Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Key Enabling Technologies

Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) are investments and technologies that will allow European industries to retain competitiveness and capitalise on new markets. The Industrial Technologies Programme (NMP) focuses on four KETs: nanotechnologies, advanced materials, and advanced manufacturing and processing (production technologies) and biotechnology.

Europe’s industry is facing many challenges such as global competition, and the need for energy and resources to be efficient. Investing in research and innovation is essential to address these challenges and, at the same time, to help to develop and deploy solutions for societal challenges like health, energy, climate and so on.

Nanotechnologies, advanced materials, and advanced manufacturing and processing are key areas that determine Europe’s position in the global market. Investing in these areas will boost competitiveness, create jobs, and support growth.

  • Nanotechnologies can create materials and devices on a minuscule scale - 80,000 times smaller than a human hair. Nanotechnologies are touching every aspect of human life: electronics, medicines, everyday products, our cars and our homes. Research in this area will lead to new products and services developed by the industry, capable of enhancing human health while conserving resources and protecting the environment.
  • Advanced materials can introduce new functionalities and improved properties, while adding value to existing products and processes, in a sustainable approach. Research can start from the material itself (e.g. biomaterials), from the industrial sector (e.g. metallurgy) or from their applications (e.g. energy, health, transport). Research in this area responds to people’s needs and concerns for integrated solutions that combine energy, natural resources and human health.
  • Sustainable development is key for the manufacturing sector in Europe. We need to invest in new engineering leading to flexible manufacturing, clean processes, and improved production processes, to increase the competitiveness of its industry in a sustainable and energy-efficient way.
  • In partnership with industry, the EU will also invest in research and innovation for Energy-efficient buildings, Factories of the Future, and Sustainable Process Industries (SPIRE). Industry is pledging further private investment in the technologies. The aim is to increase the competitiveness and energy efficiency of the construction sector, to increase sustainability of production processes and make the process industry more resource- and energy efficient. In this way, the private and public sectors will boost Europe’s industrial leadership, while responding to Europe’s concerns to create jobs, and address problems of energy and resource efficiency.

Search for funding opportunities related to key enabling technologies in the Participant Portal.



From 29/04/2016 - 02:00 to 30/04/2016 - 02:00
Livorno (IT),

Participate in the first outdoor challenge of soft robots in terrestrial locomotion, underwater exploration and dextrous manipulation, and win a €5000 prize. The call for expression of interest closes on 31 October 2015 (extended deadline). Read more

From 18/12/2015 - 01:00 to 21/12/2015 - 01:00
Shenzhen, China,

The main objective of AMRA 2015 is to provide a comprehensive global forum for experts and participants from academia to exchange ideas and present results of material research and application.

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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


14/10/2015 - 11:59

The European Commission will invest almost €16 billion in research and innovation in the next two years under Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation funding scheme, following a new work programme for 2016-17 adopted on 13 October. The work programme is now available on the participant portal. Read more

08/10/2015 - 19:54

High Performance Computing (HPC) is a strategic tool for science, industry, and society. Learn more about HPC and its concrete applications in this blog, co-signed by Roberto Viola, Director-General (DG Communications Networks, Content and Technologies) and Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General (DG Research and Innovation). 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

Project stories

12/10/2015 - 14:24

EU-funded researchers are developing an underwater robot with exceptional dexterity that can be controlled remotely from the shore. For the oil and gas industry this could mean reducing the amount of hazardous underwater repair work that is usually carried out by divers, while also cutting operational costs. Read more

08/10/2015 - 16:38

The aerospace, medical technologies and automotive sectors have very high manufacturing costs because of the complexity of the parts involved, the low volumes produced and the price of raw materials. EU-funded researchers are building a solution that almost sounds too good to be true: a fast, energy-efficient combined subtractive and additive manufacturing machine that produces metal parts for lower cost than its traditional counterparts. Read more

06/10/2015 - 11:15

The T-REX project is sending outdated business practices the way of the dinosaurs by showing how closer cooperation between manufacturers and their clients can save resources and boost productivity. Up to 50% gains have been achieved thanks to real-time equipment performance-monitoring implemented by a Spanish project partner. Read more


28/09/2015 - 16:39

This infographic describes what High Performance Computing (HPC) is, what the HPC applications are, and what the European Commission does within its HPC strategy. 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

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

18/07/2014 - 16:51

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