Horizon 2020, the new framework programme for research and innovation, is providing funding of approximately €70 billion during the period 2014 to 2020. Its funding activities cover the entire innovation chain – from basic research to the provision of marketable products and services. The programme addresses the following target groups: higher education institutions, research institutions, companies (including SMEs in particular) as well as stakeholders in the innovation sector in the widest sense.
With its three central programme areas, Horizon 2020 will promote the excellence of science in Europe, expand the leading role of European industry and develop solutions to the great societal challenges of our day. The diverse funding opportunities under Horizon 2020 cover collaborative projects, individual support for outstanding researchers, mobility and training activities, support and accompanying measures, public-public as well as public-private partnerships, venture capital funding, innovative procurement and prizes. The programme's regulations and accounting system for grant recipients are considerably simpler than those of previous programmes.
Horizon 2020 was drafted under the EU's Ordinary Legislative Procedure, which involves approval from both the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament (EP). The European Parliament approved Horizon 2020 with a large majority on 21 November 2013 and the Council of the European Union passed the final legislative act on 3 December. The way is now open for the first calls for proposals, which will be published on the Participant Portal for Horizon 2020.
A network of Federal Government National Contact Points (NKS) for Horizon 2020 is available with immediate effect for all interested parties and participants. The contact points provide information and extensive counselling services regarding all areas of the programme.