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ERA-NET Cofund action on enhancing urban transformation capacities


Co-funded actions should build on the strategic agenda of the JPI Urban Europe and pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing joint calls for proposals resulting in grants to third parties with EU co-funding in this area.

They should underpin urban transition pathways by addressing issues related to urban circular economies and resilience, community-based developments towards integrative urban innovation ecosystems and urban infrastructure and built environment transformations. In enhancing sustainable urban transformation capacities, special attention should be paid to underpinning progress of public sector innovation and the relevant governance dimensions.

Supported actions should promote urban experimental approaches such as urban living labs, city labs, fab-labs, urban policy labs, third spaces, urban (design) think thanks, prototyping and real-life trials that engage a diverse set of stakeholders in open innovation and co-design to support new urban economy transition pathway approaches and integrated urban sustainable transformations.

Proposers are requested to include at least one additional joint call without EU co-funding as well as other activities, such as the establishment or consolidation of a pan-European network of funding agencies and other key players in Europe. Wherever relevant, actions should involve social sciences (including gender studies) and humanities.

The proposals should demonstrate that these co-funded other activities exclude any overlaps with related on-going actions co-funded by the EU under Horizon 2020.

Proposals should build upon successful European research and innovation investments in sustainable urbanisation, capitalize on established capacity within and by the EU institutions such as the EU Science Hub (JRC) Knowledge Centre on Cities and EU Policy Lab and establish synergies with relevant EIT KIC’s and JPIs.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The transition towards a sustainable economy and society will happen in cities. Implementing Research and Innovation in line with the New Urban Agenda and the Urban Agenda for the EU is crucial to reach Sustainable Development Goal 11 to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, healthy, resilient and sustainable. A key challenge is to overcome the implementation gap and to enhance urban transformation capacities through integrated approaches and by utilising new technologies and tools, co-creation of knowledge, joint validation and creation of communities of practice involving all relevant stakeholders and urban actors, including researchers, industry, end-users (e.g. city networks, urban think tanks, etc.), public authorities and civil society.

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • ensuring effective trans-national, pan-European research networking and synergies among national/regional and EU research programmes in the areas addressed to ensure delivery of integrated approaches that support urban economic transitions in a sustainable and applicable fashion;
  • clear progress to reaching targets of the New Urban Agenda, SDG 11 and the Urban Agenda for the EU through enhanced urban transformation capacities of the competent urban authorities in the key areas such as integrated pathways and solutions, urban design and planning, circular economy and resilience;
  • improved evidence-based policy through the interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary science-policy interface and links with international efforts and fora on the areas addressed.