The EU Programme Horizon 2020

Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation
© European Union, 2015 - Georges Boulougouris

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s 8th Framework Programme for Research with a budget of almost EUR 80 billion for the seven years of the programme (2014 – 2020). Horizon 2020’s aims include improving Europe’s global competitiveness and boosting growth and job creation. At the same time, it focuses on tackling societal challenges that are important to all of us.

The programme provides funding for every stage of the innovation process from basic research to market uptake, and specifically targets big societal challenges such as health, energy and transport.

Horizon 2020 is built on three pillars:

  1. Support for Excellent Science: e.g. frontier research funded by the European Research Council; networking of existing research infrastructures; mobility grants for all stages of researchers’ careers (Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions).
  2. Support for Industrial Leadership: e.g. projects of great importance for Europe’s industrial competitiveness; targeted support of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
  3. Support for research to tackle societal challenges: projects focusing on the following priority societal challenges identified by the EU:
    • Health, demographic change and wellbeing
    • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bio-economy
    • Secure, clean and efficient energy
    • Smart, green and integrated transport
    • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials
    • Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
    • Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens

In addition, there are four further cross-cutting and supporting measures:

  1. Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation
  2. Science with and for Society
  3. Joint Research Centre (JRC)
  4. European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

Further Information

Please find more detailed information on Horizon 2020 at the following websites:

In Germany, the EU Office of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the EU Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations (KoWi) give personalised support and advice on different aspects of participation in Horizon 2020.


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