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Calls open for Horizon 2020 research and innovation funding

The European Commission has opened bids for Horizon 2020 – an €80 billion (£67.5 billion) seven year programme which aims to support research and innovation in Europe as well as boosting growth, jobs and quality of life.

The Commission has earmarked more than €7.6 billion (£6.4 billion) of its 2014 budget for calls under the programme.

Higher education institutions – along with research organisations and businesses – are able to apply for funding for a set of calls immediately, with more due to be announced in the New Year.

In 2014/15, the EC will make Horizon 2020 funding available through three main themes:

  • Around €3 billion (£2.5 billion) will go towards promoting “Excellent Science” – with European Research Council grants available for top scientists and Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowships open to younger researchers.
  • Industrial projects exploring areas such as nanotechnologies, robotics, biotechnologies and space will be able to apply for a share of €1.8 billion (£1.5 billion) under the “Industrial Leadership” call.
  • A further €2.8 billion (£2.3 billion) will be available for calls addressing Horizon 2020’s seven “Societal Challenges” – which include: health; agriculture, maritime and bioeconomy; energy; transport; climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials; reflective societies; and security.

There will be a total of 64 individual calls spanning each of these themes. The EC is particularly emphasising 12 focus areas, which include calls on research into personalised healthcare, digital security and smart cities.

European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "Horizon 2020 funding is vital for the future of research and innovation in Europe, and will contribute to growth, jobs and a better quality of life.

“We have designed Horizon 2020 to produce results, and we have slashed red tape to make it easier to participate."