Horizon 2020’s third Work Programme for 2018-2020 & EU-Korea opportunities

Categories: News

Tags: H2020 | EU-Country cooperation | EU | Funding | Korea

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 Korea

42 projects with Korean organisations in Horizon 2020 (2014-2016)


Coordinated EU-Korea calls in H2020 WP 2018-2020

  • EUK-01-2018: Cloud, IoT and AI technologies || Open: 31 October 2017 -- Deadline: 31 January 2018
  • EUK-02-2018: 5G ||Open: 31 October 2017 -- Deadline: 31 January 2018


Available local programs or funds that could provide support to Korean Horizon 2020 participants

Horizon 2020 is fully open to participation of entities from across the world in all parts of the programme, and many topics are flagged as being specifically relevant for cooperation with partners outside Europe.
Korean researchers, universities, research organisations and enterprises are able to team up with their European partners to participate in projects under Horizon 2020 and make the best use of Europe’s excellent opportunities in research and innovation. Through participation in Horizon 2020, beneficiaries can gain great benefits from access to excellent talent, knowledge, data and infrastructures and connection to world-leading teams, networks and value chains.

EU-Korea Co-funding Mechanism for Research and Innovation Projects
Korean participants are not automatically eligible for funding through Horizon 2020. Korean participants have themselves to determine the sources of funding and find the resources for their part of the project. These may be own funds, as well as funds received from Korean ministries, foundations and other organisations that fund research and innovation activities in Korea. Contributions can also be made in kind.
To support Korean participants, the Korean government (Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, MSIP, and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, MOTIE) regularly launches public calls for proposals to co-fund Koreans in Horizon 2020 projects selected for European Union funding, covering all thematic areas. Korean partners should consult these websites in view of submitting applications:




Current priorities / roadmap for EU-Korea R&I cooperation

Cooperation with Korea is a particular priority for the EU as the potential to work for mutual benefit in a wide range of areas is especially strong. Therefore, Korean participation is welcomed in all Calls for Proposals under Horizon 2020.
The latest Joint Science & Technology Cooperation Committee emphasised the need to deepen, scale up and open cooperation in selected thematic areas of mutual benefit.
These areas include both long-standing common priority areas (5G, IoT, Cloud and AI; nanoelectronics; nanosafety; clean energy innovation; infectious diseases; epigenome research; satellite navigation etc.) and new areas of mutual benefit (antimicrobial resistance; automated driving systems, disaster-resilient and security, polar research etc.), as well as cooperation under schemes for researchers' mobility (ERC, MSCA).

Further information in the H2020 Korea Country Page