The European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme provided a budget of €80 billion to research and innovation between 2014 and 2020.

Horizon 2020 has evolved into Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe (2021-2027) is the 9th European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. It is the biggest and most ambitious programme of its kind ever with a budget of over €95 billion. 

Visit SEAI’s Horizon Europe page to learn more about the new framework programme, it’s increased ambition and the current funding opportunities for Irish researchers and innovators. 

Learn more about Horizon Europe
Ireland demonstrated a strong track record in leveraging funding through the Horizon 2020 programme, winning €1.2 billion in funding between 2014 and 2020.

About Horizon 2020

The Horizon 2020 programme was structured on three pillars:

Excellent science

Activities under this Pillar aim to reinforce and extend the excellence of the Union’s science base and to consolidate the European Research Area in order to make the Union’s research and innovation system more competitive on a global scale.

Industrial leadership

This pillar aims to speed up development of the technologies and innovations that will underpin tomorrow's businesses and help innovative European SMEs to grow into world-leading companies. 

Societal challenges

Horizon 2020 reflects the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy and addresses major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere. Funding focuses on seven societal challenges.

Energy in Horizon 2020

Energy topics in Horizon 2020 were funded through Societal Challenge 3: (Secure, clean & efficient energy). This Challenge was based around seven specific objectives and research areas: 

  • Reduce energy consumption & carbon footprint
  • Low-cost, low-carbon electricity supply
  • Alternative fuels and mobile energy sources
  • A single, smart European electricity grid
  • New knowledge and technologies
  • Robust decision making and public engagement
  • Market uptake of energy and ICT innovation

Support for Irish engagement in Horizon 2020

Irish industry, academia & public sector body involvement in Societal Challenge 3 of Horizon 2020 was supported by: 

  • Ireland’s Horizon 2020 National Support Network 
  • the National Delegate (SEAI) and  
  • The National Contact Point (Enterprise Ireland) 

The National Delegate has an influential role in relation to development of Societal Challenge 3 Work Programmes and leads Ireland's input into the associated Programme Committee. 

The National Contact Point provides advice on funding opportunities, contractual & IPR issues, supports proposal preparation, submission & follow up on grant applications, and provides ongoing advice on next steps for successful & unsuccessful applicants.