Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with an €80 billion budget, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe. Horizon 2020 provides major simplification 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 (numbers shown here will be updated once there is final agreement from the Council and the European Parliament):

  • Strengthen the EU’s position in science with a dedicated budget of € 24 598 million. This will provide a boost to top-level research in Europe, including an increase in funding of 77% for the very successful European Research Council (ERC).
  • Strengthen industrial leadership in innovation € 17 938 million. This includes major investment in key technologies, greater access to capital and support for SMEs.
  • Provide € 31 748 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 ageing 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’s 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.

(Text by European Commission)

Horizon 2020 will start next 1st January 2014after the final approval from the European Parliament and European Council. The programme will be structured in three main pillars:

  • Excellent Science: funding the best science through open competition. This will be through four programmes: the European Research Council; Research Infrastructures; Future and Emerging Technologies; and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie research grant scheme.
  • Industrial Leadership - this includes a programme to support innovative small and medium enterprises; financial instruments including debt and equity facilities to fund innovation; and a programme to encourage the development of enabling and industrial technologies;
  • Societal Challenges - supporting research in areas such as health, climate, food, security, transport and energy.


In addittion, there will be some horizontal activities, such as: “Science with and for Society”, “Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation”, “European Institute of Technology” and the Joint Research Centre,  plus the general opening of Horizon2020 to “International Cooperation”. At this regard, in FP7 the International Cooperation was the 7th activity of the Capacity Programme, in H2020  it will be embodied within the 6th Social Challenge, “Europe in a changing world – Inclusive, innovative and reflective society”, with networking/twinning and supporting actions. Besides this specific collocation, in the new Programme there will be cross-activities under the two pillars “Industrial Leadership” and “Societal Challenges”, e.g. project with required/preferential 3rd country participation. The International Cooperation has also a return on the pillar, “Excellent Science” , in fact both Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions and ERC are opened to international researchers and the Research Infrastructures program has a global view.

It is estimated that Horizon 2020 (including the Euratom nuclear research programme) will receive € 70.2 billion for 7 years.

(Text by APRE)

The Participant Portal, the central web platform for the EC research and innovation funding, is the entry point for electronic administration of EU-funded research and innovation projects, and hosts the services for managing your proposals and projects throughout their lifecycle. It is currently improving its user-friendliness and functions for H2020, if you would like to know more about its novelties, please click here.


HORIZON 2020 Presentations and Latest News

Horizon 2020 official website

Horizon 2020 Funding Opportunities

Get support: Horizon 2020 National Contact Points

Horizon 2020 on-line manual

Watch the EU presentation on Horizon 2020

FAQ on Horizon 2020 (EU)

FAQ on Horizon 2020 (APRE)

H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreements (16th June 2014)


HORIZON 2020 Events

HORIZON 2020 Open to the World

MED-SPRING Training to Mediterranean NCPs on HORIZON 2020

MED-SPRING Project “Horizon 2020 - Coaching And Networking" Meeting

HORIZON 2020 Launch Event in the MED Region

Info Day HORIZON 2020 Societal Challenge 2 and LEIT Biotechnology


HORIZON 2020 Dossiers

How will international cooperation be in H2020?