On 13 October 2015, the European Commission adopted a new Work Programme for 2016-17 and will invest almost €16 billion in research and innovation in the next two years under Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation funding scheme.
In the context of the new work programme, the following calls have been announced:
- The Smart and Sustainable Cities call (€232 million) aims to bring together cities, industry and citizens to demonstrate solutions and business models that can be scaled up and replicated, and that lead to measurable benefits in energy and resource efficiency, new markets and new jobs. The scope will include the creation of urban spaces powered by secure, affordable and clean energy, smart electro-mobility, smart tools and services, innovative nature-based solutions and showcasing economic viability.
- Projects funded under the Energy Efficiency call (€194 million) will trigger direct energy savings of up to 230.000 toe (tonne of oil equivalent) per year. The Energy Efficiency area of this Work Programme has been designed for 2016/2017 with a stronger focus on consumer-related issues under the sub-area 'Engaging consumers towards energy efficiency'. In addition, a strong consumer-oriented approach characterises many of the topics in the sub‑areas of 'Heating and cooling', 'Buildings', 'Industry, products and services', and 'Innovative financing for energy efficiency
- The Competitive Low-carbon Energy call (€723 million) underpins the commitment to diversify energy sources. In addition, three of the new Horizon Prizes will focus on boosting innovation in low carbon energy technologies offering €3.25 million to winning solutions. The focus of Calls 2016 and 2017 remains on the electricity system but with a number of openings for transnational collaboration and connections between energy networks. While call 2016 puts emphasis on the electricity distribution system, the call in 2017 is opened for demonstration projects in the field of transmission. Call 2017 also includes links between distribution and transmission networks and links between the electricity network and other energy networks.
For further information on the Work Programme for 2016-2017, please visit the relevant BUILD UP article.