Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. Horizon 2020 is the main instrument of the European Union for funding research in Europe for the period 2014-2020.

In the proposal presented by the European Commission on 30th November 2011, the budget estimated is about € 80 billion.

Horizon 2020 provides major simplification through a single set of rules. It will combine all research and innovation funding currently provided through the Framework Programmes for Research and Technical Development, the innovation related activities of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

The European Commission, in consultation with the Council and the European Parliament, shall adopt the legislation by the end of 2013.

The Program will be made up of three pillars:

  1. EXCELLENT SCIENCE will raise the level of excellence in Europe’s science base supporting the best ideas, developing talent within Europe, providing researchers with access to priority research infrastructure, and making Europe an attractive location for the world’s best researchers.
  2. INDUSTRIAL LEADERSHIP aims at making Europe a more attractive location to invest in research and innovation, by promoting activities where businesses set the agenda.
  3. SOCIAL CHALLENGES reflects the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy and addresses major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and in other countries.

Here follows the structure of the Framework Programme:


Horizon 2020 will contribute, therefore, to the creation of a genuine European Research Area, thanks to a synergy much stronger than in the past between the financial resources of the Programme and the EU Funds for Cohesion 2014-2010. In this context, the alignment of national programs through initiatives of Joint Programming of Research represents one of the greatest challenge on which the European policy and the national public policies must reply about.

The HIT Program 2020 aims to represent the response to this challenge by the entire Italian system of research and innovation.