Horizon 2020 in detail

Horizon 2020 is the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation covering 7 years between 2014-2020 with a budget of nearly € 80 billion and with the aim to attract private investments.

Supported by the European Parliament and Europe’s leaders, it is the way of future, meaning more jobs and most importantly steady economic growth. It is designed to help bring more ideas to market, it offers opportunities both for the public and the private sectors, with an easy to use system that helps to stimulate projects, meaning less paperwork and faster achievements.

The Horizon 2020 programme has three key pillars:


 Excellent Science

Its aim is to support EU’s excellent science base with its four programmes:

  1. European Research Council – supporting world-leading scientists and their teams in frontier research. Budget: €13 095 million.
  2. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – providing training and career development opportunities for researchers through cross-border and cross-sector mobility. Budget: €6 162 million.
  3. Future and Emerging Technologies – funding new and high-risk ideas while accelerating the development of the most promising emerging areas of science and technology. Budget: €2 696 million.
  4. Research infrastructures - focusing on human capital and complementing it with  related Union policy and international cooperation. Budget: € 2 488 million.


Industrial Leadership

Its main goal is to help innovate European SMEs to grow into world-leading companies. It includes three programmes:

  1. Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies – providing funding for research and innovation in the following fields: information and communication technology, nanotechnology, advanced materials, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and processing and space. Budget: €13 557 million.
  2. Access to risk finance -  supporting the development of Union-level venture capital, debt and equity financing mainly for small and medium-sized enterprises in cooperation with the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund. Budget: € 2 842 million.
  3. Innovation in SMEs – strengthening participation of innovative SMEs to help them grow and internationalize across the single market and beyond.


Societal Challenges

It aims to tackle societal challenges for a better society. It focuses on bringing together the necessary resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities.

Funding will focus on the following challenges:

  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing (Budget: € 7 472 million);
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy (Budget: € 3 851 million);
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy (Budget: € 5 931 million);
  • Smart, green and integrated transport (Budget: € 6 339 million);
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials (Budget: € 3 081 million);
  • Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies (Budget: € 1 310 million);
  • Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens (Budget: € 1 695 million).


H2020 programme is broken down into two year work programmes, each one targeting a specific area. These work programmes, together with the call for proposals are published on the participant portal (http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/home.html). It is an electronic administration surface, where the applicants can manage their proposals and related documents.

Most of the calls require a minimum of three partners working together, but via this portal, you can easily find partners that best fit your needs and current needs. It also means that the submission of proposals is done completely online, meaning a more eco-friendly and easy to use system.