EIT as part of Horizon2020

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020), without counting the private investment that this money will attract. It promises to deliver more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from lab to market.

Horizon 2020 is a key pillar of the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at enhancing Europe's global competitiveness. Seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders as well as the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that research is an investment in our future and therefore put it at the heart of the EU’s blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs. By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this thanks to its emphasis on excellence in science, industrial leadership and by 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.

The EIT strongly contributes to the objectives set out in Horizon 2020, in particular by addressing societal challenges in a manner that is complementary to other initiatives in these areas.


In 2011 the EU Heads of State and Government called on the European Commission to bring together all of the previous EU's research and innovation funding under a single common strategic framework. The Commission launched a wide-ranging consultation involving all key stakeholders which has led to Horizon 2020.

The European Commission has compiled all the feedback from stakeholders, and has taken into account recommendations from the European Parliament, as well as lessons learned from previous programmes. The message was clear – make Horizon 2020 simpler for users – and it is!

Horizon 2020 Timeline

  • Preparatory work in the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament (EP) (September/October 2013)
  • Vote on the Multiannual Financial Framework in the EP Plenary (September/October 2013)
  • Vote on Horizon 2020 in the EP Plenary (October/November 2013)
  • Adoption by the Council (November/December 2013)
  • Adoption of Work Programme and publication of the first calls for proposals (11 December 2013)
  • 2014: Horizon 2020 starts

Note: Horizon 2020 was adopted using the ordinary legislative procedure.

Horizon 2020 statistics

By 1 December 2014 the first 100 calls had closed. What can we tell about the popularity of the programme, the success of SMEs, the degree to which the programme has attracted newcomers - both as participants and as expert evaluators - and the proportion of women experts? Answers below!

10 key facts

  • A total of 36 732 eligible proposals were submitted under Horizon 2020’s first 100 calls (FP7: 135 514), breaking down as follows:
    • 29 794 full proposals in single-stage calls
    • 5 617 outline proposals in the first stage of the two-stage calls
    • 1 321 full proposals in the second stage of the two-stage calls
  • In total, 31 115 full proposals were submitted.
  • The total number of eligible applications in full proposals was 123 334 (FP7: 598 080).
  • These eligible proposals requested a total EU financial contribution of €80.3 billion (FP7: €217.1 billion), and were evaluated by 9 325 experts.
  • 4 315 proposals were retained for funding. The overall success rate of eligible full proposals under the first 100 calls is around 14%, compared with around 20% for the whole of FP7.
  • 38% of successful applicants were newcomers (compared to 13% in 2013, the last year of FP7), of which 1 100 were SMEs.
  • The 20% budget target for SMEs has been achieved.
  • 3 236 grant agreements were signed by the end of April 2015 (compared with 25 164 grant agreements over the seven years of FP7).
  • These grant agreements awarded a total EU contribution of €5.5 billion towards total eligible costs of €6.5 billion.
  • 95% of all grant agreements were signed within the target of eight months.

Impact assessment

Download the Horizon 2020 Impact Assessment Report.

For the Executive Summary, click here.


EIT Community: