III
Societal Challenges

Horizon 2020 reflects the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy and addresses major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere.


 
 

Funding will focus on the following challenges:

a) Health, demographic change and wellbeing

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

c) Secure, clean and efficient energy

d) Smart, green and integrated transport

e) Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials

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

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

a) Health, demographic change and wellbeing

It aims to keep older people active and independent for longer and supports the development of new, safer and more effective interventions. R&I under Horizon 2020 also contributes to the sustainability of health and care systems.

During the first two years of Horizon 2020 (Work Programme for 2014/15), the EU will invest approx €1 200 million in this Challenge.

I. Personalising health and care
Research & Innovation supported by this call will:

  • improve our understanding of the causes and mechanisms underlying health, healthy ageing and disease;
  • improve our ability to monitor health and to prevent, detect, treat and manage disease;
  • support older persons to remain active and healthy;
  • and test and demonstrate new models and tools for health and care delivery.

II. Coordination activities
R&I supported by this call will leverage Member State activities in areas including neuroscience, cancer, systems medicine. It will contribute to European and international initiatives such as the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases, the Joint Programming Initiative "More Years, Better Lives - the Challenges and Opportunities of Demographic Change" and the Joint Programming on Neurodegenerative Diseases Research.

  III. Other activities
Several activities not included in the 2014/15 work programme will also be part of the 'Health, demographic change and wellbeing' challenge, notably the Innovative Medicines Initiative, the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), and the Active and Assisted Living Programme.

R&I performers
R&I supported by this societal challenge will enable the translation of findings from the laboratory into the clinic and other health and care settings, by engaging all relevant R&I performers. For instance;

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

Supported activities:
 
Agriculture and forestry
Research activities and policies will help to cope with the three main challenges these sectors are facing today:
  • securing viable food production in face of a growing world food demand;
  • ensuring sustainable management of natural resources and climate action;
  • contribute to a balanced territorial development of the EU’s rural areas and their communities.
 
Agri-food sector for a safe and healthy diet

Research and innovation projects should :
  • Address food and feed security and safety;
  • Address the competitiveness of the European agri-food industry and the sustainability of food production, processing and consumption;
  • Cover the whole food chain and related services from primary production to consumption.

 
 



Aquatic living resources and marine research
The objective is to sustainably manage and exploit aquatic living resources to maximise benefits from Europe's oceans, seas and inland waters. This includes optimising the sustainable contribution of fisheries and aquaculture to food security, boosting innovation and fostering cross-cutting marine and maritime research.
 
Bio-based industries
Investments in research and innovation under this societal challenge will support Europe in contributing to food security, climate protection and sustainability. It will also enable Europe to take leadership in the concerned markets.

c) Secure, clean and efficient energy

The Energy Challenge is structured around seven specific objectives and research areas:
  • Reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint
  • Low-cost, low-carbon electricity supply
  • Alternative fuels and mobile energy sources
  • A single, smart European electricity grid
  • New knowledge and technologies
  • Robust decision making and public engagement
  • Market uptake of energy and ICT innovation.

A budget of €5.931 million has been allocated to non-nuclear energy research for the period 2014-2020. Out of this figure, more than €200 million is earmarked to support European Institute of Innovation and Technology activities, subject to a mid-term review.
 
Main priorities

The first work programme for "Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy" will be split into the following focus areas:

 

Energy Efficiency
Research and demonstration activities within this area will focus on buildings, industry, heating and cooling, SMEs and energy-related products and services, integration of ICT and cooperation with the telecom sector.

Low Carbon Technologies
Research activities within this area will cover: Photovoltaics, Concentrated Solar Power, Wind energy, Ocean Energy, Hydro Power, Geothermal Energy, Renewable Heating and Cooling, Energy Storage, Biofuels and Alternative Fuels, Carbon Capture and Storage.

Smart Cities & Communities
The focus on smart cities technologies will result in commercial-scale solutions with a high market potential.

d) Smart, green and integrated transport

This Challenge aims to boost the competitiveness of the European transport industries and achieve a European transport system that is resource-efficient, climate-and-environmentally-friendly, safe and seamless for the benefit of all citizens, the economy and society.
The Transport Challenge is allocated a budget of €6 339 million for the period 2014-2020 and will contribute to four key objectives, each supported by specific activities.
 

Horizon 2020 will:
  • provide funding for a resource efficient transport that respects the environment
  • aim at a better mobility, less congestion, more safety and security with a substantial reduction of traffic congestion; with a substantial improvement in the mobility of people and freight;
  • support a global leadership for the European transport industry by reinforcing the competitiveness and performance of European transport manufacturing industries
 
  • target a socio-economic and behavioural research and forward looking activities for policy making. The aim is to support improved policy making which is necessary to promote innovation and meet the challenges raised by transport and the societal needs related to it.
     

These activities are addressed in this Work Programme by three Calls for proposals:

  1. Mobility for Growth
  2. Green Vehicles
  3. Small Business and Fast Track Innovation for Transport

In addition to the three Calls for proposal, other actions will be implemented by calls for tenders or by other instruments (‘Other actions’). These actions are part of the Transport Challenge envelope and complement the content of the three Calls.

e) Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials

Activities in this Challenge will help increase European competitiveness, raw materials security and improve wellbeing.
This Challenge funds research and innovation with the following specific objectives:

  • Achievement of a resource – and water - efficient and climate change resilient economy and society;
  • Protection and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems;
  • Sustainable supply and use of raw materials, in order to meet the needs of a growing global population within the sustainable limits of the planet's natural resources and eco-systems.
 

Research and innovation will cover the following broad lines of activities:

  • Fighting and adapting to climate change
  • Protecting the environment, sustainably managing natural resources, water, biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Ensuring the sustainable supply of non-energy and non-agricultural raw materials
  • Enabling the transition towards a green economy and society through eco-innovation
  • Developing comprehensive and sustained global environmental observation and information systems
  • Cultural heritage

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

Key future research and innovation actions for 2014 and 2015 will focus on:
  • New ideas, strategies and governance structures for overcoming the crisis in Europe (resilient economic and monetary Union, EU growth agenda, EU social policies, the future of European integration, emerging technologies in the public sector).
  • The young generation in an innovative, inclusive and sustainable Europe (job insecurity, youth mobility, adult education, social and political engagement of young people, modernisation of public administrations).
  • Reflective societies: transmission of European cultural heritage, uses of the past, 3D modelling for accessing EU cultural assets.
 


 

  • Europe as a global actor: focusing research and innovation cooperation with third countries, new geopolitical order in the Mediterranean, EU eastern partnership and other third countries.
  • New forms of innovation in the public sector, open government, business model innovation, social innovation community, ICT for learning and inclusion.
In short, this Societal Challenge of the Horizon 2020 programme aims at fostering a greater understanding of Europe, by providing solutions and support inclusive, innovative and reflective European societies with an innovative public sector in a context of unprecedented transformations and growing global interdependencies.

 

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

This Challenge is about undertaking the research and innovation activities needed to protect our citizens, society and economy as well as our infrastructures and services, our prosperity, political stability and wellbeing.

The primary aims of the Secure Societies Challenge are:
  • to enhance the resilience of our society against natural and man-made disasters, ranging from the development of new crisis management tools to communication interoperability, and to develop novel solutions for the protection of critical infrastructure;
 
  • to fight crime and terrorism ranging from new forensic tools to protection against explosives;
  • to improve border security, ranging from improved maritime border protection to supply chain security and to support the Union's external security policies including through conflict prevention and peace building;
  • and to provide enhanced cyber-security, ranging from secure information sharing to new assurance models.
     
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