FAQ Call for projects

Published on 17/10/2022
Nature of the projects, constitution of the consortium, financing... All the questions and answers exchanged in information webinars on the calls for projects.

You will find many answers here, but we know that each project has its own particularities and questions. United to face the climate crisis, our approach is above all based on exchange: contact us and let's look at your project together.

Taking stock before submitting my application


o Are any themes favored for the 2023 Call for projects?

No, there is no theme. However, it is necessary that the project be related to the adaptation to the impacts of climate change.

o What is the status of the project in order to apply for the SCO label?

The objective is to be able to produce an operational tool within 12 to 24 months after the labeling, it is desirable that the project has an initial TRL level between 5 and 6. Theses and research projects are therefore not eligible.

o What is the level of requirement of SCO projects regarding Open Source?

When industries or SMEs participate in a project, it is difficult to ask for the processing chain to be put in Open Source, in relation to the economic viability of the project. In the case of a private partnership, the Open Source cannot be total. Nevertheless, it is important that the algorithms be shareable.

o Can projects on the same theme be shared?

If projects have a common theme, it makes sense to bring them together. The SCO will put the project leaders in touch with each other to possibly plan a merger.

o For SCO France projects, should the targeted territories be for all or part in France, or can they be 100% outside France/Europe?

There are no restrictions, SCO France projects can be developed in any territory, in France or abroad.

o If the project owner is abroad, will he be able to make a remote pitch?

During the various communication events of the SCO, the holders of the labeled projects will be asked to make presentations of the project. If they are abroad, a video-conference can be set up to facilitate the exchange with the participants.

o What level of detail is expected in the application form regarding the description of the workpackages?

It is necessary to share enough details so that the labelling committee can assess the adequacy of the project to the SCO criteria.

o If the project cannot be completed in a maximum of 2 years, is it possible to cut it down?

Yes, a SCO project can be a brick of a more ambitious project. However, it is important that this "mini" project delivers an operational product.

o What is the involvement of SCO member organisations in the labelled projects? 

SCO France member organisations can finance all or part of a project and can be involved in a project to provide expertise, operational.

o Can intermediate users be industrial or public entities?

Yes, the users can be public and/or private entities. Nevertheless, the objective is not to make a completely closed product, it is important to valorize its value.

o Does SCO provide data?

No, SCO does not provide data, but it allows projects easier and cheaper access to data (notably Sentinel and Pleiades).

O What kind of support does SCO provide?

SCO offers technical support and advice for the smooth running of the project. As far as space is concerned, engineers can follow the project in co-construction.


o Does the consortium have to be composed of a local actor, a scientific laboratory and a company?

This triptych should be sought, but it is not compulsory. The obligation is to identify a study area and a user. If necessary, the SCO can help to find partners to complete the consortium.

o Can projects with international partnerships be eligible?

Yes, it is a real added value.

o Are projects associated with an SME eligible?

Yes, it is strongly encouraged to have industrial players including SMEs in the project consortia.

o Is the openness to Europe an additional asset in the evaluation of the file?

The SCO France promotes the collaboration of projects at the European level and valorizes it. Nevertheless, concerning the requests for financing, the French institutions will finance only the French "part" of the project.

o What is the role of the scientific entity in the consortium?

The presence of scientists belonging to at least one of the institutions of the inter-agency committee is strongly recommended. SCO projects are intended to develop an operational tool but also to contribute to a technology transfer.

o Do partners need to provide letters of commitment to the consortium?

It's always better! Especially when a user is involved from the beginning, this is an important criterion because it guarantees that the project meets concrete needs and that it will be sustainable.

o Who can be the end users?

The end-users can be varied (local authority, metropolis, company, insurance, protected natural area, regional agency, NGO...) and must present a problem related to climate change impacts.

o Can the territories be represented by a private actor in the consortium?

Yes, it is possible but the operational product must be accessible and therefore cannot be completely confidential. A company alone cannot carry a project.

o Can a start-up be the project leader of a SCO project?

If the start-up is a member of a consortium, it can position itself as a project leader. Nevertheless, the SCO does not want the company to carry out a purely internal development. It is desirable to encourage a partnership and to highlight the scientific elements.

o How to identify partners to create a consortium?

This type of request can be relayed to the CNES level in order to help candidate projects to find expertise to accompany them and integrate the consortium.

o Can a project be carried out by a self-employed contractor?

Yes, but he must be part of a consortium. 

o If the project is part of a partnership approach but it is only led by a company when the application is submitted because the consortium has not yet been formed, is it possible to benefit from support from SCO upstream to put people in touch with each other?

During the labelling committee, the SCO can advise partners to complete the consortium. We also recommend participating in SCO events to meet members of the community and build a network.

o Can a local authority be the leader of the project consortium or does it have to be an industrialist?

A local authority can be the leader of a project and is even encouraged to do so. However, it must surround itself with a consortium of scientists and experts to support it.


o Is there a funding opportunity with SCO? 

The SCO is not a funding agency but some partner institutions may fund all or part of the projects.

o Which SCO member organisations provide funding for labelled projects?

It depends on the year but there is the CNES, OFB, C3S and soon ADEME. These envelopes are not pooled and are granted according to each organisation's own funding committees.  For example, last year the OFB provided funds for projects related to biodiversity.

o When funded by one of the SCO partner institutions, what expenses are eligible?

There is no rule. These elements are determined when the contract is signed but they are mainly expenses related to human resources (engineers, post-doc...).

o If the project does not have funding, is this a limitation for obtaining the SCO label?

The funding of projects is not one of the determining criteria for obtaining the label. However, it is easier to supplement funding than to fully fund.

o If a project has already started, is it possible to apply to the SCO for additional funding?

Yes, this can work.

o Is it possible to submit a project indicating funding that you are aiming for but that you cannot apply for before 2022, such as ERDF funds?

Yes, as long as the project remains relatively short (24 months maximum for the SCO label).

o Is there a cap on the amount of funding I can apply for?

The amount of financial aid varies according to the project, the need for financing and the organizations that will finance it. On average, the amount is 140 k€.

o How can the financing plan be planned when the application is submitted if the financing is planned after the award of the label?

The financing plan must be determined before the application is submitted, according to the expenditure planned for the project. It is then possible to apply for funding.

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o Who are the members of the labelling committee?

The members of the labeling committee are representatives of the French partner institutions of the SCO France as well as members of the European SCOs.

o How does the committee select projects?

The labeling committee uses the application form to classify projects into 3 categories: A, which will get the SCO label directly, B, which have a few weeks to improve the project in order to be labeled, and C, which do not meet the SCO criteria or are not mature enough to get the label.

o Do project leaders make a presentation to the labelling committee?

Not at first. Only projects with a B rating are invited to meet with the evaluators to provide more information and to define together how to better adapt their project to the SCO criteria. An evaluation of the reworked file within a month will determine whether or not the label will be awarded.

o Can a foreign project, financed by a foreign organization, be accredited by the SCO France?

The SCO is available in several countries that have signed the international charter, but there is only one SCO label. A foreign project will apply first to the national SCO of the country or area concerned.


You can download the presentation material for the webinars below (in French).