Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Excellent Science

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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