Hot topic: Horizon 2020’s third Work Programme for 2018-2020

Priorities of the H2020 Work Programme 2018-2020

The European Commission announced on 27 October how it will spend €30 billion of the EU research and innovation funding programme Horizon 2020 during 2018-2020, including €2.7 billion to kick-start a European Innovation Council.

Horizon 2020, the EU's €77 billion research and innovation funding programme, supports scientific excellence in Europe and has contributed to high-profile scientific breakthroughs such as the discovery of exoplanets and gravitational waves.

Over the next 3 years, the Commission will seek greater impact of its research funding by focusing on fewer, but critical topics such as migration, security, climate, clean energy and digital economy. Horizon 2020 will also be more geared towards boosting breakthrough, market-creating innovation.

Supporting breakthrough, market-creating innovation

Since the beginning of its mandate, the Juncker Commission has been working hard to give Europe's many innovative entrepreneurs every opportunity to thrive. Now, the Commission is launching the first phase of the European Innovation Council.Between 2018 and 2020, the Commission will mobilise €2.7 billion from Horizon 2020 to support high-risk, high-gain innovation to create the markets of the future. Moreover, Horizon 2020 will make better use of its "crack the challenge" prizes to deliver breakthrough technology solutions to pressing problems faced by our citizens.

Focusing on political priorities

The 2018-2020 Work Programme will focus efforts on fewer topics with bigger budgets, directly supporting the Commission's political priorities:

  • A low-carbon, climate resilient future: €3.3 billion
  • Circular Economy: €1 billion
  • Digitising and transforming European industry and services: €1.7 billion
  • Security Union: €1 billion
  • Migration: €200 million

€2.2 billion will be earmarked for clean energy projects in four interrelated areas: renewables, energy efficient buildings, electro-mobility and storage solutions, including €200 million to support the development and production in Europe of the next generation of electric batteries.

Boosting 'blue sky' research

At the same time, Horizon 2020 will continue to fund 'curiosity-driven science' (often referred to as 'blue sky science' or 'frontier research'). The annual Work Programme of the European Research Council for 2018, adopted in August, will enable support for excellent researchers with nearly €1.86 billion. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, which fund fellowships for researchers at all stages of their careers, receive a boost with €2.9 billion in total over three years.

Enhancing international cooperation

The new Work Programme also strengthens international cooperation in research and innovation. It will invest over €1 billion in 30 flagship initiatives in areas of mutual benefit. Examples include working with Canada on personalised medicine, with the US, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Australia on road transport automation, with India on water challenges and with African countries on food security and renewable energies.

Simplifying rules of participation further

Another novelty is the introduction of the lump-sum pilot, a new, simpler approach to providing financial support to participants. It will shift the focus of ex-ante controls from financial checks to the scientific-technical content of the projects.

Open Science

The programme marks a step change in promoting Open Science by shifting from publishing research results in scientific publications towards sharing knowledge sooner in the research process. €2 billion will be channelled to support Open Science, and €600 million will be dedicated to the European Open Science Cloud, European Data Infrastructure and High Performance Computing.


Horizon 2020 and Japan

60 projects with Japanese organisations in Horizon 2020

In these 60 projects, 52 different Japanese entities are participating. Japanese universities are the largest group of organisations with 41% of the participation, followed by Japanese companies with 26% and research centers with 20%. Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) related projects rank first with 25 projects, followed by 11 ICT projects and 6 Environment projects.

This number is lower as compared to FP7 (2007-2013), the programme that preceded Horizon 2020. In FP7, 159 projects included Japanese participants. This is a general trend for all participation from third countries (outside Europe).

Japanese companies are largely participating through their affiliate organisations in Europe. So far, 95 projects involving 50 different Japanese affiliate companies are currently running in Horizon 2020. ICT is the most popular area.

Coordinated EU-Japan calls in H2020 WP 2018-2020

  • EUJ-01-2018: Advanced technologies (Security/Cloud/IoT/Big Data) for a hyper-connected society in the context of Smart City

    Open: 31 October 2017 -- Deadline: 31 January 2018

    (1) Advanced technologies combining Securtiy, IoT,Cloud and Big Data for a hyper connected society

    (2) Interoperable technologies for IoT devices / platforms in the context of Smart Cities

  • EUJ-02-2018: 5G and beyond

    Open: 31 October 2017 -- Deadline: 31 January 2018

    (1) Large-scale demonstrations and trials towards 5G applications

    (2) Joint research on enabling technologies for beyond 5G

Co-funded call (JST SICORP)

The Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), through its Strategic International Collaborative Research Program (SICORP), will support Japanese applicants who participate in HORIZON 2020. This is a pre-announcement, complete information will be published on JST’s webpage (Japanese only).

