Open Innovation Call

The OpenAIRE Challenges

The background: OpenAIRE is a platform funded and supported by European Commission with the mission to shift scholarly communication towards openness and transparency and facilitate innovative ways to communicate and monitor research. The long term vision of OpenAIRE is to transform society through validated scientific knowledge allowing citizens, educators, funders, civil servants and industry to find ways to make science useful and comprehensive.

Open Innovation: OpenAIRE launches within the framework of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, its Open Innovation programme to discover, support and fund innovative ideas and implementations of software in the Open Science domain. This is achieved by the mingle of external and internal ideas that will lead to the co-creation of fresh business ideas and the formation of an innovation ecosystem with would-be-entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs, closely related to OpenAIRE. The Open Innovation programme will select innovative projects in the field of Open Science to develop products and services linked to scholarly works, repositories, data management, OpenAIRE infrastructure and OpenAIRE services. Furthermore, ideas that make use of current assets available within OpenAIRE and create new services for the Open Science ecosystem (and EOSC) are welcome!

The challenges: Through this open call, OpenAIRE calls young innovators and SMEs to work on one of the following three challenges, so as to improve or to build on the current infrastructure, by picking up the one that fits best with your experience, skills, and motivation.


Challenge #1

Next Generation Repositories

Building on the outcomes of the COAR Next Generation Repositories Working Group, we call you to develop functionalities and demonstrate use cases that  support the implementation of next generation networked services (repositories) and how these are embedded in OpenAIRE.

Challenge #2

Value added data products for Open Science

We are looking for new services that will add value to all research related stakeholders through the use of data generated by OpenAIRE, i.e., the open research graph. Blend with your imagination, skills, expertise and produce products for visualization, assessment, integration. etc.

Challenge #3

Enhancement of current services/technology of OpenAIRE

OpenAIRE is a complex data infrastructure employing a set of big data services from aggregating, to de-duplicating, inferring (text and data mining) and discovering. We are looking for innovative technologies to enhance our existing services and add value for our stakeholders.

How it works - an overview

The programme will follow the PCP process of the European Public Procurement Process and will have three phases that follow below. Applicants can read the Prior Information Notice (PIN) here.

  • Phase 0 - Introduction to OpenAIRE, its operations, services, tools and debate sessions where potential applicants can discuss about their ideas, learn if ideas can be feasible, compatible and integratable within OpenAIRE. Feedback can be crucial in this phase, as teams can shape their ideas into best product fit to OpenAIRE and Open Science ecosystem.
  • Phase 1 - Submission and evaluation of ideas (project proposals), best applications proceed. Training material to assist applicants is available in Moodle.
  • Phase 2 & 3 - Phase 1 successful applications are invited to enter this phase and build their prototypes (Phase 2), test, deploy, and at the end integrate (Phase 3) software in OpenAIRE

OpenAIRE PCP timeline AP


Through this PCP process, OpenAIRE will allocate a total budget of €360,000 to successful project proposals shaped into products/services. More specific, once accepted in Phase 1, applicants will receive a flat rate. Only proposals that are evaluated as successful, will enter phase 2&3 and can earn up to €60,000 (in total from all phases)! Applicants and their products will also get recognition and be promoted within OpenAIRE ecosystem. The PCP document is availble for download here. Please read it carefully as it explains all the process.


Detailed information

  • The agenda of the Open Inovation call of OpenAIRE  is the following.
    • 19.04.2019 PCP Tender: Open Innovation Call
    • 07-15.05.2019 Challenge Debates
    • 31.05.2019 (17:00 CEST) NEW Extended Deadline for Applications Phase 1
    • 14.06.2019 Deadline for Evaluation of Applications – 4 weeks for evaluation of proposals
    • 21.06.2019 Announcement of Tenders that proceed to Phase 1   
    • Phase 1: July to September 2019 (3 months)
    • 30.09.2019 End of implementation phase of the applicants / start of validation task for the OpenAIRE Open Innovation committee. Validation task extends for two weeks and allows for interaction with tenders (any minor fixes can be applied by applicants in their given solution).
    • 11.10.2019 End of Validation for phase 1
    • 14.10.2019 Formal Invitation for Phase 2&3
    • 31.10.2019 Deadline for Applications in Phase 2&3
    • 22.11.2019 Deadline for Evaluation of Applications Phase 2&3
    • 25.11.2019 Announcement of Tenders that proceed to Phase 2&3
    • Phase 2&3: December 2019 to October 2020 (11 months)
    • 31.10.2020 End of implementation phase of the applicants / start of validation task for the OpenAIRE Open Innovation committee. Validation task extends for four weeks and allows for interaction with tenders (any minor fixes can be applied by applicants in their given solution).
    • 30.11.2020 End of Validation of Phase 2&3
  • You can unlock knowledge to more communities and researchers, SMEs, public service actors, and improve OpenAIRE services. Therefore, you enhance the FAIRNESS principles of Open Science and the overall impact of OpenAIRE.

