Horizon 2020: the EU Framework programme for Research and Innovation
The Horizon 2020 was launched on 1 January 2014, which is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever. With a budget of almost €80 billion, for a period of seven years (2014 to 2020), the programme aims at financing interdisciplinary projects in order to answer to the big economic and social challenges.
What is HORIZON 2020?
Horizon 2020 replaces the FP 7 which was the European Union’s Research and Innovation funding programme for 2007-2013.
It is the only programme that brings together funding for research and innovation. Horizon 2020 aims to offer a simplified access to the European funding for all stakeholders. Also, the EU Framework programme is focus on societal challenges facing EU society. Another objective of the programme is to increase the participation of the SMEs.
Strengthening the EU’s global position in research, innovation and technology
Managing the economic crisis in order to invest in future jobs and growth
Take into account the concerns of the citizens in order to answer to the societal challenges of the EU society
Which are the main priorities ?
Horizon 2020 is based on three pillars:
- Excellent science : the programme will strengthen the EU’s global position in the scientific domain by promoting fundamental research and by opening up of new ways towards the future and emerging technologies ; it will encourage collaboration and exchange of ideas between scientists in Europe; the competitiveness of Europe will be stimulated by the creation of jobs and by the contribution to a higher standard of living.
- Industrial leadership: Horizon 2020 is the programme that supports innovation by promoting public-private partnerships in the field of ICT ; Also, the EU framework programme supports innovative SMEs.
- Societal challenges: the programme will support interdisciplinary projects. There are seven priority challenges.
Who can participate?
Horizon 2020 is open to everyone (Universities, Companies, Local authorities, Associations, International organizations, Associated Countries). Each legal entity must be established in an EU Member State or an Associated Country. But, in certain cases the entities established in other countries have the possibility to obtain an EU funding.
For standard research projects: at least three legal entities are required;
For other programmes: one legal entity is the minimum condition.
How legal entities can participate?
In order to participate in the Horizon 2020 programme, a unique set of rules and procedures must be respected.
Through the Participant Portal, legal entities can have access to the work programmes that announce the research and innovation domains which will be funded. They can also have access at the timing of forthcoming Calls for Proposals. Then, more precise information on the research and innovation questions is given by each Call in order to allow the applicants for funding to answer in their proposals.
There are four steps that must be followed:
- Submitting a proposal: Each Call has a deadline and this means that proposals must be submitted before the deadline. This step it is realized only online because the system does not accept paper documents.
- Finding partners: The majority of Calls are requiring a consortium of at least three legal entities. So, the Participant Portal gives the possibility to applicants to search potential partners.
- Evaluation by experts: After the deadline date, a panel of independent experts in the domains covered by the Call will be involved in the procedure in order to evaluate each proposal. They will take into account a list of criteria in order to score each proposal. According to the score, the best proposals are selected for funding.
- Grant agreement: The proposals which are selected for funding will be the subject of a grant agreement draw by the European Commission. Generally, grant agreements must be signed in three months.
The project can begin only after the four steps are complete.