Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - Speficic Programme Part I 'Excellent science' 2014-2020 HORIZON 2020 Closed!


The general objective of Horizon 2020 is to contribute to building a society and an economy based on knowledge and innovation across the Union by leveraging additional research, development and innovation funding and by contributing to attaining research and development targets, including the target of 3 % of GDP for research and development across the Union by 2020. It shall thereby support the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy and other Union policies, as well as the achievement and functioning of the European Research Area ERA).
Part I 'Excellent science' shall strengthen the excellence of European research in accordance with the priority "Excellent science" set out in point (a) of Article 5(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 by pursuing the following specific objectives:
  • Strengthening frontier research, through the activities of the European Research Council (ERC) ("The European Research Council (ERC)");
  • Strengthening research in future and emerging technologies Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)");
  • Strengthening skills, training and career development, through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions ("Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions");
  • Strengthening European research infrastructures, including e-infrastructures ("Research infrastructures").


The ERC will promote world-class frontier research. Research at and beyond the frontiers of current understanding is both of critical importance to economic and social welfare, and an intrinsically risky venture, progressing on new and most challenging research areas and characterised by an absence of disciplinary boundaries.
Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) activities will concretise different logics of intervention, from completely open to varying degrees of structuring of topics, communities and funding, structured around three strands - FET Open, FET Proactive and FET Flagships.
2.1. FET Open: fostering novel ideas
Supporting a large set of early stage, high-risk visionary science and technology collaborative research projects is necessary for the successful exploration of new foundations for radically new future scientific knowledge and tech­nologies. By being explicitly non-topical and non-prescriptive, this activity allows for new ideas, whenever they arise and wherever they come from, within the broadest spectrum of themes and disciplines, and it actively stimulates creative out-of-the-box thinking. Nurturing such fragile ideas requires an agile, risk-friendly and highly interdisciplinary research approach, going well beyond the strictly technological realms. Attracting and stimulating the participation of new high-potential actors in research and innovation, such as young researchers and high-tech SMEs, is also important for nurturing the scientific and industrial leaders of the future.
2.2. FET Proactive: nurturing emerging themes and communities
Novel areas and themes need to be matured, by working towards structuring emerging communities and supporting the design and development of transformative research themes. The main benefits of this structuring yet explorative approach are emerging novel areas that are not yet ready for inclusion in industry research roadmaps, and building up and structuring of research communities around them. It makes the step from collaborations between a small number of researchers, to a cluster of projects that each address aspects of a research theme and exchange results. This will be done in close association with the priorities "Industrial leadership" and "Societal challenges".
2.3. FET Flagships: pursuing grand interdisciplinary scientific and technological challenges
Research initiatives within this strand are science- and technology-driven, large-scale, multidisciplinary and built around a
visionary unifying goal. They tackle grand science and technology challenges requiring cooperation among a range of disciplines, communities and programmes. The scientific and technological advance should provide a strong and broad basis for future innovation and economic exploitation, as well as novel benefits for society of a potential high impact. The overarching nature and magnitude implies that they can only be realised through a collaborative long-term and sustained effort.
3.1. Fostering new skills by means of excellent initial training of researchers
Europe needs a strong and creative human resource base, mobile across countries and sectors, with the right combination of skills to innovate and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit.
3.2. Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility
Europe has to be attractive for the best researchers, European and non-European alike. This will be achieved in particular by supporting attractive career opportunities for experienced researchers in both public and private sectors and by encouraging them to move between countries, sectors and disciplines to enhance their creative and innovative potential.
3.3. Stimulating innovation by means of cross-fertilisation of knowledge
Societal challenges are becoming more and more global and cross-border and cross-sector collaborations are crucial to successfully face them. Sharing of knowledge and ideas from research to market (and vice versa) is therefore vital and can only be achieved through the connection of people. This will be promoted through the support of flexible exchanges of highly skilled R&I staff between sectors, countries and disciplines.
3.4. Increasing structural impact by co-funding the activities
Stimulating regional, national or international programmes to foster excellence and to spread best practices of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions in terms of European-wide mobility possibilities for researchers' training, career development and staff exchange will increase the numerical and structural impact of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. This will also enhance the attractiveness of the centres of excellence across Europe.
The activities will aim at developing excellent European research infrastructures for 2020 and beyond, fostering their innovation potential and human resources and reinforcing European policy. Coordination with the cohesion funding sources will be pursued to ensure synergies and a coherent approach for the development of the research infrastructures.
4.1. Developing the European research infrastructures for 2020 and beyond
  • Developing new world - class research infrastructures
  • Integrating and open ingexisting national and regional research infrastructures of European interest
  • Development, deployment and operation of ICT - based  e-infrastructures 
4.2. Fostering the innovation potential of research infrastructures and their human resources
  • Exploiting the innovation potential of research infrastructures
  • Strengthening the human capital of research infrastructures
4.3. Reinforcing European research infrastructure policy and international cooperation
  • Reinforcing European policy for research infrastructures
  • Facilitating strategic international cooperation

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the programme is:

  • 24.441,00 Million EUR (Orientation of the budget)