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 procurement (PCP) and public procurement of innovative solutions (PPI), 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.



From 20/10/2015 - 02:00 to 22/10/2015 - 02:00
Centro de Congressos de Lisboa, Portugal,

ICT 2015, the largest ICT event organised by the European Commission, will take place in Lisbon, Portugal on 20-22 October 2015. Save the date in your calendar and do not miss the opportunity to "Innovate, Connect, Transform" with us! Read more

03/09/2015 - 02:00

Monitoring the energy display for televisions is at the centre of the ComplianTV project which will be hosting an event on 3 September 2015 in Brussels. Join and learn more about the testing results and how you can save energy at home. Read more


11/03/2015 - 18:08

The EU Prize for Women Innovators aims to give public recognition to outstanding women entrepreneurs who brought their innovative ideas to the market and to inspire other women to follow in their footsteps. After two successful editions in 2011 and 2014, the European Commission launched the third edition of the prize on 9 March 2015. Three prizes will be awarded: 1st prize: €100 000 / 2nd prize: €50 000 / 3rd prize: €30 000. The deadline to apply is 20 October 2015. Read more

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

17/11/2014 - 11:28

Just imagine being able to surf through the brain and its 86 billion neurons - well now you can! Scientists have developed the first high-definition 3D model of a complete human brain - it is called BIG BRAIN. 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

10/06/2015 - 13:59

End of 2014 the first Horizon 2020 projects were signed. Since then almost four thousand more have been added. Read more

09/06/2015 - 17:12

As announced by President Juncker on 13 May 2015, the European Commission intends to set up a new Scientific Advice Mechanism ("SAM"). The mechanism will support the Commission with high-quality, timely and independent scientific advice for its policy-making activities. Read more

Project stories

31/07/2015 - 15:12

The Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) is providing access to streams of data from around the world, but this is just one of its objectives. Enabling users to benefit from these data and derived information is another. An EU-funded project has advanced the technology, using the example of data on water, oceans and the weather (WOW). Read more

31/07/2015 - 02:00

Climate change is affecting plant life worldwide, with potentially disastrous effects for both wild and agricultural species. EU-funded researchers are studying the impact of higher temperatures and drought on seed quality in order to develop techniques for conserving wild plants, and for ensuring sustainable crop yields. Read more

28/07/2015 - 18:09

Harnessing nuclear fusion could generate unlimited, sustainable energy. An EU-funded project has helped advance atomic modelling in preparation for a future fusion reactor. Read more


27/07/2015 - 20:02

The EU-funded research projects set out in this booklet reveal what we can learn from traditional African medicines, how we can collaborate to tap into gamma ray astronomy, how we can harness the desert sun to produce clean energy and even how we can bring Africa’s culinary diversity to European markets. 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

11/03/2015 - 11:18

Latest news on FET research on funding opportunities, evaluation results, new H2020 FET projects starting, Flagship news, focus on German participation in FET projects....and more. 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

09/01/2015 - 13:15

Today the European Commission is announcing new support for innovative companies around Europe through two initiatives. One of these is a new, €200 million, "Fast Track to Innovation" initiative launched today by the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas. This instrument will promote innovation by reducing the time it takes to bring innovative ideas to market. Read more

19/12/2014 - 17:55

A new European Union loan guarantee facility for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been launched in Portugal. The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the Portuguese bank Banco BPI today signed the first "InnovFin SME Guarantee" agreement in the country. Read more