Announcement ERA-NET BiodivRestore cofund call

“Conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems and their biodiversity, including a focus on aquatic systems”

In October 2020 a new, collaborative joint transnational call for research projects was opened by the BiodivERsA partnership and the Water JPI, which respectively focus on ‘Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ at one hand and ‘achieving sustainable water systems for a sustainable economy in Europe and abroad’ on the other.

This specific call is focussed on the following themes:

  • ‘Studying the biological and biophysical processes at stake for conservation/restoration, and their interactions.’
  • Assessing trade-offs and synergies between targets, benefits and policies for conservation and restoration.’
  • Knowledge for improving the effectiveness and upscaling of conservation and restoration actions.’

Deadline for pre-proposals submission: 7 December 2020, 16:00 CET (local Brussels time)

The available call information can be consulted on both the BiodivERsA- and the Water JPI websites, which together with the ‘national’ FWO guidelines are of importance for the eligibility of the ‘Flemish’ subproject.

FWO modalities

Both the FWO more fundamental junior/senior research projects (FO) and Strategic Basic Research (SBO) funding channels are integrated within this call. The type and scope of the proposed research project will determine the choice of funding channel for the research from within Flanders. Non-compliance with the specific requirements per funding channel will inevitably lead to non-eligibility.

Please note, this is only an FWO-requirement: European and/or international partners within the project consortium can choose their type of research freely. Only the fundamental or strategic nature of the Flemish partners’ subproject has to be guaranteed.

Project proposals should be submitted at the BiodivRestore call secretariat by European and international consortia, respecting the general eligibility criteria, as taken up in the call text. No separate national project submission is required for the FWO, apart from an SBO valorisation plan, if required. The FWO is able to support 3 projects for a 3 years duration, with an available maximum applicable budget of 250.000 EUR per project (overhead included).

For the fundamental funding channel the respective regulation applies. For the SBO channel the SBO regulation has to be taken in to account. These imply projects with a primarily economic and/or societal finality, for which ‘valorisation’ is a key - and mandatory - aspect.

Some key point to take into account

  • Regional (FWO) and federal (BELSPO) funds cannot be concentrated within one and the same consortium. Irrespective of whether these imply different researchers and/or host institutions.
  • ERA-NET participation does not interfere with the ‘regular’ project submission framework, and is consequently not taken into account for calculating the max. available number of new applications and running projects combined. However, researchers can only participate within 2 different international consortia within this BiodivRestore call, if it implies different subjects.
  • Diverging overhead calculations apply for the fundamental funding channel at one hand and the SBO channel on the other, what is explained in the ‘national’ FWO guidelines.
  • When the Flemish (FWO) subproject implies an SBO project, the researchers are asked to provide proactively, and before the pre-proposal submission deadline, a concise – but to the point – valorisation plan (no fixed format, max. 1 A4-page), which clarifies the valorisation context within Flanders and internationally, and the involved actors from Flanders. This document can be sent towards the email address.

Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact the FWO before submission, in view of the eligibility criteria, in order to avoid the ineligibility of a researcher, and the project consortium as a whole.

ERA-NET cofund, from within the HORIZON 2020 framework programme, foresees in cofunding from the European Commission. This may lead, during the funding decision on the basis of the final ranking, after the peer review, to additional financial support, in order to get more Flemish research groups funded in the end.

Information about FWO participation can also be obtained by contacting the following FWO collaborator:

Toon Monbaliu

+32 2 550 15 70