Citizen Science in Horizon Europe | Partnerships & Proposals

Cooperations for Horizon Europe - building the future of Citizen Science together. #HorizonEU

The Horizon Europe programme by the European Union is the key funding programme for EU research and innovation projects. Citizen Science and public involvement have always been a vital aspect of Horizon - both in the predecessor Horizon 2020 and now in Horizon Europe.

Among its missions, the new Horizon Europe programme supports the achievement of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), fights climate change, and integrates science into society on a larger scale. It further strengthens the impact of research and innovation within the European Union and beyond and supports the collaboration between the science sector, small-medium enterprises (SME), and society.

As an SME, we are happy to offer our know-how and services within research projects, applying for Horizon Europe grants. We already bring the experience of how Horizon project partnerships are operating with us, and we contribute actively to a proposal from the early stages. 

Our central part in the proposal stage of a Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe project is to shape how a Citizen Science App integrates seamlessly in the research and creates innovation and participation opportunities for the public, together with the coordinator and the consortium. With years of experience in Citizen and Community Science and the development and maintenance of digital tools and the underlying infrastructure, we bring this know-how to a consortium and strengthen the proposal by a practical approach on how applications and software can benefit the project. Our strong focus on digital ethics and user privacy further helps the proposal with undertaking the complex topics of data protection, GDPR, and intellectual property rights in a digital environment.

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Our project contributions in a Horizon Europe partnership:

For the proposal stage:

  • Concepts and ideas: From the first call on, we contribute ideas and concepts to explore how the project can utilize Citizen Science and user participation, and we draft which new technologies can be developed to achieve the project's goals.
  • Proposal Text Contributions: as an active partner in the consortium, we contribute texts for our range of expertise and bring our know-how about the digital landscape and how to apply technical solutions in the right way to the proposal.
  • Visual enhancements: we design a project proposal logo and strengthen the proposal by the graphic design of figures and charts for a better understanding and first impression in the review process.

During run-time of the Horizon Europe project:

  • Task leadership: as an expert for the digital landscape, design, and user participation, we lead tasks within a work package related to Citizen Science Apps, digital tools, dissemination materials or the project's website.
  • Innovation/Technology Development: within a Horizon Europe project, we develop innovative technologies and solutions for Citizen Science, Science communication and data collection.
  • Project website: we provide a modern and responsive website for the project based on an easy to use Content Management System (CMS) with advanced features from Blogging to Citizen Science integration
  • Reliable ICT Infrastructure: with the SPOTTERON Cloud, we offer a stable and dependable technical base for running participatory projects - from secure data hosting over map servers to a performance-optimized infrastructure that allows high levels of concurrent user activity on an international scale.
  • Support of Co-Creation activities: We support co-creation activities and the technical design and integration of results for the scope of the technical solutions and applications developed during the project.
  • Technical support: we provide technical support for all digital tools or websites developed in the project, including ongoing App Updates and Content Management System (CMS) maintenance. 
  • Design: Besides creating the project's website, we bolster the project's dissemination activities by the professional design of online media, social media teasers, posters or hand-out material.
  • Knowledge transfer and workshops: we offer to hold seminars for the consortium members on how to work with these tools and on the various topics of the digital landscape - from data privacy or intellectual property rights to how online technology actually works behind the curtain.

Additional material and inputs we can provide for proposals:

  • Applied digital privacy and digital ethics
  • Digital intellectual property rights
  • Gender dimension and Equality in digital technologies and public digital spaces
  • Internet and Communication Technology background knowledge
  • Dissemination support on own channels

Developing new innovative technologies for Citizen Science and Research Projects

Our main task in a Citizen Science work package in a Horizon Europe project is to provide participatory Apps and digital tools, which will be available for the public to take part in the project. To achieve an innovative and immersive integration of an interested public in the research project means that Citizens are not just "used" for data collection but also find extended functionalities ready. 

