Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract.
The programme aims to create globally successful products and world-firsts by taking great ideas to the market.
Horizon 2020 is open to everyone, with a simplified structure so participants can focus on what is really important. This approach makes sure new projects get off the ground quickly – and achieve results faster. Grant support is higher than regional and national funding programmes, usually at one of two levels, 70% and 100%.
Horizon 2020 is the European Commission’s financial instrument to help your business drive economic growth and create jobs to secure Europe's global competitiveness.
The goal is to ensure businesses in Europe produce world-class, innovative products and services and remove barriers to the public and private sectors to working together to deliver this.
The Horizon 2020 Northern Ireland support network is made up of around a dozen European Advisors. We want to help you participate in Horizon 2020. Contact a Horizon 2020 European Advisor.
How to submit your proposal
The system is simpler than ever – no more paper. All proposals are submitted online through the Horizon 2020 participant portal. You will find out about EU funding opportunities for your research or innovation project there. When you respond remember to meet the deadline.
Many, but not all, Horizon 2020 calls require a team of at least three partners from different countries. The call topics advise if partners are required. If you need help to identify a potential partner with particular competences, facilities or experience, use the partner search options.
Once the deadline has passed, all proposals are evaluated by a panel of independent specialists in their fields. The panel checks each proposal against a list of criteria with a number of the top proposals invited to receive funding.
Watch top tips on submitting proposals from five experienced evaluators
Once a proposal passes the evaluation stage (two to five months’ duration), applicants are informed about the outcome. The European Commission then draws up a grant agreement with each successful participant. The grant agreement confirms what research and innovation activities will be undertaken. This includes the project duration, budget, rates and costs, the European Commission's contribution and all rights and obligations. The time limit for signing the grant agreements is between one and three months.
Generally two year work programmes announce the specific areas that will be funded by Horizon 2020. You can look out for them on the Participant Portal as they will advise of the call opening and closing dates during the year. Each call topic gives detailed information on the challenges that the Commission would like you to address in your proposals.
The Participant Portal is your entry point for electronic administration of EU-funded research and innovation projects, and hosts the services for managing your proposals and projects throughout their lifecycle. All calls can be found in the EU’s Official Journal – the official source for all EU documents – as well as on the Participant Portal.
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will be complemented by further measures to complete and further develop the European Research Area. These measures will aim at breaking down barriers to create a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation.
This short animated clip published by the European IPR Helpdesk sheds light on the importance of smart IP management in Horizon 2020 giving an impression of how the services of the European IPR Helpdesk can support researchers and SMEs involved in Horizon 2020 projects.
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