Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available 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 the lab to the market.
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.
Horizon 2020 contains three pillars:
Excellence Science aims to promote world-class research in Europe, by developing, attracting and retaining research talent in Europe, and ensuring they have access to the best infrastructures. It includes:
- The European Research Council (ERC) Website – 2014/2015 Calls
- Future and Emerging Technologies Website – 2014/2015 Calls
- Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Website – 2014/2015 Call
- Research infrastructures Website – 2014/2015 Calls
Industrial Leadership The Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEIT) programme aims to make strategic investments in key technologies, thus promoting innovation in existing and emerging sectors. There will be access to risk finance through loans and guarantees for high-risk projects available through a debt facility operated by the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund, and venture capital and business angel investment in early and growth stages will be supported through an equity facility. There is also dedicated support for innovative SMEs in three different stages covering the whole innovation cycle (feasibility, demonstration and testing, and commercialisation phases). It includes:
- Leadership in Enabling & Industrial Technologies Website – 2014/2015 Calls
- Access to Risk finance Website – 2014/2015 Calls
- Innovation in SME Website – 2014/2015 Calls
Social Challenges has the largest share of the budget and is broken down into seven groups of policy driven challenges. It aims to address the concerns of citizens and society/EU policy objectives through interdisciplinary collaborations including social sciences and humanities, thus creating a critical mass of knowledge and resources in order to deal with the societal challenges.
Pillar 3 is broken down into the following seven challenges:
- Health, demographic change and well-being 2014/2015 Calls
- Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the bio economy 2014/2015 Calls
- Secure, clean and efficient energy 2014/2015 Calls
- Smart, green and integrated transport 2014/2015 Calls
- Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials 2014/2015 Calls
- Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies 2014 Calls
- Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens 2014/2015 Calls
Furthermore, Horizon 2020 contains, also, the following cross-cutting programmes: