Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly € 80 billion of funding available over seven years (January 2014-December 2020).
Simplification is the key word of this framework, which is fully reflected in its design, rules, financial management and implementation. It aims to attract the strong participation of universities, research centres, industry and specifically SMEs and to be open to new participants, as it brings together the full range of research and innovation support in one common strategic framework.
Its general objective is to build a society and a world-leading economy based on knowledge and innovation across the whole Union, while contributing to sustainable development, according to the Europe 2020 strategy and the achievement of the European Research Area (ERA).
It focuses on three priorities:
• generating excellent science in order to strengthen the Union’s world-class excellence in science;
• fostering industrial leadership to support business, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and innovation;
• tackling societal challenges, identified in the Europe 2020 strategy, by supporting activities covering the entire spectrum from research to market.
In addition, Horizon 2020 promotes science education through dedicated activities and programmes in order to deep the relationship between science and society.
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) contribute to such objectives, respectively by providing customer-driven scientific and technical support to Union policies and by integrating the knowledge triangle of higher education, research and innovation.
THE EUROPE 2020 STRATEGY
Europe 2020 is the European Union’s ten-year jobs and growth strategy.
It was launched in 2010 to create the conditions for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth: smart, through more effective investments in education, research and innovation; sustainable, thanks to a decisive move towards a low-carbon economy; inclusive, with a strong emphasis on job creation and poverty reduction. The strategy is focused on five ambitious goals in the areas of employment, innovation, education, poverty reduction and climate/energy.
The success of the Europe 2020 strategy crucially depends on the ability of EU Member States to play their part in implementing the necessary reforms at national level to boost growth.