2026 - 1st Open Call - CLOSED

banner1stopencall-StandICT2026 will provide € 2,925,000 of crucial funding to support the participation of European standardisation specialists in key international and global SDOs.  Through nine open calls this funding will enable the specialists to contribute to and help create a fully integrated European Standardisation Ecosystem, thereby strengthening Europe's position in global standardisation initiatives.

The topics and priorities for the series of 2026 calls which will run from May 2023 until April 2025 are defined through continuous monitoring and careful analysis of the international ICT standards landscape with the involvement of Standards Development Organisations (SDOs) and National Standards Bodies (NSBs), key EC advisory groups including the High-Level Forum on European Standardisation (HLF) and the EU Multi-Stakeholder Platform for ICT Standardisation (MSP), and respected bodies such as’s Expert Advisory Group (EAG) and Forum for European Strategy on ICT Standards (FOREST).

OPEN CALL DEADLINE: 10th July 2023, 17:00 CEST

The financial support provided through the open calls is restricted to individual specialists residing in European Member States and Associated Countries, therefore applications from more than one individual or natural person or outwith the above mentioned countries will be immediately disregarded and ineligible for funding. The reference document to figure out your eligibility is "EU Grants: List of participating countries (HE) V2.5 – 01.04.2023"

Also, in accordance with the EU financial regulations, no individual may be awarded more than € 60.000 euro (sixty thousand euro). This limit applies cumulatively across all the 2026 Open calls and the overall budget of € 2,925,000 (two million nine hundred and twenty-five thousand euro). In practice, an individual may apply and be awarded funding under different calls, but only be contracted for a total of € 60.000 euro. If the limit is reached, no further contracts can be awarded to that individual.




1st Open Call Topic Priorities

Applications that address any of the topics mentioned below taken from the Multi-Stakeholder Platform Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation will be considered of equal validity and merit during the evaluation process.
Due to their current strategic importance applications focusing on the topics of Metaverse and Digital Product Passport are highly encouraged.

Topics list:


    • Data Economy
    • Cybersecurity/Network and Information security
    • E-Privacy
    • 5G and Beyond (6G)
    • Cloud and Edge Computing
    • Big Data & Open data
    • IoT Internet of Things
    • Electronic identification and trust services (including e-signature)
    • E-infrastructure for data and computing intensive service
    • Broadband infrastructure mapping
    • Accessibility of ICT products and services
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • European Global Navigation Satellite Systems (EGNSS)
    • Quantum Technologies
    • E-Health, Healthy living and ageing
    • Digital skills
    • Digital learning
    • E-Government
    • E-call
    • Pandemic Preparedness
    • Safety, transparency and due process online
    • Emergency communications and public warning systems
    • E-Procurement
    • E-Invoicing
    • Retail payments
    • Preservation of digital cinema
    • FinTech & RegTech Standardisation
    • Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies
    • Metaverse including Citiverse
    • Smart Grids and Smart Metering
    • Smart and Sustainable Cities
    • ICT Environmental impact
    • European Electronic Toll Service (EETS)
    • Intelligent Transport Systems
    • Digitisation of European Industry
    • Robotics and autonomous systems
    • Construction building information modelling
    • Common information sharing environment (CISE) for the EU Maritime domain
    • Water management digitalisation
    • Single European Sky
    • U-Space
    • Circular Economy including Digital Product Passport
Open Call for Applications - Process and Timing will run 9 Open Call cycles. Each call will be open for 60 days for proposal submission.  At the end of the sixty-day period all proposal received through the grants platform will be screened for eligibility, evaluated by an external pool of evaluators (EPE) scored, and ranked for funding. This process usually lasts for approximately 35 days at the end of which all applicants shall be notified whether their proposal has been retained for funding or not and provided with access to a Consensus Report compiled by the EPE.  

Please do note that each application is independently evaluated by three members of the EPE and undergoes quality control by a fourth member of the pool after consensus is reached to guarantee maximum fairness and transparency.  As the EPE are highly-skilled experts whose qualifications are assessed through an open call process their decision is binding and any redress requests or complaints will be dealt with strictly in relation to the procedural aspects of the evaluation and not on the merits of scientific or technical judgement of the experts.

1st Open Call timing
  • Launch: 09th of May 2023;
  • Deadline: 10th July 2023, 17:00 CEST;
  • Evaluation: Each proposal is evaluated by three members of the External Pool of Evaluators and after consensus the evaluation undergoes a quality check by a fourth member of the pool;
  • Notification of Outcome: Applicants will be notified on the outcome of their proposal and provided with feedback from the External Pool of Evaluators in an Evaluation Consensus Report by mid-August 2023.

