Horizon 2020 terminology

  • EU

    Alphabetical index
  • Policy-related initiatives

    Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)
    Formerly the Treaty of Rome, but renamed and updated by the Lisbon Treaty, this document establishes, among other things, agreement on:
    • Industrial competitiveness (Art 173)
    • Multiannual framework programmes (Art 182)
    • Rules for Participation and Dissemination (Art 183)
    • Governance of programmes undertaken by several Member States such as Eurostars and Joint Undertakings such as ARTEMIS and ENIAC (Art 185)
    Europe 2020
    The European Union’s ten-year growth strategy, including seven flagship initiatives for smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive growth.
    Innovation Union
    One of the seven Europe 2020 flagships, making Europe an innovation-friendly environment, by enabling innovative ideas to be turned into products and services that create growth and jobs. This is the umbrella under which H2020 actions (and relevant initiatives such as the ERA, EIT and ETP) are implemented.
    Horizon 2020 (H2020)
    The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) established by Legislation in the European Parliament and Council of Europe as part of the Innovation Union.
    The Three Pillars
    Structure of H2020 – Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and research addressing Societal Challenges
    European Research Area (ERA)
    A single, open, research area strengthening Europe’s scientific and technological bases, competitiveness and capacity to collectively address grand challenges, based on the Internal market, in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely.
    Digital Agenda for Europe
    One of the seven Europe 2020 flagships, intending to build a ‘connected continent’ based on high-performance digital technologies.

    Key concepts

    Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME)
    An independent commercial organisation employing less than 250 people and either having a turnover of not more than €50m or a balance sheet of not more than €43m.
    Key Enabling Technology (KET)
    Prioritised area of knowledge-oriented capital-intensive technology (nanotechnology, photonics, nanoelectronics, materials, biotechnology) requiring support in the form of:
  • Technological research
  • Product development
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Innovation lifecycle
    The route from concept to market, based on a schema of nine levels of technology readiness, based on
  • Identification of basic principles
  • Formulation of technology concept or appplication
  • Proof of concept
  • Lab-based validation
  • Validation in a realistic environment
  • Pilot validation
  • Full-scale demonstration
  • Test and demonstration of actual system
  • Operational over the full range of expected conditions
    See, for example,
    http://www.lbl.gov/dir/assets/docs/TRL%20guide.pdf (pp9-10)
  • Public Private Partnership (PPP)
    The proposed regulatory framework for Horizon 2020 allows for far reaching types of engagement between the Union and the private sector, including Joint Technology Initiatives established under Article 187 TFEU such as SPIRE (Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency - http://www.spire2030.eu). The Horizon 2020 Regulation sets out a number of criteria which must be met when selecting areas for public-private partnerships. The legislation also foresees a single set of rules that will apply to all parts of Horizon 2020, including the JTIs, unless there is a well justified need for a specific derogation.
    • Programme-specific topics

    Excellent Science
    One of the three strategic objectives of H2020, supporting frontier science, FET initiatives, research infrastructures and ‘digital science’ and development of the research community through Marie (Sklodowska)-Curie actions.
    Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)
    FET promotes the exploration of radically new ideas and trends for future research and innovation and provides sustained support to emerging areas that require long-term fundamental research. It aims to go beyond the conventional boundaries and ventures into uncharted areas, often inter-disciplinary in nature. Originally part of the FP7 ICT work programme, FET provides support for novel research projects (FET Open), incubation through research clustering (FET Proactive) and common research agendas (FET Flagships):
    Marie (Sklodowska)-Curie
    Programme within H2020 aiming to address the skills needs of private and public sectors in Europe by training one million extra researchers and promoting researcher mobility across sectors, countries and disciplines. Previously known as Marie Curie actions.
    Industrial Leadership
    One of the three H2020 strategic objectives, supporting the innovation lifecycle through research, risk-financing and innovation in SMEs.
    Leadership through Enabling and Innovative Technologies (LEIT)
    Part of the “Industrial Leadership” strategic objective, supporting research, technological development and demonstration of information and communication technologies, nanotechnologies and advanced materials, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and processing and space.
    Risk-sharing Finance Facility (RSFF)
    A European Investment Bank (EIB) initiative to improve access to debt financing for all types and size of private company and public institution undertaking research, development and innovation projects.
    Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs Programme (2014-2020) (COSME)
    Facilitating access to finance for SMEs, creating an environment favourable to business creation and growth, encouraging an entrepreneurial culture in Europe, increasing the sustainable competitiveness of EU companies and helping small businesses operate outside their home countries and improving their access to markets.
    Societal challenges
    The third H2020 strategic objective will be to tackle societal challenges by helping to bridge the gap between research and the market, creating partnerships with the private sector and Member States to bring together the resources needed to help innovative enterprises to develop their technological breakthroughs into viable products with real commercial potential. The priority challenges are in the areas of:
  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and the bio-based economy
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy
  • Smart, green and integrated transport
  • Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials
  • Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
  • Secure societies
  • Joint Technology Initiative (JTI)
    JTIs are a form of public-private partnership (PPP) to address strategic areas where research and innovation are essential to European competitiveness through large-scale multinational research activities. The European Commission mobilises a global budget of over €3bn, to be matched by funding from industry and Members States for at least an equivalent amount.
    Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs)
    Partnerships which bring together the fields of education, technology, research, business and entrepreneurship to produce new innovations and inspire others to emulate their new innovation models. These are to become key drivers of sustainable economic growth and competitiveness across Europe.
    European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
    Vehicle for supporting three Knowledge and Innovation Communities focused on climate change mitigation, information and communication technologies and sustainable energy, reinforcing the innovation capacity of the EU to increase European sustainable growth and competitiveness.
    Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP)
    Originally a ‘downstream’ companion to FP7, the innovation elements will be incorporated into Horizon 2020 while the remaining SME support measures will form the COSME programme.

