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.




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


19/05/2016 - 02:00

Researchers and innovators from Armenia will now have full access to Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation funding programme, under the same conditions as their counterparts from EU Member States and other associated countries. Read more

29/04/2016 - 17:48

Researchers and innovators from Georgia will now be able to participate in Horizon 2020, the EU's framework programme for research and innovation, under the same conditions as their counterparts from EU Member States and other associated countries. Read more

02/02/2016 - 12:40

The European Commission has opened a public consultation on a new research and innovation initiative for sustainable food production and improved water management in the Mediterranean area. PRIMA, the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area, will involve both EU and non-EU Mediterranean states. It will reinforce international cooperation in research and innovation to address the food and water-related challenges that are critical to the region's sustainable development. Read more

Featured Projects

01/10/2015 - 20:22

About 300 million people in 75 tropical and sub-tropical countries are infected with Schistosoma flatworms, which cause a debilitating disease. An EU-funded project looked into a new way of fighting the parasites: tackling specific enzymes in the worms to modify gene expression and stop their development in its tracks. Read more

01/10/2015 - 19:01

Some of the most innovative sustainable transport initiatives are being driven by the world’s emerging economies. An EU-funded project is making sure that European industry can learn and prosper from these developments. Read more

01/10/2015 - 18:05

Could it be easier and greener to travel around your city? A solution might already exist. People around the world are coming up with clever ideas for low-carbon, high-quality transport. An EU-funded project helps cities learn from the best. Read more


12/04/2016 - 12:57

For Horizon 2020, the Commission has a legal obligation to monitor continually and systematically its implementation, to report annually and to disseminate the results of this monitoring. The first Annual Monitoring Report under Horizon 2020 is a comprehensive publication encompassing the analysis of Horizon 2020 through its calls closed in 2014 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

Press Release

13/10/2015 - 18:51

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said: "Research and innovation are the engines of Europe's progress and vital to addressing today's new pressing challenges like immigration, climate change, clean energy and healthy societies. Over the next two years, €16 billion from Horizon 2020 will support Europe's top scientific efforts, making the difference to citizens' lives." Read more

08/04/2015 - 18:50

Researchers, businesses and innovators from Ukraine will now be able to fully participate in Horizon 2020, the European Union's research and innovation funding programme, on equal terms with EU Member States and other associated countries. Read more

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