The first pillar of Horizon 2020 focuses on Excellent Science to raise the level of excellence in Europe's science base and ensure a steady stream of world-class research to secure Europe's long-term competitiveness. The research proposals are button-up and only excellence in the scientific proposal and the researchers’ credentials are evaluated. The evaluation is done by an independent panel of expert. The programme has budget of 22.3 bill bn. EUR. This pillar includes the instruments: Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, European Research Council (ERC), and Future and Emerging Technologies (FET).
European Research Council (ERC): The ERC funds high quality research in Europe through competitive funding. Working with three grant-types (Starting; Consolidator; and Advanced Grants), the ERC aims at supporting the best basic research ideas on different stages in a researcher’s career. The grants are prestigious and very competitive. The total budget for the programme is 11.9 bn. EUR.
Future and Emerging Technologies (FET): The goal of FET is to turn Europe's excellent science base into a competitive advantage by uncovering radically new technological possibilities through unexplored collaborations between advanced science and cutting-edge engineering. FET works with three types of instruments: FET Open (early stage), FET Proactive (nurturing emerging themes and communities), and FET Flagships (ambitious large-scale research). The programme has a budget of 2.5 bn. EUR.
Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA): The programme is aimed at ensuring excellent and innovative research training as well as attractive career and knowledge-exchange opportunities through cross-border and cross-sector mobility of researchers. MSCA has, for example, Training Networks, Individual Fellowships, and Research and Innovation Staff Exchange. The programme has a budget of: 5.6 bn. EUR.
At the so called participant portal where you will find the calls there is also a new search engine, where you can search for key-words in all the open call in order for you to find the call that suits you. E.g. search “Power Processing Unit” and find relevant call. Find it here.