Introduction of the Horizon 2020 programme

The Horizon 2020 framework programme, which is the most impactful programme of the European Union's research and innovation policy in the 2014-2020 period, disposes a budget of near 79 billion euros. The programme is one of the corner-stones of the Innovative Union initiative named in the Europe 2020 strategy for enhancing the global competitiveness of the continent.

The Horizon 2020 programme provides direct funding, from the Bruxelles headquartered Commision, for which applications can be submitted with excellence in international competition. That means each member state can utilize as many of this funding as their capable for: the selection of the applications are based upon excellence, high quality professional management and consortia and validatable and measurable impact on all-european level.

  • the main objective of the programme is to turn innovative scientific breakthroughs into innovative products and services that provide business opportunities, and therefore provides support for all stages of the innovation chain, from research to market exploitation;
  • emphasis is placed on addressing societal challenges and solving problems affecting the society of the European Union (eg. in the fields of health, energy, transport);
  • the main types of calls are the RIA (Research and Innovation), IA (Innovation Action) and CSA (Coordination and Support action)


DRYvER - Securing biodiversity, functional integrity and ecosystem services in DRYing rivER networks

Securing biodiversity, functional integrity and ecosystem services in DRYing rivER networks

River networks are among Earth’s most threatened hot-spots of biodiversity and provide key ecosystem services (eg. supply drinking water and food, climate regulation) essential to sustaining human well-being. Climate change and increased human water use are causing more rivers and streams to dry, with devastating impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Currently, over half the global river network consist of drying channels and these are expanding dramatically. However, drying river networks (DRNs) have received little attention from scientists and policy makers, and the public is unaware of their importance. Consequently, there is no effective integrated biodiversity conservation or ecoystem management strategy of DRNs facing climate change.
A multidisciplinary team of 25 experts from 11 countries in Europe, South America, China and the USA will build on EU efforts to investigate how climate change, through changes in flow regimes and water use, has cascading impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services of DRNs. DRYvER (DRYing riVER networks) will gather and upscale empirical and modelling data from nine focal DRNs (case studies) in the EU and CELAC to develop a meta-system framework applicable to Europe and worldwide. It will also generate crucial knowledge based strategies, tools and guidelines for cost-effictive adaptive management of DRNs. Working closely with stakeholders and end-users, DRYvER will co-develop strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change effects in DRNs, integrating hydrological, ecological (including nature-based solutions), socio-economic and policy perspectives. The end results of DRYvER will contribute to reaching the objectives of the Paris Agreement and place Europe at the forefront of research on climate changes.

SPRING - Strategic Planning for water Resources and Implementation of Novel biotechnical treatment solutions and Good practices

Strategic Planning for water Resources and Implementation of Novel biotechnical treatment solutions and Good practices - SPRING

The overall aim of the SPRING project is to present an integrated water resource management for reliable water supply for all needs that involve; developing innovative simple to operate bio oxidation systems for treatment of polluted water bodies (stagnant and flowing), cost effective real time monitoring tools and finally by implementing good practices in water planning for treatment, supply and usage. SPRING aims at improving and developing technologies for the elimination of pollutants from water using a bioremediation approach.

POLISS - Policies for Smart Specialisation

Policies for Smart Specialisation

Smart specialisation is an essential principle of European regional policies, aimed at increasing efficiency in research and innovation investments. This region-based approach aims to boost growth and jobs by enabling each region to identify and develop its own competitive advantages. Over 120 smart specialisation strategies have been developed. The EU-funded POLISS project will address the gaps between the conceptualisation, design and implementation of smart specialisation strategies. Bringing together 8 leading European academic institutions and 14 partners from local governments, development agencies, international organisations, research institutes and private companies, the project will take a multidisciplinary approach. It will provide new systematic evidence and methodological tools to scholars, policymakers and local practitioners for designing smart specialisation actions.

