2013-2014 Worldwide R&D incentives reference guide

European Commission's Horizon 2020 program

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Beginning 1 January 2014, Horizon 2020 will be the European Commission's financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's competitiveness. Horizon 2020 replaces the previous FP7 program.

Available from 2014–20 with a €70.2 billion budget, the EU's new program for research and innovation will be part of the drive to create growth and new job opportunities in Europe. It is designed to bring business into the research and innovation chain throughout its various components and is the financial instrument which effectively implements the Innovation Union.

The main features of Horizon 2020 are:

  • Reorganization, bringing together the Framework Programme for Research, the innovation part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute for Innovation and Technology
  • Simplification and standardization of funding schemes and administrative rules
  • Increased funding

Identifying and pursuing Horizon 2020 opportunities

Many companies may be eligible for Horizon 2020 funding. Examples of funding areas include (but are not limited to):


  • Smart, green and integrated transport
  • Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials
  • Eco-innovative solutions for water management

Information and communication technologies

  • Future internet, cloud computing, big data, cyber security, internet of things


  • Advanced biofuel technologies
  • Highly energy-efficient buildings, renewable heating and cooling


  • Competitive and resource-efficient food production systems

Additionally, Horizon 2020 will offer opportunities in the fields of nanotechnologies, advanced materials, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and processing, security, health, transport and space technologies.

The average grant a participating organization can potentially secure will range between €200,000 and €1.5m per project, with funding up to 100% of eligible project costs. There is no limitation on the number of projects for which a company can apply and, additionally, Horizon 2020 funding can typically be complimented with local tax and non-tax incentives. The program is available in the EU Member States and associated countries.

The Horizon 2020 process

  • The Horizon 2020 Program is competitive and requires a seamless effort of identifying research and development projects that align with the program's scope and completing the intensive application process.
  • A diligent, coordinated effort is necessary to identify projects and qualify value, working with stakeholders from the company and governing bodies.
  • EY will work to complete the efforts to secure Horizon 2020 benefits in conjunction with key company personnel with minimal disruption to companies' business operation teams.

EY's approach to Horizon 2020

EY Global Incentives Advisory

  • EY's global incentives advisory network comprises more than 800 professionals within EY focused on assisting companies with tax incentives, cash grants and other related business incentives.
  • EY's service delivery approach centers upon dedicated account management to multinational companies.

EY's Horizon 2020 Center of Excellence

  • Is formed of a centralized incentives team with over 25 advisors, based in Israel
  • Works in close collaboration with the European, Asian and Americas EY professsionals to ensure a coordinated approach
  • Supports companies in the submission of hundreds of applications a year across various industries including: IT, cleantech, medical device, pharma, automotive and homeland security

Timing and next steps

Ongoing: Scoping and positioning

Sept–Oct 2013: Qualify specific opportunities

Oct 2013–14: Begin application process

2014–15: Award distribution

2014–20: Repeat application process

Finding more information on Horizon 2020

The European Union website provides in-depth details regarding Horizon 2020 and can be accessed at:

For a discussion with an EY subject matter professional around Horizon 2020 opportunities for your company, please contact one of the named individuals in this document.

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Horizon 2020 program