The European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme provides grants for R&D in specific areas. It is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). Approximately €200 million per annum is allocated for the Space Work Programme.
Overview: Horizon 2020 is a collaborative programme so most activities require 3 independent legal entities from 3 member states, typically with Research and Innovation funding.
Competitions: There is a specific Work Plan for 2017-18 for Space but there are also space related activities in other areas such as Blue Growth; Societal Benefits; Transport; Climate Change; Secure Society and Sustainable Food Security.
Open calls: there are numerous calls open at present closing either in 2017 or 2018, including the relevant information about the space opportunities and deadlines.
Contacts: Within each member state, there is a network of National Contact Points (NCP) who can provide advice and individual assistance. Maria Adams from the UK Space Agency works closely with Catherine Holt from Innovate UK as the NCP.
The Horizon 2020 SME instrument is another major source of financial support for SMEs. It is an attempt to be a faster turnaround and offers €50 000 for phase 1 projects and higher sums for Phase 2. The SME instrument does not necessitate collaboration and applicants can apply at any time of the year for any subject of the H2020 Work Programme. More information on the different phases