Horizon 2020 ICT

Provides 1 - 5M € in subsidies for research, development, and demonstration within:

About Horizon 2020 ICT

With Horizon 2020 ICT there is a strong focus on how to keep EU in the lead of developing and marketing new technologies in the field of ICT, combined with the development of new solutions that are responding to needs from industries and society. Through a successful application to the program, companies can get:

  • 1-5 MEUR for technology and product development
  • IPR – Intellectual Property Rights
  • Network to partners
  • Access to new markets
  • Technology and knowledge transfer

Possibilities with Horizon 2020 ICT

The ICT program offers opportunities for both SME’s and large companies to cofinance their development of new technologies and the use of existing technologies in new a context. Therefore the program is also interesting for more conventional production companies and not only companies in advanced technology. The most important is that the company is facing a technological challenge or is having an idea to solve a technical problem. Horizon 2020 ICT is both cofinancing research, development and demonstration activities.

The Horizon 2020 ICT calls will be offered to projects within the following categories (see current calls below):

  • Next generation components and systems: Smart system integrations, cyber-physical systems etc.
  • Advanced, customized and low power computing
  • Future Internet: Smart networks, novel internet architectures, optical and wireless network technologies, advanced cloud infrastructures and services, web entrepreneurship, 5G network infrastructure etc.
  • Content technologies and information management: Big data, technologies for creative industries and social media, gaming technologies etc.
  • Robotics
  • Micro- and nano-electronic technologies and photonics
  • ICT Cross-cutting activities: Cybersecurity, etc.

Requirements for Horizon 2020 ICT

There are a number of requirements that need to be met to be considered for Horizon 2020 ICT:

  • Innovation height – the product or technology needs to be novel and solve an European problem
  • Large market potential or great socio-economic impact – minimum 100 MEUR over 5 years
  • The project requires international cooperation

Upcoming deadlines

Below are the upcoming deadlines for Horizon 2020 ICT. Expect 1-2 months for the proposal writing process.


Proposals will provide programming environments and tools optimised for specific application domains of significant economic value, covering the complete software stack from runtime systems to application programming. The solutions proposed will support modern system architectures possibly including those based on heterogeneous processors while allowing for optimization of energy, performance, reliability, time predictability and system cost.  


Action: Pilots of Collective Awareness Platforms (CAPs) demonstrating new forms of bottom-up innovation and social collaboration exploiting digital hyper-connectivity and collaborative tools based on open data, open knowledge, open source software and open hardware, harnessing crowdsourcing or crowdfunding models. Within this vision, target areas for pilots include:

  • New participatory innovation models for economy and society, such as the collaborative or circular economy, collaborative public services and collaborative making
  • Solutions for sustainable lifestyles such as collaborative consumption and production, smart reuse and low carbon approaches
  • Emerging ethics of digital innovation, such as social entrepreneurship, direct democracy, privacy preservation and digital rights. 

The challenge under this call  is to fundamentally improve the technology, methods, standards and processes, building on a solid scientific basis, and responding to real needs. 

Proposals are expected to address cross-sector and cross-border problems or opportunities of clear industrial significance. These will include (but are not limited to):

  • Software stacks designed to help programmers and big data practitioners take advantage of novel architectures in order to optimise Big Data processing tasks
  • Distributed data and process mining, predictive analytics and visualization at the service of industrial decision support processes
  • Real-time complex event processing over extremely large numbers of high volume streams of possibly noisy, possibly incomplete data. 

Actions under this topic will explore novel ways of digital content production and management in the creative industries such as advertising, architecture, performing and visual arts, craft, design, fashion, films, music, press, publishing, radio, TV and video games. They should focus on technologies for the production of new content or for the enhancement and (re-)use of already existing digital content of any type, but the production or acquisition of the content itself is not to be financed through these actions. 


Research on user-driven multimodal interface design has advanced the usability and accessibility of many software and devices to the benefits of all people, especially for those with different functional abilities. However, despite progress, there are still many who are disadvantaged due to lack of accessible and usable systems. Among those are persons with neurological conditions and disorders as well as cognitive disabilities. 

Proposals under this call should cover one of the following themes:

  • Support the development of intelligent, affordable and personalised interfaces and affective computing for people with cognitive disabilities to enable them to undertake everyday tasks and in particular to improve communication and facilitate the uptake and use of digital services.  
  • ​Develop and test solutions, models and algorithms to improve (and act upon) information extraction from brain and neural signals, including through advances on state of the art electrodes and implantable devices. 
  • Building on ongoing efforts, develop and demonstrate decision support tools for the assessment of compliance to web sites accessibility standards and guidelines.  

