Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Excellent Science

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Activities under this Pillar aim to reinforce and extend the excellence of the Union’s science base and to consolidate the European Research Area in order to make the Union’s research and innovation system more competitive on a global scale.

 The Excellent Science pillar has main four specific objectives:

  1. The European Research Council (ERC) will provide attractive and flexible funding to enable talented and creative individual researchers and their teams to pursue the most promising avenues at the frontier of science, on the basis of Union-wide competition.
     
  2. Future and emerging technologies will support collaborative research in order to extend Europe’s capacity for advanced and paradigm-changing innovation. They will foster scientific collaboration across disciplines on radically new, high-risk ideas and accelerate development of the most promising emerging areas of science and technology as well as the Union-wide structuring of the corresponding scientific communities.
     
  3. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions will provide excellent and innovative research training as well as attractive career and knowledge-exchange opportunities through cross-border and cross-sector mobility of researchers to best prepare them to face current and future societal challenges.
     
  4. Research infrastructure (including e-infrastructures) will develop European research infrastructure for 2020 and beyond, foster their innovation potential and human capital, and complement this with the related Union policy and international cooperation.
     

Together, these objectives form a powerful and balanced set of activities which, in concert with activities at national and regional levels, span the breadth of Europe’s needs regarding advanced science and technology. Bringing them together in a single programme will enable them to operate with greater coherence, in a rationalised, simplified and more focused way, while maintaining the continuity which is vital to sustain their effectiveness.

The activities are inherently forward-looking, building skills in the long term, focusing on the next generation of science, technology, researchers and innovations and providing support for emerging talent from across the whole of the Union and associated countries, as well as worldwide. In view of their science-driven nature and largely ‘bottom-up’, investigator-driven funding arrangements, the European scientific community will play a strong role in determining the avenues of research followed under the programme.

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Multimedia

09/06/2015 - 19:09

All signed Horizon 2020 projects have now been published. Read more

09/06/2015 - 17:54

All signed Horizon 2020 projects have been published. Read more

11/03/2015 - 17:56

This video explains the concept of the European Research Area, a unified area open to the world, in which scientific knowledge, technology and researchers circulate freely. It explains how European policies are geared towards removing barriers and putting the conditions in place so that scientists can move more easily, have better access to funding and concentrate on their research. Read more

News

17/11/2015 - 13:59

Did you know the Horizon 2020 Future and Emerging Technologies programme "FET-Open" receives an extremely high number of submissions each year and the chances of new brilliant ideas to be funded by the EU programme have dramatically dropped? It leaves a lot of great interdisciplinary thinking unrewarded and a lot of people disappointed - this problem needs to be addressed if "FET-Open" is to remain credible as an early detector of future technologies. Read more

09/11/2015 - 17:20

Interested in research and innovation? Join our new Digital4Science platform, explore its possibilities and contribute to discussions. Read more

27/10/2015 - 10:05

At the latest FLAG-ERA Project Workshop that took place from 28 to 30 September 2015 in Madrid, the General Assembly of FLAG-ERA voted in favour of accepting the Academy of Finland (AKA) as a new member. . Read more

Project stories

13/10/2015 - 17:40

Would you rather squeeze a ball to exercise your weaker hand or play video games? An EU-funded project tested the concept on a group of patients in Israel recovering after a stroke. The idea was unanimously popular and also saw patients working harder – without realising it – than during traditional rehabilitation exercises. Read more

08/10/2015 - 17:34

An EU-funded researcher has developed a way to study directly how the body processes and stores fat. New information from his method is helping scientists better understand how to prevent serious health conditions. Read more

06/10/2015 - 19:08

When we look at galaxies far, far away, we don’t see them as they are today. We see them as they were a long time ago, because their light takes a while to reach us. These images could easily fade on their epic journey, but “natural telescopes” in their path enable astronomers to study some of these postcards from the distant past. Read more

Publications

10/11/2015 - 17:17

What is the origin of the Universe? How do galaxies form and evolve? Is there a possibility of extra-terrestrial life? This brochure presents a few projects addressing some of the most important challenges in the field of Universe Sciences which were funded by the European Research Council (ERC). Read more

13/10/2015 - 18:53

This monitoring and evaluation report assesses in a thorough and detailed manner how the different SSH disciplines have been integrated into the projects funded in 2014 under the Societal Challenges and the Industrial Leadership priorities. 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

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

29/07/2015 - 13:55

The European Commission adopted yesterday the ERC Work Programme 2016. The programme foresees €1.67 billion for grants to top researchers. Within the new series of competitions, the ERC has opened today the first one, the call for Starting Grants 2016, with a budget of €485 million and deadline of 17 November 2015. This scheme is open to researchers with 2 to 7 years of experience since completion of PhD and a promising scientific track record. 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