H2020 - Introduction


Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available to be spent in a period of over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from laboratories to the market.

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.

Seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that research is an investment in our future and so put it at the heart of the EU’s blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs.

By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

Horizon 2020 is open to everyone, with a simple structure that reduces red tape and time so participants can focus on what is really important. This approach makes sure new projects get off the ground quickly – and achieve results faster.

The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will be complemented by further measures to complete and further develop the European Research Area. These measures will aim at breaking down barriers to create a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation.

You can find more information here.

H2020 - Structure


The Horizon 2020 programme consists of three core themes or 'pillars':

·          Excellent science

·          Industrial leadership

·          Societal challenges


Excellent science

Horizon 2020 aims to raise the level of excellence in Europe's science base and ensure a steady stream of world-class research to secure long-term competitiveness in Europe. It supports the best ideas, develops European talent and provides researchers with access to a research infrastructure.

Industrial Leadership

Horizon 2020 will make Europe a more appealing location to invest in research and innovation. The programme seeks to stimulate the growth potential of European companies, targeting SMEs in particular. It will provide major investment in key industrial technologies, maximise the growth potential of European companies by providing them with adequate levels of finance and help innovative SMEs to grow into world-leading companies.

Societal Challenges

Horizon 2020 is aligned with Europe 2020 strategy and addresses major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere. It follows a challenge-based approach that brings together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities.

Detailed information on the different SECURITY research and innovation funding opportunities can be accessed via the figure below:

Horizon 2020 sections

·         Excellent Science

o    European Research Council

o    Future and Emerging Technologies

o    Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions

o    Research Infrastructures, including e-Infrastructures

·         Industrial Leadership

o    Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies

§  Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and Biotechnology

§  Information and Communication Technologies

§  Space

o    Access to risk finance

o    Innovation in SMEs

·         Societal Challenges

o    Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing

o    Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy

o    Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy

o    Smart, Green and Integrated Transport

o    Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials

o    Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies

o    Secure societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens


·         Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation

·         Science with and for Society

·         Cross-cutting activities (focus areas)

·         Fast Track to Innovation Pilot

·         European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

·         Euratom

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