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
    SyG Synergy Grant
    PoC Proof of Concept

    FET Future and Emerging Technologies

    FET Open Novel ideas for radically new technologies (FETOPEN)
    FET Proactive Boosting emerging technologies (FETPROACT)
    FET Proactive High Performance Computing (FETHPC)
    FET FLAGSHIPS Tackling grand interdisciplinary science and technology challenges (FETFLAG)

    MSCA Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

    ITN Innovative Training Networks

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

    IF Individual Fellowships

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

    RISE Research and Innovation Staff Exchange
    COFUND Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes

    • DP Doctoral Programmes
    • FP Fellowship programmes

    NIGHT European Researchers’ Night

    INFRA European research infrastructures, including e-Infrastructures

    INFRADEV Development and long-term sustainability of new pan-European research infrastructures
    Implementing the European Open Science Cloud
    INFRAEOSC Implementing the European Open Science Cloud
    INFRAIA Integrating and opening research infrastructures of European interest
    INFRAEDI European Data Infrastructure
    INFRAINNOV Demonstrating the role of Research Infrastructures in the translation of Open Science into Open Innovation
    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 Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Biotechnology and  Advanced Manufacturing and Processing

    • Foundations for tomorrow’s industries
      • Open Innovation Test Beds
      • Materials Characterisation and Computational Modelling
      • Governance, Science-based Risk Assessment and Regulatory Apsects
    • Transforming European Industry
      • FOF Factories of the Future
      • Biotechnology
      • Medical Technology Innovations
    • Industrial Sustainability
      • SPIRE Sustainable Process Industries
      • Catalysing the Circular Economy
      • Clean Energy through Innovative Materials
      • Cultural Heritage
      • EEB Energy-Efficient Buildings

    ICT Information and Communication Technologies

    • ICT Information and Communication Technologies
      • Technologies for Digitising European Industry
      • European Data Infrastructure: HPC, Big Data and Cloud technologies
      • 5G
      • NGI Next Generation Internet
      • Cross-cutting activities
    • Digitising and transforming European industry and services: digital innovation hubs and platforms
      • Support to Hubs
      • Platforms and Pilots
      • SU Cybersecurity
      • EUJ EU-Japan Joint Call
      • EUK EU-Korea Joint Call


    • Space 2018-2020
      • EO Earth observation
      • BIZ Space business, entrepreneurship, outreach and education
      • TEC/SCI Space technologies, science and exploration
      • SEC Secure and safe space environment
    • EGNSS European Global Navigation Satellite System market uptake 2019-2020

    Access to risk finance

    InnovFin EU Finance for Innovators

    • Financial Instrument
    • Expert Contracts
    • Grant to Identifies beneficiary
    • Public Procurement

    Innovation in SMEs

    INNOSUP For a better innovation support to SMEs
    Related programmes:

    • EIC SME Instrument
  • 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

    SC1 Health - Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing

    BHC/HCO Better Health and care, economic growth and sustainable health systems

    • Personalised medicine
    • Innovative health and care industry
    • Infectious diseases and improving global health
    • Innovative health and care systems – Integration of care
    • Decoding the role of the environment, including climate change, for health and well-being

    DTH/HCC Digital transformation in Health and Care
    TDS Trusted digital solutions and Cybersecurity in Health and Care

    •     DT-TDS Focus Area on Digitising and transforming European industry and services
    •     SU-TDS    Focus Area on Boosting the effectiveness of the Security Union

    SC2 Food - Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy

    SFS Sustainable Food Security

    • From functional ecosystems to healthy food
    • Environment and climate-smart food production and consumption
    • Building capacities
    • Targeted international cooperation

    BG Blue Growth
    RUR Rural Renaissance

    • From farm to society: understanding dynamics and modernising policies
    • Organising sustainable food and non-food value chains under changing conditions
    • Taking advantage of the digital revolution
    • Boosting innovation and enhancing the human and social capital in rural areas

    SC3 Energy - Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy

    LC Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future: Secure, clean and efficient energy

    • EE Energy efficiency
    • RES Global leadership in renewables
    • EC Smart and clean energy for consumers
    • ES Smart citizen-centred energy system
    • SCC Smart Cities and Communities
    • NZE Enabling near-zero CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power plants and carbon intensive industries
    • JA Joint Actions
    • CC Cross-cutting issues

    SC4 Transport - Smart, Green and Integrated Transport

    MG 2018-2020 Mobility for Growth

    • LC-MG-1 Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future: Low-carbon and sustainable transport
    • MG-2 Safe, Integrated and resilient transport systems
    • MG-3 Global Leadership and competitiveness
    • MG-4 Accounting for the people
    • MG-BG Blue Growth

    ART 2018-2020 Digitising and Transforming European Industry and Services: Automated Road Transport
    GV Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future: Green Vehicles

    SC5 Environment - Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials

    CLA Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future: climate action in support of the Paris Agreement

    •     Decarbonisation
    •     Climate adaptation, impacts and services
    •     Inter-relations between climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services
    •     The Cryosphere
    •     Knowledge gaps

    Greening the economy in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

    • Connecting economic and environmental gains - the circular economy
    • Raw materials
    • Water for our environment, economy and society
    • Innovating cities for sustainability and resilience
    • Protecting and leveraging the value of our natural and cultural assets
      • Earth observation
      • Nature-based solutions, disaster risk reduction and natural capital accounting
      • Heritage alive

    SC6 Society - Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies

    MIGRATION Migration
    TRANSFORMATIONS Socioeconomic and cultural transformations in the context of the fourth industrial revolution
    GOVERNANCE Governance for the future

    SC7 Security - Secure societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens

    SU-INFRA Protecting the infrastructure of Europe and the people in the European smart cities

    • SU-DRS Disaster-Resilient Societies
    • SU-FCT Fight against Crime and Terrorism
    • SU-BES Border and External Security
    • SU-GM General Matters

    DS Digital Security