H2020 is the European Commission program for funding research and innovation projects. It has a budget of over 77 billion euros to promote scientific excellence, european industrial leadership and overcoming societal challenges. Special focus on innovative SMEs that want to take your prototype to market.

Horizon 2020

The 7 Societal Challenges

The EU has identified 7 priority challenges where targeted investment in research and innovation can have a real impact benefitting the citizen:

Health and wellbeing

Everyone wants a long, happy and healthy life, and scientists are doing their best to make this possible. They are tackling some of the major current health issues as well as emerging threats such as the increasing impact of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”.

Investment in health research and innovation will help us stay active, develop new, safer and more effective treatments and help keep our health and care systems viable. It will give doctors the tools they need for more personalised medicine, and it will step up prevention and treatment of chronic and infectious diseases.

Funding: € 7.472 billion

Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water

With the world population set to reach 9 billion by 2050 we need to find ways to radically change our approach to production, consumption, processing, storage, recycling and waste disposal while minimising the environmental impact.

This will include balancing the use of renewable and non-renewable resources from land, seas and oceans, transforming waste into valuable resources, and the sustainable production of food, feedstuffs, bio-based products and bioenergy.

In the EU, agriculture and forestry and the food and bio-based industry sectors altogether employ 22 million people and play a key role in rural development and the management of Europe’s natural heritage.

Funding: € 3.851 billion

Sustainable energy

Energy drives the modern economy but even just maintaining our standard of living requires a huge amount of energy. As the world’s second-largest economy, Europe is over-dependent on the rest of the globe for its energy – energy derived from fossil fuels that accelerate climate change.

The EU has, therefore, set itself ambitious climate and energy targets. EU funding through Horizon 2020 will play a key role in achieving these goals.

Funding: € 5.931 billion

Green, integrated mobility

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Mobility drives employment, economic growth, prosperity and global trade. It also provides vital links between people and communities.

However, today’s transport systems and the way we use them are unsustainable. We rely too heavily on shrinking stocks of oil, which makes us less energy secure. And transport-related problems – congestion, road safety, atmospheric pollution – impact on our daily lives and health.

To address these issues Horizon 2020 is contributing to the creation of a sustainable transport system that is fit for a modern, competitive Europe.

Funding: € 6.339 billion

Climate action, environment, resources efficiency and raw materials

The era of never-ending cheap resources is coming to an end: access to raw materials and clean water can no longer be taken for granted. Biodiversity and ecosystems are also under pressure. The solution is to invest now in innovation to support a green economy – an economy that is in sync with the natural environment. Dealing with climate change is a cross-cutting priority in Horizon 2020 and accounts for 35 % of the overall budget across the programme.

Waste and water are particular priorities. Waste is currently responsible for 2 % of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, while boosting growth in the water industry by just 1 % could create up to 20 000 new jobs.

Funding: € 3.081 billion

Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies

In 2011 around 80 million people were at risk of poverty in Europe. Significant numbers of young people – on whom our future depends – are not in education, work or training.

These are just two examples of challenges that threaten the future of Europe and individuals in large sectors of society. Research and innovation can help, which is why Horizon 2020 is funding research on new strategies and governance structures to overcome prevailing economic instability and ensure Europe is resilient to future downturns, demographic change and migration patterns.

Funding also supports new forms of innovation such as open innovation, business model innovation, public sector and social innovation to meet social needs. By supporting research and innovation on European heritage, identity, history, culture and Europe’s role in the world, the EU is also building ‘reflective societies’ – in which shared values and their contribution to our joint future are explored.

Funding: € 1.309 billion