Platform-driven e-infrastructure innovation

Publication date
December 8, 2016
March 29, 2017
Short description

Prepare the capacity required to future generations of e-infrastructure is the key challenge. e-Infrastructure platforms and services need to evolve through innovation actions to respond to the long-term needs of research and education communities (e.g. in case of large RIs entering in functions in a 5 to 10 years' timeframe). Platforms and services are first designed, prototyped and piloted with "supply and demand-side" approaches triggered by to the most demanding cases. The innovative developments bringing state-of the-art technology need to evolve and mature to be integrated and offered as dependable e-infrastructures.


Proposals will address parts (a) or (b), but not both:

(a) Support to Public Procurement of innovative HPC systems, PPI (proposals should address all points below):

(1) procurement of innovative HPC solutions supporting the deployment in Europe of world-leading HPC capability infrastructure

(2) ensuring and reinforcing European access to European leading-edge supercomputing Tier-0 infrastructures and services, by making available a substantial percentage of the new systems to European researchers in the frame of the Pan-European High Performance Computing infrastructure and services (see EINFRA-11-2016)

(3) diversify the available leading-class HPC capabilities through a rich set of HPC architectures featuring the most advanced technology made available by R&I (Research and Innovation) in Europe, in order to satisfy the needs of a wider range of users in very different key application areas

(4) contribute to the coordination of plans and procurements for the provision of leading-class HPC capabilities at European and national level in view of the implementation the European supercomputing strategy , encompassing funding and technical specifications

(b) Research and Innovation Actions for e-Infrastructure prototypes:

Proposals will address only one of the points below. At least one proposal for each point will be selected:

1. Universal discoverability of data objects and provenance (proposals should address all points below):

Prototyping an e-infrastructure service, based on standards and best-practices, for the uptake of a Digital Identifier e-infrastructure for digital objects (articles, datasets, collections, software, nomenclature, etc.), researchers and contributors, which cuts across geographical, temporal, disciplinary, cultural, organisational and technological boundaries, without relying on a single centralised system but rather federating locally operated systems to ensure interoperability. The requirements of all relevant stakeholder groups (researchers, libraries, data centres, publishers, etc.) should be addressed as well as global interoperability through agreed mechanisms (e.g. in consensus building through the Research Data Alliance).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 4 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. It is expected that one proposal will be selected.

2. Computing e-infrastructure with extreme large datasets (proposals should address all points below):

Develop service prototypes to cope with very large data resources. It should include the basis software layers supporting applications such as modelling, simulation, pattern recognition, visualisation, etc. The developments should be supported by robust mathematical methods and tools. Prototypes should follow an open source approach and aim at common interfaces to access and analyse underlying data collected/stored in different platforms, formats, locations and e-infrastructures and be tested against requirements of very large or highly heterogeneous research data sets. Clean slate approaches to high-performance computing and data management (e.g. HPC-through-the cloud, support of most innovative server’s architectures for distributed computing in particular high Memory/Cores ratios allowing “in memory” processing) targeting 2020+ 'data factory' requirements of research communities and large scale facilities (e.g. ESFRI projects) are encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 2.5 and 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

(a) Support to Public Procurement of innovative HPC systems, PPI: This action will contribution to the European HPC strategy through the creation of a European procurement market for the benefit of the HPC actors in Europe (in particular technology suppliers) and catalysing the efforts to vitalise the European HPC ecosystem. It position Europe as a world-class HPC hub with more leading-class HPC computing resources and services available at European level for European academia and industry, independently of the location of users or HPC systems. It will foster adoption and use of innovative world-class HPC solutions featuring the most advanced results of the R&I in Europe, widening the access to more users, in particular for and industry (including SMEs). It will improve effectiveness of public procurement in leading-class HPC systems through joint procurement and pooling of European and national resources, contributing to sustainability. Benefits will also translate in better coordination between demand and supply in the European HPC ecosystem, with improved collaboration of the users and procurers with technology suppliers.

(b) Research and Innovation Action for e-Infrastructure prototypes

Universal discoverability of data objects and provenance: the successful set up of such service based on standards and best-practices will support interoperability of e-infrastructure services. The use of Digital Identifiers opens new prospects for advanced services for science and education and for encouraging openness and building trust. Data and other resources become discoverable and easy to use which will facilitate access to resources and collaboration between scientists. It has the potential to be used as a core service across Europe and globally. Duplication of efforts for developing services common to many e-infrastructures is reduced.

Computing e-infrastructure with extreme large datasets: The successful prototyping of this action services will support the evolution of e-infrastructure services based on exascale data resources. It will prepare data and computing infrastructure to absorb needs of communities that push the envelope in terms of data and computing intensive science while softening the learning curve for scientific communities that will be using new services.

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Please also note that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hongkong & Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).
  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.
  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme, with the following exceptions:

    Only for (b): Research and Innovation Action for e-Infrastructure prototypes:
    Under criterion Excellence, the third and fourth sub-criteria are substituted by:
    •The extent to which it is demonstrated that the concerned platforms and services are based on systems and technologies that have reached TRL 6 before the start of the project and will be brought to at least TRL 8 by the end of the project.
    •The extent to which the proposed activities will improve, in quality and/or quantity, the services provided by state of the art e-infrastructures.
    Under criterion Impact, the second sub-criterion is substituted by:
    •Potential to enhance capacity for innovation and production of new knowledge.
    The score for the criterion Excellence will be given a weight of 1.5.
  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of the evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.
  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    A specific proposal template for this topic and Type of Action will be available closer to the opening of the call on 8 December 2016.
    A specific evaluation form for this topic and Type of Action will be available closer to the opening of the call on 8 December 2016.
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

    Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI):

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    The funding rate for Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI) actions is limited to 35% of the total eligible costs (PPI is procurement for the purchase and deployment of innovative solutions) to leverage co-financing from the procurers.
    After opening of the PPI-related part of this call on 14 April 2016, the proposal template will be available upon entering the submission system, below.
    Standard evaluation form
    Annotated Grant Agreement
    Specific requirements for innovation procurement supported by Horizon 2020 grants (PCP, PP)
  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information
  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.
    Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

    Open access to research data
    The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

    Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

    Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

    - Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs.

    - Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

    The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

  8. Additional documents:

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Research infrastructures (including e-Infrastructures)
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

Source: Participant Portal

  • H2020
Geographical focus
  • H2020
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Anna Sirocco on November 10, 2016
Modified on December 19, 2016