The Horizon 2020 programme is the largest European funding scheme for research, development and innovation. The programme runs from 2014 to 2020 and has a €70 billion budget that concentrates on the three pillars:
- Excellent Science – aims to reinforce and extend the excellence the European Union’s science base and to consolidate the European Research Area in order to make the Union’s research and innovation systems more competitive.
- Industrial Leadership – aims to increase the development of technologies and innovations that will underpin tomorrow’s business and help innovative European SMEs to grow into world leading companies.
- Societal Challenges – provides funding programmes to reflect on policy priorities of Europe 2020 strategy and tackles major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere.
Excellent Science provides funding programmes for frontier and seminal research and has four specific objectives:
- The European Research Council (ERC) which provides talented and creative individual researchers and their teams the ability to pursue the most promising avenues at the frontier of science.
Future and emerging technologies will support collaborative research in order to extend Europe’s capacity for advanced and paradigm-changing innovation.
- Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions provides excellent and innovative research training, along with attractive career and knowledge-exchange through cross-border and cross-sector mobility of researcher to best prepare them to face current and future societal challenges.
- Research Infrastructure helps to develop the European research infrastructure by fostering innovation potential and human capital, as well as complimenting this with the union policy and international cooperation.
Industrial Leadership consists of three main objectives:
- Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies – which provides dedicated support
- Access to risk finance – aims at overcoming deficits in the availability of debt and equity finance for R&D and innovation-driven companies and project at all stages of development.
- Innovation in SMEs – provides support to SMEs in stimulating all forms innovation and targeting those that have a potential to grow and internationalise across the market.
The Societal Challenges looks at tackling the following challenges:
- Health, demographic change and well-being
- Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy
- Smart, green and integrated transport
- Secure, clean and efficient energy
- Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
- Secure Societies
- Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials