Horizon 2020: apply for innovation funding in Europe

Millions of euros available to work with European partners across a range of fields.

If you’re an innovative UK business or researcher who wants to collaborate with peers in Europe, you can apply for funding in areas including:

  • aerospace
  • critical infrastructure
  • digital security
  • high-performance computing (HPC)
  • clean technologies

You can also take advantage of individual fellowships, which for the first time have been extended to non-academic organisations. This is to bridge the gap between academia and industry, facilitate career moves and open more attractive opportunities.

Funding is being released through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 work programme, which supports and removes barriers to innovation in Europe to produce world-class science.

Learn more about Horizon 2020.

EU funding and the UK

UK businesses and universities are encouraged to bid for EU funding while the UK remains a member. It has committed to underwriting payment of awards even when projects continue beyond UK membership.

Read the UK government’s guarantee on funding.

The funding opportunities:

Critical infrastructure

This topic area covers the prevention, detection, response and mitigation of the combination of physical and cyber threats to the critical infrastructure of Europe. The list remaining for the 2017 call for proposals are:

  • communication infrastructure
  • health services
  • financial services

Total budget: 10 million euros
Close date: 24 August 2017

Digital security focus area

Under the work programme ‘Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens’, funding is available for 2 topics:

  • privacy, data protection and digital identities
  • addressing advanced cyber security threats and threat actors

Total budget: 36.5 million euros
Close date: 24 August


There are various calls open under the header of security, including:

  • big data and data analytics for risk management in the supply chain
  • risk-based screening at border crossing
  • broadband communications systems and networks

Total budget: 130.05 million euros
Close date: 24 August 2017

Bio-based industries joint undertaking

The annual call encourages all stakeholders (large industries, SMEs, technology providers, academia and other research and technology organisations) to take part and contribute to the deployment of a new and sustainable economy.

Indicative budget: 81 million euros
Close date: 7 September 2017

Horizon prize: engine retrofit for clean air

Current engines exhibit noxious emissions while driving. The prize aims to reduce the pollution produced by the existing fleet, by promoting the development of retrofittable technology, such as, devices or modification of existing engines that reduce emissions of pollutants in real driving conditions to the lowest level possible.

Total budget: 1.5 million euros
Closing date: 12 September 2017

Individual fellowships

The individual fellowships are designed to enhance the creative and innovative potential of researchers who wish to diversify their individual competence through advanced training, international and cross-sector opportunities.

This call will support placements for researchers into academic and non-academic organisations.

Total budget: 10 million euros
Close date: 14 September 2017

FET proactive: high-performance computing

By leveraging existing European strengths in high-performance computing, this competition aims to support and take advantage of the evolution from peta to exascale computing.

The latest calls are for the transition to exascale computing and exascale HPC ecosystem development.

Total budget: 40 million euros
Closing date: 26 September 2017

Horizon prize: materials for clean air

In the EU, the average life expectancy is estimated to be decreased by 8.6 months, because of exposure to particulate matter resulting from human activities.

This prize is for an individual or team that develops the best innovative design-driven material solution to reduce the concentration of particulate matter in urban areas.

Total budget: 3 million euros
Close date: 23 January 2018

Horizon prize: cleanest engine of the future

This prize aims at reducing the pollution produced by future new vehicles, using either gasoline or diesel fuels and their low biofuel blends available on the market.

The aim is to improve health impacts due to air quality issues in European cities.

The competition opens on 20 April 2017.

Total budget 3.5 million euros
Close date: 20 August 2019


The more than 5 million euros Nightingale project is aiming to help reduce death and disability from undetected deterioration. It will invite partners to apply for funding to develop innovative wireless, wearable technology that can be coupled with intelligent analysis software to monitor patients in the ward and at home.

Total budget: 5 million euros
Close date: TBC. The tendering process will start in November 2017

Apply for Nightingale.

Competitive low-carbon energy

This competition focuses on demonstrating innovative renewable energy technologies. This includes:

  • photovoltaic electricity
  • solar heat
  • wind turbines
  • ocean energy devices

Total budget: 105 million euros
Close date: 7 September 2017

Competition information

  • all competitions are open, and have varying close dates
  • funding opportunities are open to everyone in an EU member state
  • projects must be a consortium of at least 3 organisations and each member must have a legal standing such as registered business, partnership or charity
  • get in touch with your national contact point for advice and to find consortium partners

Find your national contact point.

Apply for another innovation opportunity.


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