What is H2020?

H2020 is the popular shortname for Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever; with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).

Seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that research is an investment in our future and so put it at the heart of the EU’s blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs.

By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 aims on excellent world-class science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. Removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

Horizon 2020 is open to everyone, from micro-entreprises to large corporations, with a simple structure that reduces red tape and time so participants can focus on what is really important. This approach makes sure new projects get off the ground quickly – and achieve results faster.

Details of the program can be seen on the EU website


How can Smart R&D help you succeeding in H2020 programs?

The average success rate for the 45,000 Horizon 2020 grant applicants in 2014 was 14 per cent. It is a very low percentage compared to success rates of 25% and more in the US or Australia programs. Yet the annual budget from the Commission was not fully used. So if there was still money, why these low percentages?

With only one in seven proposals are being selected – even more in the SME and small projects area - in the first evaluation step, due to not meeting the call conditions, the main reason for such low success rate numbers is obviously that projects are being presented without proper preparation. 90% of the SME presenting projects on their own are just trying their luck, putting only an small effort, than rather being serious about it.

Part of the problem was that a lot of the applications didn’t score well in the Commission evaluations – suggesting a lot of small companies may have been taking a flier with their applications. For those applications that cleared the minimum quality thresholds set by the Commission,  81 per cent were being funded. This is therefore the true success ratio for a well-prepared project.

Smart R&D can help your company meeting the application thresholds:

  • Our extensive network of contacts accross Europe, from whom we did already work in the past and we can prove their reliability and professionality. One of the major barriers to a proper proposal is to find 3 partners of 3 different countries
  • Our experience in preparing proposals the way the Commission wants them prepared.
  • Our project management experience in large projects.


Do you have a good idea to propose? Contact us now and do not waste the idea in submitting it without the correct preparation!