EU Funding

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 (H2020, 2014 – 2020) is the European Union’s main instrument for promoting science, technological development, and innovation.

From Fundamental Research to Innovation

H2020 covers a wide range of topics, from fundamental research to close-to-market innovations. Bottom-up funding is available for excellent researchers, researcher mobility, infrastructure development, small and medium-sized enterprises, and international cooperation.

Work Program – Call – Project Proposal

A large proportion of the budget is awarded to projects addressing concrete challenges (topics). These topics are described in thematic work programs. The EU then launches calls for proposals for these topics. If a project does not match the scope and impact described in the work program / call, it will not be funded.

Biomedical Research in H2020

Biomedical research will be primarily addressed through the program part “Societal Challenges – Health, demographic change, and well-being”. Networks aiming at the career development of young researchers can be funded through the Marie Sklodowska Curie program. “Future Emerging Technologies” (FET) funds excellent, visionary, and high-risk research leading to the implementation of radially new technological concepts.

Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) are collaborative research projects of international consortia. Innovation Actions (IA) are collaborative projects with a stronger focus on innovation and market orientation. Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) are accompanying measures, for example to enhance the networks among project partners via conferences, seminars, studies, policy dialogue, and joint initiatives. Other measures fund transnational researcher mobility (Marie Sklodowska Curie-Actions).

In most cases, you need at least three independent institutions from three EU member states or countries associated to H2020 to build a consortium. Often, consortia are a lot larger than that. Additional requirements may apply to individual topics / calls. In general, institutions from EU member states and associated states are eligible for funding. Partners from industrialized countries can participate, but will not count towards the minimum requirements and will not receive funding from the EU. US partners can receive funding under most of the topics in the “health, demographic change, and well-being” work program. Swiss partners may be funded by the Swiss Government.

In collaborative research projects (RIA), the funding rate is up to 100% of eligible cost plus 25% overhead. For more market-oriented projects (IA), funding is up to 70% (100% for universities).

Innovative Medicines Initiative

The Innovative Medicines Initiative is a public-private partnership between the EU Commission and the pharmaceutical industry. It aims at creating new impulses in pharmaceutical research through financial support and networking. The budget of the period (2014-2024) is 3.3 billion Euro. Projects are characterized by large consortia with significant industry participation. Calls and conditions are published on

For further information and advice, contact Katrin Schiebel.