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Updated: February 2018


Starting in 2014, the EU Horizon 2020 Programme with an 80 billion € budget covers almost all EU research and innovation funding during the years 2014-2020. The support for research and innovation aims at breaking down barriers between research and market and will include the creation of partnerships with the private sector and Member States to bring together the resources needed.

Horizon 2020 replaces the previous programmes FP7, innovation related activities of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), including Intelligent Energy for Europe, and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

Horizon 2020 sections:
"Excellent science" covers support for individual researchers (under European Research Council), collaboration projects, support for training and knowledge exchange (Marie Curie Actions), research infrastructure. Budget Euro 24.4 billion of which EIT gets Euro 13.1 billion

"Industrial leadership" covering support for "Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies" with focus on information and communication technology (ICT), nanotechnology, advanced materials, manufacturing, and space technology, "Access to risk finance", and "Innovation in SMEs" with focus on small medium sized enterprises in particular when they want to internalise. Budget: Euro 17 billion of which "Leadership..." gets Euro 13.6 billion

"Societal Challenges" with a budget of Euro 29.7 billion, covering:
- Health, demographic change and well being;
- Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy;
- Secure, clean and efficient energy; covering energy efficiency, renewable energy, and carbon capture and storage, budget Eur 5.9 billion
- Smart, green and integrated transport; with focus on cleaner aircrafts and vehicles, "smart" infrastructure, city mobility, budget Eur 6.3 billion
- Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials; including targeting a resource efficient economy, budget Eur 3.1 billion
- Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies;
- Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.

"Science with and for Society", budget Eur 0.5 billion

"Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation", for better research cooperation and policies, budget Eur 0.8 billion

"European Institute of Innovation and Technology" (EIT) with 8 "Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC)", including on climate and sustainable. energy. The EIT, budget Eur 2.7 billion

"Joint Research Center (JRC)", budget Eur 1.9 billion + nuclear activities included in Euratom

"EURATOM" supporting nuclear power, nuclear safety and development of nuclear fusion. Budget of Eur 2.4 billion 2014-2020 but only Eur 1.6 billion agreed covering the period 2014-18. This does not include the funding of the ITER fusion research center of circa Eur 5 Billion during 2014-2020.

"Fast Track to Innovation Pilot" (2015-2016) for "close to market" activities, budget Eur 0.2 billion. While the Horizon budgets are large, so is the competition. Support is distributed via individual calls that are quite different from each other in objective, form, and competition. Often calls have very specific objectives and there are only one or a few calls for a specific issue during the Horizon2020's period.

"Fast Track to Innovation" (FTI), which is the successor of the FTI Pilot (2015-2016) and also, is part of the European Innovation Council pilot (EIC pilot). This was launched on 27th October 2017 as part of the Horizon 2020 Work programme 2018-2020, when the SME Instrument, Fast Track to Innovation (FTI), Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Open and Horizon Prizes, were brought under the EIC pilot umbrella, to provide a 'one stop shop' for funding of innovators/innovations in the EU.
The FTI's aim is to:
reduce time from idea to market,
stimulate the participation of first-time applicants to EU research and innovation funding, and
increase private sector investment in research and innovation.

Read more at the EC's Horizon 2020 Description

Download the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018- 2020 from the EC's website (pdf) or copy here (pdf).

See also Horizon 2020 budget (pdf).

See also Horizon 2020 Key Facts and Figures copy (pdf).

See also contents of the Horizon 2020 Grants Manual folder in the new EC's Online Manual.

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