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Top Down Funding: "Cooperation" in Addressing Societal Challenges

Who can obtain funding?

 You can, if you are interested in working as a team member in or as a coordinator of an international collaborative research project, aiming to resolve a societal challenge the EC has identified as of of supra-national importance during a specific time period.

Societal Challenges

With input from industry and other actors, the EC has chosen topics it considers of paramount importance - the “societal challenges” for which it will provide top down funding to international consortia of partners (ideally drawn from not only different disciplines but also including state and non-state actors and industry /SMEs) during the years 2014 and 2015. These are:

During 2016 and 2017, the Work Programmes will focus on the following challenges:

  • digital security
  • smart cities
  • energy Efficiency
  • low carbon energy
  • blue growth
  • Food security
  • "internet of things"
  • automated road transport
  • sustainable industrial production ("the circular economy")

How do I find a call that fits my research? 

The EC creates Work Programmes for two years - the first H2020 one is for 2014-2015 - for each of these topics. These Work Programme contain the calls for proposals - set by the EC - relevant to each topic. They also contain important information on the political context and specific scope and aims of the call for proposals that your application must address.

Horizon 2020 demands more “footwork” than did FP7. You may be able to contribute your expertise to projects not only within “your” work Programme on the topic that appears closest to your research topic, but in collaboration with others also in one or more of the other Societal Challenges Work Programmes. The EC specifically requests that researchers be creative in seeing where their expertise can make the most difference in solving the prioritized societal challenges. 

You can search in at least two ways for calls that may fit your research topic:

  • On the “Find Your Area” page, http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/find-your-area, you can click on the various topic areas provided by the EU to see the open calls related to that topic area. Supporting documentation is also provided. OR
  • On the right hand side of the page, you can type in your own specific search term, and work your way to the relevant calls that way.

As you will see, Horizon 2020 calls either explicitly require or request interdisciplinary work. Most also require partners from across the spectrum of science, industry, SME, civil society and sometimes also governmental actors. Some are quite specific about the stage in the innovation cycle that the project should start and stop at. This is particularly relevant for nano- and biotechnology related calls.
Business plans are expected in some cases. There are guidelines for These provided with each call.

Project Budgets 

The calls provide parameters for what would be “normal” budget amounts. It is not advisable to suggest a project outside of these parameters, unless very good reason can be given.

In most cases, 100% of the Project costs are covered, plus 25% overheads. For projects that are closer to the market ("innovation projects"), most Ppartners can obtain funding for 70% of the costs, plus 25% overheads on these. Non-Profit organisations can have 100% of their costs covered in these actions. 

For more information, please contact the EU-Referentin to discuss your plans, and/or check out the participant portal (see "more Information" page).


Zuletzt aktualisiert: 30.04.2015 · michelj

Philipps-Universität Marburg

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