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 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.


Provide funding. Horizon 2020 calls can have different types of action (funding schemes). The type of action specifies:

  • The scope of what is funded
  • The reimbursement rate
  • Specific evaluation criteria to qualify for funding
  • The use of simplified forms of costs like lump sums


  • Agriculture and forestry
  • Bio-based Industries
  • Biotechnology
  • Energy
  • Environment & Climate Action
  • Food & Healthy Diet
  • Funding Researchers
  • Health
  • ICT Research & Innovation
  • Innovation
  • International Cooperation
  • Key Enabling Technologies
  • Oceans and seas
  • Partnerships with Industry and Member States
  • Plastics
  • Raw Materials
  • Research Infrastructures
  • Security
  • SMEs
  • Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Society
  • Space
  • The European Research Area (ERA)
  • Transport