Regulation 2013/1291 - Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)


Summary of Legislation

Horizon 2020: the EU’s research and innovation programme (2014-20)


Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 — the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-20)


Horizon 2020 aims to:

  • strengthen the European scientific and technological base;
  • better exploit the economic and industrial potential of policies on innovation, research and technology.

Horizon 2020 is complemented by the European Atomic Energy Community’s research and training programme 2014-18 and has a budget of €74.3 billion over 7 years.

The programme aims to contribute to attaining the target of 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) for research and development (R&D) in line with the EU’s Europe 2020 strategy.


This general objective is pursued through three priorities:

Priority I: Excellent science (€24.441 billion):

Priority II: Industrial leadership (€17.015 billion):

  • leadership in enabling and industrial technologies supports research on information and communications technology (ICT), nanotechnology, advanced materials, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and processing and space;
  • access to risk finance aims to fill the gaps in the availability of debt (e.g. loans) and equity finance (by selling shares to investors) for R&D;
  • innovation in SMEs gives help to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to stimulate all forms of innovation.

Priority III: Societal challenges (€29.679 billion). Funding focuses on these specific objectives:

  • health, demographic change and well-being;
  • food security, sustainable agriculture, forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research and bioeconomy (i.e. the sustainable production of renewable resources from land, fisheries and aquaculture environments and their conversion into food, feed, fibre bio-based products and bio-energy, as well as the related public goods);
  • 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 (e.g. research to address social exclusion and discrimination);
  • secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.

In addition, spreading excellence and widening participation is allocated up to €816.5 million to ensure that the benefits of an innovation-led economy are maximised (e.g. creating centres of excellence by associating research institutions to other institutions, agencies or regions). Science with and for society is allocated a maximum of €462.2 million to recruit new talent for science and to pair scientific excellence with social awareness and responsibility (involving not just scientists but citizens, policymakers and citizens’ organisations).

Non-nuclear direct actions of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) are allocated €1.9026 billion. The JRC provides robust, evidence-based support for EU policies driven by customer needs (e.g. energy efficiency, transport safety and crop yield forecasting).

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) with a maximum contribution of €2.711 billion plays a major role through the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) by bringing together excellent research, innovation and higher education.


Horizon 2020 is implemented through the consolidated specific programme established by Council Decision 2013/743/EU. It is managed by the Commission in line with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, the EU’s Financial Regulation.

Forms of EU support

Horizon 2020 supports research and innovation activities through grants, prizes, procurement and financial instruments. It may support public-public partnerships with international, national and regional research and innovation programmes. Horizon 2020 funds may also be combined with private sector funds in public-private partnerships (e.g. Joint Technology Initiatives) in certain key areas.

Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013 lays down detailed rules for participation in research and innovation activities undertaken under Horizon 2020.


It has applied since 23 December 2013.


For more information, see:


Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 — the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-20) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, pp. 104–173)


Declarations of the Commission (Framework Programme) (OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, pp. 12–15)

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions — Horizon 2020 interim evaluation: maximising the impact of EU research and innovation Lessons learnt from the Horizon 2020 Interim Evaluation and response to the recommendations of the High Level Group on maximising the impact of EU Research and Innovation programmes (COM(2018) 02 final of 11.1.2018)

Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 laying down the rules for participation and dissemination in ‘Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-20)’ and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1906/2006 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, pp. 81-103)

Council Decision 2013/743/EU of 3 December 2013 establishing the specific programme implementing Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-20) and repealing Decisions 2006/971/EC, 2006/972/EC, 2006/973/EC, 2006/974/EC and 2006/975/EC (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, pp. 965-1041)

Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1314/2013 of 16 December 2013 on the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (2014-18) complementing the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, pp. 948-964)

last update 02.07.2014

This summary has been adopted from EUR-Lex.


Legislative text

Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC Text with EEA relevance