The focus of FP7s replacement, Horizon 2020

This week I will be bringing you a summary of the most important information contained in the draft Horizon 2020 proposal (FP7s replacement).  Today focuses on the background to Horizon 2020 and its overall objectives and aims, which will help you to understand the rationale behind the new funding structures which will be detailed throughout this week on the blog.

Horizon 2020 has an arching overall primary objective to generate excellent science in order to strengthen the EU’s world-class excellence in science whilst fostering industrial leadership to support business and tackling societal challenges, in order to respond directly to the challenges identified in the Europe 2020 strategy by supporting activities covering the entire spectrum from research to market.

Funding will complement these three primary aims, but each will incorporate at least one of the more specific aims outlined in Horizon 2020. These are to:

  • tackle the major societal challenges identified in Europe 2020 and its flagship initiatives
  • create industrial leadership in Europe increase excellence in the science base
  • achieve a European research area in which researchers, scientific knowledge and  technology circulate freely, and encouraging the Union to become more competitive (including in its industry)
  • ensure  the conditions necessary for the competitiveness of the Union’s industry exist by fostering better exploitation of the industrial potential of policies of innovation, research and technological development
  • contribute to the role of research and innovation as key drivers of social and economic prosperity and of environmental sustainability (to achieve the goal of increasing spending on R&D to reach 3 % of GDP by 2020)
  • support all stages in the innovation chain, especially activities closer to the market including innovative financial instruments
  • satisfy the research needs of a broad spectrum of EU policies by placing emphasis on the widest possible use and dissemination of knowledge generated by the supported activities up to its commercial exploitation
  • develop closer synergies with national and regional programmes that support  research and innovation as well as other Union programmes
  • address the  underlying causes of gender imbalance in science and research by integrating the gender dimension into the content of  projects
  • contribute to the attractiveness of the research profession in the EU
  • favour an informed  engagement of citizens and civil society on research and innovation matters by  promoting science education, by making scientific knowledge more accessible, by  developing responsible research and innovation agendas that meet citizens’ and civil  society’s concerns and expectations and by facilitating their participation in Horizon  2020 activities
  • have strong participation of SMEs
  • promote cooperation with third countries
  • develop a new approach to control and risk management in research  funding; readdressing the balance between trust and control and between risk-taking and risk avoidance
  • promote dissemination of information and as an integral task of research


Tomorrow’s blog post will detail the areas of funding proposed within Horizon 2020….