Horizon 2020 – Europes biggest research and innovation programme

By Simon O’ Connor, 27/03/15 

What is Horizon 2020?

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme. The programme will be running for 7 years, from 2014 – 2020 and has a budget of nearly €80 billion funding available.

Horizon has been developed to drive economic growth and create jobs in Europe. By merging research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to accomplish this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and dealing with societal challenges. The aim is to ensure Europe produces world-class science to make it easier for the public and private sectors to work together by removing barriers to innovation. The programme has been backed by Europe’s top political leaders who recognize the importance of research and how it is an investment in the future. The programme is open to everybody and is a fantastic opportunity for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

How to get funding?

Horizon 2020 has a wide range of funding opportunities for research and innovation activities through calls for proposals that are set out in the Horizon 2020 work programme. They can be found on the online Participant Portal. Each call gives more detailed information on the questions that the Commission would like you to address in your proposals.

  1. Submit your proposal

If you want to respond to a call, you are required to submit a proposal before the deadline. The Participant Portal has clear directions to guide you through the process. All proposals are submitted online.

  1. Find your partners

In some cases, a call may require at least three partners. The ‘Partner Search’ option is available if you require assistance with identifying a partner with particular experience, competences or facilities.

  1. Evaluation by experts

When the deadline has passed, each proposal is evaluated by a panel of experts in that particular field. It is at the discretion of the panel whether or not a proposal gets funding.

  1. Grant Agreement

Usually the evaluation stage would take the duration of 5 months. Once a proposal has passed this stage, applicants are notified. Then a grant agreement is drawn up by The European Commission which each participant. In the grant agreement it will state what research & innovation activities will be undertaken, rates and costs, the project duration, the budget, the European Commission’s contribution, all rights and obligations and more.

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