ERA-NET Cofund Urban Transformation Capacities – Opening 29 January 2021

About the call:

In the ERA-NET Cofund Urban Transformation Capacities (ENUTC) Call, 16 national research and innovation funding agencies, from 14 European countries (namely members of the Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe), with the European Commission, have earmarked a global budget of about 18.4 M€, in order to support transnational R&I projects.

The call applies a two-step application process, in which the first step involves the submission of a pre-proposal outline and the second step is for submission of complete full proposals.

This call welcomes a broad range of research and innovation projects that enable capacity building for urban transformations. Projects should clearly build upon previous experiences of building capacity in practice and build upon existing knowledge of transformation capacities towards urban sustainability, resilience and liveability. Projects should study transformation processes and transformative capacity building for increased knowledge and understanding of such processes making it possible to  develop this knowledge further. Projects are encouraged to use new technologies and tools for implementation of research and innovation and to ensure possibilities for scaling up.  These principles apply to all three call topics as an overarching entry point.

“The goal of this call is to generate transnational research and innovation projects to support capacity building for urban transformation.”


Call topics

In this call urban transformation capacities are related to three main topics, which address a wide variety of urban challenges: 

  • Topic 1: Urban circular economies
  • Topic 2: Community-based developments and urban innovation ecosystems
  • Topic 3: Robust and resilient urban infrastructure and built environment


Who can apply?

Each project proposal must be submitted by a project consortium consisting of at least three eligible applicants applying for funds in the call from at least three different countries whose funders participate in the call. 

Depending on the national requirements applicants can be organisations such as:

  • Research organisations (such as universities, university colleges, research institutes or other authorities with research undertakings).
  • Urban government authorities (such as regional and local government institutions, municipalities and municipal organisations, city authorities, urban governments, urban public administrations, and infrastructure and service providers).
  • Companies and commercial organisations (from industry, cooperatives, small, medium and large sized enterprises), especially public utility companies (e.g. in the field of energy supply, other communal supply and disposal systems); infrastructure and service providers; real estate developers; investors; facility management providers; actors from the fields of energy, spatial and transport planning; transport authorities; entrepreneurs and innovators.
  • Consumers (e.g. business enterprises and test households).
  • Civil society (e.g. local and community organisations, non-governmental organisations, not-for-profit organisations and inhabitants).


Approaches and recommendations for the proposals:

All projects are expected to be cross-sectoral and are required to clearly engage relevant stakeholders, including the public sector, private sector, civil society and academia, throughout the duration of projects. Projects must also have a transdisciplinary approach, including relevant disciplines, such as natural sciences, social sciences, technical sciences, and applied fields, to support and implement integrative approaches and strategies to enhance urban transformation capacities.


Project duration

The expected project duration is three years i.e. the project duration applied for may not exceed 36 months. Note: some countries also impose a minimum project duration, please check the regional/national eligibility guidelines for further requirements.

Tentative Call Calendar

Call Launch: Late January 2021
Matchmaking, Information Sessions, Call Promotion: February  – March 2021
Pre-proposals submission deadline: 31 March 2021 (17:00 CET)
Evaluation of pre-proposals: April 2021
Submission open for full proposals: June 2021
Full proposals submission deadline: 23 September 2021 (17:00 CET)
Expected evaluation results: December 2021

Call secretariat

If you have questions on the general process and proposal submission, please contact the Call secretariat:

Elena Simion
UEFISCDI – Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding
Email:  /
.: +40 21 307 19 93 

Vincent van Doninck and Aniek van den Eersten
NWO – Dutch Research Council
Tel.: +31 70 349 42 66 or +31 70 349 43 97


Participating countries and funding agencies:

Country Funding agency
Austria Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
Belgium FWO – The Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO)
Bulgaria Bulgarian National Science Fund (BNSF)
Estonia Estonian Research Council (ETAg)
France Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)
Latvia State Education Development Agency (VIAA)
Lithuania Research Council of Lithuania (RCL)
The Netherlands Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, Domain Social Sciences and Humanities (NWO)
Taskforce for Applied Research SIA (Regieorgaan SIA)
Norway Research Council of Norway (RCN)
Poland National Science Centre (NCN)
Portugal (Azores) Fundo Regional para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FRCT)
Romania Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI)
Spain Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI)
Sweden Formas – Forskningsrådet för miljö, areella näringar och samhällsbyggande (FORMAS)
The Swedish Energy Agency (SWEA)






Please click here for the frequently asked questions we collected.
If you have an additional questions you are welcome to mail us at

European Union

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857160.