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Horizon 2020 Work Programmes - A quick guide

Are you interested in the new Horizon 2020 work programme 2018-2020? Here is a brief introduction to the work programmes by the European Commission. Find some useful information before the publication of the work programme 2018-2020.


  • Posted on: Sep 28, 2017
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Tags: Capacity building, Horizon 2020, Innovation, Policy support, Tools

Funding opportunities under Horizon 2020 are set out in multiannual work programmes, which cover the large majority of support available. The work programmes are prepared by the European Commission within the framework provided by the Horizon 2020 legislation and through a strategic programming process integrating EU policy objectives in the priority setting.

The preparation of work programmes involves the consultation of stakeholders. For this purpose 19 Horizon 2020 Advisory Groups have been set up as consultative bodies representing the broad constituency of stakeholders ranging from industry and research to representatives of civil society. Additional open and targeted consultation activities aim to obtain further views and contributions, including from the Enterprise Policy GroupEuropean Innovation Partnerships and European Technology Platforms.

Work Programme 2016 - 2017

The current main Horizon 2020 work programme comprises an introduction, 18 thematic sections and the general annexes describing general rules such as standard admissibility conditions and eligibility criteria, types of action, selection and award criteria, etc. Each thematic section is self-contained, and describes the overall objectives, the respective calls for proposals, and the topics within each call. You can find more detailed information including budget allocation here or in the programme sections.

This Horizon 2020 work programme is complemented by the separate work programmes for the European Research CouncilEuratom, the Joint Research Centre and the Strategic Innovation Agenda for the European Institute of Innovation and technology (EIT).

Next Work Programme 2018 - 2020

Preparations for the work programme 2018-2020 began in 2016 with stakeholder consultations and discussions with Member States on priorities, which have been outlined in informal working documents, namely 17 thematic scoping papers and one overarching document. The adoption and publication of the work programme are expected in October 2017. 

Each thematic section organised the stakeholder consultations in the way that is best suited to the respective subject and the respective target groups.

Work has included open public consultations via 'Your Voice in Europe' in areas where also citizens could directly contribute (Societal challenge 'Food' and 'Science with and for society') as well as open consultations using other platforms for ICT related issues.

Dedicated written consultations targeted at respective stakeholder groups, European networks and international bodies as well as several specific events were organised.

The results of recent stakeholder consultations on related policy initiatives (e.g. Digital Single Market, Energy Union, 'call for ideas' for the European Innovation Council etc.) were also taken into account. 

More section-oriented information on the consultations and the preparation of the current and the next work programmes can be found for the following topics.

(N.B. All draft work programmes are made public before the adoption of the work programme 2018-2020 to provide potential participants with the currently expected main lines of this work programme. Only the adopted work programme will have legal value.)

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/what-work-programme

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