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Horizon 2020 : Understanding the architecture of the programme

The EU Research and Innovation Programme is divided into 3 pillars, which are complemented by four transversal programmes. Lire_La_Suite

The EU Research and Innovation Programme is divided into 3 pillars, which are complemented by four transversal programmes.

The 3 pillars under Horizon 2020

Excellence Science

This pillar is made up of 4 programmes:
* European Research Council (ERC)
The ERC offers funding for researchers with an excellent scientific profile and a visionary research project in mind. The ERC funds 4 types of grants: the starting grant, consolidator grant, advanced grant and proof of concept grants depending on the profile of the researcher
* Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)
The FET programme has 3 lines of action:
- FET Open : bottom-up approach, with the aim of allowing the emergence of new ideas
- FET Proactive : top-down approach in which research topics are pre-defined by the European Commission
- FET Flagship: large projects which combine different types of contributions from the EU, Member states, and public and/or private actors
*Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions
MSCA provide grants for all stages of researchers' careers - be they doctoral candidates or highly experienced researchers - and encourage transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility
* European research infrastructures
Objective : to develop state-of-the-art research infrastructures that require extensive transnational collaboration

Industrial Leadership

3 strands can be distinguished:
- Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies
This programme emphasizes areas of R&I with a strong industrial dimension and where mastering new technological opportunities will enable and foster innovation
These areas are : ICT, space and key enabling technologies (KETs), namely, nanotechnologies, biotechnology, photonic, advanced materials and advanced manufacturing and processing.
- Access to risk finance
This objective will help companies and organizations engaged in R&I to gain access more easily, through specific financial instruments, to loans and guarantees
- Innovation in SMEs
SMEs can find financial support to develop innovative products, processes and services through the EUROSTARS programme.
Furthermore, a dedicated SME Instrument has been created to support SMEs’ innovation activities. Highly innovative SMEs with a clear commercial ambition and a potential for high growth and internationalisation are the prime target.

Societal Challenges

This pillars aims to address major concerns shared by citizens in European and elsewhere.
7 main challenges have been identified:
- Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing
- Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy
-  Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy
-  Smart, Green and Integrated Transport
- Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials
-  Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
-  Secure societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens

The four transversal programmes under Horizon 2020

Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation
This programme is made up of 3 main activities: the teaming action, twinning and the ERA-chairs scheme

Science with and for Society
The aim of this programme is to build effective cooperation between science and society, to recruit new talent for science and to pair scientific excellence with social awareness and responsibility.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
The main operational components of the EIT are its Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). The KICs offer a genuine opportunity for top innovation players to be part of a highly collaborative community.

Joint Research Center
This center is charged with the responsibility of providing a scientific and technological support to the elaboration, implementation and monitoring of EU policies.

A pilot initiative: “Fast Track to Innovation” (2015-2016)

This initiative aims at promoting close-to-the-market innovation activities are is open to all types of participants.
FT2I benefits from a simplified procedure with a time-to-grant of less than 6 months

New instruments under Horizon 2020

- Public-private partnerships implemented through Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI)
- Public-public partnerships implemented through the ERA-NET instrument

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