On 27 October 2017, the European Commission presented the final Work Programme for Horizon 2020, covering the budgetary years 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The 2018-2020 Work Programme builds on the success of Horizon 2020 so far, and takes account of the extensive interim evaluation of the programme. The Work Programme also responds to the European Commission's political prioritiesand paves the way for its successor programme.
The new features include measures to support market-creating innovation, highly integrated activities called focus areas, emphasis on better dissemination of results and a focus on open access to data. The Work Programme also includes measures to increase simplification (e.g. lump sum funding), to widen participation from less performing countries, and to address skills mismatches.
What will the Work Programme focus on?
1. Market creating innovation
The Work Programme introduces measures to support market creating innovation, through a first phase of a European Innovation Council (EIC). This will be open to innovations in any technology or sector including novel innovations that cut across technologies and sectors.
With a budget of €2.7 billion, it brings together existing instruments: the SME Instrument, inducement prizes, FET-Open and Fast Track to Innovation. Further changes include making the SME instrument fully 'bottom up' so that innovative projects that cut across sectors and technologies can be supported.
2. Political priorities
'Focus areas' have been designed around four political priorities: a low-carbon, climate resilient future; circular economy; digitising and transforming European industry and services; and security union. These focus areas are 'virtual calls' that cut across several parts of the Work Programme and that are endowed with a substantial budget. Focus areas are expected to create an exceptional impact, addressing ‘big ticket' challenges.
In this context, 'Building a low Carbon, Climate-resilient Future' (budget of €3.3 billion), will align R&I investments with the climate change objectives of the Paris Climate Agreementas well as with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The focus area will support the development of solutions to achieve carbon neutrality and climate resilience by the second half of the century.
As part of this focus area, R&I actions will support Europe's implementation of the Energy Union. Over €2 billion will be invested in four strategic priorities: renewables, energy efficiency in buildings, electro-mobility and energy storage solutions. The energy storage solutions will have an emphasis on the next generation of batteries (budget €200 million), which will play an essential role in the transformation of our society towards less dependency on fossil fuels and radical reduction of emissions.
3. Strengthening international R&I cooperation
Cooperation is necessary to ensure the EU's scientific leadership and industrial competitiveness. By collaborating on an international scale, the EU can better deliver on global commitments in line with its external policies. The Work Programme includes around 30 flagship initiatives on topics dedicated to international cooperation in areas of mutual benefit, comprising a total budget of over €1 billion.
Read the full Fact Sheet at the relevant European Commission webpage at the link below.
See also the relevant BUILD UP Publication.