Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Science with and for Society will address the societal engagement in research and innovation from many perspectives, such as encouraging dialogue between scientists and other members of the public, by promoting an adherence to ethical standards, and by developing better ways for the results of research to be accessed by all.

The strength of the European science and technology system depends on its capacity to harness talent and ideas from wherever they exist. This can only be achieved if a fruitful and rich dialogue and active cooperation between science and society are developed to ensure a more responsible science and to enable the development of policies more relevant to citizens.

Rapid advances in contemporary scientific research and innovation have led to the rise of important ethical, legal and social issues that affect the relationship between science and society. Public investment in science requires a vast social and political constituency sharing the values of science, educated and engaged in its processes and able to recognise its contributions to knowledge, society and economic progress.

Through this programme, we also support new ways to interest young people in science and in research careers, and new ways to achieve greater gender equality in science.


The focus of our activities is to:

  • make scientific and technological careers attractive to young students, and foster sustainable interaction between schools, research institutions, industry and civil society organisations;
     
  • promote gender equality in particular by supporting structural changes in the organisation of research institutions and in the content and design of research activities;
     
  • integrate society in science and innovation issues, policies and activities in order to integrate citizens' interests and values and to increase the quality, relevance, social acceptability and sustainability of research and innovation outcomes in various fields of activity from social innovation to areas such as biotechnology and nanotechnology;
     
  • encourage citizens to engage in science through formal and informal science education, and promote the diffusion of science-based activities, namely in science centres and through other appropriate channels;
     
  • develop the accessibility and the use of the results of publicly-funded research;
     
  • develop the governance for the advancement of responsible research and innovation by all stakeholders (researchers, public authorities, industry and civil society organisations), which is sensitive to society needs and demands, and promote an ethics framework for research and innovation;
     
  • take due and proportional precautions in research and innovation activities by anticipating and assessing potential environmental, health and safety impacts;
     
  • improve knowledge on science communication in order to improve the quality and effectiveness of interactions between scientists, general media and the public.

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

Newsroom

Multimedia

27/01/2015 - 15:08

Responsible Research and Innovation is the European Union's inclusive approach to ensure that societal actors work together during the whole research and innovation process. Its aim is to help align Research & Innovation with the values, needs and expectations of European society. 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

20/06/2014 - 12:13

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

News

20/05/2016 - 13:58

The conference was organised by DG RTD and held in Brussels on the 4-5 February 2016. The report summarises the main discussions and conclusions of the conference, identifies immediate and long-term research needs and provides recommendations for policy making. Read more

25/11/2015 - 15:10

The work programme for 2016-2017 will continue to support eGovernment/ICT-enabled, public sector, innovation-related activities through the following topics, under "Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies" (Societal Challenge 6). Read more

16/10/2015 - 12:09

Cast your vote and help decide which challenge should be the theme of the prize! Read more

Featured Projects

04/11/2015 - 13:10

An EU-funded consortium is bridging the gap between science and the general public, fostering real and virtual environments in which researchers and citizens collaborate on cutting-edge initiatives for the benefit of both science and society. Read more

28/09/2015 - 12:13

The widening gap between rich and poor is leading to segregation in more and more European cities. The rich and the poor are living at increasing distance from each other, and this can be disastrous for the social stability and competitive power of cities. These are the conclusions of joint research of Prof. Maarten van Ham, ERC grantee at Delft University of Technology, and Prof. Tiit Tammaru, Dr. Szymon Marcińczak and Prof. Sako Musterd. Read more

23/09/2015 - 11:35

Sub-Saharan Africa is modernising fast, changing the dynamic between town and countryside. What is the best way to manage the impacts on rural and urban communities? An EU-funded project is collecting data that helps policymakers make wise choices for inclusive development. Read more

Publications

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

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

02/07/2014 - 14:14

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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