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Ready, steady, go – Calls for Horizon 2020 launched

Long-awaited and now finally there – the first calls for the EU’s funding programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020 have been published earlier this month. With calls for tenders and proposals worth around EUR 7.8 billion for 2014, approximately 9.75 % of the total seven-year EUR 80 billion Horizon 2020 programme will be put to good use. Aimed at boosting Europe’s knowledge-driven economy and tackling societal challenges, Horizon 2020 is the largest research funding programme in history.

The current calls cover 12 different focus areas within the three central pillars of Horizon 2020 – excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenge. Amongst others, the calls include funding for new therapies for chronic diseases, waste management and conversion of carbon dioxide into useful chemicals, or new forms of batteries for electric cars.

A very important part of the financial allocation of the first year’s Horizon 2020 budget is dedicated to the European Research Council (ERC) and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). With EUR 1 662 million and EUR 800 million respectively, the two areas represent the biggest share of Horizon 2020 funding for the work programme 2014. Within the framework of calls for the European Research Council, the budget will be allocated in the following way:

  • 44 % for Physical Sciences & Engineering,
  • 39 % for Life Sciences, and
  • 17 % for Social Sciences & Humanities.
Although funded by Horizon 2020, the MSCA are under responsibility of the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. The first calls for the year 2014 are largely targeting an institutional level by offering specific calls of interest for research organisations, universities, companies and non-governmental organisations. These are eligible for funding through MSCA’s Innovative Training Networks which allows for setting up an institutional framework for research cooperation by means of European Training Networks (ETN), European Industrial Doctorates (EID) and European Joint Doctorates (EJD). Strongly advocating for international cooperation, ETN and EJD require the participation of at least three partners in three member states or associated countries, while two partners in two different members states or associated countries are needed for EID.

Potential applicants are requested to apply through the redesigned Participant Portal which aims at making the application process for EU research funding simpler and more open. 

European Commission - Press release Horizon2020 calls

European Commission - Speech by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn

European Commission - Memo MSCA

Participant Portal