Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Societal Challenges

Horizon 2020 reflects the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy and addresses major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere.

A challenge-based approach will bring together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities. This will cover activities from research to market with a new focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, and support for public procurement and market uptake. It will include establishing links with the activities of the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP).

Funding will focus on the following challenges:

  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing;
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy;
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy;
  • Smart, green and integrated transport;
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials;
  • Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies;
  • Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.


Deadline: 13/10/2015 - 02:00
Deadline: 18/11/2015 - 01:00
Deadline: 17/08/2016 - 02:00


20/10/2015 - 02:00

The European Commission is organising a Stakeholder Partnership event on 20 October 2015 to facilitate networking, information exchange and cross-border partnerships of actors interested in addressing urban challenges through innovating with nature or by making innovative use of cultural heritage assets for regenerating cities. Read more


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


25/09/2015 - 13:58

On 25 September, the Commission launched an online survey to gather opinions from stakeholders on the impact of the simplification measures introduced in Horizon 2020, and to ask for new ideas on future simplification. Read more

06/07/2015 - 17:58

By 1 December 2014 the first 100 calls had closed. What can we tell about the popularity of the programme, the success of SMEs, the degree to which the programme has attracted newcomers - both as participants and as expert evaluators - the proportion of women experts and the speed with which contracts have been signed? See this new page to find out more! Read more

10/06/2015 - 13:59

End of 2014 the first Horizon 2020 projects were signed. Since then almost four thousand more have been added. Read more

Project stories

28/09/2015 - 12:13

The widening gap between rich and poor is leading to segregation in more and more European cities. The rich and the poor are living at increasing distance from each other, and this can be disastrous for the social stability and competitive power of cities. These are the conclusions of joint research of Prof. Maarten van Ham, ERC grantee at Delft University of Technology, and Prof. Tiit Tammaru, Dr. Szymon Marcińczak and Prof. Sako Musterd. Read more

23/09/2015 - 11:35

Sub-Saharan Africa is modernising fast, changing the dynamic between town and countryside. What is the best way to manage the impacts on rural and urban communities? An EU-funded project is collecting data that helps policymakers make wise choices for inclusive development. Read more

17/09/2015 - 20:01

The NOMORFILM project is looking into whether biomolecules in marine microalgae can combat bacterial and fungal infections associated with prosthetic devices and catheters. Preventing infections will improve patient care and help cut the cost of treating complications, estimated at €7 billion a year in Europe 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

24/09/2015 - 20:03

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever. Almost €80 billion of funding is available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private and national public investment that this money will attract. This publication presents the full set of Key Performance and Cross-Cutting Issues Indicators for Horizon 2020, including those for the European Institute of Technology and EURATOM. Read more

03/08/2015 - 11:27

The EU-funded research projects set out in this booklet reveal what we can learn from traditional African medicines, how we can collaborate to tap into gamma ray astronomy, how we can harness the desert sun to produce clean energy and even how we can bring Africa’s culinary diversity to European markets. 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

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