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Have you looked at Horizon 2020 as a possible source of funding?

08 Apr 17

Horizon 2020 is an European wide initiative that runs from 2014 to 2020 and has a budget of around €80 billion available to allocated over the seven years to 2020. It’s about supporting innovation and bringing more ideas to market. Here is just a small flavour of some of the UK companies, projects and activities that have been successful in securing Horizon 2020 funding:

  • The London branch of Canadian company Tellspec will receive EU funding for developing a food scanner: an affordable and non-invasive mobile food sensor that enables users to measure and analyse their food intake in real-time.
  • The European Commission awarded a total of €1,000,000 (£852.800) to three innovative companies at the CeBIT 2017 tech conference. 
  • UK-based researchers are top of the league in the European Research Council's (ERC) latest round of mid-career consolidator grants. Fifty-eight researchers working in UK institutions will each receive up to €2 million (£1.7m) of EU funding to set up their own teams and pursue ground-breaking ideas.
  • A UK-based SME - Fast2Fibre Limited – is set to receive some €1.7 million (£1.4m) of EU funding to market a novel technology for installing high capacity fibre optic cables in existing networks. Using the procedure can minimise both cost and disruption caused by digging trenches.

To find more information on the above and the many other UK beneficiaries click here.

So it you have ideas that are science based and research and development oriented, or you are engaged in the development of future and emerging technologies it could be worth investigating whether there is a Horizion 2002 fund that it a good fit for you.

It is organised under three key pillars:

  • Excellent Science
  • Industrial Leadership
  • Societal Challenges 

The funds include (in euros):

  • 7,472 million for ‘health for all’ projects
  • 3,851 million for making the best of our biological resources for food security and sustainable growth
  • 5,931 million for secure, clean and efficient energy
  • 6,339 million for smart, green & integrated transport
  • 3,081 million for climate action, environment, resources efficiency & raw materials
  • 1,310 million for inclusive, innovative & reflective societies
  • 1,695 million for safeguarding a secure society.

This time around the fund manager have promised shorter time to grant and quicker payments with fewer audits.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) support

There is a key focus on strengthening SMEs. The programs that are specific to SMEs are organised into three phases covering the innovation cycle.

  • Phase 1: a feasibility part allows for an assessment of the technological and commercial potential of a project (proof of concept). Funding is provided in the form of a lump sum.
  • Phase 2: a main grant will support an innovation project focusing on activities such as demonstration, testing, prototyping, pilot lines, scale-up studies, miniaturisation, design, performance verification etc. and market replication.
  • Phase 3: the commercialisation phase is supported indirectly through the organisation of market-driven networking and training activities, supporting access to finance and access to customers. The support provided under phase 3 is offered in parallel to SMEs that already receive support under phase 1 or 2.

There are frequent calls for Proposals so you have two choices – keep track of announcements and information on the Participant Portal or ask a specialist to help you assess whether your project fits any of the current funding rounds.

We have specialists that can do a first assessment of your ideas and projects and find you the right resources to help you develop your bid. Contact us here.

Are you ready to find out if you qualify or how much your R&D claims could be worth?


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For more information or to contact us - call us on 0771 9439 229 - or send us a message


For more information on claiming R&D tax credits or our business advice and support services call us on 0771 9439 229

Or send us a message

PO Box 53448,
SE18 9DE


Our consultants are members of London Group Business Advisors and Home Counties Business Advisors.

Linda Eziquiel is a Fellow of the Institute for Independent Business and a Principal Consultant at RandDTax (specialists in Research and Development tax credits) – UK co. reg. no. 08160439.

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