Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). It is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness.
Seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, H2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. By coupling research and innovation, H2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.
Horizon 2020 is mainly based on open, competitive calls. EU Member States and countries associated to the programme have full access rights. Most other countries can join proposing consortia, and in many cases even receive funding. For typical research and innovation projects, at least 3 partners from 3 different countries with full access rights have to cooperate.
The EU contribution for research and innovation projects (RIA) is 100% of the eligible costs directly related to the project and 25% indirect costs. For projects with mainly an innovation character (IA) the EU contributes 70% direct costs (non-profit organisations can get up to 100%) and 25% indirect costs. Coordination and Support Activities (e.g. studies or networking activities) also receive 100% plus 25% EU contribution.
The network of National Contact Points (NCPs) is the main structure to provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in Horizon 2020. NCPs are appointed for each domain of Horizon 2020, one of which is NCP for Space. They are established and financed by the governments of the 28 EU Member States, the states associated to Horizon 2020 and many non-EU and non-associated countries (“third countries”).