With SPOTTERON's strong focus on building communities and integrated communication features, we are prepared to push the border further and develop innovative ways to strengthen Citizen Science as a whole. Innovation is one of the key aspects in successful Horizon Europe proposals, also in terms of the scope of the technical solutions, playing a role in the project. Already in the proposal stage, we collaborate on what we plan to develop as new features and innovative technologies for the Citizen Science App or the digital tools in case of successful funding. This objective-driven approach allows us to specify milestones, deliverables, and our Personal Month (PM) budget reliably and reflect a thoughtful level of planning in the proposal's work packages. 

Open Science, Open Data

Every project can apply its preferred form of licensing to all related non-personal data - as a platform, we do not interfere with the data aspect and do not claim any ownership on data. We support Open Science and Open Data policies and have procedures to release anonymized data sets to the public. For unique creative works like photographs in user-generated Content (UGC), we apply the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license for portability and unrestricted use in terms of intellectual property rights.

Reach out for Citizen Science innovation & digital participation toolkits!

If you are interested in utilizing Citizen Science or user participation in your Horizon Europe project or other proposals for large research funding schemes, please get in contact! We are happy to assist with the proposal and join a consortium as an active member for projects with Citizen Science innovation.

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Example designs for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe Proposals

Horizon 2020 Example Project: IPM Popillia Logo, Figures and Charts

Horizon 2020 Example Project: YouCount Logo, Figures and Charts

Horizon 2020 Example Project: BROTHERs Logo, Figures and Charts

Horizon 2020 Example Project: GreenGems Gardens Logo, Figures and Charts 

Download attachments:

Horizon Europe / Horizon 2020 Apps using SPOTTERON

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Horizon 2020 Invasive Species Monitoring App

The IPM-Popillia Horizon 2020 project aims to address the challenge of a new risk to plant health in Europe's agriculture and food safety: the invasion of the Japanese Beetle, Popillia japonica. This invasive species was introduced accidentally to mainland Europe in 2014 and can quickly spread by transportation and trade. As a species with a wide range of feeding plants, P. japonica threatens the entire agricultural sector, urban landscapes, and biodiversity in invaded areas.

Learn more about
IPM Popillia | Integrated Pest Management of the Japanese Beetle
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Horizon 2020 Citizen Social Science App

In Europe and globally, substantial numbers of young people are at risk of social exclusion. Therefore, there is a pressing need to develop more knowledge and innovation to create inclusive and youth-friendly societies. The Horizon 2020 R&I Project YouCount contributes to these needs by developing 'actionable' knowledge for social inclusion of disadvantaged youths in the European Union and creating better means for social inclusion through citizen social science.

Learn more about
YouCount | Youth Citizen Science
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Horizon 2020 Citizen Science App

The impact of plastic pollution on soil health is largely unknown. However, the amounts of plastic entering soils are equal to or possibly even more significant than those entering our rivers, seas, and oceans. MINAGRIS, an EU Horizon 2020 funded project, will investigate how plastic affects soil biodiversity, soil functions, associated ecosystem services, and agricultural productivity.
Learn more about
MINAGRIS | Micro- & Nanoplastics in Agricultural Soils


  • It is often the case in Citizen Science Apps that participants have different levels of experience, tools, or knowledge levels. Examples of this can emerge in many research topics, from experts on species classification to people with measuring equipment. With the new SPOTTERON platform feature "User Roles," we have created the basis for an extendable system to set up different kinds of participant levels in a Citizen Science App. Read more on the Citizen Science Blog

    Wednesday, 04 May 2022
  • Many Citizen Science and User Engagement projects utilize more than only point data for locations and spatial dimensions. Examples are plentiful - from setting up transects for counting butterflies to recording habitats and transformations.For that purpose, we have developed a new feature for all Citizen Science Apps on the SPOTTERON platform to enable users to set up in a Spot spatial data along with their recording. Read more on the Citizen Science Blog

    Wednesday, 04 May 2022