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Horizon 2020 programme

Publish date: 2014-09-03

Horizon 2020 programme is the biggest financial instrument created by European Union (EU), which is aimed to support research and innovation development. With almost €80 billion funding that can be invested during years 2014-2020, the programme should help in keeping European economies competitive on the international area of novel technologies, including biotechnology sector.

Tags: Horizon 2020 , programme , eu , calls

In a time of recession, a great hope is put in Horizon 2020 programme, which may trigger economic growth and creation of new workplaces, hence, strengthen the position of EU as a crucial player in science and technology development. The whole idea of the programme started in 2011. In that time, there existed various EU’s research and innovation funding initiatives. However, the message from stakeholders was: the current strategy is too complex for users and should be made simpler. Taking into consideration all suggestions, the European Commission joined all the instruments into one common framework, Horizon 2020, making it substantially more transparent and user-friendlier.

In general, there are three main priorities of Horizon 2020: Excellent Science, Competitiveness of European Industries and Societal Challenges. The first one is aimed to provide proper and flexible funding in order to help creative scientific teams in performing most promising projects with regards to their potential innovative character. Moreover, it puts strong emphasis on collaboration between various disciplines with usage of emerging technologies. Another part of Excellent Science pillar is Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA). The main objective of the MSCA is to provide helpful tools for the development of careers and research training, especially concerning innovative skills. Therefore, the funding will be directed as grants to all stages of scientific career starting from PhD candidates and ending in expert researchers.

Concerning Competitiveness of European Industries, which is the second pillar of Horizon 2020, it should supply dedicated assistance for standardization and certification on inter alia nanotechnology, advanced materials and biotechnology. The other crucial aim is to overpass deficits in the availability of debt and equity finance for R&D enterprises or projects as well as to contribute to the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Altogether, it should encourage potential investors to fund European research projects in the critical industrial branches such as biotechnology.

The last priority is Societal Challenges. It covers funding of the areas that are associated with principal worries of European and world’s citizens. Such approach should be focused on challenges connected with e.g. demographic changes, food security, green energy or climate issues.

For the proper integrated development of the whole Europe, all its parts should be equally important and supported by international projects. As a matter of fact, researchers from Eastern Europe still possess fewer opportunities for international connections. However, the situation is changing in a good way. Importantly, such initiatives as Horizon 2020 are great occasions for Eastern Europe to obtain substantial financial support and to become innovative markets very attractive for international investors. The further investments in this region will certainly boost the whole EU’s economy and make it more competitive in many research areas.


Maciej Smolarz


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