Horizon 2020’s Information and Communication Technologies

The ICT sector plays an important role for Europe’s global competitiveness and economic growth. It also offers opportunities to deal with social change and development. According to the European Commission, the ICT sector represents 4,8% of the European economy, generates 25% of total business expenditure in R&D, and investment in the sector accounts for 50% of all European productivity growth.

In order to reflect the importance of this sector, the EU has increased the budget allocated to ICT research and innovation projects by 25% compared to the former Framework Programme, FP7.

Horizon 2020 calls for ICT

The principal ICT activities of Horizon 2020 are regrouped in the Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEIT) part.

The ICT-LEIT Work Programme covers the whole value chain of ICT technology. Its aim is to encourage participation from both larger enterprise and SMEs in ICT research and innovation.

There are 4 broad calls, comprising 47 topics in the 2016-2017 Work Programme:

Information and Communication Technologies call

  • A new generation of components and systems
  • Advanced computing and cloud computing
  • Future Internet
  • Content
  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems
  • ICT Key enabling Technologies
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship support
  • Responsibility and Creativity
  • International Cooperation Activities

Furthermore, this work programme includes three joint calls for cooperation between the EU and Japan, the EU and Brazil, and the EU and South Korea respectively. 

The total budget for the 2016-2017 ICT-LEIT Work Programme is €1.57 billion.

ICT for all of Horizon 2020

Although the main investment in ICT will be done through the development of projects under the ICT-LEIT Work Programme, ICT topics are actually present in all three parts of Horizon 2020 (Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership, Societal Challenges).

  • Several Societal Challenges topics include the multi-disciplinary application of ICT solutions. All but one Societal Challenge (Societal Challenge 2: Food security) count on ICT innovation to tackle issues such as e-health, climate change, energy efficiency, intelligent transport, security, digitisation, eGovernance, and many more.