Horizon 2020 is the €77 billion funding package the European Commission has designed to support research and innovation between 2014 to 2020. It aims to address the political strategies set out in the EU 2020 and Innovation Union documents, in synergy with regional policies and funding support (latter not addressed here).
H2020 has 3 main “pillars,” 2 of particular relevance to academic staff:
- Excellent Science: (basic) cutting edge research. Scientists are main drivers.
- Industrial Leadership: enhancing economic competitiveness. Industry
is main driver.
- Societal Challenges: tackling pressing issues. “Society” / politicians are the main drivers.
Pillar 1 funds are distributed “bottom up,” Pillar 3 ones "top down."
Bottom up funds
Are you interested to work to work as an individual (with your team), on a topic of your choice? Then bottom up funding is for you. ERC and Marie Curie grants are distributed in this way. Mobility is an option with ERC grants, mandatory for Marie Curie ones. See bottom up funds page for more details.
Top down funds
If, however, you prefer to be a partner in or to coordinate an international, multi-disciplinary research project that addresses one aspect of EC-identified "societal challenges", then top down funding is for you. The EC has named 7 societal challenges it will focus top down funds on between 2014 and 2020:
- health and wellbeing
- food security
A Work programme has been developed for each, with calls for proposals on specific topics set by the Commission within these broader topics.
See top down funds page for more details.