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Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the largest European Research and Innovation programme. The full seven-year programme, from 2014 to 2020, has nearly €80 billion available for funding. H2020 was established as it has been agreed upon by European leaders and Members of the European Parliament that scientific research is an important investment in our future. Through the H2020 programme, Europe can consolidate its leading position in world-class science.

Work programme 2018-2020

The programme is currently in its last phase: 2018-2020. The budget for this phase is around €30 billion. In the coming years, many interesting opportunities for Life Science researchers will be published that you could be a part of. 

H2020 structure

Horizon 2020 is set up through three main pillars of research: Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges. Each of these pillars include their own Work Programmes (WPs), which in turn consist of specific calls that together can fulfil the aim of the overarching Programme.

Below, general information such as the aims per pillar are described, as well as the differences between the “types of actions” which help to categorize the calls on their scope and funding rates.

Excellent Science

The aim of this pillar is to attract and retain research talent, thereby stimulating world-class research in Europe. In addition, the development of best possible research infrastructures is supported.

Work Programmes included in this pillar are Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), European Research Council (ERC), and Future & Emerging Technologies (FET).

Industrial Leadership

This pillar focuses on providing support for key technologies, in addition to attracting more private financing to research and innovation, and on supporting SMEs in Europe.

Within this pillar, Work Programmes of interest are SME Instruments, Information and Communication Technologies, and Fast Track to Innovation (FTI).

Societal Challenges

Supports research and innovations that are targeted towards improvements of society and the lives of Europe’s citizens.

One societal challenge is of particular interest: Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing (SC1).

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Do you want to learn more about Horizon 2020 and how to develop a competitive and successful project? Do you want to learn more about the work programme 2018-2020? Subcribe to our e-mailing and we will send you information about the Horizon 2020 and tips from our H2020 experts.

Horizon 2020 calls: types of actions

Calls within the Work Programmes mentioned above can have a different “Type of action” (also called funding schemes). Each of these types comes with its own general scope and funding rate. The most relevant types of action are Research and Innovation Actions (RIA), Innovation Actions (IA), Coordination and Support Actions (CSA), SME Instruments, and two separate COFUND actions: ERA-NET and European Joint Programme (EJP).

Table 1 provides an overview of the different characteristics per type.

Type Action Activities Max. funding rate
RIA New knowledge and/or feasibility of products, processes or services Basic and applied research, technology development and integration, testing and validation 100%
IA

Plans and arrangements for products, processes or services

Prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, validation and market replication 70%
CSA Accompanying measures Standardisation, dissemination, communication, networking 100%
SME Instrument Innovation and ambition to develop, grow, and internationalise All steps in the innovation cycle 70%
ERA-NET COFUND Public-public partnerships Co-funded joint calls 33%
EJP COFUND Coordinated national R&I programmes No specified activities 70%

Other types of Horizon 2020 funding

In addition to its own specified themes, H2020 also provides funding through partnerships in two types: Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI) and Joint Programmes of Member States. These partnerships provide extra opportunities for Europe’s top researchers, but these are not established through its Work Programmes.

Examples of these partnerships are Innovative Medicines Initiatives 2 (IMI2), Eurostars, and Active & Assisted Living 2 (AAL).

Request more information

Do you want to learn more about Horizon 2020 and how to develop a competitive and successful project? Do you want to learn more about the work programme 2018-2020? Subcribe to our e-mailing and we will send you information about the Horizon 2020 and tips from our H2020 experts.

Preparing for a successful H2020 application

Preparing your application to H2020 calls is a long and complex process. We recommend using our proven FFWD method for winning grant applications to fit and conceptualise your project and write a convincing proposal.

How to Fit your idea to the call

Competitive and highly ranked project proposals show a perfect fit with the call: the projects intentions and expected impact overlap greatly with those of the call. This is the first and a crucial step in the development of a project proposal.

To guide you through this process, ttopstart experts identified the 6Cs: six checks that are important for any H2020 call. These checks help you in taking a thorough look at the Fit of your proposal, which in turn can improve your chances of success!

Building a successful consortium for large research projects

In order for your project to be successful, you need to develop a competitive consortium that brings together an international network for key opinion leaders, innovative companies and other important stakeholders such as patient organisations and health insurers.

More resources

Visit our ttopstart academy knowledge hub for more resources on how to prepare and write a successful Horizon 2020 application. 

Request more information

Do you want to learn more about Horizon 2020 and how to develop a competitive and successful project? Do you want to learn more about the work programme 2018-2020? Subcribe to our e-mailing and we will send you information about the Horizon 2020 and tips from our H2020 experts.