Horizon 2020 Work Programme Changes


The UK Research Office  (UKRO) has published some useful information outlining how the recently published Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2016-2017 differs from the 2014-2015 Programme.

Nine focus area calls have been set for 2016-17 designed to provide stronger integration on key areas of political relevance and societal concern across the different Work Programme parts (areas 7,8 and 9 below are new to 2016-2017):

  1. Automated Road Transport
  2. Digital Security
  3. Energy Efficiency
  4. Competitive Low-carbon Energy
  5. Blue Growth
  6. Sustainable Food Security
  7. Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy
  8. Internet of Things
  9. Smart and Sustainable Cities

A novelty in Horizon 2020 was the introduction of an open research data pilot aimed at improving access to and re-use of data generated by projects. The data pilot concerns selected core areas within Horizon 2020 and the number of these cores has been expanded in the 2016-2017 to cover:

Future and Emerging Technologies; Research infrastructures (including e-Infrastructures); Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies – Information and Communication Technologies; Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and Biotechnology: ‘nanosafety’ and ‘modelling’ topics; Societal Challenge: Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy Societal Challenge: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw materials – except raw materials; Societal Challenge: Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies; Science with and for Society; and Cross-cutting activities – focus areas – part Smart and Sustainable Cities.

The list of types of action has been expanded to include European Joint Programme (EJP) Cofund actions, designed to support coordinated national research and innovation programmes.

The wording on the aspects to be taken into account when applying the award criteria has also been updated: under ‘Excellence’, reference is now made to `interdisciplinary’ approaches (previously ‘trans-disciplinary’) and use of stakeholder knowledge; under ‘Impact’, the impact statements in the work programme topic descriptions have been given slightly more prominence; and under ‘Implementation’, it is now clearer that each partner should have a valid role, resources to match its tasks, and that over-inflated work-packages may be penalised.

Finally, for two-stage proposals, ‘dynamic’ thresholds for the first stage have been introduced whereby the overall threshold will be set such that the total requested budget of proposals admitted to the second stage is as close as possible to three times the available budget.

For further information about the changes to Horizon 2020, please contact Kelly or myself in Research Support.

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