AR/VR-empowered digital twins for modelling complex phenomena in new RI application areas (HORIZON-INFRA-2024-TECH-01-04)

  • Action type: HORIZON-RIA HORIZON Research and Innovation Actions
  • Opening date: 6 December 2023
  • Closing time: 12 March 2024 17:00 (Europe/Brussels)
  • Budget per project: € 12 000 000 of total € 24 000 000
  • Estimated number of projects funded: 2
  • Official website


Project results are expected to contribute to all the following expected outcomes:

  • Availability of advanced modelling and prediction capabilities aimed at industrial, scientific or policy end users on fundamental, complex and socio-economically relevant real-life phenomena, including consideration of the possibility to replace, where appropriate, the need for physical experiments and interventions by using digital twins.
  • Enhanced competitiveness and improved effectiveness of European RIs;
  • Better integration of RIs into local, regional and global innovation and decision support systems.

The aim of this topic is to deliver digital twin solutions which advance the state-of-art of European RIs and show transformative potential in RI operations. The solutions should pave way for new ways to conduct experiments by the RIs through AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) empowered digital twins. Mixed reality (XR) technologies can also be considered. The focus is on newer application areas, such as healthcare, safety and security, to understand complex real-world systems, particularly in application areas constrained by specific physical limitations (like radiation, pressure or temperature). The related developments, which underpin the provision of improved and advanced services, should lead RIs to support new areas of research and/or a wider community of users, including clearly identified and involved industrial, scientific or policy end users and enhance the potential of the RIs in addressing EU policy objectives and socio-economic challenges.

Proposals should address all of the following aspects:

  • development of digital twin solutions for RIs that take advantage of AR/VR technologies for interactive visualisation and bring together the available relevant data resources in the specific topical area;
  • include technology validation and prototyping activities to cope with a large and representative application area to test the relevance of the solutions with the needs of relevant industrial, scientific or policy end users;
  • prepare for take-up of the developed solutions by clearly identified and involved industrial, scientific or policy end users, and include relevant training for the operation and use of these new solutions.

Consortia should include world-class RIs, like ESFRI infrastructures, European Research Infrastructures Consortia (ERICs) and/or other world-class RIs of European interest. Relevant technological partners from the industry and SMEs should be involved to the activities and to promote innovation and knowledge sharing through co-development of new technical solutions for RIs.

Clearly identified industrial, scientific and/or policy end users should be involved through an iterative development process. Clearly defined use cases should demonstrate the potential of these new solutions within the involved communities and beyond. If appropriate, links to the Destination Earth (DestinE) initiative[1] could be established, either by contributing directly to future application areas of DestinE or by making use of DestinE model/data resources.


Next generation of scientific instrumentation, tools and methods and advanced digital solutions (INFRATECH) (2023/24)

Scientific communities cannot adequately respond to current research challenges without having access to state-of-the-art scientific instruments and tools. Their constant adaptation, upgrading and innovation, as the underlying technologies develop at a very rapid pace, is critical for providing the optimal conditions for scientific advancements and discoveries in Europe.

The aim of this destination is the development of ground-breaking RI technologies, including scientific instruments, tools, methods, and advanced digital solutions, to enable new discoveries and keep RIs in the EU and Associated Countries at the highest level of excellence in science, while also paving the way to innovative solutions to societal challenges and new industrial applications, products and services. New instruments and tools (such as advanced sensors, imaging devices, light source detectors, high-tech developments for accelerators, robots/automated solutions) and advanced digital solutions (e.g. digital twins, data analytics and AI tools, etc.) for RI upgrade, will enable innovative solutions to be found even for the most demanding scientific and societal challenges.

Proposals for topics under this destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to one or several of the following impacts:

  • Enhanced global competitiveness and technological excellence of the EU and Associated Countries in an extremely fast-moving environment through investments into the development, of forward-looking technical instruments and tools for European RIs.
  • Enhanced competitiveness of EU and Associated Countries industry through co-development with industrial actors of advanced RI technologies and technology transfer;
  • Opening up of new areas of research and development of new industrial applications/products;
  • Development of skills of RI staff aligned with the advancements of the RI technologies;
  • Transdisciplinarity, cross-fertilisation and a wider sharing of knowledge and technologies between academia and industry;
  • Wider use of AI in research and enhanced data-driven research across the EU and Associated Countries.

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