Horizon 2020 approval by Parliament a boost for European research and innovation

The European Commission today welcomed the European Parliament’s adoption of Horizon 2020, the next EU research and innovation programme. With a budget of nearly EUR 80 billion1 euro over seven years, Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research programme yet, and one of the biggest publicly funded worldwide. It is also one of only very few programmes in the next EU budget to see a strong increase in funding – a nearly 30 per cent jump in real terms over the current Seventh Framework Programme. EU Member States must now give their final seal of approval ahead of the first calls for proposals under Horizon 2020, currently set for 11th December.

Speaking following the vote, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commission for Research, Innovation and Science said: “This is a vote of confidence in the power of EU research and innovation funding. It paves the way for more investment in knowledge and competitiveness in Europe. The European Parliament’s support for and input to Horizon 2020 has been very important.”

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, in particular welcomed the significant additional funding for the parts of Horizon 2020 under her responsibility: “With the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Europe is investing in people who have the knowledge and talent to innovate and change lives. This is excellent news for the research community and the EIT’s entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”

Horizon 2020 is a totally new type of research programme for the EU that has been designed to deliver results that make a difference to people’s lives. Built on three pillars – Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges – it will fund all types of activities, from frontier science to close-to-market innovation.

The programme for the first time brings all EU-level funding for research and innovation under one roof, provides a single set of rules and will radically slash red tape. The overarching goal is a more coherent, simpler programme that will make it easier to participate, especially for smaller research organisations and small businesses.


Horizon 2020, the EU’s next programme for research and innovation, will run from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of nearly EUR 80 billion (current prices – adjusted for inflation). It replaces the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), which ran from 2007 to 2013 with a budget of around EUR 55 billion (see MEMO/13/1034).

The Horizon 2020 programme was first proposed by the European Commission in November 2011, for decision by EU Member States and the European Parliament. Negotiators for Member States, Parliament and the Commission reached provisional agreement on the final texts of the package in June 2013. Following approval today by plenary vote in the European Parliament, EU Member States must sign off on the programme at Ministerial level.

Aside from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (see also MEMO/13/1021), some other key elements of Horizon 2020 are:

  • Increased funding for the European Research Council, already one of the world’s premier frontier-research funding agencies.

  • Innovative public-private partnerships in areas such as new medicines, greener aircraft technologies and electronics.

  • Investment in Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) such as photonics, nanotechnologies and biotechnology.

  • A challenge-based approach to key issues facing societies, such as healthcare, sustainable agriculture, smarter and greener transport, and climate change.

  • A renewed focus on widening participation in less well-performing EU countries, including better synergies with European Structural and Investment Funds.

  • A dedicated SME Instrument, and a “Fast Track to Innovation” pilot scheme to speed up the time from idea to market, and to increase the participation of industry, SMEs and first time applicants in Horizon 2020.

  • A programme for “Science for and with society”, in order to engage European society, increase the attractiveness of science careers and address gender imbalance in the field.

For more information

Horizon 2020 http://ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/index_en.cfm

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions http://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/

European Institute of Innovation and Technology at a glance


Source: European Commission Press Room