FP7 and Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the new EU Framework programme for funding research and innovation, which will run from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of €80 billion. It is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, the Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness and driving to create new growth and jobs in the area. It is designed to bring more good ideas to the market.

In comparison to all the previous FPs, HORIZON 2020 has the following new elements:

  • It is a single programme bringing together three separate programmes/initiatives (the FP7, the innovation related activities of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
  • It couples research to innovation – from research to retail, all forms of innovation
  • It focuses on societal challenges EU society faces
  • Access has been simplified (for all companies, universities, institutes across the EU and beyond).


Moreover, Horizon 2020 provides major simplification in Rules for participation (through, e.g., a single set of rules, simplified evaluation criteria, new forms of funding, etc).


Priorities of H2020:

  1. Excellent science: a dedicated budget of € 24 598 million aiming to provide a boost to top-level research in Europe, including an increase in funding of 77% for the very successful European Research Council (ERC).
  2. Industrial leadership: providing € 17 938 million committed to major investment in key technologies, greater access to capital and support for SMEs.
  3. Societal challenges: € 31 748 million targeting to help address major concerns shared by all Europeans including climate change, developing sustainable transport and mobility, making renewable energy more affordable, ensuring food safety and security, or coping with the challenge of an ageing population.


H2020: Recent Developments

In June 2013, the Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament representatives reached an informal agreement on the “Horizon 2020” programme for research and innovation. The agreement consists of a general provision to put into place Horizon 2020, the general participation rules, the specific programme, the regulation on the EIT as well as the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the EIT. This agreement has been endorsed by the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) on 17 July 2013 and paves the way for the formal adoption of the "Horizon 2020" legislative package by the European Parliament and the Council.

Therefore, the launch of Horizon 2020 can be expected to take place on 1 January 2014.



Replacing FP7, Horizon 2020 is expected to further overcome the fragmentation in the fields of scientific research and innovation. All in all, the budget comes up to around 70 billion € for the next 7 years which is the world’s largest research programme (for comparison: 53 billion for FP7).

I. Excellent Science


1. European Research Council


2. Future and Emerging Technologies


3. Marie Curie Actions


4. Research infrastructures


II. Industrial Leadership


1. Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies


2. Access to risk finance


3. Innovative small and medium-size enterprises


III. Societal Challenges


1. Health, demographic change and well-being


2. Food quality and marine research


3. Energy


4. Transport


5. Climate Action, resources and raw materials


6. Inclusive societies


7. Secure societies


Spreading excellence and widening participation


Science with or for society


European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)


Joint Research Centre: non-nuclear direct actions




Source: Council of the European Union, Press Release, 17 July 2013


International cooperation will be a crucial element to address many Horizon 2020 objectives. In addition to Horizon 2020 being fully open to international participation, targeted actions with key partner countries and regions will focus on the EU’s strategic priorities. Through a new strategy, a strategic and coherent approach to international cooperation will be ensured across Horizon 2020.


  • Horizon 2020 will also contribute to the European Research Area (ERA).
  • The EU new International Strategy for Research and Innovation can be found here
  • For more information please click here: HORIZON 2020
  • To view the Horizon 2020 Programme, click here


The Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe running from 2007-2013 with budget of more than €55 billion. FP7 also aims to respond to Europe's employment needs and to improve competitiveness and quality of life.

FP7 supports research in selected priority areas aiming in this way to make, or keep, the EU as a world leader in those sectors. It is made up of four main blocks of activities forming four Specific Programmes (COOPERATION, IDEAS, PEOPLE and CAPACITIES) plus two Specific Programmes on nuclear research (EURATOM).

International cooperation constitutes a significant dimension in FP7. It is approached differently under the FP7 compared to what was done under the previous Framework Programmes. The FP7 approach aims at integrating international research collaboration throughout the FP and includes both geographical and thematic targeting.

Further information about the 7th Framework Programme of the EU can be found here: FP7 HOME