A brief introduction to Horizon 2020

The Horizon 2020 programme offers you an opportunity to enable your ambition. Starting in 2014, under the umbrella of Horizon 2020 current research and innovation programmes, such as FP7, CIP and EIT, are unified. Are you doing state-of-the-art research and develop innovative technologies? Are you ready to provide your knowledge or would you like to cooperate with global partners to get another step ahead?

Running from 2014 to 2020 with a €70 billion budget, Horizon 2020 will concentrate its main effort on the three priorities of Excellent Science, Competitive Industries and Societal Challenges.

Horizon 2020 Acronyms

EEB, EJD or SFS. MG, CIP or EA. Once you enter the world of Horizon 2020 projects you enter the never ending world of acronyms. In order to guide you, we have created an overview of all the acronyms of the three Horizon 2020 pillars. The information presented below is also available in the form of a flyer for download (PDF). Select one of the three ‚Pillars‘ of Horizon 2020:

  • Pillar 1 - Excellent Science

    Excellent Science provides funding programmes for frontier and seminal research and a platform for exchange of skills and knowledge between European partners:

    ERC European Research Council

    STG Starting Grant
    COG Consolidator Grant
    AdG Advanced Grant
    PoC Proof of Concept Grant

    FET Future and Emerging Technologies

    FET Open
             • RIA Research and Innovation Actions
             • CSA Coordination and Support Actions
    FET Proactive
    FET Flagships

    MSCA Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

    ITN Innovative Training Networks
             • ETN European Training Networks
             • EID European Industrial Doctorates
             • EJD European Joint Doctorates

    IF Individual fellowships
             • CAR Career Restart panel
             • RI Reintegration panel
             • SE Society and Enterprise panel
             • ST Standard European Fellowships
             • GF Global Fellowships

    RISE International and inter-sectoral cooperation through the Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges
    COFUND Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes that finance fellowships involving mobility to or from another country
    NIGHT The European Researchers’ Night

    RI Research Infrastructure

    INFRADEV Development and long-term sustainability of new pan-European research infrastructures
    INFRAIA Integrating and opening research infrastructures of European interest
    EINFRA E-Infrastructures
    INFRAINNOV Fostering the innovation potential of research infrastructures
    INFRASUPP Support to policy and international cooperation

  • Pillar 2 - Industrial Leadership

    The Industrial Leadership objective aims at making Europe a more attractive location to invest in research and innovation, by promoting activities where businesses set the agenda:

    • Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies supports research in ICT, nanotechnologies, materials, biotechnology, manufactoring and space.
    • Access to risk finance leverages private finance and venture capital for research and innovation.
    • Innovation in SMEs acts as a catalyst at the European level by supporting dynamic, self-sustaining and creative SMEs.

    LEIT Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies

    NMBP Advanced materials and nano technologies for high added value products and process industries

    • EEB Energy-efficient buildings
    • NMBP
      • Green vehicles
      • Advanced materials and nanotechnologies for healthcare
      • Advanced materials and nanotechnologies for energy applications
      • Eco-design and new sustainable business models
      • Modelling for the development of nanotechnologies and advanced materials
      • Science-based risk assessment and management of nanotechnologies, advanced materials and biotechnologies
      • Innovative and responsible governance of new and converging enabling technologies
      • Biotechnology
      • Circular economy

    ICT Information and Communication Technologies
             • A new generation of components and systems
             • Advanced computing
             • Future internet
             • Content technologies and information management
             • Robotics
             • Micro- and nano-electronic technologies, photonics

             • EO
    Earth Observation
             • COMPET Competitiveness of European Space Sector
             • GALILEO-GSA Applications in Satellite Navigation

    Access to risk finance

    InnovFin EU Finance for Innovators


    Innovation in SMEs

    FTI Fast Track to Innovation
    SMEInst SME Instrument
    INNOSUP For a better innovation support to SMEs

    cPPPs Contractual Public-Private Partnerships

    EeB Energy-efficient Buildings
    FoF Factories of the Future
    SPIRE Sustainable Process Industries

    JTIs Joint Technology Initiatives

    IMI Innovative Medicines Initiative
    Clean Sky Aeronautics and Air Transport
    FCH Fuel Cells and Hydrogen
    Artemis Advanced Research & Technology for EMbedded Intelligent Systems - Embedded Computing Systems
    ENIAC European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council - Nanoelectronics Technologies 2020

  • Pillar 3 - Societal Challenges

    Societal Challenges provides funding programmes to tackle arising and important issues in health, energy, food, transport, climate and security:

    • Health, demographic change and well-being
    • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy
    • Smart, green and integrated transport
    • Secure, clean and efficient energy
    • Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
    • Secure Societies
    • Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials

    Health - Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing

    PM Personalised Medicine
             • Understanding health, well-being and disease
             • Preventing disease
             • Treating and managing disease
             • Active ageing and self-management of health
             • Methods and data
             • Health care provision and integrated care

    HCO Coordination Activities

    Food - Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy

    SFS Sustainable Food Security
             • More resilient and resource efficent value chains
             • Environment-smart and climate-smart primary production
             • A competitive food industry
             • Healthy and safe foods and diets
             • EU-Africa partnership
             • EU-China FAB (food, agriculture and biotechnology) Flagship initiative

    BG Blue Growth
             • Boosting innovation for emerging Blue Growth activities
             • Linking healthy oceans and seas with healthy people
             • The Arctic dimension
             • Valorising the Mediterranean Sea basin

    RUR Rural Renaissance - Fostering innovation and business opportunities
             • New approaches towards policies and governance
             • New value chains and business models
             • Innovation and skill development

    BB Bio-based innovation for sustainable goods and services
             • Securing sustainable biomass supply
             • Building the “bio-based markets of the future”

    Energy - Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy

    EE Energy Efficiency
             • Heating and cooling
             • Engaging consumers towards sustainable energy
             • Buildings
             • Industry, services and products
             • Innovative financing for energy efficiency investments

    LCE Competitive low-carbon energy
             • Towards an integrated EU energy system
             • Renewable energy technologies
             • Enabling the decarbonisation of the use of fossil fuels
             • Social, economic and human aspects of the energy system
             • Supporting the development of a European research area
             • Cross-cutting issues

    Transport - Smart, Green and Integrated Transport

    MG Mobility for Growth
             • Aviation
             • Waterborne
             • Safety
             • Urban mobility
             • Logistics
             • Intelligent transport systems
             • Infrastructure
             • Socio-economic and behavioural research

    ART Automated Road Transport
    GV Green Vehicles

    Environment - Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials

    SC5 Societal Challenges 5 - Greening the Economy

    • Climate services
    • Towards a low-carbon Europe
    • Nature-based solutions for territorial resilience
    • Water
    • Raw materials
    • Earth observation
    • Cultural heritage for sustainable growth
    • Support to policy innovation procurement

    Society - Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies

    CO-CREATION Co-creation for growth and inclusion
    REV-INEQUAL Reversing inequalities and promoting fairness
    ENG-GLOBALLY Engaging together globally
    CULT-COOP Promoting the European public and cultural space

    Security - Secure societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens

    CIP Critical infrastructure protection
    SEC Security
             • Disaster-resilience: safeguarding and securing society
             • Fight against crime and terrorism
             • Border security and external security
    DS Digital Security focus area

    Cross cutting initiatives

    SEaWP (Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation)
    SwafS (Science with and for Society)