Round-up of Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 6 info day

Research and Innovation Development Office

Category: Research news

21 November 2017

Last week I followed up my earlier H2020 info day experience (SC1) with another info day on Societal Challenge 6: Europe in a Changing World - Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies.

Once again, the day was all about giving the context and aims of this part of the Work Programme, and was a treasure trove of information on the calls we expect over the next few years. Much more information and detail is available in the Work Programme, so do read it if this is something you might apply to!

Calls in SC6 serve diverse purposes, and it's the main source of funding for social sciences and humanities researchers in Horizon2020 Pillar 3 (although there are opportunities across the Pillar). SC6 is about bringing societies together through understanding and solving divisions, informing both policy and policy-makers, and tackling inequality. The three main calls in SC6 are:

  1. Migration
  2. Socioeconomic and cultural transformations in the context of the fourth industrial revolution
  3. Governance for the future.

The Commission has sought to create a Challenge that tackles the specific and timely issues of migration, while also factoring in all aspects of industry and work (as well as life pre- and post-work), and politics as ongoing issues of concern to the EU.

In more detail, Call 1 contains funding opportunities that address the direct and indirect causes and effects of migration, and strategies to ease the burdens of migrants and destinations. Key words for this call are governance, asylum, international protection, families and societies, education and culture (of migrants), employment, social and cultural transformations of cities, and digitalisation. Actions in the call are built around understanding migration patterns, social and economic effects of migration, mapping and overcoming challenges for migrant children, ICT to tackle migrant issues, and international protection (from the perspective of legal systems and from the perspective of migrants).

Call 2 has been constructed to explain and address the narrative of the rapid transformations in society currently going on in the fourth industrial revolution. However, the call is not just about the future of society, but also about what lessons can be learnt from the history of social change. Key words include cultural heritage, employment, culture, education, economy, cities, digitalisation. Opportunities in this call include lots of technology application, and consideration of changing labour practices over time. We see calls around research for inclusive growth, disruptive technology, solutions for inclusive urban environments, cultural tourism, cities as a platform for innovation, inclusive and sustainable growth in creative cultutral industries, technological transformations and children/youth, societal value of culture, endangered heritage, curation of digital assets, big data in policy and economic policy.

Call 3 has an entirely different focus, although researchers with an interest in Calls 1 and 2 should investigate how their work could translate into Call 3. This call should provide evidence base for adaptation of governance and structures "as and if required". The key words for this call are trust, differentiation, population, citizenship, social rights, global governance, extremism, and (again) digitalisation. Another long list of specific calls include trust in governance, differentiation in European governance (Brexit included), population and democratic engagement, social rights and EU citizenship, trends in global governance, drivers and context of extremism, extreme ideologies, European cloud infrastructure, digitalisation.

The Commission is fully aware that a lot of disciplines have their entire representation in Horizon 2020 Pillar 3 condensed into this Challenge. This is a solution arrived at after experience of previous systems, and they hope sufficient budget has been allocated to enable significant research to be completed in the areas highlighted. All the calls are assessed in a single-stage process, meaning considerable effort from the start, but only once per bid.

Consider the following questions when working on your ideas:

  • Is the proposal addressing a real societal need?
  • Are the social science and humanities aspects well-incorporated throughout the proposal?
  • Is the proposal showing specific inclusion of SSH disciplines?

You are also highly recommended to investigate partner search facilities such as those operated by Net4Society, who can help you put together your consortia.

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