Horizon 2020: Societal Challenges

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Start date: 
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Deadline: 
Thursday, 31 December 2020
Overview and objectives: 

Horizon 2020 reflects the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy and addresses major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere.A challenge-based approach will bring together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities. This will cover activities from research to market with a new focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, and support for public procurement and market uptake. It will include establishing links with the activities of the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP).

Funding will focus on the following challenges:

  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing;
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and 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.
Financing terms: 
  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing: €7472 billion
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy: €3851 billion
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy: €5931 billion
  • Smart, green and integrated transport: €6339 billion
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials: €3081 billion
  • Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies: €1310 billion
  • Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens: €1695 billion
Programme budget: 
€29 679 000 000.00
Specific programmes developing it: 

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

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Calls developing it: 

H2020-SESAR-2015-1. Exploratory Research

SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) is the technological pillar of the Single European Sky. It aims to improve Air Traffic Management (ATM) performance by modernising and harmonising ATM systems through the definition, development, validation and deployment of innovative technological and operational solutions. These innovative solutions constitute what is known as the SESAR concept of operations.

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H2020-YOUNG-3-2015 Lifelong learning for young adults: better policies for growth and inclusion in Europe

The research will advance knowledge on specific aspects linked to adult education such as specific policies and programmes for young people that have demonstrated an improvement of their labour insertion and reduced their risk of social exclusion, organisational models encouraging innovation in the companies, application of various psychological and behavioural sciences outcomes to adult education, transmission of skills and knowledge between workers, informal learning and the efficiency of private markets.

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H2020-YOUNG-4-2015 The young as a driver of social change

Research is expected to provide important insights into the perspective of socio-ecological transition from the point of view of young people. It will advance our knowledge about young adults in Europe, their values, norms, communities, expectations needs and political ambitions. Through comparison with older generations, research will identify the intergenerational differences regarding the organisation of economic, social, political and private life in Europe.

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H2020-HOA-01-2015 Better use of Antibiotics

The Horizon Prize for better use of antibiotics is a €1 million prize that will be awarded to the person or team who can most effectively meet the following challenge: develop a rapid test that can identify at the point of care patients with upper respiratory tract infections that can safely be managed  without antibiotics.  In this context "Upper Respiratory Tract Infections" include pharyngitis, sinusitis, otitis as well as bronchitis.

The objectives pursued by this inducement prize are:

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H2020-DS-2015-1 Digital security: cybersecurity, privacy and trust

This Call will thus focus on demonstrating the viability and maturity of state-of-the-art security, privacy and trust solutions that have been tested in a laboratory environment. The intention is that after this validation phase they will find a wide up take in the market.

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H2020-FCT-2015 Fight against crime and terrorism

The ambition of this call is both to avoid an incident and to mitigate its potential consequences. This requires new technologies and capabilities for fighting and preventing crime (including cyber-crime), illegal trafficking and terrorism (including cyber-terrorism), including understanding and tackling terrorist ideas and beliefs to also avoid aviation related threats.

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H2020-BES-2015 Border security and external security

On the one hand this call targets the development of technologies and capabilities which are required to enhance systems, equipment, tools, processes, and methods for rapid identification to improve border security. This includes both control and surveillance issues, exploiting the full potential of EUROSUR and promoting an enhanced use of new technology for border checks, also in relation to the SMART BORDERS legislative initiative. It also addresses supply chain security in the context of the EU’s customs policy.

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H2020-DRS-2015 Disaster-resilience: Safeguarding and securing society, including adapting to climate change

Securing the society against disasters is one of the central elements of the functioning of any society. There is barely any societal sector which is not to some extent concerned by disasters and related resilience and security issues. The objective of this call is to reduce the loss of human life, environmental, economic and material damage from natural and man-made disasters, including extreme weather events, crime and terrorism threats. This area will therefore focus on developing technologies and running large-scale demonstration.

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H2020-WATER-2015-one-stage. Water innovation: boosting its value for Europe

Water is an invaluable resource for human health, food security, sustainable development and the environment, and is an economic sector of growing importance for Europe. However, water resources are constantly under pressure from climate change, urbanisation, pollution, overexploitation of freshwater resources and increasing competition between various user groups.

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H2020-WATER-2015-two-stage. Water innovation: boosting its value for Europe

Water is an invaluable resource for human health, food security, sustainable development and the environment, and is an economic sector of growing importance for Europe. However, water resources are constantly under pressure from climate change, urbanisation, pollution, overexploitation of freshwater resources and increasing competition between various user groups.

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