Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Measures to help revitalise our industrial production base have been identified in order to support innovation. This will aso contribute to deliver growth and jobs and kick start the economy

The main measures identified are:

  • Substantial support will be provided for innovation activities directly aiming at producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services. For this purpose they may include prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, large-scale product validation and market replication.
  • Significant support to demand side approaches will be another important feature, notably pre-commercial and first-commercial public procurement of innovation, as well as regulation to foster innovation and standard-setting to facilitate market entry or diffusion of innovations.
  • It is foreseen that from 2015 a small number of Inducement prizes will be developed.  These are used to spur innovation by setting a concrete, ambitious target without specifying the path to reach it.
  • There will also be the piloting of new forms and sources of innovation with a focus on public sector, social innovation, as well as private sector services and products.

Boosting industry engagement through partnerships

There will be early implementation of innovation driven Public-Private Partnerships, which will leverage private investment for the development of key technologies and areas, aligned to the objectives of Horizon 2020, with a particular emphasis on systems integration, validation, piloting and demonstration activities.

In addition, priorities reflecting the strategies of the demand-driven European Innovation Partnerships, industry-driven European Technology Platforms and other stakeholder groups are important and will be progressed. These provide foci for greater resource efficiency and critical mass, synchronisation of developments and availability of tools. Importantly, the input provided by these groupings will help identify the content of the calls for proposals.

A reinforced effort for SMEs

SMEs will be the centre consideration in the development of the Work Programme with 20% of resources to be allocated across the "Societal challenges" and "Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies", either within projects or through targeted measures. In particular, the dedicated SME instrument, following a predominately bottom-up logic,  will be introduced in order to address the needs of innovating SMEs.

The Commission has launched the next stage of the Eurostars Joint Programme, through a legislative proposal under Article 185, in partnership with Member States. This will target research and development intensive SMEs on a bottom-up basis.

A robust system for on-the-ground support to businesses and SMEs in particular will be set up, entailing a close-cooperation between the National Contact Points and Enterprise Europe Network.

Providing access to finance

Horizon 2020 will help companies and other types of organisation engaged in R&I to gain easier access, via financial instruments, to loans, guarantees, counter-guarantees and hybrid, mezzanine and equity finance.

As in the previous programmes, debt and equity facilities will be run in a demand-driven manner, though the priorities of particular sectors or of other EU programmes will be targeted if top-up funding is made available. The focus remains on attracting private investments into R&I.

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



Demographic ageing in Europe and beyond creates challenges for our health and care systems and our national budgets. But it also creates enormous opportunities. The Silver Economy is the new gold, Silicon Valley gurus tell us. Large new public and consumer markets of ICT products and services for ageing well are developing. Our ageing populations are drivers of economic growth. In this light, the European Commission is organising the event 'Growing the Silver Economy in Europe' to discuss how to best grow a large scale Silver Economy in Europe. Read more


This European conference will offer participants the opportunity to engage with leading experts on innovation and standardization issues, to discuss, challenge and learn how standardization can enhance the impact of innovation in Europe.

The conference will address: - How do standards support innovation and competitiveness? - How can standardization facilitate the dissemination of knowledge? - How can standards bridge the gap between innovation and the market? - How can standardization contribute to the success of Horizon2020?

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In 30 years’ time, there will be 150 million older people living in the EU. Where will you live? What kind of shape will you be in? Will you still be healthy and independent? Society is ageing. But making sure our golden years are happier and healthier is not just down to the individual, it’s also down to the whole society, public and private sectors together. Improving the quality of life of older people is a priority for the European Commission. Read more


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


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



Research partnerships between the EU, the private sector and Member States presented their first calls for projects and partners under Horizon 2020, the EU's €80 billion research and innovation programme, at an event in Brussels on 9 July 2014. Read more


VigiFall received Gold Medal at the Paris international Concours Lépine, which rewards the most promising inventions of the 2014 edition. Read more


EU initiative OurSpace is an open source, easy-to-use tool designed to support anyone who needs to consult with large groups of young people, regardless of nationality or language boundaries. Read more

Project stories


Could electric cars cause cancer? Like all electric devices, and indeed like all motor vehicles, they do produce electromagnetic fields. However, these fields are far too weak to give cause for concern, say EU-funded scientists at the end of a comprehensive research project. Read more


Preparations are underway for a second phase of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership programme (EDCTP2, 2014-2024), which is expected to start in the course of 2014 as part of the EU's Horizon 2020 research funding programme. Read more


Neural stem cells – master cells that can develop into any type of nerve cell – are able to generate mini “first aid kits” and transfer them to immune cells. This is the result of a study published today in Molecular Cell, and led by ERC grantee Prof. Stefano Pluchino, based at the University of Cambridge (UK). Read more



Interested in Open Government, eParticipation, mobile eGovernment, cloud of public services, use of emerging technologies in public sector, etc...?

Find your way and your funding opportunities in the new programme Horizon 2020. Read the flyer!

(last update 24/3/2014) Read more

Press Release


The European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group (EIB) launched a new generation of EU financial instruments and advisory services to help innovative firms access finance more easily. Read more


Data collection and exploitation is a growing phenomenon; in response to industry and grassroots demands the European Commission is calling on national governments to wake-up to this big data revolution. One of the main concrete proposed actions to solve these problems is the creation of an open data incubator (within the Horizon 2020 framework), to help SMEs set up supply chains based on data and use cloud computing more. Read more

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