#RESTART and #EXPAND will assign up to 5,000,000 in funding 


On 8th July Horizon 2020 project SmartAgriHubs launched two new Open calls, RESTART and EXPAND. These Open calls for proposals have as a key objective to expand the existing SmartAgriHubs community network with additional stakeholders and to promote the realisation of innovation experiments. The collaboration with new and existing Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) and Competence Centres (CCs) shall result in a joint effort of an active and dynamic community that creates knowledge and practical experience that will ultimately facilitate and disseminate digital innovation in the agri-food domain.

The COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the agri-food economy has pushed the SmartAgriHubs team to redesign the Open Call approach to respond to the needs of the sector in these critical times. In accordance to the current COVID-19 related situation and the importance of the food system’s resilience, two individual open calls were launched in May 2020 as an immediate RESPOND to the crisis. Now, we are following-up with the RESTART and EXPAND open calls that will address the agri-food economy on the medium term. SmartAgriHubs will assign up to 5,000,000€ funding to the RESTART and EXPAND open calls, addressing Digital Innovation Hubs that are supporting diverse stakeholders in the agri-food economy and specifically SMEs as drivers for digital innovation. 

SAH open call Restart Expand

RESTART the Economy around Food Systems

SmartAgriHubs realised a focused open call for hackathon type of activities that will RESTART the economy around the agri-food related sectors and affected food systems. The main objective is to generate ideas for potential Innovation Experiments that can then be realised by related teams and that go beyond initial conceptual implementations. Generally, such activities shall facilitate networking of organisations and individuals, aimed at the mobilisation of talent and enable the realisation of digital innovations that address current challenges, opportunities and threats.

Proposals could realise hackathons, challenges and datathons that have a direct as well as an indirect impact to mitigate effects of the CORONA COVID-19 or similar (future) pandemics. By such initiatives, the RESTART of the agri-food economy after the COVID-19 crisis shall be facilitated. The underlying idea is to support the European agri-food economy to better cope with the requirements of the “new normal” and maintain its global competitive position.

EXPAND the network

The major amount of funding will be assigned to the implementation of programmes by DIHs to support the realisation of Innovation Experiments. This shall specifically contribute to the expansion of the network of DIHs and CCs as well as making available new knowledge and results from digital innovation activities. The EXPAND the Network open call is specifically targeted at DIHs as the main proposers, thereby facilitating the realisation of innovation experiments, while the services of CCs would be logically consumed when implementing an innovation experiment. The main objective is to stimulate initiatives involving all of those and even fostering the collaboration of different type of DIHs, engaging DIHs with diverse maturity levels, to elaborate blueprints to facilitate the expansion of the community.

Examples and key characteristics of the proposals can be found on the dedicated SmartAgriHubs page. 


Proposals are called under a continuous submission scheme and will be evaluated in batches at regular points in time. Currently the following dates are planned for evaluating delivered batches of proposals:

  • First batch evaluation of proposals that were submitted: before September 03rd 2020, 17:00 (Brussels time)
  • Second batch evaluation of proposals that were submitted: before November 05th 2020, 17:00 (Brussels time)
  • Dates for batch evaluations in 2021 will be published after closing the second batch evaluation.

Currently, it is planned to close all open calls latest on July, 28th 2021, 17:00 h CEST, or at an earlier date, in case the budget that is reserved for open calls in SmartAgriHubs (i.e. for this and other SAH open calls) is completely allocated.

Want to know more?

You can find all the information on the open call on the project website. 

Ready to submit a proposal? 
Please use the designated Templates for proposal preparation as presented in the Open Call fiches for the RESTART and EXPAND Open Calls. Templates for proposal preparation.

Please login to the SmartAgriHubs Innovation Portal first before submitting your proposal. 

Please check the FAQ in a first instance. If your have further doubts, please use the Open Call Forum to contact the SAH Open Call team and get assistance.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 818182