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Transformations to sustainability
Date de clôture : 8 mars 2016  

 Développement durable
 Coopération internationale
 Développement urbain
 Horizon Europe
 Sciences du climat

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Climate change, environmental degradation and resource pressures have created unprecedented situations for societies worldwide. Today’s urgent challenges of global environmental change will require not only scientific advances and technological adjustments but also deep and enduring social change. A comprehensive new approach to research and action on global environmental change and sustainability is needed that promotes solutions that are at the same time ecologically sound, economically viable and socially just. A new approach to sustainability research from the angle of social transformation will require the active contribution and pro-active leadership from social sciences and humanities disciplines, in terms of bringing relevant existing knowledge, framing the research questions, designing and implementing the research, and helping to derive effective, equitable and durable solutions to global sustainability challenges with a genuine involvement of relevant societal stakeholder groups at all stages of the research and policy process.


Proposals should pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national regional, or international research programmes with a view to implementing a joint call for proposals resulting in grants to third parties with EU co-funding in this area. Proposers are encouraged to include other joint activities including additional joint calls without EU co-funding.

Participation of legal entities from international partner countries and/or regions, including from Belmont Forum members, is encouraged in the joint call as well as in other joint activities including additional joint calls without EU co-funding. Participants from countries which are not automatically eligible for funding[[]] may nonetheless request a Union contribution (on the basis of the ERA-NET unit cost) for the co-ordination costs of additional activities.

Actions will provide solutions through a new approach to research and action on global environmental change and global sustainability that factors in complex social behaviours and social transformation. This will require transdisciplinary research on the complex processes of social transformation to secure effective, equitable and durable solutions that are targeted to local contexts, to comply with the Sustainable Development Goals. The approach should take into account existing experiences and programmes addressing the issue of transformation to sustainability and low-carbon economies and societies, such as FP7, JPI Climate, Urban Europe, the NORFACE network of funding agencies and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) programme, with a strong focus on developing countries.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), actions will contribute to implementing multilateral activities such as the Belmont Forum and Future Earth initiatives to address cultural, economic, institutional and political barriers and opportunities and identify which sustainable development pathways linking economic prosperity with social justice and a healthy biosphere are actionable in different contexts.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 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:

Projects are expected to lead to:

  • alignment of EU Member States' and international partners' research programmes towards the objectives set by the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • strengthened research capacities in low- and middle income countries around the world;
  • transformed research on global environmental change by fostering transdisciplinarity, bringing together disciplines, practitioners and societal stakeholders, with the ultimate objective of bringing about transformative shifts to a more sustainable and just world.

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