of these practices on actual land use in urban and rural areas including, land take, the re-use of land, restoration, de-sealing and the support to soil functions
-Provide opportunities for training of planners and exchange of experiences (e.g. events, information tools) between the various actors involved in planning and land use decisions at various levels. Allow for participatory planning processes
-Improve the tools as well as the data and information basis (including maps) available to spatial planners and decision-makers regarding soil functions and ecosystem services

-Increased recognition of the value of ecosystem services in land use decisions due to increased awareness of spatial planners on the importance of soil functions, ecosystem services and soil health overall
-Information on soils is more easily accessible to planners and decision-makers
-Land use efficiency is increased and land take and soil sealing are reduced due to a more effective reuse of land and the application of the principles of the “land take hierarchy”
-Municipalities and authorities have planning tools at hand to develop and implement strategies for no net land take by 2050
-Spatial plans promote the use of Nature-based solutions for the improvement of ecosystem services provision in currently sealed areas
-Approaches for rezoning, restoration and de-sealing are available for building land and infrastructure which is no longer in use or to be reused

Digital, Industry and Space
Research & Innovation Action

With the increase of the orbital population and with the need of observing smaller objects to better protect the EU space assets, the need and added-value of developing Space-Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) missions in complement to ground SST networks shall be studied in Europe.

(to be developed)

-Study and assess several technical solutions for the development of a future European capability of SBSS
-Explore the use of small satellite solutions to reduce CAPEX and OPEX
-To develop in the mid-term the European capacity to operate independently SBSS
-To reduce the dependence on critical SBSS technologies and capabilities from outside Europe

Upcoming Calls

Digital, Industry and Space
€20 Million
Innovation Action

“Authorities performing surveillance of maritime borders and maritime wide areas use a range of technologies, and receive a range of information, to monitor wide areas, detect threats or crises, and respond to them. However, these inputs are not always merged into common command-and-control (C2) systems that can inform rapid decision-making. The proposed solution(s) should allow improved interoperability (at both back-end and front-end levels), independently of the supplier of the equipment, and ideally interchangeability that enables exchange of information among authorities that use different systems.

-Include the design of open architecture C2 systems, including open standards for APIs and data models
-Enable simultaneous connection of different sensors (or of different data, or of different assets, depending by the module) by different suppliers, the flexible tasking and monitoring of surveillance assets like RPAS, and the visualization and manipulation of the data in a single user interface in a seamless way. This will support practitioners to exploit their technology stack in an agnostic way
-Allow for seamless connectivity between C2 systems from different authorities, and at different coordination levels; include cybersecurity measures and information access segregation capabilities; include concepts of operation, standard operating procedures and common lexicon for joint operations using interoperable systems through the proposed solution(s)

-Increased border surveillance capability, better performing and more cost-efficient, with data and fundamental rights protection by design
-Improved surveillance and situational awareness of sea borders, but also of maritime infrastructures as harbours and commercial and civilian maritime security, including in key areas such as the Arctic
-Improved multi-level, multi-authority and cross-border (among Member States and Associated Countries practitioners) collaboration thanks to better interoperability of sensing, analysis and C2 systems”

Digital, Industry and Space
Research & Innovation Action
Digital, Industry and Space
Research & Innovation Action

In the coming years, an increase in the number of active objects in orbit is foreseen (e.g. deployment of mega-constellations, increased number of non-manoeuvrable small objects – SmallSats for research and scientific purposes, etc.). Additionally, the number of objects (active and inactive) to be handled by SST systems will also increase due to the use of sensors with a higher detection capability.

R&I activities on:
-Evolution of the Collision Avoidance service towards a higher responsiveness in the case of risks, and in all phases of the spacecraft life
-Evolution of the EUSST system for debris mitigation in order to reduce space debris generation
-Evolution of the EUSST system for space debris remediation by managing the existing space debris
-Evolution of the EUSST Service Provision Portal in line with the evolution of the existing services and the inclusion of additional new ones

Keep the knowledge and capabilities of Europe on the Space Surveillance and Tracking domain at the leading edge.
-Adapt, improve and evolve the current EUSST initial services (Collision Avoidance; Fragmentation; Re-entry) portfolio to future user needs and space environment.
-Improve the overall performance of the EUSST services and ensure, in the long-term, a high level of performance and appropriate autonomy at Union level.
-Identify and define new missions and services (e.g. debris mitigation; debris remediation).
-Explore the implementation of new services, in complement of the three existing ones.
-Support the pre-developments and end-to-end early demonstration of new SST services.

Digital, Industry and Space
Innovation Action

Due to the increased number of objects (both active and debris) to be handled, as well as the evolution and inclusion of services in the future, R&I activities are necessary in the sensor domain, both for radiofrequency (e.g. passive ranging, radars, etc.) and optical sensors (e.g. telescopes, innovative wide field optical sensors, lasers). New promising technologies like sensors based on the use of infrared will also be considered.

(to be developed)

-Supporting the upgrade and development of on-ground assets, in particular radars and telescopes as well as data processing
-SST radiofrequency & optical sensors (radars, telescopes…) technological research & innovation
-SST data processing research & innovation (e.g. Artificial Intelligence…)

Digital, Industry and Space
Research & Innovation Action

The topic “SST Networking, Security & Data sharing” aims to support the upgrade, development and security issues of EUSST infrastructure based on the European network of assets (sensors, operation centres, front desk …)

(to be developed)

-SST networking of sensors & operation centres (EU SST network Command & Control)
-Research on EUSST network hardening against external threats

Digital, Industry and Space
Research & Innovation Action

EUSST system architecture engineering & evolutions: the analysis of the EU SST system architecture needs to continuously progress to evaluate how the system has to evolve at medium and long term, not only at network level (type, performance, number, geographical localisation… of assets) but also at data processing and at services level.

(to be developed)

-Foster European cooperation in the SST domain and improve the EUSST performance towards larger autonomy.
-Highlight and propose solutions to fill the gaps in the current EUSST architecture.
-Pave the way on which the EUSST system has to evolve towards a higher level of performance (e.g. accuracy; number / size of catalogued objects…), quality of service (e.g. timeliness of information…) and autonomy.
-Demonstrate the complementarity, coherence and added-value of each element of EUSST system towards a more autonomous, interoperable SST system.

Closed Calls