Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Innovation actions

Innovation actions

Innovation (Unit F.2)

H2020 to become a centre of innovation excellence attracting young companies and dynamic SMEs, especially those with global ambitions and market-oriented researchers.


To support innovation activities: Open Disruptive Innovation; Innovation Procurement; prizes; pilot actions; integration and demonstration activities; Increased collaboration between universities, researchers and entrepreneurs.To identify high-potential SMEs, start-ups, innovators, market-oriented researchers and spin-offs and to tailor support for them as part of the Innovation Radar. 


EC annually invests over €1bn in ICT R&D projects but this is weighted towards basic rather than applied research, in comparison to its main competitors. There is also a weakness in failing to transfer promising innovative ideas to the market. The Digital Agenda for Europe concluded: "We need to deliver an innovation ecosystem where European based ICT companies of all sizes can develop world-class products"H2020 will allow greater support for close-to-market actions and enable innovators to fulfil their ambitions. High potential innovators need to be systematically identified throughout the lifecycle of an H2020 project; SMEs and start-ups will be helped to joining consortia with universities and large companies; Prizes and Innovation procurement (of pre-commercial and innovative solutions, PCP-PPI) will be used and encouraged to foster the new community needed.

Horizon 2020 legal base, Innovation Union Communication.


Full-Time Equivalent: 
7.50 full-time equivalent (FTE)
Collaboration with other DGs or agencies:

Administrative and operational budget will cover:

  • Open Disruptive Innovation and Fast track to Innovation.
  • Entrepreneurship support actions and projects
  • Innovation procurement:  Platform for procurers, open calls,
  • Actions in support of Innovation Radar
  • (inducement) Prizes

Start-up Europe Hub



Europe Hub: launch of the new website (2014); number of new members by end 2014

Entrepreneurship support in FP7 and Horizon 2020



Entrepreneurship support projects: evaluations (Q2 2014) and contract signature (Q4 2014), (FP7) project reviews (Q4 2014)

Project implementation support for Open Disruptive Innovation (ODI) and Fast Track to Innovation (FTI): work programme definition; information days, Memorandum of Understanding; evaluation and monitoring.



ODI+FTI: contribution to WP definition: update WP2015 (Q2 2014), WP2016-2017 (2015)


A more innovative research programme with a greated share of companies introducing innovations to the market.



Profiling of top 100 ICT SMEs participating in H2020: evolution in term of employment, turnover, new products introduction, country of origin

Share of FP7 beneficiary ICT companies introducing innovations new to the market or to the company

Target 20% (2016)
Baseline 2014 value for these indicators (2012 or 2013 data).

% of SMEs participating in ICT part of H2020

Target at least 20% of participations should be from SMEs (2016)
Baseline 17% of participations (a participation is defined as the involvement of an organisation in a project, i.e. projects have multiple partners and an organisation can be partner of multiple projects) and 14% of EU funding. (period 2007-2013 (data up to 31 December))

More start-ups created from FP7 and H2020 ICT projects.



Number of start-ups created from FP7 and H2020 supported ICT projects

Target at least 20 start-ups created from FP7 and H2020 supported ICT projects (2016)
Baseline 2014 value for these indicators (2012 or 2013 data)

An increased budget dedicated to ICT innovation.



% of H2020 ICT budget dedicated to innovation activities (lead indicator)

Target H2020 2nd WP 2016-2017: target is 50% (2015)
Baseline FP7 and CIP ICT PCP. Estimation is between 25-30%
Current H2020 first WP 2014-2015: estimated is 45% in LEIT and SC (2013)

internal DG Connect Statistics

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

  • H2020 - By 2020, one third of all Europe's ICT business investment in ICT R&D in the EU should come from companies created within the last two decades