Societal Challenge

The ‘Society Challenges’ section is for those keen to help address some of the most pressing challenges facing European and global societies. The section provides funding for projects within all fields of research – including projects which bring together resources and knowledge across different fields.

Here, the focus of the research and innovation is on developing solutions to the major societal challenges in Europe and globally. The programme reflects the European political priorities and covers activities throughout the research-to-market chain. The programme has a strong focus on innovative solutions which, within some of the areas, must also be tested on a pilot demonstration scale.

The calls under this programme often require a high degree of cooperation between different innovation and research fields, including expertise within social sciences and humanities. Some calls are issued jointly with the LEIT programme in the ‘Industrial Leadership’ section. 

The programme includes measures that support:

  • network formation (Coordination and Support Actions (CSA))
  • innovation (Innovation Actions (IA))
  • research and innovation (Research and Innovation Actions (RIA)).

Read more about the seven societal challenges in the drop-down menu, where you can also find information about work programmes, grant amounts etc.

Get tips on how to understand the work program in Horizon 2020 guide for adressing topics.

If you need further information, advice or guidance, you are welcome to contact us.

Health, demographic and wellbeing

The overall strategic focus of the Health programme is ‘healthy ageing’ and ‘personalised healthcare’. The priority research areas include:

  • personalised medicine
  • rare diseases;
  • human bio-monitoring
  • mental health
  • healthy ageing
  • microbial resistance
  • health of children and pregnant women and infectious diseases and vaccination.

Development and application of big data, new robot technologies etc. are part of the solutions.  

The programme underpins and cooperates with a number of active public-public partnerships (ERA-NET, Cofunds and Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs), including the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) between the EU and countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The public-private partnership ‘Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI2)’ is also an integral part of the health programme. 

Get tips on how to understand the work program in Horizon 2020 guide for adressing topics.

Read more about the grants and application requirements on the Health website

 

 

Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy

The Bioeconomy programme focuses on:

  • Sustainable primary production and renewable biological resources
  • New efficient farming and processing systems which make it possible to produce more food, fibre and other bio-based products with minimal environmental and climate impact.

Moreover, the research and innovation conducted under the programme must also stimulate growth and job creation in rural and coastal areas.

Some of the programme calls fall within some of the European public partnership programmes, including the ERA-NET scheme and Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs). In addition, calls are also issued under the large public-private partnership: Bio-based Industries.   

Get tips on how to understand the work program in Horizon 2020 guide for adressing topics.

Read more about the grants and application requirements on the "Bioeconomy” website

Secure, clean and efficient energy

The energy programme addresses the scarcity of resources, the growing energy demand and climate change as the overall societal challenges. The programme is structured around seven special-priority research areas:

  • Reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint (buildings, industry, heating/air conditioning and ICT integration)
  • Low-cost and low-carbon electricity supply (wind, solar, hydro, wave energy, geothermal energy)
  • Alternative fuels and mobile energy sources (biofuels, alternative fuels)
  • A single European electricity grid;
  • New knowledge and technologies (energy storage; carbon capture and storage; smart cities technologies)
  • Robust decision making and public engagement
  • Market uptake of energy and ICT innovation.

Some of the grants co-finance calls under the European partnerships (Joint Programming Initiatives and Joint Technology Initiatives). In addition, a small number is earmarked for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and its large ‘Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC)’ initiatives. 

Get tips on how to understand the work program in Horizon 2020 guide for adressing topics.    

Read more about the grants and application requirements on the Energy website 

Smart, green and integrated transport

The transport programme focuses on research into sustainable and resource-efficient transport solutions. The aim is to develop climate-friendly, environment-friendly and low-noise air, sea and land-based transport.

In urban areas, there is a demand for smart solutions, services and infrastructures which can improve transport and mobility in densely populated areas.

Other focus areas include new logistics and freight transport solutions, greater safety and measures that reduce accident rates. Research in the fields of traffic behaviour and the prediction of traffic patterns is also part of the programme.  

Get tips on how to understand the work program in Horizon 2020 guide for adressing topics.

Read more about the grants and application requirements on the Transport website

Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials

The climate programme supports a wide range of research and innovation activities focusing on the environment, climate, resources and raw materials. This is also where you will find calls within the fields of cultural heritage, the Arctic environment and ‘Earth Observation’.

The sustainable and eco-friendly management of natural resources and ecosystems, and the sustainable supply of raw materials are the key focus areas of the programme. In addition, focus is on more ‘eco-innovation’ to increase competitiveness and job creation in the European economies.

Some of the grants co-finance calls under the European partnerships (Joint Programming Initiatives), ERA-NET, Article 185 etc.

Get tips on how to understand the work program in Horizon 2020 guide for adressing topics.

Read more about the grants and application requirements on the "Climate" website

Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies

The ‘Reflective Societies’ programme focuses on societal challenges like inequality, poverty and social exclusion/marginalisation, discrimination and unemployment in Europe of the future.

Other themes are ‘identity’, ‘memories’, ‘tolerance’ and ‘cultural heritage’.

The research and innovation activities address four major issues:

  • Growth based on ‘co-creation’ and inclusion (citizens, users, intellectuals, government agencies and institutions, businesses, the creative sector and social entrepreneurs
  • The development of social and economic framework conditions which promote fairness and a socially sustainable Europe
  • A better understanding of the global strategic and geopolitical framework conditions which are constantly evolving and in which Europe operates
  • A better understanding of Europe’s cultural and social diversity and of its past as the basis for identifying solutions to current problems in Europe and for shaping Europe’s future. 

The programme co-finances the implementation of the ‘Innovation Union’ and ERA-NET as well as COST actions.

Get tips on how to understand the work program in Horizon 2020 guide for adressing topics.

Read more about the grants and the application requirements on the 'Reflective Societies' website

Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens

The ‘Secure Societies’ programme supports research and innovation addressing the security of citizens and communities, including services, infrastructure, values, welfare and political stability. 

The primary focus areas are:

  •  New solutions for handling disasters, including crisis management, the protection of critical infrastructure and communications
  •  Fighting crime (including cyber-crime and illegal trafficking) and terrorism (including cyber-terrorism), threats to aviation and understanding the ideas, beliefs and behaviour of terrorists. Including the development of new forensic tools for handling explosives
  • Improving border security, including improved maritime border protection as well as conflict prevention and peace building in non-EU areas
  • Improved cyber-security, including secure sharing of information.  

Get tips on how to understand the work program in Horizon 2020 guide for adressing topics.     

Read more about the grants and application requirements on the  "Secure Societies" website