European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

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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.

Seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that research is an investment in our future and so put it at the heart of the EU’s blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs.

By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

Horizon 2020 is open to everyone, with a simple structure that reduces red tape and time so participants can focus on what is really important. This approach makes sure new projects get off the ground quickly – and achieve results faster.

The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will be complemented by further measures to complete and further develop the European Research Area. These measures will aim at breaking down barriers to create a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation.


Horizon 2020 includes 3 priorities:

  • Excellent Science - Activities under this Pillar aim 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.
  •  Industrial Leadership - This 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.
  •  Societal Challenges- Horizon 2020 reflects the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy and addresses major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere.

as well as 5 other cross-cutting activities and 2 other activities (JRC, EIT):

Horizon 2020
Excellent Science Industrial Leadership Societal Challenges
ERC Grants Enabling Technologies Health
Future & Emerging Technologies - ICT Food
Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions - Nanotechnologies Energy
Research Infrastructures - Biotechnologies Transport
  - Advanced Manufacturing Climate
  - Space Inclusive Societies
  Access to Risk Finance Secure Societies
  Innovation in SMEs  
Cross-cutting activities:
Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation
Science with and for Society
Joint Programming
Public-Private Partnerships
International collaborations
Other priorities:
Joint Research Centres (JRC)
European Institute of Technology


Switzerland is participating to Horizon 2020 with a full association process