Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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International Cooperation

International Cooperation is vital if research is to fully tap its potential. Active and more strategic international cooperation will also contribute to achieving the EU's wider policy objectives.

Research and innovation are increasingly interlinked internationally, in a landscape that has been changing rapidly. Alongside industrialised countries, emerging economies have been strengthening their research and innovation systems. The new International Cooperation strategy focuses on research and innovation, in areas of common interest and mutual benefit. The strategy is based in the following 3 objectives.

  • Extend the frontiers of scientific knowledge

The European Union is a world leader in research and innovation, responsible for 24% of world expenditure on research, 32% of high impact publications, and 32% of patent applications, while representing only 7% of the population. Excellent science is at the foundation of economic prosperity and wellbeing. Therefore, Horizon 2020 continues to fund the very best science, rewarding top researchers from Europe and beyond, funding also the establishment of world-class research infrastructures. Researcher training, mobility and career development will continue to be encouraged.

  • Tackle global challenges

Global challenges are important drivers of research and innovation. Our planet has finite resources which need to be cared for sustainably: climate change and infectious diseases do not stop at national borders, food safety needs to be ensured across the globe. For global challenges, worldwide answers are needed and collaboration with developing countries will emphasise joint solutions to specific difficulties, whether it be water management, energy security, agricultural development or particular health issues.

  • Invest in competitive industries

Make industry, and notably SMEs, more competitive by linking research firmly to innovation, leading to better products and services across the globe. Horizon 2020 will build industrial leadership by supporting business R&I and bringing together the public and private sectors from all over the world. Efforts will concentrate on key enabling technologies - such as advanced manufacturing, microelectronics, nanotechnology and biotechnology – that underpin innovation across many industries and sectors.




From 15/06/2015 - 02:00 to 17/06/2015 - 02:00
Riga, Latvia,

First Innovative Enterprise week “Access to Finance for Research, Innovation and SMEs 2015” is a 3-day international conference on:

  • the political answer to the macroeconomic situation
  • ways to boost growth, jobs and competitiveness through innovation, including the investment Plan for the EU
  • how the financial instruments, facilities and accompanying measures launched under Horizon 2020 can enhance access to finance for research, innovation and SMEs
Read more


14/10/2014 - 17:51

For policy-makers in Europe, scientific, engineering and technological innovations offer opportunities to improve life for European citizens and provide benefits for sustainable development worldwide. 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


14/11/2014 - 19:11

Understanding the brain and its various pathologies could benefit millions of people. At the same time, progress in neuroscience is increasingly dependent on advanced technologies. This kind of synergistic cross-disciplinarity is a hallmark of FET research. Read more

10/11/2014 - 17:35

This year's Nobel Prize laureate Prof. E. Moser is leading the FET GRIDMAP project which aims to better understand the processes used by the mammalian brain to generate and read spatial information. Prof. E. Moser is joining the prestigious list of 9 Nobel Prize laureates that chose the FET programme to collaborate with the best scientists in Europe on ambitious scientific endeavours. Read more

Project stories

24/11/2014 - 12:05

Its arms are soft and deformable, they can bend in any direction at any point along the arm; however, they can stiffen when needed and they can grasp and pull objects with considerable strength; the octopus does not have a large brain, yet it can control this huge range of possible movements and motion parameters. What are the secrets to the octopus's soft dexterity? This is the core question the OCTOPUS project endeavoured to answer. Read more

24/10/2014 - 16:26

Much as we try to evade it, age catches us all. But are there ways to reverse or slow down the ageing process at a cellular level? An international project examining the biological changes that occur inside our bodies looked at the role of stem cells in organs and tissues, which could lead to a radical new understanding of ageing. Read more

24/10/2014 - 16:10

The European Union (EU) has maintained a very rich scientific and technological relationship with its largest neighbouring country, Russia. In fact, since 2005, both the EU and Russia have committed to creating a “Common Space on Research, Education and Culture”. The BILAT-RUS and ERA.Net RUS projects are two key initiatives for developing this “Common Space”. Both projects have strived for durable partnerships and bilateral research programmes between the EU and Russia. Read more