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The eligibility conditions are laid out in the rules of participation for HORIZON 2020. These define who is allowed to participate in HORIZON 2020 and what the minimum requirements for participation entail. The types of funding and their definitions can also be found in the same rules of participation.


The structure of HORIZON 2020 is divided thus:

I: 'Excellent Science' as an academically driven focus comprises the following:

European Research Council awards individual grants to excellent early career and established researchers with groundbreaking project ideas.

Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) awards grants in three funding schemes to research networks in order to research novel ideas.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions promote mobility for early career researchers.

Research Infrastructures network established research infrastructures and thereby enable more transnational access.

II. 'Industrial Leadership' as an industry-driven focus comprises the following:

Fundamental and industrial technologies incl. key technologies: Funding for research and innovation in fields that are especially relevant to competitiveness in industry.

Risk Financing consists of credit facilities and venture capital in order to generate funds for high-risk research and innovation projects that otherwise might not be able to raise any investments.

Innovation in SMEs: Targeted funding for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout all stages of innovation, including feasibility studies, funding for research and demonstration, and support for the follow-up phase.

III: 'Societal challenges' as a politically driven focus comprises seven challenges:

Interdisciplinary solutions to overarching problems:

Health, demographic change and well-being.

Challenges to the European bio-economy: nutrition and food security; sustainable agriculture and forestry; marine, maritime, and limnologic research.

Safe, clean, and efficient energy.

Intelligent, environmentally friendly, and integrated traffic.

Climate protection, resource efficiency, and raw materials.

Europe in a changing world: integrative, innovative, and reflective societies.

Safe societies – protecting the freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.

Additional subsections of HORIZON 2020:

Spreading excellence and widening participation in targeted measures that pursue cohesion policy goals.

Science with and for society as a continuation of the program "Science in Society" from the 7th Research Framework Program works to increase the acceptance of science, among other things.

Direct measures of the Joint Research Center (JRC) except for the nuclear sector.

The European Innovation and Technology Institute (EIT) for interlocking the triad of knowledge (academic education, research, and innovation).