Horizon 2020, with a 2014 - 2020 budget of €77 billion, is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever and one of the largest worldwide. Horizon 2020 (H2020) promotes Europe's scientific and technological excellence to extend the frontiers of human knowledge, boost the EU's economic competitiveness, address societal challenges and remove barriers to innovation, including between the public and private sector.

Some key H2020 impact headlines clearly indicate the interesting linkages with the Interreg Europe thematic priorities:

  • 23.7% of participants in the field of 'Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies' and in 'Societal challenges' are SMEs - well above the 20% target
  • 92.3% of the funding for the energy societal challenge has gone to research in renewable energy, end-user energy-efficiency, smart grids and energy storage - more than the 85 % target defined for research related to non-fossil fuel
  • 27% of the total Horizon 2020 budget (2015) went towards helping deliver on the EU's climate objectives - climate action is a key priority for the Commission, but the ambitious target of 35% is not yet reached

The large range of H2020 tools and instruments naturally delivers many impacts, for example supporting innovation in SMEs represents a top priority. Over 19 000 proposals for the SME instrument have already been submitted during 2014-2015. Technology transfer, a key driver of regional competitiveness, is also supported by H2020, and helps remove barriers to innovation, including between the public and private sector.

Meanwhile the evaluation of the impact of the previous FP7 programme shows that every euro invested by FP7 generated around 11 euros in direct and indirect economic effects. The achieved innovation indicators include 1700 patent applications and support for 7400 commercial exploitations, which in turn supported new companies, new jobs and opened new markets.

H2020 also places a high importance on addressing transnational societal challenges. The funded actions have helped to set up a common scientific base for responding to pan-European challenges e.g. health, food, safety, energy, environment, employment, poverty and exclusion.

Horizon 2020 gives researchers access to a Europe-wide open space for knowledge and technologies in which transnational synergies and complementarities are fully exploited - contributing to the continued reinforcement of the European Research Area and helping to reduce regional disparities.

More details regarding the impact of H2020 can be found on Horizon 2020 website here and here

The page also hosts the H2020 annual monitoring report.