Joint Call for Proposals / MICall 21: Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods for Climate Neutrality

This call on Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods (PEDs) is the second call of the PED Programme facilitated by the JPI Urban Europe, aiming at supporting the large-scale implementation of at least 100 PEDs by 2025. It succeeds the PED Pilot Call and will find its continuation in the European partnership “Driving Urban Transitions to a Sustainable Future (DUT)”.



Aim of the call

As an integral part of comprehensive sustainable urbanisation strategies, establishing Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods shifts the focus from the individual positive energy building towards neighbourhoods and thus a new level of impact on sustainable urban development and the energy transition process. With this call, JPI Urban Europe aims to continue creating a transdisciplinary and cross-sectoral community working in the field of the energy transition in the urban context, aiming for high stakeholder involvement, collaboration and co-production of knowledge.

Participating countries: Austria, Brussels Capital Region, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Romania, Sweden, Turkey 


Call topics

Topic 1: PEDs towards climate neutrality: transforming existing urban neighbourhoods

With the formulation of the European Green Deal and the Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities under the Horizon Europe framework programme, the European Commission has set ambitious goals regarding climate change adaptation and the energy transition. This call on Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods for Climate Neutrality aims at aligning PED development with these ambitions and fostering PED development as a key building block towards climate neutrality. For European urban areas this implies a strong focus on existing urban structures and therefore innovative retrofitting and re-design strategies towards Positive Energy districts and climate-neutral neighbourhoods.


The main objectives of this topic include:

  • Development of feasible implementation strategies for Positive Energy Districts in existing, potentially historical, urban neighbourhoods
  • Identification and characterisation of PEDs as key contributors to the goal of the Horizon Europe Mission on Climate-neutral and Smart Cities to create 100 climate-neutral cities by 2030. This is to be achieved by developing integrated strategies of urban retrofitting.
  • Establish necessary conditions for successful dissemination and replication of PEDs beyond this project
  • Integrate PED strategies in related policy areas, including mobility and climate adaptation

Topic 2: Making PEDs happen: process innovation and business models

This topic focuses on the process innovation and economic feasibility for PED development. It aims at developing strategies for stakeholder cooperation, business models, public-private partnership and regulatory framework under the primate of environmental, social and economic sustainability.


The main objectives of this topic include:

  • Development of strategies for the implementation of PEDs in government, business and the public, which includes
    • making PEDs an integral part of urban planning processes starting from an urban/district analysis in order to define regulatory, structural and technical constraints
    • establishing public-private partnerships, as well as partnerships with businesses (especially focusing on city authorities, the real estate industry and utilities)
  • Reinforce decision-making processes both inside and outside local government
  • Establishment and maintenance of broad support within government, business and the public at large for realising PEDs
  • The safeguarding of circularity aspects and life-cycle-principles in business models and the regional energy system while respecting (natural) system boundaries and considering public interest


Types of projects looked for

The call aims at funding projects that:

  • enhance theoretical and practical knowledge for PED development in terms of both technological innovation and process innovation,
  • support the strategic development of key areas of action for PED development as defined within the PED Programme,
  • facilitate the achievement of the PED Programme Mission of large-scale implementation of 100 PEDs by 2025,
  • develop PEDs as building stones for the Horizon Europe Mission on Climate-neutral and Smart Cities to implement 100 climate-neutral cities by 2030.

Summary of transnational eligibility criteria

Consortium as a whole must include

      • At least two eligible applicants from at least two of the different countries participating in the call.
      • At least one city, municipality or entity providing key urban services for a city as an applicant (either main or co-applicant) or as co-operation partners.
    • Project proposal consortia need to be balanced between countries both in terms of number of partners and distribution of budget. The share of personnel months applied for by applicants from one country must not exceed 70.00% of the total personnel month applied for by the consortium.
    • Co-operation partners must provide a letter of intent, where they concretely state how they will be involved in the project and how they will profit and partake from/in project results. Please submit this LOI via the online submission system.
    • Each PI may only participate in a maximum of two proposals, and only once as the PI of a main-applicant.
    • Each proposal must nominate two experts for the Expert Support Facility of which one will be selected. Please use the work package 2 to describe and nominate the experts, upload their CVs in the online submission system as attachments and allocate two personnel months per expert for this task.
    • The participation of all partners involved must be convincingly justified in the project proposal.
    • Consortia are required to prove the interest and active involvement of all partners in the consortium.


Who can apply?

Applicants can come from organisations such as*:

  • Companies (from industry/large companies to SMEs), especially public utility companies (e.g. in the field of energy supply, other communal supply and disposal systems, …); energy service providers; real estate developers, investors, facility management providers; actors from the fields of energy, spatial and transport planning
  • Cities, municipalities, regions
  • Consumers (e.g. business enterprises, test households, etc.)
  • Citizens’ representatives, NGOs
  • Research organisations (universities, university colleges, research institutes or other authorities with research undertakings)

Consortia may consist of partners active across several positions within the research and development system (i.e. applied research, innovation/implementation) and across disciplines (natural sciences, economic and social sciences, humanities, and engineering).

*Please note that a specific funding agency may not fund each type of organisation. If a partner is not eligible for funding, the partner can still participate as cooperation partner. For further information see chapter 6 in the Call Text.

Events in this call

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Online Matchmaking Event: Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods for Climate Neutrality

JPI Urban Europe invites you to an online Matchmaking Event on November 24th 2021 at 13.30 CET. The Matchmaking Event provides an oppurtunity for digital matchmaking. Participants will be able to access the B2Match platform any time for a number of weeks for a smooth a simple matchmaking process.

Register for the Matchmaking Event here

Matchmaking platform

The B2Match platform is open! Join the virtual and free brokerage platform to find partners or consortia for your PED project. Use the marketplace to find the partner you were looking for. Send them a message, chat a bit or jump straight into a one on one meeting to get to know each other. The free platform is open to support you in your search for the perfect project consortium.

Register here

Call information webinar: Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods for Climate Neutrality

JPI Urban Europe invites you to a information webinar on November 9th 2021 at 13.30 CET.
The information webinar is an oppurtunity to ask questions to the call secretariat and to learn more about the call, the application process and the coming years.

See the recording from the webinar here!

LinkedIn group

In addition to events and webinars, we wish to welcome interested actors to the LinkedIn group “Networking in Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods for Climate Neutrality” for self-organised networking and matchmaking. This is a group where you can continue to explore the possibilities for developing and submitting a joint call proposal together with more stakeholders or find possible future partners before the matchmaking event. Find the group here. 



Call opening: October 20th 2021
Proposal deadline: February 24th 2022, 12:00 CET
Eligibility Check: February 2022
Meeting of Expert Panel to assess proposals: May 2022
Funding recommendation by the Steering Committee: June 2022
National funding decisions and announcement of results to Main Applicants: June 2022
Earliest expected start of the projects: July 2022
Kick-off meeting: Late 2022/early 2023
Mid-term meeting: Late 2023/early 2024
Final Projects Event: Late 2024/early 2025


>> Call Text
>> Tutorial for online submission system
>> Proposal Form
>> Financial sheet for proposals
>> List of national contact points
>> Call presentation
>> Call flyer
>> Questions and answers

National eligibility criteria can be found in the Call Text, chapter 6

Go to Online Submission System


Call secretariat

Paul Kuttner
Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
+43 5 77 55 5069

Johannes Bockstefl
Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
+43 5 77 55 5042

Funding Agencies and national contact points

> List of national contact points

Country/ region Funding agency
Austria FFG
Brussels-Capital Region Innoviris
Denmark Innofund
Netherlands RVO
Italy MUR
Sweden SWEA




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