ICAERUS: 1st call for innovators delivering and exploiting drone-related data sets

The ICAERUS project is looking for R&D stakeholders, who can either deliver and exploit drone-related data sets. The first call is already open and will fund 4 projects with up to 60,000€ per project. Applications are open until next 11th of July, 2023 at 17:00 (CEST).

About the ICAERUS Project

ICAERUS is an EU funded project that aims to exploit the disruptive potential of drone technologies for creating significant positive impact for farmers and rural communities.

ICAERUS will utilize an application-oriented approach to explore multi-purpose drone use in 5 specific drone applications, representing the most important sectoral and societal drone usage purposes in Europe. 

ICAERUS also plans to use research, technology optimization, demonstration, and drone education to create an efficient, trusted, and safe environment for the EU drone service market to flourish contributing to the achievement of the EU’s decarbonization, digitalization and resilience.

ICAERUS will build upon the existing network through the issue and promotion of two (2) types of Open Calls (PUSH/PULL) providing financial support to third parties (FSTP), as a mechanism to harvest ideas and datasets from the ecosystem and accelerate the formation of a European network for the effective and efficient adoption of drone technologies.

Both types of the Open Calls will have two release dates. In total, a 1,080,000 € budget is allocated for FSTP. The Open Calls will result in 8 PUSH Innovation Development winners (480,000 € for ID – up to 60,000 € for each third party) and 12 PULL Farming, Forestry and Rural Challenges winners (600,000 € for FFRC – up to 50,000 € for each third party). Each sub-project accepted will last for 12 months and be divided into 3 phases: Design, Development and Market.

ICAERUS 1st Open Call Details

The ICAERUS project launched the first round of PUSH Open Calls for drone innovators on April 13 2023. Funding will be provided to support 4 innovative ideas as a mechanism for harvesting ideas and datasets from the ecosystem.

ICAERUS aims to showcase and support the effective, efficient and safe deployment of drones, as well as identify the risks and added values associated with their use. The 1st PUSH Open Call for Innovation Development will award 4 successful third-parties with up to 60,000 € to implement projects aiming to deliver and exploit drone related data sets for assessing technological and non-technical hypotheses. The following types of applications/solutions (but not limited to) have the potential to be funded:

Applications are open until July 11th, 2023.


ICAERUS is looking for European drone manufacturers, SMEs and start-ups exploiting (big) data, AI and IoT companies, research institutes. Applicants need to be either an SME or Research Institute:

  • SME: An SME is considered as such if it complies with the European Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC, and the SME user guide.
  • Research Institute: a legal entity that is established as a non-profit organisation and whose main objective is carrying out research or technological development. Research Institutes/ organizations must provide confirmation of registration from a respective business registry such as the Commercial Court in order to participate in the ICAERUS Open Call.
Legal entities who are registered in eligible Horizon Europe countries (outermost regions, and Overseas Countries and Territories linked to an EU Member as well as nationals of Horizon Europe associated countries) including are invited to apply. Information about the eligible countries is described in detail in the official Guidelines for applicants.


The following types of applications/solutions (but not limited to) qualify for financial support under the 1st Open Call:

  • Innovative ideas that leverage drone technology and data sets to address real-world problems and create value for society
  • Drone hardware and software development: developing new hardware and software solutions to increase drone performance
  • Data analysis and processing: developing new algorithms and techniques to process and analyse the data collected by drones
  • Drone-based services: developing new services that use drone technology, such as aerial photography, surveying, and inspection services
  • Drone-based applications: developing new applications for drones, e.g., environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, disaster relief
  • Standards and regulations: developing new standards and regulations for the safe and responsible use of drone technology


The ICAERUS application form is available on the Open Call Hub platform , which is the unique entry point for all application submissions to the first ICAERUS Open Call. Applications must be submitted in English and before the official deadline: 11th of July 2023, 17:00 (CEST).

Successful applicants will be notified in October 2023. Sub-projects implementation will be divided into three phases: DesignDevelopment and Market, lasting a total of 12 months, beginning November 1, 2023 and ending October 31, 2024


Payments will be linked to a review procees conducted by the ICAERUS Open Call Advisory Board. The board will evaluate the progress of the beneficiares based on a deliverable. When the
deliverable is officially accepted, the Chair of the AB will inform the Treasurer and the payment will be released. 

Based on the results of the review and acceptance of respected deliverables, payment will be made towards the subgrantees in the following modalities:

  • Phase 1 – Design (M02), Deliverable: Activity plan – Payment of 30% of the total fund.
  • Phase 2 – Development (M09), Deliverable: Results demonstration – Payment of 50% of the total fund.
  • Phase 3 – Market (M12), Deliverable: Report on market associated activities – Payment of final 20% of the total fund.


For further questions and clarifications, you may check and address the following ways:


The ICAERUS consortium incorporates all actors involved in the agri-rural sector and combines multidisciplinary competences and resources from academia, industry and research communities in various fields of expertise. More specifically, to materialise its concept, ICAERUS will bring together organisations from:

  • 3 European research institutes and universities (AUA, WU, OU) with significant research capacity in the
    agri-rural sector and its digitisation, behavioural research, social sciences and humanities, distance learning and capacity building.
  • 6 industry stakeholders and technology SMEs (GS, NSWR, ART, NMN, EI, AgFutura), highly
    experienced in smart farming solutions, forestry and drone applications in rural areas, to demonstrate expert knowledge in state-of-the-art industrial processes, drone solutions development, research and innovation.
  • 3 NPOs (IDELE, AFL, HCPA) with wide agri-rural end-user networks (producers, producers’ associations,
    foresters, SMEs, public authorities, consumers), aiming to engage them in market research, as well as demonstration and evaluation activities.
  • Impact Venture Studio (FSH), with expertise in impact maximization, open call innovation stimulation, as well as business innovation and business modelling.
Icaerus Horizon Europe
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin