What is the 2020 horizon

Horizon 2020 - the European research framework program

EU research framework programs have existed since 1984. Since then they have grown considerably in terms of time and financial scope. Horizon 2020, the framework program that has been running since 2014, represents the world's most financially strong funding program for research and innovation. Over a period of seven years (2014-2020), around 80 billion euros are available. The goals of Horizon 2020 are to create sustainable growth and jobs in Europe and thus to strengthen Europe's competitiveness.

In contrast to previous framework programs, Horizon 2020 is not “just” a research framework program. In addition to research, it also has a strong focus on innovation. This is a consistent further development of the growing importance that innovation already had in previous framework programs.

With this in mind, Horizon 2020 supports projects that cover the entire innovation chain - from basic research to the preparation of marketable products and services. Universities, research institutions, companies (especially small and medium-sized enterprises) as well as other actors involved in the development of innovations are the target groups of the program.

A network of national contact points (NCP) of the federal government for Horizon 2020 is available to all interested parties with information and intensive advice.

Horizon 2020 is divided into three pillars, which at the same time reflect the focus of the program. The first pillar promotes excellent science in Europe and supports, among other things, the best minds in Europe in all phases of their scientific careers. The goals of this focus are, for example, better networking among researchers and enabling research stays in other countries.

The second thematic focus is specifically aimed at industrial research. Industry and especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are important drivers for innovation and competitiveness. You will be supported and networked here. The aim of this focus is to expand the leading role of European industries.

The major societal challenges, such as demographic change or a clean, affordable energy supply, represent the third focus. Through Horizon 2020, researchers in the EU and the world are working more closely together on solutions for seven thematically defined challenges.

Both several institutions that have formed a consortium (joint projects) and individual researchers can participate in Horizon 2020. As a rule, research has to be carried out across Europe. This means, for example, that the institutions are located in different European countries or that researchers move between different European countries. The aim is to create “European added value” - research benefits from the fact that it is not concentrated in one country, but is networked across Europe.