The Open Call
The overarching aim of the HuMUS project is to facilitate the deployment of the EU Soil Mission at regional and local levels in Europe. It will do so by creating collective spaces of constructive dialogue on soil health and soil quality threats, both inside and outside the consortium, which should adopt participatory governance methods and tools for soil quality and health governance in the territories involved.
From inside the consortium, we expect the signature of 13 Territorial Management Agreements among relevant and engaged Quadruple Helix stakeholders of each HuMUS partner community.
The target of this Call for proposals is to identify and support another 20 Pilot Projects, involving a total number of at least 300 Quadruple Helix stakeholders. The latter may consist of, for example, farmers and other entrepreneurs, including SMEs, consumer associations and other NGOs, professional soil experts, researchers and academics, government managers and public officials, as well as the general public of the Pilot location, notably including marginalised people and vulnerable groups.
This critical mass of 33 Pilot Projects is expected to provide substantial evidence that participatory governance methods and tools can promote, procure, and stimulate an increased and more diffused awareness of existing soil health issues and threats at local and regional levels and more effective approaches to their resolution.
Before the end of their lifetime, the 20 Winners of this Call are expected to deliver:
- The copy of a signed Territorial Management Agreement by all relevant Quadruple Helix stakeholders of the chosen Pilot Location;
- Evidence of successful adoption of the HuMUS Methodology, as described in Annex G to this Call, or of another equivalent approach to instantiate the concept of participatory governance of soil health issues and threats at local or regional levels, gathered in the form of a Short final report;
- An analysis of replication potential of the Pilot Project and approach, including details of the specific methodology adopted and highlighting the main barriers, drivers, enablers, and conditions for constructive dialogue and participatory governance of soil health issues and threats to materialise at the regional or local levels in Europe.
Only the Territorial Management Agreement and an executive summary of the Short final report will be published on the HuMUS website, while the other contents will be kept confidential and used only for internal purposes by the HUMUS consortium.
The HuMUS Call for Pilot proposals has a total budget of €600.000,00 and expires on 29.02.2024 at 5 pm CET (Brussels time)
The maximum subgrant per Pilot Project is € 30.000,00 (lump sum).
In addition to funding, the Call Winners will receive technical support from selected members of the HuMUS consortium, as described in §7 below. This may involve their optional participation in a Soil Stewards training programme, which will include an in-depth presentation of the HuMUS methodology. In return for the support, Winners will participate in the HuMUS consortium’s formative and summative evaluation activities, as explained in §13 of the Call.
The HuMUS electronic submission system – made available at the ANCI Toscana / GoodgrantsTM platform, see https://anci-toscana.grantplatform.com/ – is the only valid means for submitting applications under the provisions of this Call (for submission instructions, see §15 of the Call).
Templates and guidance for submission
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7. Technical Support
7.1 All questions and answers received from and sent to prospective participants in the Call will be made available on the official HuMUS project website (at the dedicated URL: https://humus-project.eu/faq). A primer on how to use the electronic submission system of ANCI Toscana is available as Annex H to this Call. A permanent help-desk service is available at firstname.lastname@example.org and will assist applicants in resolving any issues related to the use of the system that may come up during the application process.
7.2 Successful applicants will not become official members of the HuMUS consortium but only be considered as Financially Supported Third Parties and named as such in the HuMUS official website, in the published collection of cases, and in all the project’s communication and dissemination materials. Also, for this reason, the contract signed to access the financial benefits of the Open Call will actually be named Sub-grant agreement. A template of this contract is presented as Annex D to this Call.
7.3 In addition to the financial benefits of the Call, better described in the following §8 of this Call, Call Winners will be actively supported in the achievement of their proposal’s objectives through specific measures (such as coaching, mentoring, training, and advisory services) which will be set up and delivered by selected HuMUS partners.
7.4 To ensure that each granted initiative through the HuMUS Open Call gets adequate and easily accessible technical support, each Call Winner will be formally assigned a “Mentor” (nominated in the Sub-grant agreement) responsible for providing advice on the participatory instruments, methods and tools that are most appropriate to their case. In addition, the HuMUS “Mentor” will help minimise the time required after the signature of the Sub-grant agreement to perform the Pilot Project in full, considering that no time extension can be allowed for the proposals retained for receiving the Sub-grant.
7.5 The HuMUS project will also come up with a specific online training programme for the so-called Soil Stewards, which will include an in-depth presentation of the HuMUS methodology for participatory soil health governance, also outlined in Annex G to this Call. However, the applicants to this Call are free to use their preferred participatory soil health governance instruments, methods, and tools as available in the state of the art. Likewise, the training programme for Soil Stewards may not be attended if Call Winners feel that they are knowledgeable enough about the topics dealt with in the programme itself. In that case, the training can be transformed into a Q&A facility.
7.6 In no case can the provision of technical support be meant to substitute or compensate for the efforts and resources of successful applicants and co-applicants, who will be solely responsible for the coordination and execution of planned tasks.
7.7 The HuMUS consortium will organise public workshops for Call Winners to share experiences, facilitate their networking and promote better interaction with key stakeholders at European and international levels.
History of changes
The following changes were made to this page on 5 December 2023:
- we specified the eligibility criteria in § 5.1 and 5.2:
“5.1 The main applicant of each proposal must be a public entity or an entity governed by public law. Co-applicants must be eligible for participation in the Horizon Europe Framework Programme, and this includes not only organisations, but also natural persons above 18 years old, provided they hold a VAT Registration Number in their respective country.
5.2 Main applicants and Co-applicants must reside in the countries listed in part A of the General Annexes to the EC Horizon Europe Framework Programme 2021 document.”
- we rephrased the last sentence of the Call’s § 24-3:
“In particular, ANCI Toscana and any external auditor have the right to carry out checks, reviews, audits, and investigations on site, and in particular to audit the payments made. If access to any relevant information is denied by the Call Winner, the costs will be rejected and the sub-grant revoked.”
- we slightly rephrased §11.2 of Annex D requesting the beneficiaries to mention “the sub-grant received through ANCI Toscana”
- in Annex E we reiterated there will be no transfer of data to third countries
- we clarified in Annex H how the main applicants can upload the information concerning co-applicants.
The following changes were made to Annex D. Sub-grant agreement template on 8 December 2023:
- § 11.3 Wherever appropriate, a disclaimer must be added to any oral or written communication (such as public speeches, press launches, news, journal articles, etc.) specifying that the Action has received the financial support of the HuMUS project, but the contents presented are the sole responsibility of the Beneficiary and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of any European Institution.
- § 14.3 14.3 The Arbitration Tribunal, consisting of a sole Arbitrator, will decide on the substance of the dispute in accordance with the law. The decision can be brought to the competent Court of Justice.
The following changes were made to Annex H on 11 January 2024:
- Correction of the link on page 65 of the full text of the Call and on page 2 of Annex H: “Access and registration: The HuMUS electronic submission system can be accessed at the following link: https://anci-toscana.grantplatform.com/“
The following changes were made to Annex D, H, and the full Call text on 27 February 2024:
- Change of the application deadline to 5 April 2024 midnight CEST and subsequent changes to the dates of the selection process.
No other change has been made to the call text or its attachments, apart from formatting and editing.