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European Commission launches 2018-2020 work programme

This will be the last work programme of Horizon 2020, running for three years and over €30 billion available to fund research and innovation. This biannual format anticipates 2020 as a “bridge year” between Horizon 2020 and its successor (Framework Programme 9). Some of the call topics are indicative and subject to change, with the 2019 and 2020 calls subject to revision in mid-2018 and mid-2019 respectively.

Speaking at the launch of the work programme on 27 October 2017, Carlos Moedas, the EU's Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said:

"Artificial Intelligence, genetics, blockchain: science is the core of today's most promising breakthrough innovations. Europe is a world leader in science and innovation and will play a major role in driving innovation. The Commission is making a concerted effort – including with the European Innovation Council which takes its first steps today – to give Europe's many innovators a springboard to become world leading companies."

Two of the most popular schemes for applicants will have a combined budget of almost €5 billion:

  • Frontier research – The European Research Council (ERC), the gold standard in 'blue sky science' funding has been given a budget a budget of almost €2 billion over three years.
  • Training and mobilityMarie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), which fund fellowships for researchers at all stages of their careers will receive €2.9 billion in total over three years.

The programme aligns with the European Commission’s 10 priorities for the 2015-2019 period with significant focus on five key areas with bigger budgets devoted to fewer topics to ensure maximum impact. These priority areas are:

  • A low-carbon, climate resilient future: €3.3 billion;
  • Circular Economy: €1 billion;
  • Digitising and transforming European industry and services: €1.7 billion;
  • Security Union: €1 billion;
  • Migration: €200 million.

Climate and energy research are at the heart of the 2018-2020 work programme. €2.2 billion will be earmarked for clean energy projects in four interrelated areas:

  • Renewables;
  • Energy efficient buildings;
  • Electro-mobility;
  • Storage solutions.

€200 million will be dedicated to support the development and production in Europe of the next generation of electric batteries. €1 billion will be spent on 30 flagship initiatives aimed at Enhancing international cooperation. €460 million will be allocated to supporting Member States and associated countries that do not yet participate in the programme to their full potential. €2 billion will be channelled to support Open Science, and €600 million will be dedicated to the European Open Science Cloud, European Data Infrastructure and High Performance Computing.

European Innovation Council

Beyond research, the 2018-2020 work programme brings to life the European Innovation Council (EIC). Through a pilot scheme, an "ERC for innovation", the commission is investing €2.7 billion to support high-risk, high-gain innovation from technology and business innovation to realise Europe’s entrepreneurial potential, support market-creation and scale-up of breakthrough technology solutions.

H2020 Academy

Luris offers you a number of complementary events related to the Horizon 2020 work programme. This series of events, called the "H2020 Academy", is a way in which you can benefit from our grant development team's experience and that of other experts from Leiden University. H2020 Academy will make sure you are well prepared when you write your proposal or for other research support activities.

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