Closed – 2022

Transnational Call for Proposals « Urban transformation capacities »

In the framework of the ERA-NET “Urban transformation capacities”, ANR is launching, in collaboration with 15 other partners from 13 European countries, a call for proposals, co-financed by the European Commission, to invite researchers, urban government authorities, – including cities and municipalities, – businesses, civil society and other stakeholders to build transnational consortia to create innovation and research projects that enable and support capacity building for urban transformations.


Cities are focal points accumulating problems of environmental pollution and nuisances, pressure on natural resources, social inequalities or territorial inequity... However, they are also places where major drivers and possibilities are present to initiate and fostering the transition towards a more sustainable society. Current approaches to address the challenges of sustainability at the urban scale and meet the various international objectives in terms of sustainable development, frequently based on sectoral measures (transport, housing, jobs, development of the local economy, etc.), are often fragmented and even, in some cases, subject to inconsistencies or conflicting options.

Research and innovation should provide insight to help resolving urban dilemmas and enable capacity building for sustainable urban transformations.


This call welcomes a broad range of research and innovation projects that will help to improve the transformative capacities of cities. Projects should explore transformation mechanisms and capacity building for transformation, through increasing knowledge and understanding of these processes, including building on previous practical experiences and existing knowledge.

It intends to promote collaborations between various types of partners: public research organisations, private research institutes, companies, cities / municipalities / regions, representatives of citizens and consumers, NGOs, etc. and to involve practitioners (partners who will translate and put in practice the results of research) within consortia in order to ensure a better transfer of research results to the actors of urban transition.

This call aims to mobilise a very broad range of scientific disciplines, especially in interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary projects or adopting holistic approaches. Relevant disciplines include but are not limited to for example natural sciences (biology, physics, geology and chemistry), social sciences (economics, geography, political science, law, conflict resolution, psychology, sociology, history, cultural studies…), engineering and computer sciences, and applied fields such as transportation planning, logistics, traffic engineering, urban and spatial planning and policy development, architecture, design, as well as artistic and creative disciplines.


In this call, urban transformation capacities are related to three main topics, which address a wide variety of urban challenges. Because of the intricacy of issues, the three call topics overlap and there are also crosscutting concerns (use of data, tools for decision-makers, etc.). Each challenge considers these transverse issues from a specific perspective. A proposal must address at least one call topic but may be related to several call topics if it considers a crosscutting subject or an issue that is at the frontier of several topics. 

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

Readers interested by this call for proposals are invited to carefully read the text of the call as well as the annex for French participants available on this page.


Funding agencies from 14 European countries participate in this call for proposals: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden.

Projects funded under the present call for proposals will have a minimum consortium size of three partners from three different participating countries. Within each selected consortium, funding for participating beneficiaries will be provided by their respective national funding agencies in accordance with their terms and conditions of funding. Thus, ANR will fund only the French teams.

In addition to events and webinars that are organized by members of the ERA-NET consortium for encouraging participation to the call, we wish to welcome interested actors a LinkedIn group “Networking in ERA-NET Cofund Urban Transformation Capacities” 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.

Join LinkedIn group.

Opening : 2021-02-17 at 09h00 CET
Deadline for pre-proposals submission : 2021-04-15 at 14h00 CEST
Application Deadline : 2021-09-23 at 14h00 CEST


  • Call opening: 29 January 2021, 13.00 CET
  • International information webinar: 18 February 2021, 13.00-14.30 CET
  • International online matchmaking Event: 9 March 2021, 10.00-12.00 CET
  • Pre-proposal submission deadline: 15 April 2021 (14:00 CET)
  • Evaluation of pre-proposals: April – May 2021
  • Submission open for full proposals: June 2021
  • Full proposals submission deadline: 23 September 2021 (14:00 CET)
  • Evaluation of full proposals: September – October 2021
  • Funding decisions announced: December 2021

Applicants must ensure with their national contact points that their project is compatible with the constraints specific to their funding agency before submitting a pre-proposal.


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: elena.simion(at)   / enutc(at) 
Tel.: +40 21 307 19 93

Vincent van Doninck et Aniek van den Eersten
NWO – Dutch Research Council
Email: enutc(at) 
Tel.: +31 70 349 42 66 or +31 70 349 43 97

For French applicants, ANR contacts:

Lara Abdel Halim
33 (0)1 78 09 80 06

Aurélien Gaufrès
+33 (0)1 73 54 82 29

Pascal Bain

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