National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
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European space research & innovation and Euresearch

What is European research and innovation? And why is it relevant to Switzerland?

The European Union invests a significant part of its budget in research and innovation, the largest and most comprehensive programme being Horizon 2020, which runs from 2014 to 2020 with a €70.2 billion budget.

By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve 1) a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and 2) jobs, with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

Horizon 2020 is open to everyone, with a simple structure that reduces red tape and time so participants can focus on what is really important. This approach makes sure new projects get off the ground quickly – and achieve results faster.

While Switzerland is not a member state of the European Union, it has a full associated country status, which means that it can participate in most Horizon 2020 opportunities and has the same rights as a member state.

So, what is there for Space?

Space is one specific area covered by Horizon 2020.

Space-related research and innovation can be carried out under many of the different Horizon 2020 funding opportunities. The figure below shows the 3-pillar structure of Horizon 2020.