A new ICT Horizon 2020 Call, ICT-54-2020, is now open with opportunities for researchers and innovators to fund their work in the area of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies. These technologies have the potential to enable more decentralised, trusted, and user-centric digital services. The vision is to stimulate new business models benefiting society and the economy by providing better control of data by citizens and organisations, reducing fraud, improving recordkeeping, access, transparency and auditability, within and across borders.

The ICT-54-2020 Call opened 9 July, with a deadline of 16 January, 2020, 17.00 CET, with the ambition to strengthen the European Commission strategy on blockchain, building on important pan-European initiatives such as the European Blockchain Observatory and Forum and the European Blockchain Partnership.


ICT-54-2020 calls for Research andInnovation Actions (RIA) in the following three main sub-topics:

  • Advancing research on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies, conducting research, proofs of concepts, piloting, testing and benchmarks to improve and further develop advanced blockchain technologies, for example regarding energy efficiency and sustainability, consensus protocols, a priori usage control, scalability and throughput, security, privacy, robustness, interoperability, cryptography, smart contracts, governance, compliance to regulatory frameworks. This action should contribute to standardisation activities.
  • Fostering trust in internet information exchange and content with blockchain, developing decentralised blockchain-based solutions that can be scaled in a sustainable manner, combined with the use of trustworthy electronic identification, authentication and verified pseudonyms, to preserve the integrity and reliability of information and content, including the underlying sources, on the internet. Focus is on two main use cases:
  1. develop and implement new transparent and accountable reputation-based models to increase trustworthiness of the information exchange on the internet and social networks;
  2. provide solutions for transparency, trustworthy transactional content handling, on the internet and social networks.
  • Bringing forward the emergence of collective intelligence on the internet, developing approaches for scientific understanding and technology-based stimulation of collective intelligence on social media and the internet to foster trustworthy knowledge and information sharing, and to enhance social inclusion. Focus is on two main use cases:
  1. develop new community-based service models on social networks that exploit collective intelligence to provide enhanced community services, and increase the availability of trustworthy content;
  2. in the context of collective intelligence develop and implement new concepts for connecting people and smart objects/agents/AI on social media.

Approaches for both use cases must be rooted in scientific analysis of collective behaviour and network mechanisms, harness decentralised technologies such as P2P or blockchain for governance and support a dependable collective memory.

The Commission considers proposals with an overall duration of 24 to 36 months. Financing of between EUR 6m to EUR 8m is envisaged, although proposals requesting other durations or amounts may also be considered. Each funded RIA will support multiple third party projects from outstanding academic research groups, hi-tech start-ups, SMEs and others, contributing to the research and innovation area via cascade funding (a minimum of 70% of the requested EU contribution for each RIA). The RIA will provide the programme logic and vision for the third-party projects, ensuring the coherence and coordination of these projects, providing the necessary technical support, as well as coaching and mentoring. Third parties will be funded through projects, typically in the EUR 50,000 to EUR 200,000 range per project, with an indicative duration of 12 months.


Digital Excellence Forum, ICT Proposers Day 2019 – 19 September, in Helsinki.
The EC’s ICT Proposer’s day, on 19 September, will feature a special session, dedicated to this open call on Next Generation Media, Social Media & Blockchain, from 11:30am -12:45pm.

NGI Forum 2019, 25 September, in Helsinki.
The NGI Forum will feature more information on funding opportunities and a workshop on blockchain in action to help you tailor your bid! Register now for free at ngiforum.eu


NGI will be running a webinar series with information on how to make your application the best it can be! Stay tuned for more details.

Make the most of this opportunity – one of the last of the current H2020 funding life cycle, apply for funding to help position Europe at the forefront of the blockchain revolution!