Facilitate SME’s access to the Horizon 2020 programme

November 25, 2013

Funding Scheme: 2013-11-25

Pgm2014 2020: Yes

Ispcrd: Yes


Horizon 2020, the €70.2 billion new 2014-2020 framework programme for research and innovation was approved by MEPs. More support will be given to small firms and new players


Parliament amended Horizon 2020 to improve support for small firms, attract more people into science and more scientists to join the programme, and earmark funding for non-fossil energy research.

The Horizon 2020 programme has three main pillars:

• Societal challenges (includes investments in health, energy, transport, climate action and freedom and security research projects)

• Excellent science (includes grants to top-level individual researchers, and investments in future technologies and training for researchers), and

• Industrial leadership (includes investments in biotechnology and space technologies, access to risk finance and support for innovative small firms), and

Support for small firms and energy 

MEPs made it a target that at least 11% of the Horizon 2020 budget should go to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Moreover, there will be a specialised SMEs department, with its own budget, to ensure that the programme’s calls for tenders are SME-friendly.

To further EU climate goals, MEPs earmarked 85% of the Horizon 2020 energy budget (around €5.4 billion) for non-fossil fuel energy research.

Attracting new people into research

Parliament’s negotiators ensured that around €750 million from the Horizon 2020 budget will go to measures to widen the group of researchers participating in the programme, e.g. by attracting new applicants or promoting networking of research institutions.

Parliament’s negotiators also ensured that over €400 million will go to “Science with and for society” projects to attract young students to take up careers in science, promote gender equality and encourage citizens to take part in science education.

Budget and next steps

The agreed budget for 2014-2020 is €70.2 billion (at 2011 prices). The biggest headings are “Societal challenges” (39% of the total budget), “Excellent science” (32%) and “Industrial leadership”(22%).

After Parliament’s vote, the programme needs to be formally adopted by EU member states too, in the coming weeks. The programme starts on 1 January 2014.

Url description: Press of the European Parliament

Url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20131115IPR24730/html/Horizon-2020-research-programme-more-support-for-small-firms-and-new-players