Main Objectives and General Information 

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness.

Research and innovation help deliver jobs, prosperity, quality of life and global public goods. They generate the scientific and technological breakthroughs needed to tackle the urgent challenges society faces. Investment in this area also leads to businesses opportunities by creating innovative products and services. Although the Union is a global leader in many technologies, it faces increasing competition from traditional competitors and emerging economies alike and must therefore improve its innovation performance.

Research and innovation have therefore been placed at the centre of the Europe 2020 strategy to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. This includes the headline objective of increasing spending on R&D to 3% of GDP by 2020. The Innovation Union flagship initiative provides a comprehensive set of actions for stepping up research and innovation performance. Within this policy context, the Commission’s proposals for the post-2013 Union Budget3 reflect its ambition to invest in Europe’s future, ensuring that every euro provides maximum benefit to European citizens.

Horizon 2020 is a programme which covers a variety of areas of interest:

Agriculture & Forestry, Aquatic Resources, Bio-based Industries, Biotechnology, Energy,Environment & Climate Action, Food & Healthy Diet,Funding Researchers, Health, ICT Research & Innovation,Innovation, International Cooperation,Key Enabling Technologies, Partnerships with Industry and Member States,Raw Materials,Research Infrastructures,Security, SMEs, Social Sciences & Humanities,Society,Space, Transport

Horizon 2020 Programme Sections 

Excellent Science
European Research Council
Future and Emerging Technologies
Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions
European Research Infrastructures, including e-Infrastructures

Industrial Leadership
Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies
Information and Communication Technologies
Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and Biotechnology
Access to risk finance
Innovation in SMEs

Societal Challenges
Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeingalth, Demographic Change and Wellbeing
Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, 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

Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation

Science with and for Society

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

Euratom (complementary research programme for nuclear research and training)


For standard research projects – a consortium of at least three legal entities. Each entity must be established in an EU Member State or an Associated Country.
In general, legal entities established in any country and international organisations, may participate.


Duration of the project: 7 years (2014 to 2020)

The majority of the calls for proposals was published on 13 of December 2013. 


Excellent Science

€24,4 billion

Industrial Leadership

€17,0 billion

Societal Challenges

€29,7 billion

European Institute of Innovation and Technology

€2,7 billion


€1,6 billion


€3,2 billion








Additional Information 

Direct link to the Call for Proposal:

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