A key challenge is to revitalise Europe's robot-making capacity.Whilst SMEs are generally regarded as the backbone of EU industry, they are under-contributing to the robotics industry. Proposals must meet this challenge by:

  • Stimulating SMEs in the robotics sector to develop novel and challenging technology and systems applicable to new markets.  
  • ​Development and implementation of robotics application-relevant benchmarks and metrics to assess progress in technologies and systems.  
  • Development of testing protocols for shared space cooperative and collaborative systems leading to viable safety certification standards.  



Europe also needs to strengthen its manufacturing base in photonics to safeguard the further potential for innovation and value creation and for job creation. We must better exploit the large enabling potential of photonics in many industrial sectors and in solutions addressing major societal challenges such as health and well-being, energy efficiency or safety. Focus is on one of the following themes 

  • Application driven core photonic technology developments for a new generation of photonic devices (including components, modules and sub-systems) for agile Petabit/s Optical Core and Metro Networks. 
  • ​Photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology 
  • Innovation Incubator for SMEs 
  • Application driven core photonic devices integrated in systems 

The proposals must be in the scope of one of the following topics:

  • The development of new approaches to scale functional performance of information processing and storage substantially beyond the state-of-the-art technologies with a focus on ultra-low power and high performance.  
  • 3D sequential integration (at transistor scale) possibly mixed with 3D parallel integration (at circuit level) for system solutions to increase functionalities and capabilities.  
  • In Equipment Assessment Experiments, suppliers of innovative high-tech equipment install, assess and validate their prototypes or products that have left the R&D phase in environments that are very close to real-life conditions in cooperation with end-user 

Proposals should address the requirements of end-user communities in developing countries. This may include technological improvements and adaptations as well as innovative service creation based on existing technologies. 

Proposals could include specific technological targets such as co-design, adaptation, demonstration and validation (e.g. pilots) of ICT related research and innovation in relevant thematic areas addressed by Horizon 2020 including Content Technologies and Societal Challenges.  


Europe lacks a systematic transfer of knowledge and technology across different sectors and there is an underdeveloped data sharing and linking culture. The challenge is to break barriers and to foster exchange, linking and re-use, as well as to integrate data assets from multiple sectors and across languages and formats.  

Proposals should cover one of the following bullets: 

  • Data integration activities will address data challenges in cross-domain setups, where similar contributions of data assets will be required by groups of EU industries that are arranged along data value chains.
  • Data experimentation incubators should address big data experimentation in a cross- sectorial, cross lingual and/or cross-border setup. This setup should include access to data in different domains and languages, appropriate computational infrastructure, and open software tools. 

European research and development in data technologies produces promising results, but these are not yet deployed at large scale in a systematic manner. The challenge is to stimulate effective piloting and targeted demonstrations in large-scale sectorial actions ("Large Scale Pilot actions"), in data-intensive sectors, involving key European industry actors. 

Large Scale Pilot actions should address domains of strategic importance for EU industry and carry out large scale sectorial demonstrations, which can be replicated and transferred across the EU and in other contexts. Possible industrial sectors for Large Scale Pilot actions include (but are not limited to) health, energy, environment, earth observation, geospatial, transport, manufacturing, finance and media.  


The specific challenge is to develop robots that respond more flexibly, robustly and efficiently to the everyday needs of workers and citizens in professional or domestic environments.

The scope of proposals should be the following:

  • Open, generic forward-looking research into novel technical advances in robotics – open to all robotics-related research topics and disciplines.
  • Technology research and development to achieve step changes in the capabilities of the following high priority RAS technologies 
  • Improving the deployment prospects of RAS through end user-driven application developments in domains and application areas with significant market potential 
  • Filling technology or regulatory gaps through end user-driven innovation actions, where the gap represents a challenging market entry barrier.

Proposals should address below mentioned topics:

  • Architectures, concepts, methods and tools for open IoT platforms integrating evolving sensing, actuating, energy harvesting, networking and interface technologies. Platforms should provide connectivity and intelligence, actuation and control features, linkage to modular and ad-hoc cloud services, Data analytics and open APIs as well as semantic interoperability across use cases and conflict resolution.
  • IoT security and privacy. Advanced concepts for end-to-end security in highly distributed, heterogeneous and dynamic IoT environments. Approaches must be holistic and include identification and authentication, data protection and prevention against cyber-attacks at the device and system levels. They should address relevant security and privacy elements such as confidentiality, user data awareness and control, integrity, resilience and authorisation.  

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