Background information on Horizon 2020, links and useful contact details for those based in Northern Ireland who are considering applying to a Horizon 2020 call.

What is Horizon 2020?

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation Programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding over seven years (2014-2020). The programme brings together all EU Research and innovation funding into one single programme.

Is there help available for potential Horizon 2020 applicants?

There is free support for all potential applicants from the Northern Ireland Horizon 2020 Contact Point Network, watch a short video on available support.

Why is it right for Northern Ireland?

The Northern Ireland Executive continues to look to increase the level of Research, Development and Innovation (R&D&I) carried out in Northern Ireland, especially in our Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) community.

Programmes such as Horizon 2020 have an important role to play in stimulating investment in these areas to generate the required economic growth and job creation that are their by-products.

Horizon 2020 provides opportunities which are beyond the mere accessing of funding and rather provide benefits such as access to EU partners that would otherwise not be possible, raising the profile of Northern Ireland research and innovation capabilities, providing access to potential new markets and customers and developing individual researcher’s skill set and project management experience.

NI Horizon 2020 Strategy

A NI Horizon 2020 Strategy was  agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive Sub Committee on the Economy. The Strategy, which was launched in March 2015, sets out the key actions required to deliver the Executive's target of €145m.

Upcoming events

To access details of upcoming events related to Horizon 2020 in NI, visit the InterTradeIreland Website

Where can I find out about available Horizon 2020 calls?

The latest work programmes for Horizon 2020 can be accessed at Find your area of interest 

Northern Ireland Contact Point (NICP) Network

The NICP network is a resource available to all potential applicants from Northern Ireland who are interested in engaging with Horizon 2020. Northern Ireland-based NICP network members can provide support in the form of:

UK’s exit from the EU and future access

The joint report from the UK and EU negotiators published in December 2017 stated that, subject to successful wider negotiations, UK entities’ right to participate in Horizon 2020 will be unaffected by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

In August 2018 the UK Government issued a Horizon 2020 Technical Notice, entitled ‘Horizon 2020 funding if there’s no Brexit deal’. The Technical Notice provides information on:

  • the scope of the UK Government guarantee and the guarantee extension
  • the need to discuss issues around third country participation with the EC
  • the Government’s consideration of measures to support UK Research and Innovation in a no deal scenario
  • the systems being developed by UKRI to ensure that payments can continue to current UK Horizon 2020 recipients in a ‘no deal’ scenario

The UK Government’s ‘UK participation in Horizon 2020: UK government overview' guidance document is also updated on an ongoing basis with the aim of clarifying the latest position in relation to the UK’s future eligibility to participate in Horizon 2020 and in order to provide assurance to stakeholders.

The arrangements by which the UK might access Horizon’s successor, to be known as ‘Horizon Europe’, from 2021 onwards are still to be determined and are subject to a range of negotiation issues. The UK Government paper on Future Partnerships in science and innovation (September 2017) outlined the UK’s desire to develop a new, deep and special partnership with the EU in terms of a future framework for cooperation on science, research and innovation partnerships. In May 2018 the UK Government subsequently published details of their vision for a future Framework for UK-EU partnership on Science, research and innovation.

The latest information on the implications of Brexit on access to Horizon 2020 is available at:

Useful Links

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