Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

What is a Work Programme ?

Funding opportunities under Horizon 2020 are set out in multiannual work programmes, which cover the large majority of support available. The work programmes are prepared by the European Commission within the framework provided by the Horizon 2020 legislation and through a strategic programming process integrating EU policy objectives in the priority setting.

The preparation of work programmes involves the consultation of stakeholders. For this purpose 19 Horizon 2020 Advisory Groups have been set up as consultative bodies representing the broad constituency of stakeholders ranging from industry and research to representatives of civil society. Additional open and targeted consultation activities aim to obtain further views and contributions, including from the Enterprise Policy Group, European Innovation Partnerships and European Technology Platforms.

The findings of broader stakeholder consultations on related policy priorities (e.g. Digital Single Market, Energy Union etc.) are also taken into account.

The main Horizon 2020 work programme is complemented by the separate work programmes for the European Research Council, Euratom, the Joint Research Centre and the Strategic Innovation Agenda for the European Institute of Innovation and technology (EIT).

 

Work Programme 2018 - 2020

The current main Horizon 2020 work programme comprises an introduction,17 thematic sections and the general annexes describing general rules such as standard admissibility conditions and eligibility criteria, selection and award criteria, etc.

Each thematic section is self-contained, and describes the overall objectives, the respective calls for proposals, and the topics within each call. You can find more detailed information including budget allocation here or in the programme sections.

A novelty in this work programme are the four mutually reinforcing Focus Areas that cut across the programme boundaries and are aligned to major policy priorities: 'Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future' (LC); 'Connecting economic and environmental gains – the Circular Economy' (CE); 'Digitising and transforming European industry and services' (DT); and 'Boosting the effectiveness of the Security Union' (SU). Together these Focus Areas give a combined budget of over €7 billion EURO (2018-2020). An overview of the new funding opportunities is provided in the introduction to the work programme 2018-2020 and accessible through dedicated search functions on the Participant Portal.

This is the last work programme for Horizon 2020 and it puts in place a bridge to enable a smooth transition to any successor. This includes piloting new approaches, in particular the European Innovation Council pilot and lump sum pilot.

Preparations for the work programme 2018-2020 began in 2016 with stakeholder consultations and discussions with Member States on priorities, which have been outlined in informal working documents, namely 17 thematic scoping papers and one overarching document

Each thematic section organised the stakeholder consultations in the way that has been best suited to the respective subject and the respective target groups. More detailed information on the consultations and the preparation of the current and the past work programmes can be found for the following topics.

 

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