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Research and Innovation

Four EU-funded Green Deal projects that will help Europe prepare and adapt to climate change


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Green Deal Projects Support Office

In our previous article, we gave an overview of The Mission on Adaptation to Climate Change, looking at its aims to prepare Europe for climate disruptions, accelerate the transition to a resilient future and to build resilience. We also delved into The Mission’s focus on local solutions, and innovation as well as coordination of support to regions to implement their adaptation actions and communicate about the mission. In this article we explore four such adaptation projects.

The European Commission selected 73 research and innovation projects for funding under the Horizon 2020 Green Deal call. Of these, there are four climate adaptation projects (three of which are Innovation Actions and one in Coordination and Support Action), as seen in the figure below.  This article presents each of the four projects, outlining their objectives and expected results, and the progress that has been made so far.

Infographic of four climate adaptation projects funded by the EU Green Deal

Connections between ‘Coordination and Support Action’ and ‘Innovation Package’ Projects

REGILIENCE works in parallel with the Innovation Action projects to amplify the reach and impact of results, coordinate actions and maximise benefits for communities impacted by climate change. By identifying common goals, challenges and work areas, REGILIENCE, ARSINOE, IMPETUS and TransformAr will achieve the best possible outcomes for communities and regions impacted by climate change, with a holistic approach that includes sectors such as water, energy production, health, agriculture, fisheries.

To do so, the four projects have a combined research and innovation budget of €45 million. This work is led by the Coordination Support Action team within the REGILIENCE project, who will replicate the innovation packages from the Innovation Actions in 10 vulnerable and low-capacity regions.

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Transformar logo


TransformAr aims to develop and demonstrate solutions and pathways to achieve rapid and far-reaching transformational adaptation (TA) across the EU. The project works across six demonstrator regions that currently face a common challenge: water-related risks and impacts of climate change (see below).

TRANSFORMAR climate risks and impacts in demonstrator sites

The objectives of TransformAr are to:

  • communicate the Transformational Adaptive Blocks across any regions or community in Europe wanting to tackle transformational adaptation
  • deliver user-friendly, accessible and comprehensive multi-sector dynamic data services relevant to transformational adaptation and its water-related challenges to fit the needs of the public and private sectors
  • test the potential of specific innovations to enable rapid and far-reaching change in the resilience of demonstrators
  • accelerate investment for transformational adaptation across the EU through the demonstration of their bankability and innovative financial schemes.
  • consolidate a catalogue of solutions and intellectual properties, associated guidance documents, and an understanding of the acceptance and preference of citizens for solutions in transformational adaptation

Meanwhile, the intended outcomes include: 

  • Supporting the European Green Deal targets, in particular the new EU Adaptation Strategy, the EU biodiversity, bioeconomy and circular economy strategies, the objectives of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, as well as the Clean Air Programme for Europe
  • Contributing to the economic restart from the Covid-19 crisis and fostering transformative change across all regions and sectors of society to increase climate resilience
  • Contributing to social acceptance and social resilience
  • Increasing the community’s resilience and capacities to cope with the unavoidable effects of climate change

Through the project, a playbook has been produced to help regions to better understand their climate risks and develop their own pathways. 


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ARSINOE seeks to create climate resilient regions through systemic solutions and innovations. The project will shape the pathways to resilience by bringing together the Systems Innovation Approach (SIA) and the Climate Innovation Window (CIW) to build an ecosystem for climate change adaptation solutions (Figure 2). Showcased in nine demonstrator areas and working with 41 partners, ARSINOE is the largest innovation action project.

The objectives for the project are to:

  • Facilitate a fundamental transformation of economic, social and financial systems that will trigger exponential change in decarbonisation rates and strengthen climate resilience through a Systems Innovation Approach;
  • Support recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and climate resilience through the implementation of the EU Next Generation Fund Recovery and Resilience Plans in a co-integrated way;
  • Support communities and scientists in efficiently evaluating the environmental and economic effects of climate change as well as understanding the impact of possible interventions by citizens and multidisciplinary scientists;
  • Offer advanced environmental intelligence services and tools, through an interactive platform allowing multiple stakeholders to collaborate;
  • Quantify, model and manage climate risk in a systematic way through resilience;
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer and exploitation for start-ups and SMEs.

