Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 - The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

Horizon 2020 contains a number of funding programmes and mechanisms, covering the entire innovation chain and all major areas of science and technology. It offers a number of opportunities for the electronics and software sectors.

Beneficiaries can receive up to 100% of the total eligible costs incurred on a research project. For innovation projects (close-to-market activities, usually with a stronger industry focus), the grant is limited to a maximum of 70% of the total eligible costs (100% for not-for-profit entities).

Most projects require a minimum of three participants from three different EU member states or countries that are associated with Horizon 2020, although projects specifically for small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) can have a single applicant or be collaborative.

To apply for funding under Horizon 2020 a project proposal will need to be prepared and submitted in response to a Call for Proposals. Information on all Calls for Proposals is available on the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Participant Portal

Information & Communication Technologies (ICT)

ICT in ‘Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies’ includes topics such as:

  • Software technologies
  • Thin, Organic and Large Area Electronics
  • Micro- and nanoelectronics technologies


For more information visit the website

ECSEL (Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership)

ECSEL is a public-private partnership in nanoelectronics, embedded software and smart system integration. ECSEL JU provides grants for Research and Innovation projects selected in open and competitive calls for proposals.

For more information visit the website

Fast Track to Innovation (FTI)

The FTI pilot provides funding for bottom-up proposals for close-to-market innovation activities in any area of technology or application. The aim is to reduce time from idea to market, stimulate the participation of first-time applicants to EU research funding, and increase private sector investment in research and innovation.

FTI is open for all types of participants that want to launch innovative products, processes or services within 3 years of the start of the project. 

The scheme is continuously open in 2015 with the next cut-off date on the 01 December 2015.

For more information visit the website

SME Instrument

The SME Instrument aims to address the financing needs of internationally oriented SMEs, in implementing high-risk and high-potential innovation ideas.

Funding is provided in three different stages:

Phase I (optional) – Feasibility assessment: €50,000 (lump sum) per project (70% of total cost of the project) for exploring and assessing the technical feasibility and commercial potential of a breakthrough innovation;

Phase II – Innovation project: Typically €500,000 to €2.5 million (70% of total cost of the project) for innovation projects underpinned by a sound and strategic business plan;

Phase III – Commercialisation: free-of-charge access to a wide range of innovation support services and facilitated access to risk finance.

Only a single for-profit SME or a consortium of for-profit SMEs can apply for funding under the SME Instrument.

The scheme is continuously open with the next cut-off date on the 25 November 2015.

For more information visit the website

Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA)

The MSCA provide grants for all stages of researchers' careers and encourage transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. They enable research-focused organisations (universities, research centres, and companies) to host talented foreign researchers and to create strategic partnerships with leading institutions worldwide.

For more information visit the website