Horizon 2020 Introduction

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 offers a broad range of support for individual researchers, as well as large collaborations and infrastructures.

H2020 has been developed to:

  • Respond to the economic crisis to invest in future jobs and growth
  • Address people’s concerns about their livelihoods, safety and environment
  • Strengthen the EU’s global position in research, innovation and technology

Europe 2020 Strategy

Horizon 2020 reflects the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy, and is the financial instrument used for implementation of the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.

Horizon 2020 Programme Sections

Horizon 2020 is built around three main programme sections, known as Pillars:

Excellent Science

The Excellent Science Pillar aims to reinforce and extend the excellence of the Union’s science base, and to consolidate the European Research Area in order to make the Union’s research and innovation system more competitive on a global scale. This pillar offers grants for both individual researchers and consortia. With the exception of some infrastructures topics, the calls generally operate on a ‘bottom-up’ basis, meaning that there are no pre-determined priority areas and the topic of the proposed research is chosen by the applicant.

Industrial Leadership

The Industrial Leadership Pillar aims to speed up development of the technologies and innovations that will underpin tomorrow's businesses and help innovative European SMEs to grow into world-leading companies. The focus of call topics in this Pillar is on research and innovation with a strong industrial dimension, and it offers dedicated funding programmes for SME's, in addition to collaborative calls for both academic and industrial participants.

Societal Challenges

The Societal Challenges Pillar addresses major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere, using a challenge-based approach to bring together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities.This Pillar mainly offers large collaborative grants for applicant consortia of at least three partners from three eligible countries. The calls for proposals in this pillar have a ‘top-down’ structure, meaning that each call has a pre-defined research topic, selected by the commission and aligned with the European political agenda.

Additional programmes

In addition to the three main Pillars, the Horizon 2020 budget also funds a number of other programmes such as the European Institute of Innovation and Technoology (EIT) and 'Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation'. A full list of these programmes, and further information on each, can be found on the EC's H2020 Sections page.

H2020 Calls for Applications

Information regarding all calls within Horizon 2020 can be found in the Participant Portal.

H2020 statistics and information on KI's participation

Information on KI's ongoing H2020 projects can be found on the external website.

Information on all ongoing H2020 projects can be found using Vinnova's H2020viz web interface, which enables visualisation of H2020 participation for different organisations and countries in the different sections of the programme, including how much funding has been awarded and who is collaborating.