The project expects to:

  • Use the Systems Innovation Approach to address the growing complexity, interdependencies and interconnectedness of modern societies and economies;
  • Develop vulnerability indices that quantify risks resulting from the interactions of climatic hazards; vulnerabilities and exposures of humans, ecosystems, economic, social or cultural assets;
  • Introduce a set of Machine Learning-driven approaches to tackle and predict challenges;
  • Deliver regional resilience innovation packages through the Climate Innovation Window;
  • Promote a robust upscaling strategy allowing for the expansion of the ARSINOE innovation packages;
  • Develop VR experiences to elicit citizens’ preferences on interventions towards a resilient adaptation to climate change.

ARSINOE's three-tier solution approach

Three-tier solution approach in ARSINOE

SustainGraph: Knowledge Graph to track progress towards SDGs at national and regional levels

SustainGraph was developed through a collaborative partnership established between ARSINOE and Neo4j (a graph database management system) within the framework of the Graphs4Good program. It aims to serve as a unified source of knowledge to support the gathering of insights related to the evolution of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators. 

SustainGraph will support participatory modelling processes by interdisciplinary scientists, and will focus on the modelling and analysis of complex and dynamic socio-environmental systems. To achieve this, SustainGraph considers additional socioeconomic indicators and data from monitoring infrastructure installed in a series of case studies across Europe. 

SustainGraph also considers the interlinkages between SDG goals with existing and emerging environmental policies and directives, mainly at European Union (EU) level.

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The core objective of IMPETUS is to turn climate commitments into tangible, urgent actions to protect communities and the planet. 

Infographic of Resilience Knowledge Boosters

Resilience Knowledge Boosters

The project has produced the ‘Resilience Knowledge Boosters’ (RKBs) (see above) based at all seven EU biogeographical regions (continental, coastal, Mediterranean, Atlantic, Arctic, boreal and mountainous). The RKBs provide a place for stakeholders to engage and create together; as a network, they will provide routes for knowledge flow and for successful climate adaptation approaches to reach other communities that need them. This approach also improves risk assessment tools and modelling, facilitates better governance and economic decision making, and achieves cost efficiencies. In this way, IMPETUS will create pathways towards a climate-neutral and sustainable economy. Table 1 presents the expected results and levels of impact that the project can reach.

Infographic of expected results and levels of IMPETUS impact

Expected results and levels of IMPETUS impact

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The REGILIENCE project seeks to support communities, cities and regions in their efforts towards building climate-resilient pathways. It facilitates the identification and upscaling of the most promising resilience solutions: supporting their replication in 10 vulnerable and low-capacity regions in Europe; communicating them through various channels and actions; and inspiring policymakers, organisations, and individuals to become part of the change. 

It facilitates the identification and upscaling of the most promising resilience solutions through:

  • Supporting their replication in 10 vulnerable and low-capacity regions 
  • Building knowledge tools: financing, citizen resilience scan, adaptation.
  • Communicating through various channels and +/- 700 actions, and 
  • Inspiring policymakers, organisations, and individuals to become part of the change

REGILIENCE will produce a Resilience Fundamentals Course, a citizen Resilience Scan Tool, and will test 10 innovative public-private partnership approaches, among other activities. The project will also design and distribute a broad range of communication and dissemination activities to its target groups, the enabling actors and the broader community. The diagram below outlines its communication aims to support innovation:

REGILIENCE's communication aims to support innovation

REGILIENCE's communication aims to support innovation

As we have seen, there are many developments within these projects to support communities that are impacted by climate change. The learning and results from these four pioneering research and innovation climate adaptation projects are setting the pace for future projects under the Horizon Mission calls and are crucial in addressing our urgent need to substantially accelerate efforts to adapt to inevitable climate change.

If you’d like to find out more about these projects, take a look at our projects page, the Climate Change and Biodiversity Working Group page and their individual websites. 


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