Fund Category: European calls dedicated to Maritime surveillance

Funding Operators: EU

Call text:

SU-BES03-EBCGA-2019-2020: Demonstration of applied solutions to enhance border and external security

Specific Challenge: Solutions at high Technological Readiness Levels (TRL; please see Annex G of the General Annexes) exist to enhance border and external security, but they need to be demonstrated in the context of actual operations or exercise for validation by practitioners, or to remain unused.

Part of Horizon 2020 activities related to border and external security for the period of 2018-2020 will be implemented by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCGA) in indirect management. The EBCGA will manage the phases of the project lifecyle in accordance with the procedures set out in the Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation, and with due regard of Article 37 of the EBCG Regulation. To this end a delegation agreement covering the 2018-2020 activities will be concluded between the Commission and the EBCGA, setting out in details the entrusted tasks and the arrangements ensuring the protection of the financial interests of the Union.

Scope: Consortia are invited to propose demonstration of high (6-8) Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) systems applied in the context of border and external security. (TRL: please see Annex G of the General Annexes.)

Proposals should be submitted under only one of the following sub-topics:


  • Sub-topic 2: [2019] New concepts for decision support and information systems

Information systems to support border and external security may combine a broad variety of data from very different sources, including personal data. Innovative solutions are needed to ensure the interoperability of surveillance systems, and the availability of information for maritime border surveillance coming from the area of operations in standardized formats, when and where it is needed, thus at enhancing situation awareness at strategic level (in National Coordination Centres), but also at tactical level (with assets deployed under the frame of surveillance operations). This would allow faster reaction to incidents in the maritime domain, and a reduction in the death toll at sea. Proposals should aim at optimize the exploitation of data for their specific use in surveillance is currently embryonic, and needs to take better account of the specific characteristics of the domain, with a view to provide the needed information reducing redundancies.

  • Sub-topic 3: [2020] Improved systems for the detection, identification and tracking of small boats

 Sub-topic: [2019-2020] Open

Proposals addressing other issues relevant to this challenge, based on a sound rationale and supported by a large number of relevant practitioners are invited to apply under this sub-topic (see eligibility and admissibility conditions.)

Proposals submitted under this topic should be coordinated by a competent authority under civilian authority and command, nationally identified as specialised border or coast guard, or border police force.

They should clearly demonstrate how they complement and do not overlap with actions undertaken in the Preparatory Action on Defence Research under topic PADR-US-01-2017: Technological demonstrator for enhanced situational awareness in a naval environment.

Certain operational costs are excluded from eligible costs (see eligibility and admissibility conditions.)

Proposals should lead to solutions developed in compliance with European societal values, including privacy and fundamental rights.


Proposals should lead to solutions developed in compliance with European societal values, fundamental rights and applicable legislation, including in the area of free movement of persons, privacy and protection of personal data.


The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact: Medium term:

  • Innovative solutions validated and qualified in the real, operational environment of civilian missions, defined in detail according to specifications set by the practitioners (authorities in charge of border surveillance and coast guard functions) and tailored to effectively meet their requirements within civilian missions.
  • Plans for the quick take up of qualified systems at EU level.
  • Plans for transnational procurement strategies.
  • Long term:
  • Improved cost-effectiveness and efficiency of systems for the prevention of cross border crime and for border surveillance for civilian purposes.
  • Standards for interoperable systems.
  • Substantial and tangible improvement of (maritime) situational awareness and reaction capability, as appropriate in surveillance for civilian purposes, fight against crime, and search and rescue missions by the National and European Border and Coast Guards.
  • Contribution to the concept of Common Application of Surveillance Tools, as for the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) and to its interoperability with other systems.

Type of Action: Innovation action

Deadline to Submit: 27 August 2020