    Winners of the open call will be awarded up to 60.000 euros excluding VAT, so that they can implement the integration of their software into OpenAIRE infrastructure.

    Additionally, you will gain recognition among Research Infrastructures and EC for your contribution to European Open Science Cloud, as OpenAIRE is a core RI in the EOSC ecosystem.
  • Step 1: Visit the and read all the information available.

    Step 2: Create an account on OpenAIRE Moodle ( ) to access detailed information, tech material, instructions, tutorials and manuals of OpenAIRE services per challenge. A debate with Q&As is going to be available in Moodle as this is going to be the main contact point with OpenAIRE. Please fill in the form here to express your interest.

    Step 3: Prepare your submission documents

    You can join by submitting a CV, and a proposal (template) of maximum 10 pages by 19 May 2019. The proposal formation must respect the template (Times New Roman font, 11 font size text, pdf) and the following structure:

    1. Tender title

    2. Contact person and affiliation email, telephone, address

    3. Description of tender proposal

    3.1. Concept, objectives and tender priority topics addressed

    3.2. Description of proposed work, rationale, services, usage scenario

    3.3. Methodology

    3.4. Workplan: work, milestones, timeline, expected results

    3.5 Business model canvas (  

    4. People and experience: details of staff, capabilities, institutional and individual experience

    5. Risk assessment, which risks are foreseen and how they will be managed, and swot analysis  (

    6. Cost information: breakdown of costs excluding VAT, estimated number of days to be contributed to the project.

    7. A Curriculum Vitae of main team members has to be uploaded separately (as a pdf) - not included in the 10 pages.

    A review committee will judge the proposals based on the selection criteria. They aim at reviewing and communicating the results within 4 weeks after the call closes.

  • Service providers, Young innovators and SMEs globally.

    Beneficiary teams may be as large as necessary to accommodate open call challenges needs.

    Applicants are advised to form interdisciplinary teams.

  • Important: The services must build upon the OpenAIRE APIs ( Since OpenAIRE open innovation call is requesting teams to work on ideas and services/products that will integrate in OpenAIRE, any interoperability standards and technical requirements should be fulfilled. 

    The criteria to successfuly enter Phase 1 of the Open Innovation call, are to submit the submission template (provided by OpenAIRE) and describe all the neccessary elements required in a clear and direct manner so that reviewers can comprehend the value of your idea, its technical feasibility and the overall impact it will have within the Open Science ecosystem and OpenAIRE. Do not forget though that team is also important so try to showcase how and why your team should be accepted. What makes your team and your idea so special?  Try to implement solutions for currrent and future useage that will affect various user groups. 

    Solutions are graded based on the following criteria

    A detailed grading system that is defined by OpenAIRE open innovation committee are below. The maximum total points a submission may get are 30. 





    Alignment with the OpenAIRE interoperability standards, objectives of the challenge and promotion of open scholarship



    Appropriateness, feasibility of methodology



    Risk assessment and timescales



    Appropriateness of level of staffing, resources, expertise



    Level of innovation



    Cost breakdown, price and value for money



    Project experience and proven track records planning, management, delivery



    Impact on open scholarship, OpenAIRE services and user groups, public administration, SMEs, ...



    Total score


  • Funding payments will be awarded to each tender that will successfully enter phase 1 of the call. The maximum amount of money that an application may receive is 60,000 euros.

    Phase 1

    It is during this phase that applicants are requested to think of the concept of their idea, form a description, objectives, OpenAIRE services used, usage scenario, methodology, workplan, milestones, expected results, implementation, costs, risks, business canvas, staff involved by submitting their project proposal (via a 10 page template already prepared by OpenAIRE). An open innovation committee of OpenAIRE will evaluate the proposals and value them based on predefined criteria, technical feasibility and value for OpenAIRE ecosystem. Successful teams (best valued proposals) will have a three month time to design their solutions.

    Deliverables & payments for Phase 1:

    First Payment of Phase 1 - (1/8  of individual tender budget):

    • Deliverable D.1: Project plan with detailed description of the solution provided, focus on action categories, the tech characteristics, dissemination plan, expected impact on OpenAIRE and Open Science community (e.g EOSC).
    • Deliverable D.2: Technical description: API, formats, methods (integration method) and description of potential usages and scenarios for usage from OpenAIRE.

    Final Payment of Phase 1 - (1/8 of individual tender budget)

    Phase 2 & 3

    During this phase, only successful teams from Phase 1 will enter and will have a 11 month period to build their prototypes, test their solutions, and integrate their products/services into OpenAIRE.

    Deliverables & payments for Phase 2 & 3:

    First Payment of Phase 2 & 3 - (2/4 of individual tender budget):

    • Deliverable D.3: Documented code, APIs, and open licenses for the prototype service
    • Deliverable D.4: Final service delivery & Successful Integration, full documented technical report, dissemination report (blog post and tutorial, knowledge transfer in FOSTER) and possibly present the solution in OpenAIRE Stakeholder’s Event

    Final Payment of Phase 2 & 3  (1/4 of individual tender budget).

