Pilot Call 2019


The SOILveR Platform is pleased to announce its first (pilot) call ‘Recognizing and caring for soil and land as assets’. All available information on this call is published on this page. We are delighted to invite all people interested in the Pilot Call 2019 to our online Question & Answer session at September 2nd 14.00hrs. Please contact info@soilver.eu to get the details on joining this session. For further questions, please contact your national contact (in applicants guide).

Recognizing and caring for soil and land as assets
The Soil and Land Research Funding Platform wants to constitute a long-term network that assures future generations of sustainable soils and land, by developing and sharing relevant knowledge on the sustainable use and management of soil and land.
This mission will be implemented through strategic objectives, among which the implementation of the funding platform’s strategic research agenda through transnational, collaborative calls.

The call topics
Under the overarching theme ‘Recognizing and caring for soil and land as assets’ two major topics have been chosen.

IRT14Emerging contaminants’ in soil and groundwater – ensuring long-term provision of drinking water as well as soil and freshwater ecosystem services
IRT2Recognizing the value of ecosystem services in land use decisions

Suggested topics and sub-topics

Topic 1 Emerging contaminants in point sources and as diffuse pollution in soil and groundwater
Contamination is one of the threats highlighted in the EU Soil Thematic Strategy (Sept. 2006). Contamination may origin from multiple sources and activities (industrial and services activities, oil drills, mining, waste disposal, intensive farming etc.) and cover many chemicals, and also mixtures of chemicals. In absence of Soil Framework Directive at the European level, there is no coordinated and harmonized approach to identify and manage (potentially) contaminated land, diffuse soil pollution and risks due to the presence of emerging contaminants. Transnational research is important to overcome some of the challenge’s stakeholders in charge of soil quality management are currently facing.

This call aims to provide support in identifying emerging contaminants and mixtures and their relevance for the quality of the soil and groundwater system, describing the state of information and data availability, developing a road map knowledge-based policy and management of soil quality in an integrated approach including tools and procedures for decision-making. In this pilot call we want to focus on substances and mixtures of very high concern (Contaminants of Emerging Concern – CECs), in order to carve out a prioritisation (probably within groups like e.g. PFAS, micro plastics, etc.). We aim at providing an analysis of the current soil and groundwater status and a stepwise approach to fill existing data gaps on priority groups of CECs.
At the European level these elements should ensure adequate measures to handle those contaminations and to ensure sustainable provision of drinking water, soil and freshwater ecosystem services, healthy living and food safety.


  • Identify investigation and assessment strategies for sampling, analysing and monitoring CEC’s.
  • Develop a CECs specific risk assessment strategy related to relevant sources, pathways and receptors.
  • Map out options for appropriate remediation and/or joined approach (and related waste).
  • Elaborate strategic perspectives to prevent, and at least to mitigate, the use and handling of CEC, and to raise awareness with accompanying measures and instruments.

Topic 2 Recognising the value of soil in land use decision.
Ecosystem services underpin human well-being and economic prosperity. A main challenge is to develop integrated ecological indicators that can be used alongside established socio-economic indicators by planning instruments and tools to ensure soil related ecosystem services are given appropriate consideration in land use and urban planning decision making.

This call aims to explore on options, how the importance of the whole range of ecosystem services linked to changes in land use and land use intensity can be assessed, integrated and better recognized in decision-making and developing land use policies. Concepts should be based on recent studies, such as the MEA, TEEB, CICES systems, as well as the MAES soil report.


  • What new metrics are required to assess socio-economic, sociocultural and environmental impacts (erosion, pollution etc.) and benefits of different soil and land management strategies in response to (new) challenges, e.g. climate change mitigation & adaptation, demand for food, fuel, forest & fibre, housing, tourism & recreation, nature conservation, soil restoration, biodiversity preservation?
  • How to value soil functions and soil ecosystem services? How can the “bundle” of ecosystem services be gathered and evaluated? All stakeholders (including policymakers) need to take into account the value of the different soil functions and soil ecosystem services in their processes and projects: how to do that? Valuation tools should give more weight to health, environmental and cultural parameters and should take ethical considerations into account.
  • Soil and Land stewardship: Can the concept of Stewardship provide a means to more sustainable care for soil and land? Focus here is the combination soil and land, in order to provide tools and strategies to sustainable use and develop land while caring for and not jeopardizing soil and its functions. This can also include restauration of soils on one hand, and the use of already damaged land in order to spare pristine areas and soils. Potential Stewards may include citizens in general, landowners, authorities, NGOs and others.
Funding organisation and national contexts

Contact point

Funders priorities

ADEME – French environment and Energy management agency (France)
Brownfield and Contaminated Site Department
20 avenue du Grésillé – BP 90406 – 49004 ANGERS Cedex 01

Frédérique Cadière

Topic 1 and Topic 2

SPW – Public Administration of Wallonia (Belgium)
Soil Protection Direction – Department of Soil and Waste
Ministry of Agriculture, Natural resources and Environment
Av. Prince de Liège, 15 – B-5100 JAMBES

Esther Goidts

Topic 1 and Topic 2

Ministry Infrastructure and Water Management (The Netherlands)
Directorate-General for Water and Soil
Rijnstraat 8 – Postbus 20901 – 2500 EX – The Hague

Eline Toes

Topic 1

Available budget

The budget of this call is estimated to be € 550.000. Projects will have a duration of 12 months. The available budget is divided between the funders as follows:

FunderBudget €Funder specific information
ADEME, France250.000Maximum € 100.000 / project
SPW, Belgium Wallonia200.000Maximum € 100.000/ project
Ministry Infrastructure and Water affairs NL100.000Maximum € 100.000 / project

Submission deadline and evaluation planning
The deadline for receipt of applications is September 27, 2019 12.00 PM. Applications received by the call secretariat after this time will be excluded from the evaluation process. Invitations for submitting the second phase will be send by email on October 11, 2019. The evaluation process will be completed end of 2019 and projects should be ready to start on 1st July 2020.

Call planning

  • Final submission first phase: September 27, 2019 12.00 PM
  • Invitation to submit for second phase: October 11, 2019
  • Final submission: November 29, 2019 12.00 PM
  • International peer review: December 13, 2019
  • Final result: January 17, 2020
  • Contracting phase: Q1 and Q2 2020