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Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the "Innovation Union", a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. It brings together all existing EU research and innovation funding previously provided (i.e. until 2013) through the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

Running from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of nearly EUR 80 billion, Horizon 2020 aims at creating growth and jobs in Europe and sets out three general objectives:

1. Excellent science, aiming at consolidating and raising the levels of excellence in Europe's science base,

2. Industrial Leadership, aiming at promoting research and innovation with a business-driven agenda, and

3. Societal challenges, which respond to the policy priorities identified in the Europe 2020 Strategy.

In November 2013, Parliament adopted at first reading, together with the Council, the legislative acts related to the Horizon 2020 package. Parliament's achievements in negotiations include stepping up support to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and a better balance between small, medium and big projects. Furthermore, Parliament opened access to scientific publications, ensured a better gender balance, promoted the control of public private partnerships (PPPs) and promoted a 'fast track to innovation' pilot aiming to reduce the time from idea to market.

Parliament also ensured that around EUR 800 million from the Horizon 2020 budget will go to 'Spreading excellence and widening participation' measures to widen the group of researchers participating in the programme, thus helping to close the research and innovation divide in Europe. It also ensured that over EUR 450 million will go to 'Science with and for society' measures and that the European Institute of Technology (EIT) will have a budget of its own.


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