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The CROPS project

The CROPS vision is that the next generation of citizen science activities fully realises its potential at a transnational level, with shared objectives targeted towards EU Mission goals.

CROPS will support the realisation of this vision, through establishing innovative, inclusive and representative mechanisms and associated communities and societal coalitions for the upscaling of citizen science activities.

The lessons learnt through this process and the resources developed will contribute towards Horizon Europe’s ambition to maximise the impact of EU research and innovation funding for European science, economy and the wider society.

The roots

At its roots, the CROPS concept is fed by learning from the best-practice of existing citizen science projects that have successfully upscaled beyond their original scope. Experiences and knowledge from existing initiatives will be used to inform a thorough screening process to identify citizen science projects with the potential to upscale to a transnational level (WP2).


CROPS will support the growth of citizen science activities. It will do this by adapting and utilising existing tools that have been developed through previous EU and other projects and activities. Protocols and strategies relating to communication, stakeholder engagement, training resources and design will be developed as part of a user-centred process.

The Fruit

The fruit of the CROPS concept is the creation of transnational citizen science communities and societal coalitions. Shared spaces will be created to foster the creation of communities linked with each of the EU missions, helping to foster ERA-wide alignment of actions and their objectives.

Objectives and workplan

CURATE the current citizen science landscape, through screening and identifying suitable citizen science projects for upscaling to a Europe-wide level.

The CROPS project will conduct a thorough review of current citizen science activities, selecting the most suitable to undergo a scalability potential assessment, evaluating their potential at an upscaled level. Scalability potential will be conserved across a range of areas (value, ease of use, openness, communication etc.) and the process will be validated through expert workshops, involving representatives from each of the 5 Horizon Europe EU missions and the JRC. This will ensure the projects’ potential impacts have synergy with broader EU R&I objectives, and will contribute towards an alignment of citizen science efforts. This objective will be directly addressed in WP2 – Curation: Appraisal of current CS actions and their suitability for upscaling.

REPLICATE and use as a foundation the best practice of potentially scalable projects, to support citizen science activities to fully realise their impact potential at an upscaled level.

Through the appraisal of projects identified in O.1 and previously successful initiatives, CROPS will support CS activities in order to fully realise their upscaling potential. This potential covers a range of domains beyond the original science addressed, and has the opportunity to close the gap between science and society. Existing methodologies regarding user-centred design, communication, stakeholder engagement, training, education, RRI, inclusivity and trust will be included.  Support will be given in terms of understanding the impact of upscaling citizen science activities when considering these issues, and the potential contribution towards the EU mission goals. By replicating methodologies and sharing best-practices, this can help incentivise both existing and new citizen science projects to fully appraise the potential impact of their activities at a larger, transnational scale. This objective will be addressed in WP3 – Replication: Protocols and strategies for the upscaling of citizen science. 

ORCHESTRATE the upscaling process, through maximising the uptake of outputs and the sustainability of citizen science activities when moving to wider scales. 

Existing methodologies, mechanisms, models and standards regarding open data repositories and funding streams will be evaluated in terms of their applicability to citizen science at different scales. Through this process, modalities and protocols will be developed to help ensure citizen science practices fully exploit their data and outputs to as wide an audience as possible, whilst having access to the financial support required to remain sustainable while upscaling to a transnational level. To further orchestrate the upscaling process, mutual learning workshops will take place to ensure broad societal involvement, with representatives of the quadruple-helix of stakeholders present. This objective will be addressed through WP4 – Orchestration: Maximising uptake and sustainability when upscaling citizen science.

PROPAGATE the potential of upscaled citizen science, and the CROPS support, through the creation of transnational communities, societal coalitions and the identification of citizen science ‘champions’. 

Through the creation of transnational citizen science communities, built on existing networks (for instance European Citizen Science), and targeted towards the Horizon Europe EU missions, CROPS will propagate the potential of citizen science at the ERA scale. Furthermore, a working group will be formed tasked with establishing societal coalitions, fostering a societal ownership and investment in citizen science activities and their outcomes. Inclusivity will be a priority, targeting the inclusion of traditionally under-presented socioeconomic and cultural groups. Propagating this potential even wider, citizen science champions will be identified with influence in public and decision-making arenas, with a focus on youth champions to promote the benefits of citizen science to the younger generation. This objective will be directly addressed by WP5 – Propagation: Creating transnational communities with shared EU mission goals.