choose your programme
Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the main Research and Innovation Funding Programme of the European Commission.

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the previous Funding Programme. There are no longer calls, but projects can run until 2024.

Digital Europe

Digital Europe is a Funding Programme focused on bringing digital technology to businesses, citizens and administrations.

Other EU Funding

There are many other relevant EU funding programmes, managed by several agencies and directorates.


EU Mission 'A Soil Deal for Europe'

The main goal of the Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’ is to establish 100 living labs and lighthouses to lead the transition towards healthy soils by 2030.

Programmes Agro-Food, Environment   Missions  

Published on | 7 months ago

Last updated on | 6 months ago

Author Do you have an additional question? Or spotted a mistake? Don't hesitate to contact me!
Image of Patrick De Molder
Patrick De Molder

What the Soil Mission deals with

We take soils for granted but they are a scarce, non-renewable and threatened resource. 60-70% of the EU soils are unhealty. The Soil Mission aims to lead the transition towards healthy soils by  

  • funding an ambitious research and innovation programme with a strong social science component 
  • putting in place an effective network of 100 living labs and lighthouses to co-create knowledge, test solutions and demonstrate their value in real-life conditions
  • developing a harmonised framework for soil monitoring in Europe
  • raising people’s awareness on the vital importance of soils


  1. Reduce desertificiation
  2. Conserve soil organic carbon stocks
  3. Stop soil sealing and increase re-use of urban soils
  4. Reduce soil pollution and enhance restoration
  5. Prevent erosion
  6. Improve soil structure to enhance soil biodiversity
  7. Reduce the EU global footprint on soils
  8. Improve soil literacy in society

The Mission will support the EU’s ambition to lead on global commitments, notably the Sustainable Development Goals, and contribute to the European Green Deal targets on sustainable farming, climate resilience, biodiversity and zero-pollution. It is also a flagship initiative of the long-term vision for rural areas.

Soil Health Living Labs & Lighthouses

In a Living Lab, experimentations happen in real-life conditions, operating with end-users i.e. commercial farms or forest exploitations, urban green parks or industrial sites and other actors such as local authorities. It will  be partnerships between multiple actors, like researchers, farmers, foresters, spatial planners, land managers, and citizens who come together to co-create innovations for a jointly agreed objective.

Lighthouses are single sites, like a farm or a park, where to showcase good practices to inspire other practitioners. These are places for demonstration and peer-to-peer learning. In lighthouse sites, researchers work together with land managers to ensure that research responds to concrete needs encountered in the field.

Soil Mission Implementation Plan

The Soil Mission Implementation Plan aims to be the operational blueprint for how the Commission will deliver on the main goal and the objectives of this Mission, providing an operational course of action.

Soil Mission: Open calls

The Commission invites researchers and innovators as well as citizens and all interested stakeholders to take part in the Soil Mission. You can find the new Soil Mission calls (2022 calls) on the Funding & Tenders Portal. The Commission will organise an Info Session on the EU Missions 2022 calls on 17-18 May. More information here. Back-to-back with the Commission Info Session, a match-making event is organised on 19 May. More information here

Results of EU-funded Soil-related projects 

A portfolio of projects & results on soil research and innovation funded under past framework programmes FP6 (2002-2006), FP7 (2007-2013) and Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) and the current Horizon Europe framework programme (2021-2027) can be found in the CORDIS database.

Soil-related projects supported by European Regions can be found in the KOHESIO database.

What are Missions?

Find it out here.


There are 3 attachments connected to this article. Attachments are only accessible for people with an account on the NCP Flanders website.

Sign in (if you already have an account) or sign up.

- sign up for personalised information

We offer news and event updates, covering all domains and topics of Horizon 2020 & Horizon Europe.

Stay informed about what matters to you. By signing up, you can opt in for e-mail notifications and get access to a personalised dashboard that groups all news updates and event announcements in your domain(s).

Only for stakeholders located in Flanders


image of Luciad - Geospatial software for mission-critical operations

Luciad - Geospatial software for mission-critical operations

Founded in 1999, Luciad serves clients in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Though it recently was acquired by Hexagon Geospatial, they kept an agile SME mindset. Thousands of end users work directly with Luciad’s geospatial applications, and major systems integrators (think Airbus Defense and Space, Lufthansa Systems, NATO, Thales…) incorporate its software in their own products.

NCP Flanders went to Leuven to interview Frederic Houbie, the Research Projects Manager at Luciad, about how he sees Horizon 2020. Luciad is a partner in the MARISA project, which is a collaborative RIA project submitted to an ICT call topic


Read the full article for details  or Check out the other testimonials