Water4All 2023 Joint Transnational Call

“Aquatic Ecosystem Services”

Call illustration

Funding Partner Organisations from 30 countries all over Europe and beyond are pleased to announce the opening of a Joint Transnational Call for research and innovation projects on “Aquatic Ecosystem Services”.

The Joint Transnational Call is launched in the framework of the European Partnership Water4All and supports research and innovation projects to improve water security in the long term. In line with the strategic objectives of Water4All, the results should contribute to the implementation of evidence-based, global, EU and national water management policies and strategies, including the Green Deal, the Water Framework Directive (WFD), Just Transition and the Water Action Agenda for UN Sustainable Development Goals. Proposals should show cognisance of appropriate legislation and policy frameworks at national and international levels that are meant to alleviate global change impacts on aquatic ecosystem services.

The context for the general call topics is described in Theme II of the Water4All Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), “Water for ecosystems and biodiversity”. Likewise, Themes VI and VII in the SRIA on “International cooperation” and “Governance”, respectively, must be considered as they are cross-cutting issues to all other themes. Applicants are encouraged to check links in the SRIA between ecosystem services and themes, subthemes, drivers and enablers. This comprehensive approach must be reflected in the proposals.


  • Call opening: 12 September 2023
  • Submission deadline of pre-proposals: 13 November 2023, 15:00 CET
  • Selection of pre-proposals: End of February 2024
  • Submission deadline of full proposals: 29 April 2024, 15:00 CEST
  • Selection of funded proposals: September 2024
  • Projects start: End 2024 / beginning 2025
  • Kick off meeting of the funded projects: Spring 2025

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Call Topics

The general theme of the Water4All 2023 Joint Transnational Call is “Ecosystem Services”, with aquatic ecosystems as the focus, including inland surface water, groundwater, transitional and coastal water, and having water security on top of the objectives.

Research and innovation proposals submitted under the Water4All 2023 Joint Transnational Call are required to address at least one of the following topics:

Applications are to be submitted by the coordinator. Each consortium participant is funded by the Funding Partner Organisation from their country/region participating in the 2023 Joint Transnational Call. Participants are therefore subject to eligibility criteria of their national/regional Funding Partner Organisation.

  • Topic 1. Mapping, monitoring, and assessment for a better understanding of ecosystem services in a context of changes, from local to global change.
  • Topic 2. Understanding and predicting multiple pressures (including anthropogenic pressures) - impact – response relationships in ecosystem services through advanced methods and techniques.
  • Topic 3. New tools and solutions for a better integration of ecosystem services into the management of water resources.

Important Additional Modalities/Early Career Researchers & Knowledge Hub

In addition, this call will include 2 additional modalities aiming at:

The details for these modalities are published in the Water4All 2023 Call Announcement document.

  • Early Career Researchers holding a PhD since less than 10 years ago
  • Expression of interest to participate in a Knowledge Hub, formed by a group of experts of Water4All funded projects and aiming at synthesizing and communicating research results of funded projects to the water community (policy, end-users, public) with various tools (workshops, policy briefs, state-of-the-art reports, position papers, etc.). 

Call Documents to Download

  • Water4All 2023 JTC Call Announcement Download
  • Annex A - NCPs and matrix of topics and modalities Download
  • Annex B - Theory of Change Download
  • Annex C - Terms of reference of the Water4All Knowledge Hub Download
  • Annex D - List of Water4All beneficiaries that may apply to the call Download
  • National/Regional Regulations Download
  • Pre-proposal template Download
  • Full proposal template coming soon
  • Knowledge Hub - Expression of Interest template coming soon
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) coming soon

Joint Message for 2023 Calls by DUT, Biodiversa+, Water4All

In September 2023, three European Partnerships under Horizon Europe launch calls for research on topics that are complementary. This text is a joint clarification from the three Partnerships regarding the contents of these calls. Duplication of funding for the same proposal is not allowed, so applicants must carefully choose the best fit for their proposals based on the scope of each call and their respective research priorities.

Note that this is a brief overview for comparison, all details are provided in the documentation for each call.

Nature-based Solutions (NBS), Ecosystem Services (ES) and Transformative Change (TC) are interlinked concepts, which calls for a real exchange of knowledge between the projects funded through these calls. The Partnerships will therefore ensure sharing of key learning points and creation of synergies between the research projects, to enhance the overall impact of research and innovation activities that support a better protection of our ecosystems and thriving biodiversity and human well-being worldwide.

However, while complementary, the overarching aim of these calls differ.

The BiodivNBS call supports transdisciplinary, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral research on biodiversity to gain a better understanding of the tipping pointstrade-offs and socio-ecological mechanisms affecting NBS, as well as their successful implementation. The Water4All call supports research and innovation for a better understanding of the status of ecosystem services at varying spatial and temporal scales, underlying pressure factors and integration in the management of water resources. The DUT call supports research and innovation that explores intentional planning and design approaches that integrate nature back into the existing building stock of our cities.

Aquatic ecosystems are the focus of the Water4All call whereas DUT Call is interested in urban areas and BiodivNBS is open to all environments/realms (terrestrial, aquatic, marine, coastal, etc.).

Furthermore, DUT focuses on designing with nature, with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of urbanisation, restoring and regenerating urban ecosystems, and fostering urban liveability. Focus is not only on including nature in the (day-to-day) life of city inhabitants, relying on social qualities, but also an approach to urbanism that can provide a wide range of opportunities for cities and urban areas, to restore and mimic natural conditions, flows and movement.

  • The Biodiversity Partnership (Biodiversa+) has launched a call on “Nature-based Solutions for biodiversity, human well-being and transformative change” on Sept. 11th 2023; referred to as BiodivNBS hereafter.

  • The Driving Urban Transition (DUT) partnership has launched a call on “People-centred urban transformation” on Sept. 1st 2023. Link to call webpage: DUT Partnership Call 2023 - first information available.

  • The Water4All Partnership – Water Security for the Planet – has launched a call on “Aquatic Ecosystem Services” on Sept. 12th 2023.


Application date
36 months
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