Skip to main content

Societal Challenges

The third pillar under the Horizon 2020 reflects the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy and addresses major societal concern e.g. within Health, Energy, Transport etc. The evaluation criteria in use are Scientific Excellence, Impact and Implementation. The evaluation is done by a panel of independent experts. The programme has a total budget of 27 bn. EUR. distributed across seven thematic areas.

Health, demographic change and wellbeing (Health): For the years 2014 and 2015 this area will include 32 topics in the ‘personalising health and care’ focus area. This means improving health outcomes, reducing health inequalities and promoting active and healthy ageing. The means to achieve this is by creating possibilities for breakthrough research and radical innovation in response to challenges posed by demographic change. Budget: 6.8 bn. EUR.

European bioeconomy challenges: Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research (Bio-economy): The aim is to make the best of our biological resources in a sustainable way. By developing primary production systems and by fostering related ecosystem services  and low carbon supply chains, the goal is to help secure supplies of safe and high quality food and other bio-based products. Budget: 3.5 bn. EUR.

Smart, green and integrated transport (Transport): The objective of this challenge is to make a European transport system that is climate and environment friendly, to secure, seamless transport systems that are efficient in resources for citizens, society and the economy. Budget: 5.8 bn. EUR.

Secure, clean and efficient energy (Energy): The area is addressed by both short-term and long-term EU policies. The activities in this programme will focus on heating and cooling and on energy-related products and services, on building SME’s, and on industry, taking account where applicable of energy efficiency concerns. Budget: 2.8 bn. EUR.

Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials (Climate) The goal here is to help create a society and an economy resilient to resource, water and climate change by supporting research and innovation in the protection and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems to meet the need of the planet’s growing global population. Budget: 2.8 bn. EUR.

Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective societies The programme addresses the impacts of the economic crisis on the EU’s ability to innovate, grow, and create jobs. Action is therefore needed now to help carry out the reforms that will lay the foundations for a sustainable recovery that will encourage jobs and allow society to transform itself into an inclusive, innovative and reflective society. Budget: 1.2 bn. EUR.

Secure Societies – protecting freedom and the security of Europe and its citizens (Security) The goal is to contribute to creating secure societies in Europe. This is done by supporting research and innovation activities that address how it is possible to protect assets, infrastructures and services, prosperity, political stability and the well-being of citizens, society, and economy in Europe. Budget 1.5 bn. EUR

The open calls can be found here, and are guided by two year work programmes. These can be found here.

The Danish Ministry for Higher Education and Science has made a movie about interdisciplinary societal challenges, see it here.


Last Updated 16.08.2016