Under the new EU's international cooperation budget for the year 2014-2020 Thailand will no longer be considered as a country that needs assistance under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI). However, Thailand will still cooperate with the EU in the field of science through Horizon 2020. 

Horizon 2020 is the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. It is the largest EU research and innovation programme to date, with a budget of 80 billion euro for 7 years (2014-2020), as well as additional funding from private and national public investment. 

EU politicians believe that investment in research and innovation is essential for the future. Horizon 2020 aims to help achieve the goals set in Europe 2020 for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It focuses on excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges to drive economic growth and is open to participants from all over the world.

Horizon 2020 differs from FP7, the previous Research and Innovation framework programme in that in Horizon 2020, research and innovation are combined into one program. It focuses on societal challenges that the EU faces and facilitates cooperation between businesses, universities and other institutions in every country in and outside of the EU.

Excellent Science 

The Excellent Science programme section composes of:

  • The European Research Council (ERC) that gives grants to researchers
  • The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action offers training and career development to researchers, or a placement in another country or private sector.  
  • Future and Emerging Technologies aims to utilise EU funding to transform Europe into the best environment for cooperation on new and future technologies.  
  • World Class infrastructure is a funding mechanism for large-scale projects and state-of-the-art infrastructure for researchers.


Industrial Leadership

This category focuses on increasing public investment in research and innovation. It encourages businesses to be innovative, efficient and competitive in all sectors. Therefore, SMEs are key source of jobs and innovation, and receive special attention in Horizon 2020. 


Societal Challenges

There are 7 priority challenges within the EU where research and innovation will have real impact:

  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy
  • Smart, green and integrated transport
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials
  • Europe in a changing world-inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
  • Secure societies- protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens. 


For more information on Horizon 2020 go to:


How to apply

  1. Submitting a proposal: submitted online using the Participant Portal 
  2. Finding partners: can also be found through the Participant Portal 
  3. Evaluation by experts: each proposal is evaluated by experts in respective areas, and can last 5 months
  4. Grant agreement: has 3 months to sign grant agreements which includes description of research , duration, budget, rights, etc.   

To participate and search for projects go to the participant portal:



Twelve focus areas

A number of areas have been identified for special focus in the first Horizon 2020 Work Programme. Each of these is embedded in the relevant parts of the Work Programme, and covered by a specific call. The 12 focus areas represent around 15% of the total number of calls covered by the Work Programme and amount for a total 2014 budget of €2 billion.

1. Personalising health and care (2014 budget: €549 million)

The cost of healthcare in Europe will soon reach 10 per cent of GDP, and this figure is likely to go up as Europe's population is getting older and as chronic diseases are on the rise. This is where the ‘personalising health and care’ focus area comes in. By better understanding the causes of health and disease and making best use of big data, we can develop better diagnostics (e.g. in vivo medical imaging), therapies (e.g. clinical trials for non-communicable diseases), health promotion and disease prevention strategies (e.g. environment and health based interventions) at the personal and population levels, as well as technologies to support healthy ageing (e.g. mHealth applications). Funding in this area also aims to deliver breakthrough research and innovation in poverty related and antibiotic resistant infectious diseases (e.g. vaccine platforms for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis).

2. Sustainable food security (2014 budget: €138 million)

Ensuring that all people have access to sufficient, affordable, safe and nutritious food is a key challenge for our society. It has also a crucial economic importance: in 2011, agricultural exports accounted for around 7% of the total value of EU exports and the whole agri-food sector employs 17 million people in Europe. This focus area aims at developing competitive and resource-efficient aquatic and terrestrial food production systems and technologies for a sustainable food chain, as well as promoting safe foods and healthy diets for all and understanding the global drivers for food security. It is expected that efforts in research will help achieve a 20% gain in resource use efficiency; help reverse a diminishing trend of productivity gains in primary production; enable food safety policy to be continually adjusted in the light of new scientific evidence; and provide the integrated EU approach needed for reducing ill health due to poor nutrition, overweight and obesity. For example, funding in this area will aim at fighting native and alien pests affecting plants, eliminating discards in European fisheries, discovering innovative and sustainable protein sources of the future and promoting sustainable food chains through public policies.

3. Blue growth: unlocking the potential of seas and oceans (2014 budget: €100 million)

The Blue Growth economy in the EU is expected to grow to 7 million people employed by 2020. Actions in this area will be in line with the EU Blue Growth Strategy and relevant EU policies, as well as provide international cooperation opportunities in particular for Atlantic Ocean research. The calls in this area invite, for example, proposals on Atlantic observation systems, an integrated response capacity to oil spills and marine pollution, climate change impacts on fisheries and aquaculture and ocean literacy.

