Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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

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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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Multimedia

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

13/02/2014 - 11:53

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

13/02/2014 - 15:33

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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News

03/07/2015 - 11:31

The second edition of the European Tertiary Education Register (ETER) has been published today. ETER offers a comprehensive compilation of information on more than 2 200 European higher education institutions. Read more

20/03/2015 - 13:15

The European Summit of Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing took place in Brussels on March 9 and 10. Over 1200 visitors swamped the Brussels Square meeting centre, took part in over 32 sessions, workshops, sandpits and the Pioneer Village with its 20 exhibition booths. Read more

26/09/2014 - 14:50

The International Journal of Social Robotics has issued a Call for Papers for its forthcoming Special Issue on New Frontiers of Service Robotics for Active and Healthy Ageing. Read more

Project stories

09/07/2015 - 02:00

SmartCare aims to define a common set of standard functional specifications for an open ICT platform enabling the delivery of integrated care to older European citizens. A total of 23 regions and their key stakeholders are defining a comprehensive set of integration building blocks around the challenges of data-sharing, coordination and communication. Read more

09/07/2015 - 02:00

The BREATHE project (co-funded by the AAL programme) aims to design and develop an intelligent monitoring system for AAL environments, by employing cameras and other types of binary sensors. In order to ensure the privacy of user data and information, BREATHE follows a privacy-by-design approach. Read more

07/07/2015 - 16:50

Dramatic changes are underway in global politics. An EU-funded project aims to help Europe’s policymakers respond in a way that ensures European values and objectives continue to influence the evolution of global norms and policies. Read more

Publications

01/04/2015 - 13:30

For three decades, the EU Framework Programmes have been funding breakthroughs across Europe. RTD’s Horizon Magazine looks at the people and events that have helped shape European research policy, taking you behind the scenes during the pivotal moments from the last 30 years of research funding. These articles have been brought together into a special Horizon supplement to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Framework Programmes. Read more

02/10/2014 - 13:21

The European Commission is piloting the potential of a Cloud of public services for the development and the delivery of more flexible public services by combining building blocks and allowing service sharing between public and private providers. Discover in this brochure which projects have been and are funded in this domain. Read more

20/01/2014 - 01:00

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

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

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