Horizon 2020 is the EU's biggest ever research and innovation framework programme with a seven year budget
On the 11th December 2013 The European Commission has for the first time presented calls for projects under Horizon 2020, the European Union's €80 billion research and innovation programme.
Worth more than €15 billion over the first two years, the funding is intended to help boost Europe's knowledge-driven economy, and tackle issues that will make a difference in people's lives. This includes 12 areas that will be a focus for action in 2014/2015, including topics such as personalised healthcare, digital security and smart cities
For the first time, the Commission has indicated funding priorities over two years, providing researchers and businesses with more certainty than ever before on the direction of EU research policy.
The funding opportunities under Horizon 2020 are set out in work programmes published on the EU's digital portal for research funding, which has been redesigned for quicker, paperless procedures. Participants will also find simpler programme architecture and funding, a single set of rules, and a reduced burden from financial controls and audits.
Most calls from the 2014 budget are already open for submissions, with more to follow over the course of the year. Calls in the 2014 budget alone are worth around €7.8 billion, with funding focused on the three key pillars of Horizon 2020:
· Excellent Science: Around €3 billion, including €1.7 billion for grants from the European Research Council for top scientists and €800 million for Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships for younger researchers
· Industrial Leadership: €1.8 billion to support Europe's industrial leadership in areas like ICT, nanotechnologies, advanced manufacturing, robotics, biotechnologies and space.
· Societal challenges: €2.8 billion for innovative projects addressing Horizon 2020's seven societal challenges, broadly: health; agriculture, maritime and bioeconomy; energy; transport; climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials; reflective societies; and security