Horizon 2020
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The structure of the program "Horizon 2020"

Framework for scientific and technological and innovation development of the European Union "Horizon 2020" (the beginning of the implementation of January 1, 2014) combines 3 of the Framework Programme of the European Union:

  • Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7);
  • Framework Programme for Competitiveness and Innovation;
  • European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

"Horizon 2020" consists of 3 main priorities and 4 cross-thematic directions.

Excellent Science

Activities under this Pillar aim to reinforce and extend the excellence of the Unions science base and to consolidate the European Research Area in order to make the Unions research and innovation system more competitive on a global scale.

  • attractive and flexible funding to enable talented and creative individual researchers and their teams to pursue the most promising avenues at the frontier of science, on the basis of Union-wide competition (European Research Council (ERC).
  • collaborative research in order to extend Europes capacity for advanced and paradigm-changing innovation. They will foster scientific collaboration across disciplines on radically new, high-risk ideas and accelerate development of the most promising emerging areas of science and technology as well as the Union-wide structuring of the corresponding scientific communities (Future and emerging technologies).
  • excellent and innovative research training as well as attractive career and knowledge-exchange opportunities through cross-border and cross-sector mobility of researchers to best prepare them to face current and future societal challenges (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions).
  • European research infrastructure for 2020 and beyond, foster their innovation potential and human capital, and complement this with the related Union policy and international cooperation (Research infrastructure).

Industrial Leadership

This pillar aims to speed up development of the technologies and innovations that will underpin tomorrow's businesses and help innovative European SMEs to grow into world-leading companies.

The goal is to make Europe a more attractive location to invest in research and innovation (including eco-innovation), by promoting activities where businesses set the agenda. It will provide major investment in key industrial technologies, maximise the growth potential of European companies by providing them with adequate levels of finance and help innovative SMEs to grow into world-leading companies.

  • "Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies" will provide dedicated support for research, development and demonstration and, where appropriate, for standardisation and certification, on information and communications technology (ICT), nanotechnology, advanced materials, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and processing and space. Emphasis will be placed on interactions and convergence across and between the different technologies and their relations to societal challenges. User needs will be taken into account in all these fields.
  • "Access to risk finance" will aim to overcome deficits in the availability of debt and equity finance for R&D and innovation-driven companies and projects at all stages of development. Together with the equity instrument of the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME) (2014 2020) it will support the development of Union-level venture capital.
  • "Innovation in SMEs" will provide SME-tailored support to stimulate all forms of innovation in SMEs, targeting those with the potential to grow and internationalise across the single market and beyond.

Social Challenges

A challenge-based approach will bring together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities. This will cover activities from research to market with a new focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, and support for public procurement and market uptake. It will include establishing links with the activities of the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP).

  • Funding will focus on the following 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.

Cross-cutting issues:

  • Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation. Maximising investment in research and innovation will enable the European Research Area to function in a more streamlined and homogeneous way, allowing the individual strengths of each Member State to be optimised.
  • Science with and for Society. The specific objective is to build effective cooperation between science and society, to recruit new talent for science and to pair scientific excellence with social awareness and responsibility.
  • The cross-cutting call 'Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy' will boost economic growth and renew Europe's industrial capacities in a world of finite resources. It will demonstrate the economic and environmental feasibility of the circular economy approach, and at the same time give a strong impetus to the re-industrialisation of the EU.
  • The Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) pilot is a fully-bottom-up measure in Horizon 2020 to promote close-to-the-market innovation activities, and open to all types of participants.The Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) pilot provides funding for bottom-up proposals for close-to-market innovation activities in any area of technology or application. This thematic openness combined with the possibility for all kinds of innovation actors to work together and deliver innovation onto the market and/or into society should nurture trans-disciplinary and cross-sectoral cooperation.
  • The EIT contributes to the competiveness of Europe, its sustainable economic growth and job creation by promoting and strengthening synergies and cooperation among businesses, education institutions and research organisations.
  • Euratom is a complementary research programme for nuclear research and training.


The structure of the Program "Horizon 2020"

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