Agreement on HORIZON 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme

The Committee of Permanent Representatives endorsed the agreement reached last June between the Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament representatives on the “Horizon 2020” programme for research and innovation for the years 2014 to 2020.
The agreement paves the way for the formal adoption of the “Horizon 2020” legislative package by the European Parliament and the Council through a vote in the coming months.

Horizon 2020 will replace the EU’s 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7), which runs until the end of 2013. Compared with FP7, the new programme is expected to further eliminate fragmentation in the fields of scientific research and innovation.

Horizon 2020, which has a budget of around 70 billion euros, will underpin the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs, as well as the goal of strengthening the scientific and technological bases by contributing to achieving a European Research Area in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely.

Horizon 2020 focuses on three priorities, namely generating excellent science in order to strengthen the Union’s world-class scientific excellence and make the Union research and innovation system more competitive, fostering industrial leadership to speed up the development of technologies that will support businesses and innovation, including for small companies, and tackling societal challenges in order to respond to the priorities identified in the Europe 2020 strategy by supporting activities covering the entire chain from research to market.

Some of the main features of the Horizon 2020 programme include: 

Simplification is a central aim of Horizon 2020. It is to be reflected in its design, rules, financial management and implementation in order to attract a strong participation of universities, research centres, industry and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 
Simpler funding rules will reduce administrative costs for participants and decrease financial errors. A simplified funding model will be used for the reimbursement of activities. It will be based on a single reimbursement rate for eligible costs that will be applied to all activities within an action. The reimbursement would reach a maximum of 100 % of the total eligible costs of an action, with a ceiling of 70 % for those innovation actions closer to the market and for programme co-funded actions.
 Non-profit organisations will benefit a reimbursement of maximum 100% also in innovation actions. A flat rate of 25% of the total direct eligible costs will be reimbursed to cover indirect costs. Furthermore, the period between the deadline for the submission of project proposals and the conclusion of a grant agreement will be significantly shortened.

Science with and for society 

Building on the efforts already in place under the FP7, a separate structure and budget line will contribute to the harmonious integration of scientific and technological endeavour into European society. In addition, it will be used to increase the attractiveness of scientific and technological careers, in particular for young people, as well as to address the existing gender imbalance in these fields.

Open access to results

To increase the circulation and exploitation of knowledge, open access to scientific publications will be ensured. Furthermore, open access to research data resulting from publicly funded research under Horizon 2020 will be promoted.


The new funding programme will have a budget of around 70 billion euros for the seven-year period, thus making Horizon 2020 the world’s largest research programme. The previous multi-annual programme FP7 had a financial allocation of 53 billion euros. The budget distribution (in percentage) for Horizon 2020 is foreseen as follows: 
More information:
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,