Pre-announcement: open call for pilots

Open Call

Multiple, overlapping and interconnected crises are increasing in frequency, raising challenges of societal resilience. These crises do not impact expertise in a single domain but are testing the capacities of a variety of stakeholders to connect, cope, communicate, react, and rebuild. Environmental, health, conflict, energy and resource crises highlight major inequalities in public, private and civil society spheres. Traditional institutions are not adequately prepared to face unexpected adverse events and deal with uncertainty. 

Societal resilience entails absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacities. All three capacities depend heavily on the ability of the social, economic and political systems to mobilise resources in the face of a crisis, quickly set up connections between diverse domains and include a varied range of stakeholders in the process of sense-making and narrative formation (participatory capacity). Pre-existing societal conditions, including institutions, knowledge and culture, shape resilience. Thus, building and strengthening societal resilience is a context-dependent process. Research and Innovation (R&I) can play a key role by providing a basis for a more flexible and responsive capacity of stakeholders in crisis periods, informing policy development and decision-making, and thus, strengthening resilience and preparedness for future events. 

The FUTURESILIENCE project aims to strengthen Europe's economic and social resilience and, thereby, its ability to respond to future crises rapidly. This will be accomplished by facilitating a rapid and effective use of policy-relevant R&I findings for national, regional, and local actors. At the project's core is an experimentation phase that will include 10 Future Resilience labs working with foresight and participative methodologies to tackle a range of challenges. The experimentation approach will shed light on the future risks that Europe may face and uncover vulnerabilities in the different cases. As part of the experimentation phase, the FUTURESILIENCE project will provide financial support to third parties to achieve its objectives. Third-party projects (pilot cases) may only receive financial support if they work on areas that foster societal resilience, as listed below. 

Topics addressed by the open call 

Organised in co-creation mode and guided by a group of experts from the consortium, each Future Resilience lab will address challenges they face from internal or external shocks. The experimentation will result in the uptake and tailoring of existing solutions and design of novel ones to address the challenges of the pilot case, looking to increase future preparedness and resilience. The guiding questions to frame the project could include: what would be a major challenge/shock to which your [e.g. city, region, organisation] would be most vulnerable to, given the existing capacities? How is the challenge interrelated with other existing problems? What solutions have been implemented that contributed to mitigate the impact? What can be changed in order to be better prepared for the future? What are the gaps that should be addressed to build resilience and strengthen absorptive and transformative capacities? Indicatively, the following list may serve as a reference, structured by areas and challenges that are may be impacted by different types of shocks: 

 - Urban development: housing as human right; difficulties in implementing green or digital solutions in remote regions; gentrification and inequalities; unsustainable concentration of population in urban centres / unsustainable urban sprawl 

- Agriculture: access to climate-friendly technology; shifts to sustainable food production systems; producing food with less water; preserving food biodiversity; addressing land-use conflicts 

- Mobility: transitioning to net-zero policies; use of data to improve mobility solutions; sustainable mobility systems (safe, affordable, accessible, low-emission, climate neutral); traffic reduction (e.g. freight transport) 

- Health: shifting to digital health, linking to environmental and social implications of doing so; supply chain disruptions due to material shortages; facing pathogens X 

- Welfare: ageing population and migration (including refugees, mass movement of people, displacement); social protection; tax systems; greed vs. solidarity; financial disruptions 

- Industries: access to critical material; inefficiency of supply chain; skill gaps in a changing labour market; beyond growth; sustainable value creation models; technology disruptions 

- Environment; increasing extreme-weather events (heatwaves, flooding, etc.); increasing loss of biodiversity; water resilience; increased stress on water/energy/food supplies; supply of materials for digital transitions

Applicants may apply for one or more of the listed areas or address additional specific topics for which they have identified a potential societal and transformational impact in terms of building or strengthening resilience. We welcome applications that work with cross-cutting areas and interrelated uncertainties, looking to create interlinkages among multiple topics (i.e. energy and mobility or housing and inequalities, etc.) 

Who can apply for funding? 

Applicants must be legal entities, including, but not limited to:

-Regional, local and city authorities; 

-Industrial or business groups, including entrepreneurship support or networks; 

-Civil society associations and foundations; 

-Third-level education institutes, research infrastructures and public research centres; 

-Cross-border or inter-regional partnerships 

Applications can be from a single applicant or a group of institutions. The leading applicant should be based on the place where the lab will be run. The application should include a preliminary mapping of potential stakeholders at local, regional and national policymaking levels that can be engaged in the experimentation phase. Support letters or a Memorandum of Understandings are a plus. Groups of stakeholders already working together in previous experiences are encouraged to apply and bring further stakeholders to a joint application. 

Key Information 

  • Proposal submission deadline: 12th October 2023 at 15:00 CET 
  • Expected pilot duration: from 9 to 12 months 
  • Maximum amount of financial support: €60,000 
  • Number of pilots selected: 7 pilots
  • Call identifier: FRS_2023_01 
  • Submission language: English 
  • The full call text and proposal guidelines will be available at the EU F&T Portal and in our website from 15th June 2023. 
  • Email address for further information:

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