Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Energy research and innovation plays an important role in order to satisfy constantly increasing energy needs while fighting climate change.

Cooking a meal, heating a house, lighting a street, keeping a hospital open, running a factory, driving a car – energy is at the heart of everybody's life. It is also a crucial factor for economic competitiveness and employment.
The current fossil-fuel based energy system is unsustainable, not only due to scarce resources, but also because of a negative impact on climate change. Therefore, the European Council has unanimously decided that the EU requires to largely decarbonise its energy system by 2050.

Energy research and innovation has an essential role to play in addressing the challenge of satisfying security of energy supply, competitiveness of the EU industry and ensuring affordable prices for the citizens, whilst at the same time combating climate change. While doing this, we are looking for synergies with other sectors, e.g. telecoms and ICT industry.

To provide European citizens with the widest energy source choice, while respecting the right of Member States to decide on their own energy mix, several energy and ICT technologies need to be available. In parallel, we need to stay in line with:

  • the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020;
  • the objective of a further reduction up to 80-95% by 2050.

Therefore, the energy research is a very complex area including various technologies and covering the following fields:

Search for funding opportunities related to energy in the Participant Portal.



06/11/2015 - 01:00
Brussels, Belgium,

The event targets potential applicants to the calls for project proposals under the 'Smart Cities & Communities topic' of the Horizon 2020 Work programme 2016-2017 ‘Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy’. Presentations will cover the Smart Cities & Communities part of the Work Programme for 2016-2017 and the application procedure, as well as detailed information on the calls. Participants will have numerous networking opportunities throughout the day. Read more

15/10/2015 - 02:00

The briefing will reflect on how to reduce energy needs for the next generation of smart buildings from Swiss and EU perspectives.

The Swiss Innovation Briefing, jointly organised by the Mission of Switzerland to the EU and SwissCore, will host the following speakers: Gian-Luca Bona, Alexander Wokaun, Walter Steinmann and Mark Van Stiphout, who, after their presentations, will take part in a panel discussion moderated by Christian Schaffner.

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26/11/2014 - 12:13

Many scientists point out that the goal of social sciences is not simply to understand how people behave in large groups, but to understand what motivates individuals to behave the way they do. Could this fundamental insight be transformed in a step forward towards the solution of important societal challenges like traffic congestion or the sustainability a fully electrified transportation system? Among others, those are the questions that DATASIM project tried to address. Read more

27/05/2014 - 17:51

This short video animation will guide you through the first steps you will need to take to apply to Horizon 2020. Read more

27/05/2014 - 17:32

Find out more about Horizon 2020 in this three minute animation clip which will give you a general overview of the programme specifics. Read more


25/09/2015 - 13:58

On 25 September, the Commission launched an online survey to gather opinions from stakeholders on the impact of the simplification measures introduced in Horizon 2020, and to ask for new ideas on future simplification. Read more

06/07/2015 - 17:58

By 1 December 2014 the first 100 calls had closed. What can we tell about the popularity of the programme, the success of SMEs, the degree to which the programme has attracted newcomers - both as participants and as expert evaluators - the proportion of women experts and the speed with which contracts have been signed? See this new page to find out more! Read more

12/06/2015 - 16:30

The first ten projects of the new Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), a partnership between the EU and industry, will get underway with a total of €50 million from Horizon 2020, the EU's research funding programme, and a further €28 million from the industry. This is thanks to the signature of the grant agreements finalised today (15 June 2015). Read more

Project stories

23/09/2015 - 13:05

The TOPTEN ACT project will help consumers make environmentally conscious purchases by selecting and presenting Europe’s most energy efficient products across a number of categories. Goods will be analysed from the 16 national Topten websites, which showcase the best performing models in each country. Read more

22/09/2015 - 16:06

To confront the current challenge of managing a city of 20 million, the Egyptian government has revealed plans earlier this year (2015) to build a new capital city, 45 kilometres east of Cairo. The ambitious project tackles growth over the next 50 years and has been set to adapt to future challenges, including population density and land constraints. Like Cairo, many other metropolises are currently under pressure. Read more

18/09/2015 - 18:23

Europe is the world’s third-largest producer of bioethanol – an important renewable fuel and energy source. Most stems from crops. Aiming to enlarge the feedstock basis for ethanol production, an EU-funded project has taken advanced bioethanol production from plant waste a large step closer to cost-efficient implementation. Read more


25/09/2015 - 17:40

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s biggest ever programme for research and innovation, and it has got off to an excellent start. This brochure presents information on the first 100 calls for proposals that closed by 1 December 2014. Read more

24/09/2015 - 20:03

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever. Almost €80 billion of funding is available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private and national public investment that this money will attract. This publication presents the full set of Key Performance and Cross-Cutting Issues Indicators for Horizon 2020, including those for the European Institute of Technology and EURATOM. Read more

01/04/2015 - 13:30

For three decades, the EU Framework Programmes have been funding breakthroughs across Europe. RTD’s Horizon Magazine looks at the people and events that have helped shape European research policy, taking you behind the scenes during the pivotal moments from the last 30 years of research funding. These articles have been brought together into a special Horizon supplement to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Framework Programmes. Read more

Press Release

05/02/2015 - 16:40

With the support of the European Research Council (ERC) "Proof of Concept" grants, 59 researchers in Europe will now get the chance to turn their inventions into viable products. Read more

05/12/2014 - 18:33

Today (5 December 2014) the European Union and Switzerland signed a comprehensive international agreement associating Switzerland to parts of Horizon 2020, Research and Training Programme of Euratom and the ITER project. This will see Switzerland participate in project consortia in eligible programmes on an equal footing with EU Member States, while financially contributing to these programmes with an estimated €400 million until the end of 2016. Read more

25/04/2014 - 19:00

An EU-funded research project called SOLAR-JET has produced the world's first "solar" jet fuel from water and carbon dioxide (CO2), a promising technology for a better energy security and turning possibly a greenhouse gas into a useful resource.

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