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What is Horizon 2020 ?

Running from 2014 to 2020 and with a budget of just over €70 billion, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe. Horizon 2020 provides major simplification through a single set of rules. It combines all research and innovation funding provided in the past through the Framework Programmes for Research and Technical Development, the innovation related activities of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, one of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. These three mutually reinforcing priorities should help the EU and the Member States deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. Concretely, the Union has set five ambitious objectives - on employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy - to be reached by 2020. Each Member State has adopted its own national targets in each of these areas. Concrete actions at EU and national levels underpin the strategy.

The Innovation Union plan contains over thirty action points, with the aim to do three things:
  • make Europe into a world-class science performer;
  • remove obstacles to innovation – like expensive patenting, market fragmentation, slow standard-setting and skills shortages – which currently prevent ideas getting quickly to market; and
  • revolutionise the way public and private sectors work together, notably through Innovation Partnerships between the European institutions, national and regional authorities and business.