Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies

Europe faces huge challenges in reducing inequality and social exclusion. 80 million people are at risk of poverty and 14 million young people are not in education, employment or training. We have not yet overcome the economic crisis which has led to unemployment rates of 12% in general and 20% among the youth.

Reducing inequalities and social exclusion in Europe (80 million people at risk of poverty, 14 million young people not in education, employment or training), overcoming the economic and financial crisis and tackling unemployment (12% in EU and above 20% of youth unemployment in 2012) are crucial challenges for the future of Europe. At the same time, there is great potential for Europe through opportunities provided, for example, by new forms of innovation and by the engagement of citizens. Supporting inclusive, innovative and reflective societies is a prerequisite for a sustainable European integration.

The emergence of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), and therefore of a multipolar world, the ageing of the EU population and the need for more innovation call for a renewed understanding of this rapidly changing world. This understanding is supported by strong multidisciplinary approaches, including social sciences and humanities and information and communication technologies. European and national policies need to continue modernisation while acknowledging the socio-economic and cultural diversity in Europe, and improved knowledge about how our modern societies work.

EU research and innovation will address social exclusion, discriminations and various forms of inequalities. It will explore new forms of innovation and strengthen the evidence base for the Innovation Union, the European Research Area and other relevant EU policies. It will promote coherent and effective cooperation with third countries. Finally, it will address the issues of memories, identities, tolerance and cultural heritage.

Key future research and innovation actions for 2014 and 2015 will focus on:

  • New ideas, strategies and governance structures for overcoming the crisis in Europe (resilient economic and monetary Union, EU growth agenda, EU social policies, the future of European integration, emerging technologies in the public sector).
  • The young generation in an innovative, inclusive and sustainable Europe (job insecurity, youth mobility, adult education, social and political engagement of young people, modernisation of public administrations).
  • Reflective societies: transmission of European cultural heritage, uses of the past, 3D modelling for accessing EU cultural assets.
  • Europe as a global actor: focusing research and innovation cooperation with third countries, new geopolitical order in the Mediterranean, EU eastern partnership and other third countries.
  • New forms of innovation in the public sector, open government, business model innovation, social innovation community, ICT for learning and inclusion.

In short, this Societal Challenge of the Horizon 2020 programme aims at fostering a greater understanding of Europe, by providing solutions and support inclusive, innovative and reflective European societies with an innovative public sector in a context of unprecedented transformations and growing global interdependencies.

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Calls

Multimedia

20/06/2014

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

13/02/2014

Open Government, engagement of young people, open participation, emerging technologies in the public sector, innovative mobile eGovernment, privacy, cloud of public services...

What is our vision of the societal challenge around Public Services? Which are the funding opportunities for these topics in the recently launched Horizon 2020 framework programme?

Mechthild Rohen, Head of the Public Services Unit in DG CONNECT speaks about this. Enjoy this short video.

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13/02/2014

In this video Paul Timmers (Director of Sustainable and Secure Society in DG Connect) speaks about the funding opportunities in ICT for societal challenges in the recently launched Horizon 2020 framework programme. This is the first video of a series of 7 each one explaining more in detail the funding opportunities for different societal challenges. Read more

News

16/04/2014

14 European countries and Canada have adopted a Strategic Research Agenda as a first milestone of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) “More Years, Better Lives - The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change”. While ageing is the principal focus of the work of the JPI, the research agenda also addresses the wider picture of demographic change: factors like fertility rates, rural depopulation, and migration are all significant issues. Furthermore, some of the problems, especially in health and social care, which arise in later life, could be prevented by interventions earlier in the lifecourse. The Agenda has a particular focus on the kinds of research that can inform policy. JPIs enable member countries to coordinate their research on specific societal challenges more closely. The JPI "More Years, Better Lives" is now preparing the implementation of the Strategic Research Agenda. The success of the initiative requires active participation of national governments and funding agencies with joint activities such as joint calls as well as alignment of their respective research policies and programmes. Read more

01/04/2014

The International Organisation of Standards has recently released the latest standards for care robotics. The standards define the requirements for safe design of personal care robots with an emphasis on mobile servant robots, physical assistant robots and person carrier robots that aim to improve quality of life of the user, irrespective of age or capabilities. The standards outline hazards with the use of these types of bots, with the requirements and guidelines attempting to reduce risk and hazards at least to an acceptable level. Read more

27/02/2014

EU initiative OurSpace is an open source, easy-to-use tool designed to support anyone who needs to consult with large groups of young people, regardless of nationality or language boundaries. Read more

Project stories

21/08/2014

Isaac Asimov famously devised three laws of robotics that underpinned a number of his science fiction books and short stories. Professor Tom Sorell of the University of Warwick has helped develop a new set of rules that they believe will be needed for 21st century care robots. Read more

21/08/2014

Looking in the mirror in the morning can help us assess when we are under the weather. Now researchers are using modern technology to capture information about physical appearance to assess the state of health of elderly people. Read more

14/07/2014

Thanks to the PARTERRE project citizens can now influence urban & environmental planning of their community more easily. During several years PARTERRE has demonstrated and validated its business potential. New e-participation methods and tools for spatial and strategic planning at the European level are now more reachable. Read more

Publications

20/01/2014

Interested in Open Government, eParticipation, mobile eGovernment, cloud of public services, use of emerging technologies in public sector, etc...?

Find your way and your funding opportunities in the new programme Horizon 2020. Read the flyer!

(last update 24/3/2014) Read more

Press Release

02/07/2014

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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