The Horizon 2020 Programme

Horizon 2020 promises to drive breakthroughs, discoveries and innovation by taking great ideas from lab to market. It also offers various simplifications over previous Framework Programnes through a unified set of rules for participation.

By connecting research directly to innovation, Horizon 2020 aims to secure Europe's global competitiveness. It will achieve this through an emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The overall goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to collaborate in delivering marketable innovation. 

Key Features

Horizon 2020:

  • Is open to any organisation, anywhere in the world
  • Couples research to innovation – from research to retail, all forms of innovation
  • Offers at least € 8.6 billion that will find its way directly to small and medium sized companies
  • Focuses on tackling key societal challenges facing the EU, e.g. health, clean energy, and transport
  • Offers simplified access for companies, universities and research organisations

Programme Structure

Horizon 2020's calls for proposals are organised into multiannual "Work Programmes", in the following categories:

  • Excellent Science
    • European Research Council (ERC)
    • Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)
    • Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Actions
    • Research Infrastructures
  • Industrial Leadership
    • Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEIT)
      • Information and Communication Technologies
      • Nanotechnologies
      • Advanced materials
      • Biotechnology
      • Advanced manufacturing and processing
      • Space
    • Access to risk finance
    • Innovation in SMEs
  • Societal Challenges
    • Health, demographic change and wellbeing
    • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy
    • 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
    • Spreading excellence and widening participation
  • Science with and for Society
  • Euratom Research and Training Programme 2014-2018