The some € 80 billion Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation is Europe’s potentially main drive for economic growth and creating new jobs, in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
It is Europe’s financial instrument for implementing the Innovation Union, aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness through investment in innovative initiatives in all sectors, from research to industry and social issues.
Horizon 2020 finances initiatives in three main areas:
- Excellent Science – aimed at enhancing Europe’s excellence in scientific research and consolidating the European Research Area (ERA) to raise innovation and competitiveness on global scale.
- Industrial Leadership – aimed at developing technologies & innovations to maximise growth and competitiveness of European companies and SMEs.
- Societal Challenges – challenge-based approach for innovative and market-oriented activities aimed at tackling Europe’s main political and social priorities.
Horizon 2020 is organised in some 20 thematic Work Programmes and an introductory Work Programme. For the Work Programmes list, click here >
Horizon 2020 Structure
Each of the identified areas covers different activities as follows:
Selection & Award Criteria
Projects and partners are assessed so as to determine whether their operational capacity is sufficient in terms of competence & experience. Co-ordinators need also show ample financial capacity. Also, assessment is made of the scientific & technological excellence of the proposal, the expected impact it proposes and the quality and efficiency of the implementation of the project.
Time to Grant of Successful Proposals
From submission to notification of outcome: maximum of 5 months;
From notification to Grant Agreement signing: maximum of 3 months.
Conditions & funding rates per Action Type
Research and Innovation Actions: at least 3 independent entities from different MSs or ACs. Funding rate (establishing new knowledge and exploring feasibility of new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution) – 100%.
Innovation Actions: at least 3 legal entities (as above). Funding rate (producing plans and designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services, including prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, large-scale product validation & market-replication) –70% (100% for non-profit entities).
Coordination and Support Actions: at least one MS or AC legal entity. Funding rate (measures like standardisation, dissemination, awareness-raising, networking, communication, coordination or support) – 100%.
SME Instrument: at least one MS or AC for-profit SME. Funding rate – for feasibility assessment (phase 1 – exploring technical feasibility & commercial potential of a breakthrough innovation): € 50,000 lump sum; Innovation (phase 2 – project projects supported by a sound and strategic business plan): 70% (exceptionally, where there is strong research component, 100%).