The Relance Strategy policy, which is intended to be greener, more digital and more inclusive, guides the research priorities for the three pillars.
Pillar 1 -
Challenges and knowledge of the living and non-living world
Research priorities of the present Pillar 1 thematic call specifically focus on the climate transition. They intend to mobilise the rich expertise present in the Federal Scientific Institutions, universities and research centres in Belgium to produce knowledge, tools and products to inform federal decision making and to support the Belgian government to fulfil its national and international political climate related commitments.
Priority is given to strategic scientific research, close to federal decision support, over more fundamental research.
Applicants are encouraged to make best use of climate related (ESFRI) Research infrastructures to which Belgium contributes.
North Sea Research currently addressed in a specific RV Belgica call as well as polar/Antarctic research which better fits in a specific call, will not be funded in this call.
The present call addresses the following priority research themes :
-  DOCUMENTING CLIMATE CHANGE
- 1.A. Documenting climate change and verifying greenhouse gas emissions in Belgium
- 1.B. Documenting climate relevant changes in the Afrotropical regions
-  ASSESSING IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE
- 2.A. Impact of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystems services
- 2.B. Impact of climate change on food security and health in Belgium
- 2.C. Impact of climate change on energy resources
-  TOWARDS CLIMATE NEUTRALITY BY 2050
- 3.A. Impacts of climate neutral scenario in/for Belgium
- 3.B. Carbon management and negative emission in Belgium and Afrotropical Regions "
-  PREPARING FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
- 4.A. Vulnerability, exposure, and risk in Belgium
- 4.B. Towards climate services
In addition, each FSI can submit Bottom-up project proposals up to a maximum amount of 1.500 kEUR (coordinator's budget in the submitted proposals).
Pillar 2 - Heritage science
All the research projects in this pillar must be submitted and coordinated by a Federal Scientific Institution (FSI). As a result, the themes are based on challenges and constraints faced by the FSI's to reinforce the coherence between their different research actions and their public service activities.
The present call addresses the following priority research themes:
-  The present call addresses the following research priorities: Heritage Biobanks and collections of biological materials
-  Agile search! Linked open data, controlled vocabularies, specialized thesauri, web services and multilingual searches
-  Federal heritage facing societal contestations and sensitive narratives
-  Observational archives, scarce data: learning from the past and/or remote spaces to shape views for tomorrow’s endeavours
-  (Mixed Materials) Collections and Sustainable Solutions for Conservation
In addition, each FSI can submit Bottom-up project proposals up to a maximum amount of 900 kEUR (coordinator's budget in the submitted proposals).
Pillar 3 - Federal societal challenges
The Pillar 3 research priorities are anchored in the relance policy of Belgium. This policy aims at a greener, more digital, and inclusive society.
5 main topics have been identified from the reflections of federal authorities: #BeMobile, #BeSustainable, #BeDigital, #BeInclusive and #Beproductive.
The scientific community is invited to develop interdisciplinary research projects that provide a response to one or more of these priorities. The projects should clearly support the federal administrations and federal policies.
-  In the #BeMobile dimension, researchers are invited to study topics such as work/home commute, micromobility (e-bikes etc.), mobility as a service...
-  In the #BeSustainable dimension, is targeted i.a. improvement of green gas emission modelling and monitoring by imputing socioeconomic characteristics of households, examination of the benefits and burden distribution of the transition towards carbon neutrality, emerging technologies that are key in this transition (CO² capture, hydrogen...), the transition in food production and consumption (for example the protein shift) ...
-  The #BeDigital dimension invites scientific contributions to support the federal state in its overall governance towards more digital public services (governance aspects, privacy issues, cybercrime, co-creation with citizens...) and in its role as a regulator of a more digital economic and social life. Negative impacts of digitisation (e.g. on health, social relation, loss of biodiversity...) is also a crucial aspect for which the federal level is seeking scientific contributions.
-  #BeInclusive is open for scientific contributions that would sustain an inclusive growth, accounting for groups that were hit hard by the covid crisis. Reappraising our social safety net, monitoring specific groups, examining potential structural outcomes of income losses, eventual long-standing effects of stressful situations due to the pandemic... are topics for which researchers will be invited to submit proposals to sustain federal policies and supporting decision-makers.
-  #Beproductive calls upon contributions on the hybrid way of working that was set as a new norm during the pandemic, on emerging circular and biosourced economy and other promising sectors of the economy....
Next to these interdisciplinary thematic priorities, applicants are also invited to submit proposals for the so-called co-funded priorities. These priorities are funded both by BELSPO (up to max. 90%) and by the concerned Federal Department(s).
-  Monitoring of vulnerable groups in society (co-funded by the FPS Social Security and the PPS Social Integration)
-  Consumer behaviour in a circular economy (co-funded by the FPS Economy)
-  Monitoring the trade in wild meat and exotic animals (co-funded by the FPS Health, Environment and Security of the Food chain)
-  Knowledge gaps in pfas (co-funded by the FPS Health, Environment and Security of the Food chain)
-  Material footprint indicators (co-funded by the FPS Health, Environment and Security of the Food chain)
-  Burn-out and re-integration after long term sick leave (co-funded by the FPS BOSA)
-  Diversity in federal public services (co-funded by the FPS BOSA)
-  Forensic intelligence (co-funded by the FPS Justice)
-  Investigation of the Belgian economic potential in the sector of defence and security (co-funded by the Ministry of Defence)