Research Field: Disaster Resilient Society: Technologies for first responders

Corresponding call in HORIZON 2020: SU-DRS02 Technologies for first responders.

Support by JST: JST will support Japanese applicants who participate in the above-mentioned 2 sub-topics. Projects selected for funding in this call will receive support for a period of 3 years totaling no more than approximately 60 million JPY including indirect costs of 30% of direct costs.

Applicant Eligibility: Researchers working in Japanese universities, research institutions, companies, first responders’ organizations etc., are eligible to apply for this call. In addition to researchers, end users and practitioners of the corresponding technologies are also eligible to apply.

Application Procedure: All Japanese applicants must submit an application directly to JST through details to be posted in this site later. In addition, the coordinator of the project consortium must also submit an application via the HORIZON 2020 portal.

Evaluation: As a prerequisite for the funding from JST, the application to HORIZON 2020 must have been adopted by the EC. In addition, each proposal must also pass an independent evaluation conducted by JST

Call open: March 2018 -- Call close: August 2018.

Aside from these co-funded, coordinated calls, Japan is also specifically mentioned in 20 open calls (making of Japanese institutions a partner of choice for consortia wishing to apply to these calls. Japanese institutions and individuals can of course participate in any of the other open calls, as participation in Horizon 2020 projects is open to all public or private research-performing institutions all over the world.


European institutions looking for partners in Japan for Horizon 2020 collaborative projects

New calls for proposals are open in Horizon 2020, and some European institutions are looking for partners in Japan.

This list has been established by the office of the Horizon 2020 National Contact Point Japan. If you have interest in any of the partnering requests below, please do not hesitate to get in contact with stijn.lambrecht{-at-}eu-japan.gr.jp for more information.

EU-Japan ICT joint call EUJ-01-2018 (funding for Japanese partner from NICT):

  • A Slovenian university is looking for Japanese companies to join a proposal targeting Intelligent Contextualized Adaptive Notification in order to empower developers and providers of data-intensive applications with lightweight agile programming technologies, able to suit the needs of the ever-changing environment (e.g. mobile devices and users changing the position), as well as metrics required for successful detection of the conditions, and notification or reaction to changes (events).
  • A German company is looking for Japanese partners with experience in privacy to develop internationally relevant and interoperable privacy platforms for the protection of sensitive data (personal or commercial) exchange between IoT devices in the context of Smart Cities.

EU-Japan ICT joint call EUJ-02 (funding for Japanese partner from MIC):

  • A French company that is coordinating a proposal with other European partners regarding "large-scale demonstrations and trials towards 5G applications: Use case scenario, 3D immersive experience" is looking for Japanese partners: 5G Infrastructure operator, research centre/university, use case provider, testbed
  • A Polish company that is developing algorithms, protocols and tools for 4G and 5G mobile networks is looking for partners (Japanese and European) to develop a proposal for the call. Their main interests are in Radio Access Network and 5G.

EU-Japan research exchange project (limited funding available to host researchers from Europe):

  • A university in Latvia is looking for an exchange project in the field of artificial intelligence safety for a RISE project (H2020-MSCA-RISE-2018)
  • A university in France is looking for companiesworking on silicon-based devices, doping, ion-implementation, lithograhy, NIR optical spectroscopy, electronic microscopy, telecommunications, software development/simulation, in order to join a Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018)

Cooperation with Germany (non-Horizon 2020, funding for Japanese partner from JST)

  • A German research organisation is looking for partners for a project proposal regarding onoptical (bio-)sensing technology "Multiplexed and label-free biomolecule interaction analysis in real-time via whispering gallery mode analysis on suspended microparticles". Academic partner are requested for interaction analyses, spectroscopy, fluid handling etc. Industrial partners are requested for commercialization of the bioanalytical assay, optic instrument fabrication, image analysis, electronics, microfluidics etc.


read the full piece in our 2017 Q4 newsletter