Research & Innovation - Participant Portal H2020 Online Manual

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Dissemination & Exploitation - Open Access - Communicating Your Project

Implementing your project also involves dissemination and communication activities. You have to provide visibility of the EU funding and ensure exploitation of results.

Dissemination & exploitation of results

Dissemination of results: Unless it goes against their legitimate interests, each beneficiary must - as soon as possible - disseminate its results by disclosing them to the public by appropriate means (other than those resulting from protecting or exploiting the results), including in scientific publications (in any medium).
To learn more about dissemination of results, please read Article 29 of the H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreement.

    Exploitation of results: Each beneficiary must - up to four years after the period set out in Article 3 - take measures aiming to ensure exploitation of its results (either directly or indirectly, in particular through transfer or licensing; see Article 30) by:
  • using them in further research activities (outside the action);
  • developing, creating or marketing a product or process;
  • creating and providing a service, or
  • using them in standardisation activities.
  • To learn more about exploitation of results, please read Article 28 of the H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreement.

Open access to publications and research data

    What is Open access (OA)?
    OA = providing online access at no charge to the user
  • to peer-reviewed scientific publications
  • to research data
    What OA is NOT
  • Not an obligation to publish
  • Not at odds with patenting
  • OA publications undergo the same peer review process

Open access to publications - two main OA publishing business models

  • Self-archiving: deposit of manuscripts & immediate/delayed OA provided by author ("Green OA"), often after embargo period set by the (non-OA) publisher
  • OA publishing: costs covered & immediate OA provided by publisher ("Gold OA")
  • For Horizon 2020, providing open access to publications in funded projects is an obligation for all grants.

Open access to research data - pilot action in Horizon 2020

For the details on open access applicable to beneficiaries in projects funded under Horizon 2020, please see the Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data.

Horizon 2020 will have a limited pilot action on open access to research data. Participating projects will be required to develop a Data Management Plan (DMP), in which they will specify what data will be open. The scope of Pilot is also indicated in the introduction to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme and in the above Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data.

Communicating your project

Promoting your project: The beneficiaries must promote the action and its results, by providing targeted information to multiple audiences (including the media and the public), in a strategic and effective manner and possibly engaging in a two-way exchange. (Article 38 of the model grant agreement)

What does communication involve?

The communication activities must already be part of the proposal (either as a specific work package for communication or by including them in another work package).
They are taken into consideration as part of the evaluation of the criterion 'impact'.

A comprehensive communication plan should define clear objectives (adapted to various relevant target audiences) and set out a description and timing for each activity.

    With your communication activities you call attention of multiple audiences about your research (in a way that they can be understood by non-specialists) and address the public policy perspective of EU research and innovation funding, by considering aspects such as:
  • transnational cooperation in a European consortium (i.e. how working together has allowed to achieve more than otherwise possible)
  • scientific excellence
  • contributing to competitiveness and to solving societal challenges (eg. impact on everyday lives, better use of results and spill-over to policy-makers, industry and the scientific community).

Good communication

  • starts at the outset of the action and continues throughout its entire lifetime
  • is strategically planned and not just be ad-hoc efforts
  • identifies and sets clear communication objectives (e.g. have final and intermediate communication aims been specified? What impact is intended? What reaction or change is expected from the target audience?)
  • is targeted and adapted to audiences that go beyond the project's own community including the media and the public
  • chooses pertinent messages (e.g. How does the action's work relate to our everyday lives? Why does the target audience need to know about the action?)
  • uses the right medium and means (e.g. working at the right level - local, regional, national, EU-wide?; using the right ways to communicate - one-way exchange (website, press release, brochure, etc.) or two-way exchange (exhibition, school visit, internet debate, etc.); where relevant, include measures for public/societal engagement on issues related to the action)
  • is proportionate to the scale of the action

An overview of best practices and a check list on how actions can build a communication strategy is available in the Communicating EU research and innovation guidance for project participants.

To learn more about communication and promoting the action, please read Article 38 of the H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreement.


The H2020 Online Manual is a work in progress; this chapter will be extended with further content as soon as possible.

Reference documents