  • Rules and Conditions for OpenAIRE PCP

    The document hereby aims at establishing the terms and conditions for the application and selection process for the OpenAIRE PCP, as well as regulating the interaction between OpenAIRE and the applicants. All submissions should respect and fulfill the proposal submission process and requirements.

    OpenAIRE reserves the right to change the terms and conditions of the open call at any time. Applicants will be notified. Decisions made by the OpenAIRE organizing committee regarding the interpretation of these terms and conditions and the awarding decisions are binding and final. The selection committee acts in good faith in granting the awards, and reserves the right not to grant awards.


    An applicant has to be qualified as an individual (natural person) or/and SME (legal person), as defined by EU

    Submission must come from individuals and SMEs legally established in any country worldwide. The applicants, as a team, may be as large as necessary to accommodate the challenges of OpenAIRE PCP. Members of the teams may come from other countries as long as the lead applicant come from the countries mentioned above. Applicants are advised to form interdisciplinary teams.

    Teams should assign a person as the lead applicant (contact point). This member will be considered the administrative contact and will also be responsible for communication. A signed agreement by all members of the team is required for the assignment of the lead applicant.

    Proposals must be submitted in English. Submissions done in any other language will not be evaluated.

    Applicants are allowed to submit more than one proposals but only one proposal per applicant will be finally eligible to get funded; the one that is rated with the highest grade from the selection process.

    Applicants cannot be connected to OpenAIRE partners, i.e work for a partner or have other contractual relationship with them.


    Applicants must do the submission online, following the submission tool available in OpenAIRE portal, hereafter designated as “application”. Applicants must register and follow the template provided into the application.

    A consultation team from OpenAIRE will be available to answer any questions to the applicants, to discuss the technical, organizational and financial feasibility of the proposal. This will be done via the Moodle of OpenAIRE.

    OpenAIRE will correspond only with the main applicant, via OpenAIRE Moodle and/or e-mail and if necessary, via Skype/GoToMeeting. He/she needs to ensure that he/she can be contacted through an operational e-mail address, which should be made known to the OpenAIRE organizing committee.

    Applicants are the only responsible for the content and nature of their submission to the OpenAIRE PCP. No rights can be derived from suggestions and instructions provided by OpenAIRE.

    Applicants are the only responsible for ensuring that no legal obligations, no rules of public order or decency and no rights of third parties are violated, according to the laws of the countries involved. They must also ensure that their submission results in no unlawful act and/or in no damage to others.

    Teams will indemnify OpenAIRE from any and all costs and damages that could result from infringing their legal obligations.

    OpenAIRE shall not be liable in the event of loss of submitted proposals namely due to network interruptions. In case of any failures of the OpenAIRE system or website, applicant will have to contact OpenAIRE team.

    OpenAIRE shall not consider late submission proposals as valid.

    Once the proposal is submitted, the applicant will receive the notification about the proposal registration.

    After eligibility check, missing information and/or documentation can be requested to applicants.

    The evaluation process is carried out following the evaluation criteria described in the relevant documents.


    The information which has been specifically designated as “confidential” by applicants shall remain confidential.


    The ownership of the IP rights arising from the application shall belong to the applicant. The results of the projects selected and funded by OpenAIRE are owned by the party that generates them, unless otherwise agreed. The party has the obligation to grant a non-exclusive licence to OpenAIRE over the use, distribution, communication and further development of the service.  Moreover, all source code and accompanied documentation shall be uploaded on GitHub under a free/open source software licence.

    OpenAIRE reserves the right to use the projects selected and funded for publicity and promotion of the project via different media channels. The awarded teams should  cooperate with OpenAIRE on publicity and communications and act as ambassadors for the e-Infrastructure services as demonstrated in their proposal, for example by giving presentations at conferences or taking part in interview.


    Personal data of the applicants shall be collected and processed, only for the purpose of participation in the OpenAIRE PCP call. Controller is the OpenAIRE team, responsible for this PCP. The team takes all the appropriate measures for the safety of applicants’  data and to respond to all the requests regarding data subject’s rights.

    Applicants acknowledge that providing their personal data, in the application form, is mandatory in order to participate in the PCP call.

    Applicants allow OpenAIRE to disclose their name, as provided in the corresponding application form, in any form or by any means, for promotional purposes.

    Personal data shall be kept, under the scope of this program, until its completion after which they will be erased.

    Should there be any queries concerning the processing of personal data, these shall be addressed to OpenAIRE team at

    We foresee exceptionally the scenario where, for cases where the required workload exceeds the proposed budget amounts, a single tender might, after unanimous approval of the core committee, be awarded a varying amount different from the default budget cases.

  • In order to apply for the open innovation call of OpenAIRE, you need to follow the steps described in the "How to join" informative session. 

    Study carefully the timeline, rules and challenges.

    When ready, fill in the following template and submit!

    Good luck!

    Submission Template Document

Express your interest to know more information about the process of the open innovation challenges of OpenAIRE by clicking the button and filling the form.
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