    See also, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP) http://ec.europa.eu/cip/eip/
    The Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7)
    The mechanism for funding EU research from 2006 to 2013.
    European Technology Platform (ETP)
    Industry-led stakeholder groups spanning a wide range of technology areas that develop short to long-term research and innovation agendas and roadmaps for action at EU and national level to be supported by both private and public funding.
    The ERA-NET instrument under Horizon 2020 is designed to support public-private partnerships in their preparation, establishment of networking structures, design, implementation and coordination of joint activities as well as topping up of single joint calls and of actions of a transnational nature.
    Pre-commercial procurement (PCP)
    Procurement of research and development services involving risk-benefit sharing under market conditions. By acting as technologically demanding first buyers, public procurers can drive innovation from the demand side. In addition to improving the quality and effectiveness of public services this can help creating opportunities for companies to take international leadership in new markets.
    Public procurement of innovative solutions (PPI)
    Procurement where contracting authorities act as an early adopter to purchase/deploy innovative goods or services that are newly arriving on the market and which are not yet available on a large-scale commercial basis. The aim of EU funding for PPIs is to speed up wide diffusion of innovative solutions by encouraging cooperation between procurers across Europe through cross-border coordinated (or joint) procurement to deploy the first batches of innovative solutions.
    Co-ordination and Support Action (CSA)
    An action consisting primarily of accompanying measures such as standardisation, dissemination, awareness-raising and communication, networking, coordination or support services, policy dialogues and mutual learning exercises and studies, including design studies for new infrastructure and may also include complementary activities of networking and coordination between programmes in different countries. Typically funded at 100%.
    SME Instrument
    H2020 mechanism specifically for SMEs supporting a three stage process for taking ideas to market: - Concept & feasibility assessment - Demonstration, market replication, R & D - Commercialisation
    Fast Track to Innovation (FTI)
    ‘Horizontal’ rapid mechanism being piloted under Horizon 2020 for funding innovative actions across the scope of LEIT and the Societal Challenges, implemented through open calls evaluated three times a year starting in 2015.
    Support across and beyond the EU27 Member States for market-oriented R&D and innovation involving industrial and academic organisations including SMEs. Funding is provided by participating countries.
    ‘Bottom-up’ funding programme within the EUREKA initiative synchronising national support in 33 countries for research-orientated SMEs.
    Research Executive Agency (REA)
    An executive agency which focuses on management tasks outsourced by the Commission and fosters efficiency when addressing the research community's needs. The REA has no policy remit: all research-related policy remains within the relevant European Commission services. It manages perhaps half of the European Commission services dealing with research and innovation and acts as promoter of the European Research Area (ERA).
    Work programme
    Plan for implementation of H2020
    Work plan
    Plan based on the work programme adopted by a funding agency for implementation of part of H2020
    Call for proposals
    Competitive process for implementation of the work programme or a work plan announced in the Official Journal on the opening date and typically closing some three months later.
    • Project-related terminology (no hyperlinks)

    Third country
    A nation which is not a Member State of the European Union and is not a party to an international agreement with the Union
    Innovation action
    An action primarily consisting of activities directly aiming at producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services, typically funded at 70%. May include:Protyping, Testing, Demonstrating, Piloting, Large-scale product validation and Market replication.
    Dissemination action
    Public disclosure of the results by any appropriate means (other than resulting from protecting or exploiting the results)
    Open access
    Dissemination of results in scientific publication free of charge to the reader. Related costs, if incurred within the life of the project shall be eligible costs.
    Utilisation of results in further research activities other than those covered by the action concerned, or in developing, creating and marketing a product or process, or in creating and providing a service, or in standardisation activities
    The principal point of contact between the members of the consortium in relations with the Commission or the relevant funding body.
    Grant agreement
    An agreement between a legal entity and the Union or the relevant funding body enabling funding from H2020 including the description of work to be done by participants and by participating legal entities from any third countries involved.
    Consortium agreement
    The agreement between the members of the consortium which defines additional provisions that are not in conflict with the grant agreement or the H2020 Regulation.
    Third party
    A legal entity that is not a party to the grant agreement
    In-kind contributions
    A contribution to the project made free of charge by a third party. The costs of providing that contribution may be eligible for funding
    Jump to page content