Horizon 2020 also known as FP8, is a phase of European Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development, and funding programmes to support research in the European Research Area (ERA). The programme runs from 2014–2020 and offers about €80 billion of funding. Switzerland, Turkey and Israel are also partly involved in Horizon 2020. In compare to previous programs it is highly focused in sustainable development and transformative agenda for greening the economy.



Structure of Horizon 2020


Horizon 2020 has three main research areas, called “pillars”, Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal challenges.

Excellent Science

Focus on: Basic science and researcher mobility

Budget: Billion euro. The European Research Council (ERC) delivers 13 billion euro to researchers and teams of researchers based on scientific excellence of the applications.

Major Substructures:

  • Future and emerging technologies (FET, €2.7 billion)
  • Researcher mobility (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action (MSCA), €6.1 billion)
  • Large European research infrastructures (€2.5 billion).

Very intresting is the Researcher mobility Program MSCA that supports funding for 25000 PhDs during 7 years. Also MSCA funds research networks, fellowships for individual researchers, research staff exchanges and arrange “European Researchers’ Night”-event annually on the last Friday of September.

Industrial Leadership

Budget: 14 billion euro.

Managed by “European Commission Directorate General (DG) Enterprises

Goal: promotes EU’s strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Sub-program of “Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies”:

  • Information and communication technologies
  • Nanotechnologies
  • Advanced materials
  • Advanced manufacturing and processing
  • Biotechnology
  • Space

Some technologies are labelled key enabling technologies (KET). Also this programs contains special efforts to SME funding and gives risk financing (2.8 billion euro) e.g. through loans of the European Investment Bank.

Societal challenges

Topic and goal: potential solutions to social and economic problems, with focus on implementation of solutions, less on technology development.


  • Health (€7.5 billion)
  • Food, water, forestry, bioeconomy (€3.8 billion)
  • Energy (€5.9 billion)
  • Transport (€6.3 billion)
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency, and raw materials (€3.1 billion)[24]
  • European society (€1.3 billion)
  • Security (€1.7 billion)
  • Science with and for society” (€0.5 billion)
  • Spreading excellence and widening participation (€0.8 billion).


CARD, Center of Computer Aided Research and Development is continuously searching for new innovative ideas and partnership with Industry and Academia. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information related to Horizon 2020 or other national or international funding programs.