Toggle mobile menu visibility

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the European Union's biggest ever research and innovation programme, with almost €80 billion available to projects up to 2020. With its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges, it promises breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and brings outstanding new research developments successfully to market. Horizon 2020 issues calls for applications under many thematic strands, and is highly competitive, but the rewards are considerable for the right projects. Contact us at if you think you have a suitable project idea and want advice on developing it.

The UK is still a full member of the EU, and UK applicants are eligible for EU funding until new arrangements are agreed. 

Case study

Aquavalens - Improving public health through safer water


This project, led by the University of East Anglia along with 39 other partners from 13 countries across Europe, aimed to establish more reliable and accurate assessment of the risks from waterborne pathogens, enabling water providers and food producers to develop robust control measures that are proportionate to the risks they face.

The project received almost €9m from the European Commission over the €12m total cost. Further information is available on the project website .

Horizon 2020


The Horizon 2020 programme consists of three core themes:

Excellent science

Dedicated support is available to:

  • Support talented individuals and their teams to carry out ground-breaking research by building on the success of the European Research Council
  • Fund collaborative research to open up new and promising fields of research and innovation through support for future and emerging technologies
  • Provide researchers with excellent training and career development opportunities through the "Marie Curie Actions"
  • Ensure Europe has world-class research infrastructures accessible to all researchers in Europe and beyond

Industrial leadership

Support will be available for the following "Key Enabling Technologies":

  • Advanced manufacturing and processing
  • Advanced materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Nanotechnology
  • Space

Societal challenges

  • Health, demographic change and well-being
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the bio-economy
  • Secure, clear and efficient energy
  • Smart, green and integrated transport
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials
  • Europe in a changing world: Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
  • Secure societies: Protecting the freedom and security of Europe and its citizens


Match funding

Different funding rates apply to different types of project but most of them are either 100 % or 70 % funded by the European Commission. See part D of the general annex for further information .


Eligibility criteria

The following participants are eligible for funding from the European Union:

  • Any legal entity established in an EU member state or associated country, or created under EU law;
  • Any international European interest organisation;
  • Any legal entity established in a third country identified in the work programme.
  • Different criteria can apply depending on the theme of the funding call, in terms of number or type of partners.   See part C of the general annex for further information .



Collaborative projects: most of the EU funded projects are collaborative projects with at least three organisations from different EU member states or associated countries. Individual researcher or team : It is also possible to submit your proposal as an individual researcher, team or organisation. Such opportunities are mainly funded under the H2020 European Research Council (ERC) grants and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), and individual SMEs can apply to the H2020 SME instrument.


Call dates

The Horizon 2020 work programme for 2016-2017 was published in October 2015.

This work programme comprises an introduction, 18 thematic sections and the general annexes describing general rules such as standard admissibility conditions and eligibility criteria, types of action, selection and award criteria, etc. Each thematic section is self-contained, and describes the overall objectives, the respective calls for proposals, and the topics within each call.


Additional information

You can find further information on the programme website. Contact us if you are considering applying to Horizon 2020 and want some advice.