JARC - Joint Action on Rare Cancers

Joint Action on Rare Cancers

The Joint Action on Rare Cancers (JARC) is aimed to integrate and maximize efforts of the European Union (EU) Commission, EU Member States and all stakeholders to advance quality of care and research on rare cancers.
The public health challenge posed by rare cancers combines both the typical problems of rare diseases (such as the limited professional expertise available in the community, or the difficulties in clinical research) and those of cancer, with the need of a timely and appropriate diagnosis and optimal treatment from the very beginning of the patient’s journey. An accurate clinical, pathologic and biological assessment of the disease of the individual patient is key to survival and cure, as well as an expert clinical decision provided by a multidisciplinary team. To this end, proper referral of patients and effective clinical networking are crucial in rare cancers. This is the main reason why JARC decided to shape its efforts, in essence, around the new European Reference Networks (ERNs). European Reference Networks, three of which are specifically devoted to rare cancers, have been conceived by the EU Commission as a means to provide “highly specialised healthcare for rare or low-prevalence complex diseases”. The formal activation of ERNs is a cornerstone in the EU cooperation on rare cancers, and this Joint Action should be instrumental to make them grow up the best way possible. In fact, JARC aims at optimizing the process of creation of the ERNs, by providing them with operational solutions and professional guidance in the areas of quality of care, epidemiology, research and innovation, education and state of the art definition on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of rare cancers.

ODYSSEUS - Coal-to-liquids supply chain integration in view of operational, economic and environmental risk assessments under complex geological settings

Coal-to-liquids supply chain integration in view of operational, economic and environmental risk assessments under complex geological settings, ODYSSEUS

ODYSSEUS aims at Coal-to-Liquids Supply Chain (CLSC) integration and enhanced assessment of operational, economic and environmental risks during or after mine operation in unfavourable geological settings for potential high coal production areas in European medium- to low-grade coal deposits. For that purpose, technological CLSC integration and optimisation are the main project tasks, supported by experimental activities on upgrading coal-derived liquids and by-product beneficiation, integration of conventional and innovative mine development as well as enhanced techno-economic and environmental risk management. Best-practices guidelines and workshops will support decision makers and stakeholders in increasing EU-wide resources utilization and employment, while reducing import dependency. 

VISGEN - Transcribing the processes of life: Visual Genetics

Transcribing the processes of life: Visual Genetics

The Visual Genetics (VISGEN) consortium brings together eight academic and five commercial scientifically leading teams to address the unique challenge of visualizing nuclear processes in intact brain in real-time. By exchanging knowledge between academic and commercial sectors in Europe, as well as undertaking training secondments at leading Universities in China the team will grow its European and global competitiveness in a world-leading forefront of neuroscience and genetic technology. Visualisation of transcription in living systems has not been witnessed directly, this multidisciplinary and international project will herald a new era where this idea becomes a regular research tool and translates to a clinical and diagnostic technology in the future. The team will use a unique biotagging platform to develop the technology that is required to interrogate transcription. The intersectoral effort requires the amalgamation of knowledge from neuroscientists, synthetic chemists, engineers, physicists, analytical chemists, nanobiologists, behavioural scientists, laser technology and image processing experts. The consortium combines expertise from thirteen organisations from seven countries to build the multidisciplinary team and share the knowledge that addresses and will overcome the task of realising real-time and spatially resolved genetic studies. Once developed, the technology can be utilized for other medical-based research and development projects aimed at early stage disease diagnosis, cancer detection, and toxicity studies. Real-time visual genetics will transform our understanding of the state-of-the-art and herald transformative changes in the field of neuroscience, and in general life science.

FIRES - Financial and Institutional Reforms for the Entrepreneurial Society

Financial and Institutional Reforms for the Entrepreneurial Society

This EU-Horizon2020 project aims to develop Financial and Institutional Reforms to build an Entrepreneurial Society (FIRES) in Europe. The goal of the project is to get Europe back on the road to inclusive, sustainable growth, for which, we believe, it is essential to (re) kindle Europe’s entrepreneurial spirit. Moreover, FIRES intends to formulate practical reform proposals in the realms of finance, labor and knowledge to enable the small scale, experimental and innovative bottom up activity that is needed to revitalize Europe’s economy in the 21st century.

