Research and innovation have never been so high on the European Union (EU) agenda. Horizon 2020, the new European funding programme for research and innovation for the period from 2014 to 2020, aims to improve access to finance for research and innovation so that innovative ideas can ultimately be turned into products and services, creating growth and jobs in Europe.
The UK, particularly its academia, has significant experience of accessing EU research funding. UK organisations are the largest beneficiary of EU health research funds, having secured more than €670 million from the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) – the predecessor of Horizon 2020.
There is, however, scope for greater NHS involvement and access to these funds, and the new approach introduced in the programme will facilitate NHS participation. This briefing gives an overview of Horizon 2020 and of the opportunities it offers to the NHS.