European Parliament approves €80 billion research fund for Horizon 2020 programme

22 November 2013

The European Parliament has approved the Horizon 2020 European research and development programme with a budget of nearly €80 billion over seven years.

Horizon 2020 has nearly 30% increase in real terms over the current Seventh Framework Programme and is one of the biggest publicly funded worldwide.

EU Member States must now give their final seal of approval ahead of the first calls for proposals under Horizon 2020, currently set for 11th December.

Following the vote, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commission for Research, Innovation and Science said, "This is a vote of confidence in the power of EU research and innovation funding. It paves the way for more investment in knowledge and competitiveness in Europe. The European Parliament's support for and input to Horizon 2020 has been very important."

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, in particular welcomed the significant additional funding for the parts of Horizon 2020 under her responsibility: "With the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Europe is investing in people who have the knowledge and talent to innovate and change lives. This is excellent news for the research community and the EIT's entrepreneurs of tomorrow."

Horizon 2020 has been designed to deliver results that make a difference to people's lives. Built on three pillars — Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges — it will fund all types of activities, from frontier science to close-to-market innovation.

The programme for the first time brings all EU-level funding for research and innovation under one roof, provides a single set of rules and will radically slash red tape. The overarching goal is a more coherent, simpler programme that will make it easier to participate, especially for smaller research organisations and small businesses.


Horizon 2020 will run from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of nearly €80 billion (current prices – adjusted for inflation). It replaces the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), which ran from 2007 to 2013 with a budget of around €55 billion.

Aside from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, some other key elements of Horizon 2020 are:

  • Increased funding for the European Research Council, already one of the world's premier frontier-research funding agencies.
  • Innovative public-private partnerships in areas such as new medicines, greener aircraft technologies and electronics.
  • Investment in Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) such as photonics, nanotechnologies and biotechnology.
  • A challenge-based approach to key issues facing societies, such as healthcare, sustainable agriculture, smarter and greener transport, and climate change.
  • A renewed focus on widening participation in less well-performing EU countries, including better synergies with European Structural and Investment Funds.
  • A dedicated SME Instrument, and a "Fast Track to Innovation" pilot scheme to speed up the time from idea to market, and to increase the participation of industry, SMEs and first time applicants in Horizon 2020.
  • A programme for "Science for and with society", in order to engage European society, increase the attractiveness of science careers and address gender imbalance in the field.

For more information

Horizon 2020: 

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions:

European Institute of Innovation and Technology at a glance:


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