What can Horizon 2020 offer you?

If you are new to European funding and are considering whether your business or organisation should participate, find out here whether Horizon 2020 is right for you.
An organisation of any type or size can participate in Horizon 2020 and benefit from being part of pan-European consortia sharing knowledge, skills and experience.
If you participate in Horizon 2020, you could:
  • achieve something that's too big to do alone
  • collaborate across a value chain
  • utilise your organisation's technology and/or know-how that is essential to a solution 
  • gain access to science and technology
  • gain access to skills and expertise you don't have
  • find opportunities to trial innovative solutions.
Cross border activity of this nature is particularly important as economic success increasingly depends on the capacity to compete at a global level. 

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a key focus for Horizon 2020. At least 20% of the combined budget is dedicated to SME support. Horizon 2020 brings together a coordinated SME support package.
  • A single set of rules with simplified and shorter procedures. 
  • A new three-stage SME instrument available for single companies and 
  • The Eurostars programme, a dedicated programme for supporting Research Performing SME in cross-border collaborative projects.
Together with SMEs having access to the rest of the H2020 programmes, this makes Horizon 2020 an excellent source of support for SMEs.

Support programmes in H2020 for SMEs

Contact the SME UK National Contact Point

Large companies 

The European Commission welcomes large companies to the Horizon 2020 programme. With a simpler application process, more streamlined financial and reporting structures and support from experienced National Contact Points, the programme is open to UK business.


Horizon 2020 provides a platform for cutting-edge, transnational research and development. The quality, breadth and depth of research in the UK enables it to secure a disproportionately large quantity of European Union research funding. UK universities gain substantial international and European leverage through collaborations and research networks facilitated by the European Union's unique cooperation programmes. 

Public bodies

As well as participating in wider research and development projects, there are specific opportunities within public-private initiatives (such as Joint Undertakings) and public-public initiatives (such as ERA-NETs). New Pre-Commercial Procurement actions also provide funding for public bodies across the European Union to address shared challenges.


All activities across Horizon 2020 are available to charities with the advantage that non-profit organisations will receive a higher reimbursement rate for closer to market activities.

Healthcare providers

A key focus of Horizon 2020 is that research and ideas are translated into practice, demonstrating clear advantages to patients. This means that NHS organisations and other healthcare providers are in a strong position to coordinate and partner in research and innovation projects. Areas of research should be of direct benefit to our healthcare professionals and have a real impact on population health and wellbeing.
For further information see 

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