Smart Ground - SMART data collection and inteGRation platform to enhance availability and accessibility of data and infOrmation in the EU territory on SecoNDary Raw Materials

SMART data collection and inteGRation platform to enhance availability and accessibility of data and infOrmation in the EU territory on SecoNDary Raw Materials

SMART GROUND aims at improving the availability and accessibility of data and information on SRM (Secondary Raw Materials) in the EU territory, while creating collaborations and synergies among the different stakeholders involved in the SRM value chain. In order to do so, the consortium will carry out a set of activities to integrate all the data from existing sources and new information retrieved with time progress, in a single EU database. Such database will also enable the exchange of contacts and information among the relevant stakeholders (e.g. companies), which are interested in providing or obtaining SRM.

ICT4Life - ICT sevices for Life Improvement For the Elderly

ICT sevices for Life Improvement For the Elderly

There are many efforts at European level to improve our ability to monitor health and to prevent, detect, treat and manage disease so that active and healthy ageing can be promoted. In this project, breakthrough research and radical innovation on new services for integrated care is achieved by means of an efficient and cost-effective service-oriented ICT-based collaborative platform which exploits latest advances in sensorization, processing, communications and personalized HMI.
ICT4Life will develop a modular Health Service Platform that will allow the provision, easily and in an adaptive way, of 6 ICT4Life Cluster Services for integrated care according to different end-user needs.
Addressing the priorities of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, a multidisciplinary approach which integrates expertise and knowledge of medical doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, physiotherapists, social scientists, patients as well as programmers and interaction designers is proposed. It relies, from a general perspective, on: New training models for the care workforce; advanced multisensory-based analytics and integration with biomedical devices to have patient activity and health status information; Feedback-based decision-making engine to integrate patient and care provider data; Improve natural interaction mechanisms with patients with interfaces through television with Android TV possibilities, smartphones and desktop applications; Knowledge creation about co-morbidities.
Focusing on real medical problems, people with Dementia, Alzheimer or Parkinson disease, constitute the main group of users ICT4Life will focus the analysis on. ICT4Life validation will be done in real use case scenarios in 3 European countries of all this pathologies in order to validate ICT4Life services, measure effects of treatment and project developments and to evaluate knowledge acquired about co-morbidities of these diseases.

Diverfarming - Crop diversification and low-input farming across Europe: from practitioners engagement and ecosystems services to increased revenues and chain organisation

Crop diversification and low-input farming across Europe: from practitioners engagement and ecosystems services to increased revenues and chain organisation — Diverfarming

With the long-term view of increasing diversification and biodiversity in Europe and fostering sustainable development of bioeconomy, the Diverfarming consortium come together to develop and deploy innovative farming and agribusiness strategies. Diverfarming will increase the long-term resilience, sustainability and economic revenues of agriculture across the EU by assessing the real benefits and minimising the limitations, barriers and drawbacks of diversified cropping systems under low-input agronomic practices that are tailor-made to fit the unique characteristics of six EU pedoclimatic regions (Mediterranean south and north, Atlantic central, Continental, Pannonian and Boreal), and by adapting and optimising the downstream value chains organization. This approach will provide: i) increased overall land productivity; ii) more rational use of farm land and farming inputs (water, energy, machinery, fertilisers, pesticides); ii) improved delivery of ecosystem services by increments in biodiversity and soil quality; iii) proper organization of downstream value chains adapted to the new diversified cropping systems with decreased use of energy; and iv) access to new markets and reduced economy risks by adoption of new products in time and space. The diversified cropping systems will be tested in field case studies for major crops within each pedoclimatic region. In the end, Diverfarming focuses on research and innovation for rural development, with emphasis on developing new framework systems and business models adapted to the rural context of each pedoclimatic area of the EU, to foster sustainable growth through adoption of diversification, sustainable practices and efficient use of resources.