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Horizon 2020 launched with €15 billion over first two years

EU News 513/2013

11 December 2013

The European Union has today for the first time presented calls for research projects under Horizon 2020, the EU's €80 billion research and innovation programme. Worth more than €15 billion over the first two years, the funding is intended to help boost Europe's knowledge-driven economy, and tackle issues that will make a difference in people's lives. The programme is also open for international cooperation, for Japan by pooling with Japanese funds. Japanese researchers and companies are invited to participate and benefit from the larger multilateral research cooperation networks. For 2014/2015 there are 12 areas that will be in focus for action, including topics such as personalised healthcare, digital security and smart cities.

European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "It's time to get down to business. Horizon 2020 funding is vital for the future of research and innovation in Europe, and will contribute to growth, jobs and a better quality of life. We have designed Horizon 2020 to produce results, and we have slashed red tape to make it easier to participate. So I am calling on researchers, universities, businesses including SMEs, and others to sign up!"

For the first time, the European Commission has indicated funding priorities over two years, providing researchers and businesses with more certainty than ever before on the direction of EU research policy. Most calls from the 2014 budget are already open for submissions as of today, with more to follow over the course of the year. Calls in the 2014 budget alone are worth around €7.8 billion, with funding focused on the three key pillars of Horizon 2020:

• Excellent Science: Around €3 billion, including €1.7 billion for grants from the European Research Council for top scientists and €800 million for Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships for younger researchers.
• Industrial Leadership: €1.8 billion to support Europe's industrial leadership in areas like ICT, nanotechnologies, advanced manufacturing, robotics, biotechnologies and space.
• Societal challenges: €2.8 billion for innovative projects addressing Horizon 2020's seven societal challenges, broadly: health; agriculture, maritime and bioeconomy; energy; transport; climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials; reflective societies; and security.

Horizon 2020 is the EU's biggest ever research and innovation framework programme with a seven year budget worth nearly €80 billion. In 2014 the total EU research budget, including these items and administrative expenditure, will be around €9.3 billion, rising to around €9.9 billion in 2015. Final 2015 amounts are subject to the decision on the 2015 annual budget.

The funding opportunities under Horizon 2020 are set out in work programmes published on the EU's digital portal for research funding, which has been redesigned for quicker, paperless procedures. Participants will also find simpler programme architecture and funding, a single set of rules, and a reduced burden from financial controls and audits.

The 2014-15 calls include €500 million over two years dedicated to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through a brand new SME Instrument. Gender aspects are expected to be included in many of the projects, and there is funding to further stimulate debate on science's role within society. There are also new rules to make 'open access' a requirement for Horizon 2020, so that publications of project results are freely accessible to all.

Horizon 2020 is the most open research programme in the world. Also researchers and companies from Japan can participate in these research consortia under Horizon 2020. They will need however co-funding for their own research activities to get access to the multilateral research projects. A joint "consortium agreement" will protect the inside dealings of the research partners in a project, and it will regulate the distribution of IPR and the access to results.

In the past joint calls with Japan have led to cofounded projects in the area of cyber security, solar cells, aeronautics, on rare earth, and other topics more.

For more info

For more information, please contact:
Mari Koseki Tel: 03-5422-6034
Miwako Suetsune Tel: 03-5422-6035 /
Digital Media:
Vicente J. Luna Tel: 03-5422-6038 /

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Member of the EC in charge of Research, Innovation and Science, Date: 11/12/2013 Reference: P-024680/00-01 Location: Brussels - EC/Berlaymont (C)EU, 2013 URL