Horizon 2020

The UK is no longer an eligible partner country – though it can still participate as a “third country” – but this is likely to mean UK partners are less attractive than they have been in the past.

Horizon 2020 is the European Union’s Framework Programme for research and innovation. It stems from the combination of Europe 2020 and Innovation Union and is a successor to the 7th Framework Programme, providing investment support on research and innovation.

Europe 2020 is the EU’s growth strategy for the coming decade based on the principles of agility, sustainability and inclusivity set within the context of employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy.    The Innovation Union is another strategic strand aimed at creating an innovation-friendly environment to facilitate the turning of great ideas into products and services bringing economy growth and jobs.

There are a number of strands to the programme, including the following with relevance to the arts, culture & creative industries::

  • #5i: Industrial Leadership
  • #13: Europe in a changing world

Industrial Leadership: Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEIT)

This includes Information & Communication Technologies (ICT), and relevant recent / forthcoming deadlines are as follows:


  • ICT-19-2017: Media and content convergence
  • ICT-20-2017: Tools for smart digital content in the creative industries
  • ICT-21-2016: Support technology transfer to the creative industries
  • ICT-22-2016: Technologies for Learning and Skills
  • ICT-23-2017: Interfaces for accessibility
  • ICT-24-2016: Gaming and gamification

Responsibility and Creativity

  • ICT-35-2016: Enabling responsible ICT-related research and innovation
  • ICT-36-2016: Boost synergies between artists, creative people and technologists

Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative & reflective Societies

This includes Understanding Europe – Promoting the European Public and Cultural Space, which has the following relevant recent / forthcoming deadlines:

  • CULT-COOP-01-2017: Democratic discourses and the rule of law
  • CULT-COOP-02-2017: Improving mutual understanding among Europeans by working through troubled pasts
  • CULT-COOP-03-2017: Cultural literacy of young generations in Europe
  • CULT-COOP-04-2017: Contemporary histories of Europe in artistic & creative practices
  • CULT-COOP-05-2017: Religious diversity in Europe – past, present and future
  • CULT-COOP-06-2017: Participatory approaches and social innovation in culture
  • CULT-COOP-07-2017: Cultural heritage of European coastal and maritime regions
  • CULT-COOP-08-2016: Virtual museums and social platform on European digital heritage, memory, identity and cultural interaction.
  • CULT-COOP-09-2017: European cultural heritage, access and analysis for a richer interpretation of the past.
  • CULT-COOP-10-2017: Culture, integration and European public space
  • CULT-COOP-11-2016/2017: Understanding the transformation of European public administrations
  • CULT-COOP-12-2017: The significance of cultural and core values for the migration challenge

Each of the individual funding calls is usually composed of up to three different ‘actions’, again with a fixed sum set against it.

  1. Research Innovation Actions (RIA): These are actions with Research and Development activities as the core of the project intending to establish new scientific and technical knowledge and/or explore the feasibility of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution.
  2. Innovation Actions (IA): Primarily consisting of activities directly aiming at producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services. For this purpose they may include prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, large-scale product validation and market replication.
  3. Coordination and support actions (CSA): These are actions that cover not the research itself, but the coordination and networking of projects, programmes and policies. This includes innovation network activities, dissemination of knowledge, actions to stimulate the participation of SMEs.

Eligible Countries

All 27 Member States are eligible, and there are some associated countries who can also participate:

  • EEA/EFTA countries: Norway, Iceland
  • Accession / Candidate Countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzogovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey
  • Neighbourhood countries: Israel, Moldova, others?

In addition, some third countries (including the UK) can participate – the following provides more information about these:


Amounts Available

  • Small projects – up to €4m; Large projects – up to €8m
  • Intervention rate = 100% direct costs + fixed 25% of indirect costs
  • Research projects get 100% of the rate; Innovation projects get 70% of the rate
  • All organisations are subject to the same rules except non-profit organisations who always get 100% of the rate
  • Same rate for all types of activity including management
  • Approximately 40% of total grant paid in advance


  • Prepare (2 months)
  • Call opens – deadline usually 5 months later
  • Form consortia / write proposal
  • Submit proposal
  • Evaluation (5 months)
  • Decision
  • Grant Preparation / Negotiations (3 months)

It can be a long process to prepare a proposal – and also expensive in terms of time and expenses, especially for the core team, as it can involve travel to consortium meetings.

The SME Instrument

This is an additional ongoing fund (worth €3bn up until 2020) to which small and medium sized enterprises (i.e. fewer than 250 employees) that are EU based can apply directly.  They can get funding and support for innovation projects that will help them to grow and expand their activities into countries in Europe and beyond.

More Information and Contact Points

The following website explains how to find a suitable call for proposals or project partners and the first steps to prepare your proposal and submit an application:


The national contact point (NCP) is the person in each country designated to support applications.  There will be contact points for the different strands.  If you have queries it is worth talking to them.  The following website provides links to the various national contact points (NCPs) in all the eligible countries:


You can also email Euclid with your questions.