If your proposal is retained for funding, upon notification you will be provided with the information and instructions to prepare and sign the contract for the funding. Please note that a deadline of 10 business days from notification will be applied to confirm your intention to take up the contract to enable the funds to be re-allocated to other successful applicants.

Who can receive financial support?

Potential applicants are Standardisation specialists, defined as professionals with proven expertise and experience in Standardisation activities e.g. previous contributions to standards developments, participation in various SDO groups working, previous or current chairs etc. in the respective priority area.

The target of 2026’s Open Calls are European Specialists who:

  • Have profound knowledge in one of the priority areas supported by the open calls;
  • Have experience regarding developments of standards, e.g., in SDOs, in reputable organisations and Standardisation communities, or when creating harmonised standards in open source developments;
  • Are individuals or natural persons residing in European Member States and Associated Countries. The most recent information listing participating countries in Horizon Europe issued by the Commission at the time of writing (25/07/2023) can be consulted here EU Grants: List of participating countries (HE) V2.5 – 01.04.2023. Please refer to this document if you have any doubts as to your eligibility for funding.
    Please note that as Switzerland is no longer a third country associated to Horizon Europe, applications form individuals who reside in Switzerland are not eligible for funding. As regards the United Kingdom, there is not as yet any formal confirmation that the UK will rejoin Horizon Europe. The latest instruction from the European Commission in this respect are that pending such confirmation applications from individuals residing in the UK be treated as if the UK were an Associated Country with the proviso that any agreement for funding can only be signed if an association with the United Kingdom comes into force. In practice, pending further updates this means that applications submitted by individuals residing in the UK will be evaluated and ranked with the other applications but can only be funded if an agreement comes into force and according to the terms of such an agreement.
  • Are not receiving support from other instruments (PPPs, EU or national R&I projects) for the proposed activities. In particular, open calls will target representatives from SMEs and academia.
Type of Contributions

Three types of proposals can be funded under the 2023 Open Calls, as shown below 

  • Proposal type: LT – Long term contribution (with travel option)
    • Description: Contribution to ongoing standards development as a chair, convener, rapporteur or member of an SDO WG. E.g. comments on standards development and drafts, attending meetings also as an observer, paying membership fees.
    • Maximum Contract Duration: 6 months
    • Funding Range: Up to €10,000
  • Proposal type: ST – Short-Term contributions (with travel option)
    • Description: Contribution to standards documentation e.g. liaison to WG, comments on standards drafts, participation at meeting paying membership or registration fees.
    • Maximum Contract Duration: 3 months
    • Funding Range: Up to €5,000
  • Proposal type: OS – One-Shot contributions
    • Description: Support to ensure participation at workshop or event (e.g., participant, observer, presentation)
    • Maximum Contract Duration: 3 months
    • Funding Range: Up to €3,000

Please do note that the maximum funding requested per proposal cannot exceed that indicated for the respective type of application (LT, ST, OT), nor can the duration exceed that indicated.

Eligible Costs
  • Personal Working Effort (this cannot exceed the EU maximum daily rate of 450 Euro)
  • Travel costs
  • Event registration fee(s)
  • Membership fee(s) for SDO & SSO organisations
Evaluation Criteria

The initial eligibility screening will be undertaken by the Consortium to assess compliance to the call. Proposals which are ineligible for any reason or which do not meet the call criteria will be identified as such and the applicant will receive an automatic notification from the system. The consortium will consolidate all eligible proposals and submit them to the external evaluators (selected from the External Pool of Evaluators – EPE) to undertake the formal evaluation.
The proposals will have to clearly demonstrate:

  • Added value to existing SDO activities;
  • Impact of work on European interests and the standard in question;
  • Expertise of the applicant in the respective priority area;
  • Expertise of the applicant in standardisation, e.g. previous contributions to standards developments, participation in other groups working on architectures, APIs, guidelines in the respective priority area

Evaluations (for each proposal) will be performed using the following, four criteria principle (with a core score from 1 to 10):

  • Criterion 1: Soundness of the proposal and foreseen impact on ICT Standardisation (30%);  
  • Criterion 2: Technical excellence & relevance of the activities proposed (30%);
  • Criterion 3: Experience and qualifications of the applicant (20%);
  • Criterion 4: Economics of the proposal (20%).

The final scoring and ranking will be automatically determined by averaging the scores provided by the three independent members of the External Pool of Evaluators. In the event of a tie between 2 or more proposals, the proposal bearing the earliest “time stamp” of submission will be eligible for funding.