Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever. Almost EUR 80 billion of funding is available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private and national public investment that this money will attract.

Horizon 2020 will help to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science and technology, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering solutions to big challenges facing our society.

Horizon 2020 consists of three priorities, namely:

  • “Excellent Science” covering support for curiosity-driven blue sky research – i.e. European Research Council (ERC) and Future Emerging Technologies (FET), research infrastructures as well as research careers and mobility through Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA);
  • “Industrial Leadership” providing support to industry and Small- and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) in research and innovation activities, including instruments to foster development of enabling technologies as well as financial instruments (incorporating some parts of the former Competitiveness and Innovation Programme);
  • “Societal Challenges” supporting collaborative research projects that address seven specific societal challenges.

Funding opportunities under Horizon 2020 are set out in multiannual work programmes, which cover the large majority of support available. The work programmes are prepared by the European Commission within the framework provided by the Horizon 2020 legislation and through a strategic programming process integrating EU policy objectives in the priority setting.


Geographical criteria:

apart from EU Member States, some countries are associated to Horizon 2020 and can participate; see list.

Eligible entities:

  • universities, research institutes and researchers;
  • research and technology organisations;
  • industry participants and SMEs;
  • non-governmental organisations

Click here for the rules for participation