European Funding: Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is a programme from the European Commission (EC) to stimulate research and innovation. The programme will start on the 1st of January 2014 and succeeds framework programme 7 (FP7). Horizon 2020 will have a budget of €70 billion and will run from 2014 until 2020. On 11 December 2013 the first calls have been published.

General Introduction

Horizon 2020 provides simplification (compared with the previous framework programmes) through a single set of rules. It will combine all research and innovation funding currently provided through the Framework Programmes for Research and Technical Development, the innovation related activities of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

The proposed support for research and innovation under Horizon 2020 will:

  • Strengthen the EU position in science with a dedicated budget of € 24 341 million. This will provide a boost to top-level research in Europe, including the very successful European Research Council (ERC).
  • Strengthen industrial leadership in innovation € 17 015 million. This includes major investment in key technologies, greater access to capital and support for SMEs.
  • Provide € 30 956 million to help address major concerns shared by all Europeans such as climate change, developing sustainable transport and mobility, making renewable energy more affordable, ensuring food safety and security, or coping with the challenge of an aging population.

Horizon 2020 will tackle societal challenges by helping to bridge the gap between research and the market by, for example, helping innovative enterprise to develop their technological breakthroughs into viable products with real commercial potential. This market-driven approach will include creating partnerships with the private sector and Member States to bring together the resources needed.

International cooperation will be an important cross-cutting priority of Horizon 2020. In addition to Horizon 2020 being fully open to international participation, targeted actions with key partner countries and regions will focus on the EU strategic priorities. Through a new strategy, a strategic and coherent approach to international cooperation will be ensured across Horizon 2020.

Horizon 2020 will be complemented by further measures to complete and further develop the European Research Area by 2014. These measures will aim at breaking down barriers to create a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation.

How does Horizon 2020 work?

The EC publishes for every programme a specific work programme which will include many different calls for proposals. The Horizon 2020 programmes will fall under one of the three pillars: Excellent Science, Industrial leadership and Societal Challenges.

Why Horizon 2020?

Europa formulated a ten-year growth strategy called ‘Europe 2020’. This strategy is about more than just overcoming the crisis which continues to afflict many of our economies. It is about addressing the shortcomings of our growth model and creating the conditions for a different type of growth that is smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive. To reach Europe’s 2020 ambitious targets the strategy includes 7 ‘Flagship Initiatives’. The ‘Innovation Union’ is one of them and aims to do three things:

  • make Europe into a world-class science performer;
  • remove obstacles to innovation – like expensive patenting, market fragmentation, slow standard-setting and skills shortages – which currently prevent ideas getting quickly to market; and
  • revolutionise the way public and private sectors work together, notably through Innovation Partnerships between the European institutions, national and regional authorities and business.

The Horizon 2020 programme will strongly supports all three aims thus making the ‘Innovation Union’ work.

Horizon 2020 information and calls

The EU has published a great deal of information about Horizon 2020 on it's website.

Information on calls is available at the Participant Portal. The Participant Portal is THE site for information, submission and project management.

Registration as Expert

The European Commission is looking for experts to evaluate proposals for EU funding and for other activities such as monitoring, programme evaluation and policy development. Scientists can register themselves at the Expert Section of the Participant Portal.


Published by  IXA UvA-HVA

Source: EU

19 January 2016