€ 79 billion for the 2014-20 period
Universities, research centres, enterprises, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), national, regional and local authorities, no-profit organisations and associations.
Horizon 2020 is the new EU Research and Innovation programme, seen as a mean to drive economic growth and create jobs.
Horizon 2020 finances research and innovation projects to strengthen and secure Europe’s competitiveness, across a range of sectors, including ICT, biotechnologies, food security, energy, environment and integrated and sustainable transports, health, security. Designed to bring business into research and innovation chain through its various components, it encourages, in particular, the participation of SMEs.

Societal Challenges

Horizon 2020 approach reflects the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy and addresses major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere. This challenge-based approach will bring together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and humanities.

Funding will focus on the following challenges:

  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing;
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and 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.

This section covers activities from research to market with a new focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, and support for public procurement and market uptake.

Industrial Leadership

Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs)

Supports the development of new and breakthrough technologies, in areas of research and innovation with a strong industrial dimension.

The emphasis is on:

  • Research and innovation to strengthen Europe’s industrial capacities and business perspectives, including SMEs
  • Public-private partnerships (PPPs)
  • Cross cutting key enabling technologies (KETs)
  • Seizing the ICT opportunities

Areas of key industrial competences determining Europe’s global competitiveness are:

  • ICT
  • Nanotechnologies, advanced manufacturing and materials, biotechnology, micro and nano-electronics, photonics
  • Space

 Access to risk finance

Aims at helping companies and other types of organisations engaged in R&I to gain easier access to source of debt and equity financing, in particular loans, guarantees, counter-guarantees and hybrid, mezzanine and equity finance.

Two financing facilities are available: Equity Facility and Debt Facility.

  • Their aim will be to support the achievement of the R&I objectives, enhancing innovation and fostering sustainable growth
  • They will be implemented via a mandate to, or a partnership with, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) and/or other international financial institutions and national intermediaries
  • Will be operated in conjunction with the financial instrument facilities of COSME

Innovation in SMEs

  • Supports SMEs with growth potential
  • Strengthen innovation capacity of SMEs
  • New dedicated instrument → SME instrument

Excellent Science

Aims at reinforcing and extending 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. The pillars are:

  • European Research Council (ERC)
  • Future and emerging technologies, supporting scientific collaborative research across disciplines on radically new, high-risk ideas
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, providing excellent and innovative research training and attractive career and knowledge-exchange opportunities through cross-border and cross-sector mobility of researchers

  • Research infrastructures (including e-infrastructures), supporting the development of European research infrastructure, foster their innovation potential and human capital