Program Sections

  • Excellent Science
    • ERC - European Research Council - The European Research Council supports frontier research, cross disciplinary proposals and pioneering ideas in new and emerging fields which introduce unconventional and innovative approaches. The ERC's mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-driven frontier research across all fields of research, on the basis of scientific excellence. A total budget of 13 095 million euro is available for the implementation of the ERC funding schemes under Horizon 2020.
    • Future and Emerging Technologies - The visionary aspects and exploratory characteristics of FET might make it sound like a kind of magic, but the mission of FET is actually very concrete: to turn Europe's excellent science base into a competitive advantage.

      FET actions are expected to initiate radically new lines of technology through unexplored collaborations between advanced multidisciplinary science and cutting-edge engineering. It will help Europe grasp leadership early on in those promising future technology areas able to renew the basis for future European competitiveness and growth, and that can make a difference for society in the decades to come.

      Under Horizon 2020, FET actions have been allocated a provisional budget of 2 696 million euro.
    • Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions - The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) provide grants for all stages of researchers' careers - be they doctoral candidates or highly experienced researchers - and encourage transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. The MSCA enable research-focused organisations (universities, research centres, and companies) to host talented foreign researchers and to create strategic partnerships with leading institutions worldwide.

      The MSCA aim to equip researchers with the necessary skills and international experience for a successful career, either in the public or the private sector. The programme responds to the challenges sometimes faced by researchers, offering them attractive working conditions and the opportunity to move between academic and other settings.

      The MSCA are open to all domains of research and innovation, from fundamental research to market take-up and innovation services. Research and innovation fields are chosen freely by the applicants (individuals and/or organisations) in a fully 'bottom-up' manner.
    • Research Infrastructures, including e-Infrastructures - The European approach to research infrastructures has made remarkable progress in recent years with the implementation of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap, integrating and opening national research facilities and developing e-infrastructures underpinning a digital European Research Area. The networks of research infrastructures across Europe strengthen its human capital base by providing world-class training for a new generation of researchers and engineers and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration.

      Further development and wider use of research infrastructures at Union level will make a significant contribution to development of the European Research Area. While the role of Member States remains central in developing and financing research infrastructures, the Union plays an important part in supporting infrastructure, fostering the emergence of new facilities, opening up broad access to national and European infrastructures, and making sure that regional, national, European and international policies are consistent and effective. It is not only necessary to avoid duplication of efforts and to coordinate and rationalise the use of the facilities, but also to pool resources so that the Union can also acquire and operate research infrastructures at world level.

      The efficiencies of scale and scope achieved by a European approach to construction, use and management of research infrastructures, including e-infrastructures, will make a significant contribution to boosting Europe’s research and innovation potential.

      Activities aim at developing the European research infrastructures for 2020 and beyond, fostering their innovation potential and human capital and reinforcing European research infrastructure policy.

     

  • Industrial Leadership
    • "Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies" will provide dedicated support for research, development and demonstration and, where appropriate, for standardisation and certification, on information and communications technology (ICT), nanotechnology, advanced materials, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and processing and space. Emphasis will be placed on interactions and convergence across and between the different technologies and their relations to societal challenges. User needs will be taken into account in all these fields.
    • "Access to risk finance" will aim to overcome deficits in the availability of debt and equity finance for R&D and innovation-driven companies and projects at all stages of development. Together with the equity instrument of the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME) (2014‑2020) it will support the development of Union-level venture capital.
    • "Innovation in SMEs" will provide SME-tailored support to stimulate all forms of innovation in SMEs, targeting those with the potential to grow and internationalise across the single market and beyond.

      The goal is to make Europe a more attractive location to invest in research and innovation (including eco-innovation), by promoting activities where businesses set the agenda. It will provide major investment in key industrial technologies, maximise the growth potential of European companies by providing them with adequate levels of finance and help innovative SMEs to grow into world-leading companies.

     

  • Societal Challenges

     

    A challenge-based approach will bring together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities. This will cover activities from research to market with a new focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, and support for public procurement and market uptake. It will include establishing links with the activities of the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP).

    Funding will focus on the following challenges:

  • Excellent Science
    Activities under this Pillar aim to reinforce and extend the excellence of the Union’s science base and to consolidate the European Research Area in order to make the Union’s research and innovation system more competitive on a global scale.

    The Excellent Science pillar has main four specific objectives:
    1. The European Research Council (ERC) will provide attractive and flexible funding to enable talented and creative individual researchers and their teams to pursue the most promising avenues at the frontier of science, on the basis of Union-wide competition.
    2. Future and emerging technologies will support collaborative research in order to extend Europe’s capacity for advanced and paradigm-changing innovation. They will foster scientific collaboration across disciplines on radically new, high-risk ideas and accelerate development of the most promising emerging areas of science and technology as well as the Union-wide structuring of the corresponding scientific communities.
    3. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions will provide excellent and innovative research training as well as attractive career and knowledge-exchange opportunities through cross-border and cross-sector mobility of researchers to best prepare them to face current and future societal challenges.
    4. Research infrastructure (including e-infrastructures) will develop European research infrastructure for 2020 and beyond, foster their innovation potential and human capital, and complement this with the related Union policy and international cooperation.

    Together, these objectives form a powerful and balanced set of activities which, in concert with activities at national and regional levels, span the breadth of Europe’s needs regarding advanced science and technology. Bringing them together in a single programme will enable them to operate with greater coherence, in a rationalised, simplified and more focused way, while maintaining the continuity which is vital to sustain their effectiveness.

    The activities are inherently forward-looking, building skills in the long term, focusing on the next generation of science, technology, researchers and innovations and providing support for emerging talent from across the whole of the Union and associated countries, as well as worldwide. In view of their science-driven nature and largely ‘bottom-up’, investigator-driven funding arrangements, the European scientific community will play a strong role in determining the avenues of research followed under the programme.

  • Industrial Leadership
    This pillar aims to speed up development of the technologies and innovations that will underpin tomorrow's businesses and help innovative European SMEs to grow into world-leading companies.
    It consists of three specific objectives:
    1. "Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies" will provide dedicated support for research, development and demonstration and, where appropriate, for standardisation and certification, on information and communications technology (ICT), nanotechnology, advanced materials, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and processing and space. Emphasis will be placed on interactions and convergence across and between the different technologies and their relations to societal challenges. User needs will be taken into account in all these fields.
    2. "Access to risk finance" will aim to overcome deficits in the availability of debt and equity finance for R&D and innovation-driven companies and projects at all stages of development. Together with the equity instrument of the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME) (2014‑2020) it will support the development of Union-level venture capital.
    3. "Innovation in SMEs" will provide SME-tailored support to stimulate all forms of innovation in SMEs, targeting those with the potential to grow and internationalise across the single market and beyond.

    The goal is to make Europe a more attractive location to invest in research and innovation (including eco-innovation), by promoting activities where businesses set the agenda. It will provide major investment in key industrial technologies, maximise the growth potential of European companies by providing them with adequate levels of finance and help innovative SMEs to grow into world-leading companies.