Horizon 2020 is the European Union’s most important tool in driving innovation, research and development. It provides funding, new markets and partners also for built environment actors. The priority areas include smart cities and transportation systems, improvement of energy efficiency, health and wellbeing, and nanotechnology. We put together an information package that tells how funding can be applied for and for what purposes.
The budget of the Horizon program for 2014–2020 is almost €80bn. Funding is available for enterprises that want to develop new product, service or business ideas on a European scale as well as for European research teams and end users who want to have an impact on European development in their own operating environment. The great majority of the projects will be implemented in international cooperation, but in certain cases just one participant is enough.
Applications are sent directly to Brussels where the funding decisions are made. However, many kinds of assistance for project preparation is available in Finland.
Tekes provides funding especially for preparation of consortium projects significant for Finland. It may also fund the preparation of the Horizon project as part of another Tekes-funded project if the aim is, for example, to expand a Tekes project into an international cooperation project. Centers for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centers) may also provide an SME funding for the preparation of EU projects from the development assistance funds for enterprises.
Applications should focus on the impact of the expected results and be readable
Finland has over the years obtained a good amount of EU funding for research and innovation. However, competition is intensifying and funding decisions are increasingly based on the practical impact of the research. The application must present a clear vision of how the research result or innovation can create novel business that benefits Europe as a whole. Clearly structured contents, readability and a well founded market outlook are also key factors that make the application stand out among the flood of others.
Clearly structured contents, readability and a well founded market outlook, on the other hand, are key factors in making the SME instrument of the EU Horizon program stand out in the deluge of applications.
The next round of applications for the Horizon 2020 program will be specified during the spring after the 2016–2017 work program is completed. It will define in more detail the search titles, budgets, available financial instruments, and application timetable. The first applications can probably be submitted in September.
Look at the information package we put together with the EU research and innovation unit at Tekes!
See examples of built environment-related projects that have obtained funding from the 7th Framework Program which preceded Horizon 2020.