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Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

Here you will find a short introduction to various aspects of Horizon 2020, as well as links to related sections of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 website. Also included are various other useful resources and references.

 Horizon 2020 is founded on three pillars;

  1. Excellent Research
  2. Industrial Leadership
  3. Societal Challenges

For the first time, all EU level funding for research and innovation is under one roof.  Horizon 2020 has been designed to get more people, companies and organisations involved with simpler, streamlined programmes, a single set of rules and less red tape.

Please contact Orla Lynch ( in the Research Office if you wish to discuss getting involved in EU research.  

In Orla's absence please contact Dr. Tim Mc Cormac (, also Research Office.

Industrial Leadership

Industrial Leadership
This pillar of Horizon 2020 will promote even greater industry involvement and leverage of investment. Horizon 2020 has a particular focus on small businesses with 20% of the programme's budget allocated for SMEs. Successful, innovative SMEs play a critical role in developing a more competitive economy with higher employment which is why the European Union have taken this ‘bottom up' or business led approach.

Societal Challenges

Societal Challenges
The challenges facing Europe cannot be solved by a single field of science or technology and so the Societal Challenges Pillar of Horizon 2020 will fund collaborative research projects that focus on seven key challenges for Europe including Climate action, Energy efficiency, Food Security, and Health.