4. Digital security (2014 budget: €47 million)

Digital Security has many facets, including cybercrime, online privacy and the protection of fundamental rights. Digital Security in Horizon 2020 focuses on basic research and also the economic and societal dimension of security and privacy in the digital ecosystem, to ensure a well-functioning EU single market. It also helps implement the EU's wider cyber security strategy and the Digital Agenda. In particular, Horizon 2020 will fund research into activities which aim to increase the security of current applications, services and infrastructures and support the creation of lead markets and market incentives in Europe.

5. Smart cities and communities (2014 budget: €92 million)

Two thirds of the EU population lives in urban areas, using 70% of the energy. Research carried out under “Smart cities and communities” will aim at finding solutions with high market potential in fields such as energy efficiency in neighbourhoods, providing digital services and information for citizens or smart mobility services. So-called lighthouse projects will create strong partnerships between industries, academics and cities while empowering citizens to take an active part in improving quality of life in cites. The projects will demonstrate and validate attractive business plans that will attract funding and allow large scale replication. For example, EU funding could help develop nearly-zero energy districts, through better management of local resources, sustainable refurbishment of residential buildings and the application of cross-cutting ICT solutions.

6. Competitive low-carbon energy (2014 budget: €359 million)

The EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, with a further reduction to 80-95% by 2050. The aim of the “Competitive low-carbon energy” call is to support this transition by tackling the whole innovation process,  covering a wide range of technology readiness levels, combining R&D with market uptake and by addressing non-technological issues (standardisation, social sciences and humanities, impact analysis, etc.). One of the challenges addressed under this focus area is the integration of next-generation renewable energy technologies into the future energy system. The public-private partnerships on “Fuel Cells and Hydrogen” and on the “Bioeconomy” will contribute to the objectives of this focus area. 

7. Energy Efficiency (2014 budget: €98 million)

About 40% of EU final energy consumption is in buildings and around 25% in industry. Activities under the "Energy Efficiency" focus area will deliver energy savings in these two sectors. The first calls invite proposals to carry out research and demonstration of more energy-efficient solutions – e.g. building components or highly energy-efficient heating and cooling systems - as well as proposals to facilitate policy implementation and skills development, and mobilise financing for the market uptake of more energy efficient products, systems and services.

8. Mobility for growth (2014 budget: €375 million)

Transport accounts for about 63% of oil consumption and 29% of all CO2 emissions. Research and innovation on equipment and systems for vehicles, aircraft and vessels will make them smarter, more automated, cleaner and quieter - while reducing the use of fossil fuels and improving air quality. One of the main objectives of Horizon 2020 in the field of transport is the deployment of innovative traffic management and information systems, advanced traveller services, efficient logistics and construction and maintenance technologies. For example, the first calls will fund projects aiming at developing new technologies for very-low emission vehicles and vessels, at reducing urban road congestion as well as improving intelligent mobility. 

9. Waste: a resource to recycle, reuse and recover raw materials (2014 budget: €73 million)

Full compliance with EU waste policy could create an additional 400,000 jobs within the EU and an extra annual turnover of €42 billion. Research activities will address the whole production and consumption cycle: from waste prevention, the design of products and processes for recyclability to re-use and waste disposal. The calls provide stakeholders from different sectors with the opportunity to work together in new ways. Citizens will also be involved in developing and testing innovative solutions for waste prevention and management. 

10. Water innovation: boosting its value for Europe (2014 budget: €67 million)

Water is fundamental to human health, food security, sustainable development and the environment. It is also an economic sector of growing importance for Europe with a turnover of some €80 billion a year, making it an invaluable source for growth and jobs. Specific actions under this focus area will contribute to the Strategic Innovation Plan of the European Innovation Partnership on Water. For example, activities will include bringing innovative water solutions to the market, harnessing water research and innovation results for the benefit of industry, policy makers and citizens in Europe and worldwide as well as integrated approaches to water management and climate change.

11. Overcoming the crisis: new ideas, strategies and governance structures for Europe (2014 budget: €35 million)

Actions encompass socio-economic research on ways to make economic and monetary union resilient and sustainable, the European growth agenda, the social, political and cultural consequences of and responses to the crisis and other political challenges for Europe. The focus area also foresees research into the future of urban areas and how emerging ICT technologies can be employed in the public sector. 

12. Disaster-resilience: safeguarding and securing society, including adapting to climate change (2014 budget: €72 million)

The cost of natural and man-made disasters, crime and terrorism in terms of environmental and socio-economic impacts amounts on average to annual losses of 5% of EU GDP. The objective within this challenge is to reduce the loss of human life, environmental, economic and material damage from such threats. For example, funding will be provided for projects that use science and innovation for adaptation to climate change by moving from assessing costs, risks and opportunities to demonstration of options and practices.

Source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-1122_en.htm