On 3rd December¸ Council of the European Union adopted the “Horizon 2020” programme for research and innovation for the years 2014 to 2020 which will replace the EU’s 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7)¸ which runs until the end of this year.
The programme has a budget of around 77 billion euros and will underpin the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs. One of the main goals is to strengthen the scientific and technological bases by contributing to achieving a European Research Area in which researchers¸ scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely.
One of the features of this initiative is a simplification of procedures. Simpler funding rules will reduce administrative costs for participants and decrease financial errors.
A simplified funding model will be used for the reimbursement of activities. It will be based on a single reimbursement rate for eligible costs that will be applied to all activities within an action.
Furthermore¸ Horizon 2020 will introduce the rule according to which the period between the deadline for the submission of project proposals and the conclusion of a grant agreement will be significantly shortened.
The program will provide a range of means to support the research and innovation activities and capacities of SMEs along the different stages of the innovation cycle.
In this context¸ new pilot scheme will be implemented which aims to speed up the time from idea to market. This “Fast Track to Innovation” pilot scheme will increase the participation of SMEs and first time applicants in Horizon 2020.
To read about other features of the Horizon 2020¸ please click here.