Funding News

The European Commission published the “Strategic Programme Overarching Document” concerning the upcoming Horizon 2020 Work Programmes earlier this year. Although this document already gave us an early look at what to expect and which areas the EC wants to focus on during the final three years of Horizon 2020, Europe`s scientific community and enterprises are now getting ready for the upcoming call topics.

General information on the final Work Programmes

The upcoming Work Programmes (WPs) 2018-2020 will be the third and final WPs of Horizon 2020. With a budget of around €30 billion dedicated to the final WPs, it is by far the largest single integrated programme of publicly funded research and innovation for the three years that it will still be active.

The EC began its work on the new WPs already in 2016, when stakeholders and Member States informed them of their priorities. During the preparation, the EC consulted 19 Horizon 2020 Advisory Groups, which are representatives of all relevant areas: From industry and research to civil society.

Key priorities of the H2020 Work Programmes 2018-2020

The overarching document provides us with a very long list of key priorities (so called Focus Areas) of the WPs 2018-2020. We’ve selected a small sample of these, which we think might be of high interest.

Climate action

Following the news that the US will exit the Paris Agreement, climate change has been a topic that the EC does not want to avoid. In fact, more than 35% of the total budget will be invested in climate actions. All actions that can contribute towards the goals of the Paris Agreement will be covered by this Focus Area.


The Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Cloud, high-performance computing and artificial intelligence (AI) are all buzzwords that have been mentioned in the media for years. More recently, we’ve seen what this digitisation actually can do: Refrigerators that automatically order food you are running out of, AI that can detect cancer and machines beating humans at highly complex games. Whether you like it or not, it is an industry the EU can not afford to miss out on. So far, many of these developments have been made in Asia and the US. The work programme will attempt to help participants in the area of digitisation to capture value, increase competitiveness and create new markets.


 “Combating cross-border crime and terrorism is a common European responsibility"[1], says Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC. The majority of EU Member States rely solely on Horizon 2020 for security research in the EU. The goals of this Focus Area will be to reduce deaths from natural as well as man-made disasters, create new technologies and solutions for fighting and preventing crime alongside research and technologies for action and recovery from post disaster situations.

Next steps

The WPs are expected to be published in September/October 2017. Once released, we will provide an overview of the call topics in some priority areas here on the accelopment blog. To be the first to know, make sure you follow us on Twitter.

The H2020 Work Programmes 2018-2020 and accelopment

Even with the promise of a simplified administration, we do not expect that projects will be able to run smoothly without a dedicated project manager. To ensure keeping our high standards, accelopment is ISO 9001 certified for EU proposal preparation and project management. During a project accelopment participates as a Partner Organisation and subcontractor for project management and dissemination.

While each and every proposer will be hoping for a higher success rate and reduced workload on unsuccessful proposals, we’ve been able to observe how proposals that were written with the help of accelopment achieve a higher success rate. You can use our contact page to get in touch with us.