• info@ncpbrussels.be
  • +32 2 422 00 21

HORIZON 2020 is the EU Framework Programme for Research & Innovation. It is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever. It will lead to more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. Almost € billion of funding is available over 7 years (2014-2020). 

H2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that investment in research and innovation is essential for Europe’s future and so put it at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this by coupling research to innovation and focusing on three key areas: 




Horizon 2020 is open to everyone. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science and technology that drives economic growth. 

The support of NCP Brussels is targeted at legal entities registered in the Brussels-Capital Region who wish to apply for the following types of actions within the 2nd pillar (industrial leadership) and the 3rd pillar (Societal Challenges) of Horizon 2020: 


Research and innovation actions 

Funding for research projects tackling clearly defined challenges, which can lead to the development of new knowledge or a new technology. 

Who? Consortia of partners of at least three legal entities established in an EU Member State or an Associated Country, industry and academia. 


Innovation actions 

Funding is more focused on closer-to-the-market activities. For example, prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, scaling-up etc. if they aim at producing new or improved products or services.

Who? Consortia of partners of at least three legal entities established in an EU Member State or an Associated Country, industry and academia. 


Coordination and support actions 

Funding covers the coordination and networking of research and innovation projects, programmes and policies. Funding for research and innovation per se is covered elsewhere. 

Who? Single entities or consortia of partners from different countries, industry and academia

The expertise required for participating is specified in the topic. 

For these 3 fundings, the co-creation of the project with end-users and the involvement of Social Sciences and Humanities is very much encouraged. 


European Innovation Council (EIC)

The European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot supports innovators developing breakthrough innovations with the potential to create new markets and boost jobs, growth and prosperity in Europe. 

The EIC Enhanced Pilot: is the evolution of the SME Instrument and it aims at supporting top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with bright ideas and the ambition to scale up internationally.

Fast Track to  Innovation (FTI): Close-to-market projects of consortia with three to five entities from at least three different EU Member States or Horizon 2020 associated countries. Industry must participate. Interdisciplinary approaches encouraged. 

FET Open: Early-stage, science and technology research by consortia exploring novel ideas for radically new future technologies that challenge current paradigms and venture into the unknown. Open to research into any area of technology. Aims to attract new, high-potential research and innovation players. 

Horizon Prizes: Horizon Prizes boost breakthrough innovation by fostering solutions to challenges which bring major benefits to society. 

Support and Exploratory Actions: help to optimise the impact of EU investment in EIC innovators and innovations; they contribute to building an EIC community and a vision underpinning a possible future EIC.

Work programmes announce the specific research and innovation areas that will be funded and indicate the timing of forthcoming Calls for Proposals. 

Proposals must be submitted before the deadline of the relevant Call. It is an online submission.

Many Calls require a team to have at least three partners.

The best proposals are selected for funding. After the deadline passes, each proposal is evaluated and scored by a panel of independent experts, against a list of criteria.

EU funding under H2020 covers up to 100% of all eligible costs for all research and innovation actions. For innovation actions, funding generally covers 70% of eligible costs but may increase to 100% for non-profit organisations. Indirect eligible costs (e.g. administration, communication and infrastructure costs, office supplies) are reimbursed with a 25% flat rate of the direct eligible costs (those costs directly linked to the action implementation). The time-to-grant is reduced to 8 months (5 months for the evaluation process and 3 months for contract signing).


For information about other EU funding programme please consult:

• The webpage of the European Commission about EU funding programme 

• The regional website www.feder.brussels for information about the funding opportunities from the European Regional Development Fund