European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations

Horizon 2020 Structure

Structural issues: Horizon 2020 offers a variety of funding options and – at the same time – is basing point and financial source for a number of accompanying funding measures. The overall funding architecture (Horizon 2020 plus accompanying measures) refers to the political strategy of the EU in the respective documents ("EU 2020" and "Innovation Union") and can be visualised as follows:


Structure Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is divided in five parts; the three parts covering the innovation process from idea to market and representing the programme`s guiding principles are vital: scope for science-driven (basic) research in "Excellent Science"; enhancing of economic competitiveness in "Industrial Leadership", tackling of the pressing issues for the European citizen in "Societal Challenges". Distributed across the parts and complemented by the above-mentioned accompanying measures, the funding options in Horizon 2020 may be classified as follows:

  • Horizon 2020 is distinguished by the European Collaborative Research allowing for a cooperation of different partners from Science, Industry, SME and Society in a variety of forms; alongside with the funding of single researchers (and his/her team)especially through the funding lines of the European Research Council (ERC) and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Programme.
  • Bottom Up funding mainly by the ERC, the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Programme and the Future Emerging Technologies (FET) is contrasted by Top down topic-driven funding; regarding the latter however the degree of specification varies strongly.
  • The funding under Horizon 2020 can also be categorised by a classification focusing on the governance of the funding mechanisms.