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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 16.10.2019, 03:19

EU research budget for the last Horizon-2020 year

Eugene Eteris, European Studies Faculty, RSU, BC International Editor, Copenhagen, 08.07.2019.Print version
The EU intends to spend the last annual tranche - €11 bn - of the Union’s research and innovation program in its final year. Horizon 2020, the EU's €77 billion research and innovation program for 2014-20, supported scientific excellence in the EU states and contributes to high-profile scientific breakthroughs. Perspectives for researchers in the next seven years are bright as well…

In the last year of the Horizon budget for 2020, the Commission will seek greater impact of its research funding by focusing on fewer, but crucial, topics such as climate change, clean energy, plastics, cybersecurity and the digital economy. It will also shape future research and innovation directions in preparing the Horizon Europe, the next framework programme for 2021-2027.

An important novelty under Horizon Europe will be the European Innovation Council – a one-stop-shop for innovation funding to turn science into new business and accelerate the scale-up of companies. The European Innovation Council is already running in its pilot phase and will in 2020 benefit from a budget of €1.2 bn.

On Horizon Europe in:

More on Horizon 2020 program

Horizon 2020 is the EU's biggest ever research and innovation framework program with a budget of €77 billion over seven years (2014-20). EU funded research has contributed to major discoveries: at least 17 Nobel Prize winners received EU research funding prior or after their award.  From the end of 2014 up to June 2019, Horizon 2020 has provided SMEs with access to risk finance worth about €20 billion under the EU finance for innovators scheme (InnovFin). It has funded more than 24 500 grants in total to the tune of €42.8 billion, of which almost €7.1 billion went to SMEs. Over 5 000 ERC Principal Investigators in host organisations and over 45 000 fellows under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions will receive almost €8.8 bn and €4.3 bn respectively.

Commissioner for research, science and innovation underlined that the Horizon 2020 is going to generate new knowledge and technologies with strong economic impact. According to the Commission, for every 100 euro invested through Horizon 2020, about 850 euro is expected to add to states’ GDP by 2030, creating millions of jobs too. With this in mind, the EU is going to invest €100 bn for the next Horizon Europe program in order to boost the member states’ competitiveness, innovation capacities and scientific excellence.

Reference to:


Focusing on the EU economic and political priorities

The 2020-work program is part of the EU budget for 2018-20 and the Commission’s political priorities concentrated in the following four areas: low-carbon, climate resilient research with €3.7 billion; circular economy research with €1 bn; digitising and transforming European industry and services with €1.8 bn; and research issues in the “Security Union” with €1 bn.

For example, in 2020, €206 mln is earmarked for projects to transform sectors that are traditionally energy intensive into competitive, low-carbon and circular industries and to significantly lower their environmental footprint.

About €132 mln will support the development and production in the EU states the next generation of batteries, as part of the drive towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.

Ten new topics on plastics with a total budget of €135 mln will contribute in different ways to the EU plastics strategy.

Artificial intelligence, which is at the core of the present advanced research, has a budget of €396 million and €116 mln is earmarked for developing new capabilities in combating and preventing cybercrime.

On the EU’s plastic strategy in:


Besides, the last year in the Horizon 2020 program will continue to fund “curiosity-driven science” -often referred to as “blue sky science” or “frontier research”. These funds will support excellent researchers with over €2.2 bn: e.g. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, which fund fellowships for researchers, will receive additionally over €1 bn.  

The 2020 program will also strengthen international cooperation in research and innovation. It will invest over €550 mln during 2020 in mutual cooperation projects: e.g. working with Africa on global health, food and nutrition security, with the US, Canada and Japan on clean energy, and with China on food production, biotech, energy, natural resources and urbanisation.


Innovative entrepreneurs in the member states are getting support too: the Commission has launched the first phase of the European Innovation Council with the task of turning innovations into businesses much faster. The EIC Accelerator pilot announced in March 2019 will test a grant and equity blended financing model, paving the way for a fully-fledged European Innovation Council in the next EU research and innovation framework programme, Horizon Europe.

More in:

Future perspectives

It is expected that the next EU science and research program –Horizon Europe- will invest about €209 million for actions on food and natural resources. Some co-creating methods and approaches are being tested through cross-cutting calls on interdisciplinary challenges such as “Competitive, Low Carbon and Circular Industries”, with lump-sum pilot financing projects. In addition, policy areas with increased prominence in the Horizon Europe will be addressed, such as smart buildings, airports and the micro-biome.


More in the following web-links: 

Factsheet: Focus areas;

Factsheet: European Innovation Council; 

Factsheet: lump sum pilot; 

Country participation in H2020

Horizon 2020 website; and 

Funding & Tenders Portal.

General reference:



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