Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 (H2020) is the European Framework Programme for research and innovation, and is the successor of the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). It is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness with nearly € 80 billion of funding available over the period 2014-2020.

The H2020 programme is built around three main research areas that are called "pillars" (Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership, Societal Challenges); a number of priorities are being addressed across and within all three pillars. Part of the Horizon 2020 budget also goes towards funding the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), research activities carried out under the Euratom Treaty and non-nuclear research carried out by the Joint Research Centre. Dedicated budgets are also available for actions such as "Spreading excellence and widening participation" and "Science with and for society". For more details see H2020 programme sections and H2020 press release.

Space Weather and H2020

Europe has been active in the space sector for several decades and its activities range from rocket launchers and space exploration to space-based applications that provide new services to society. Space research is fundamental to ensuring that EU space policy continues to provide cutting-edge solutions to everyday societal problems. In parallel, it benefits EU citizens and ensures that Europe remains competitive in space activities. Building on the successes of FP7, H2020 will enable the European space research community to develop innovative space technologies and operational concepts "from idea to demonstration in space", and to use space data for scientific, public, or commercial purposes (see: Space).

Indeed, space weather services exist already today in Europe and in several countries outside the EU. New services are also being / have been developed (e.g. in ESA’s SSA programme and in FP7 projects). Furthermore, H2020 Space themes in the 2014-2015 work programmes include Protection of European Assets in and from Space (Space Weather, Space Debris and Near Earth Objects). In 2014 the community submitted 17 project proposals to the H2020-PROTEC-2014 Space Weather Call. 12 of these proposals received an evaluation score above the applicable threshold (read this PDF file for more information) and 3 were selected for funding. These projects are expected to deliver new insights into the detailed processes that generate space weather. This should contribute to new services able to predict, with a significantly higher precision than today, space weather events affecting the Earth and the near Earth space environment.

The draft versions of the Horizon 2020 work programmes for 2016-2017 have recently been made available to the public. The adoption and the publication of the work programmes by the European Commission are expected in mid-October 2015.

List of ongoing H2020 Space Weather projects

  1. FLARECAST - Flare Likelihood And Region Eruption foreCASTing [Start Date: 2015-01-01, End Date: 2017-12-31]
  2. HESPERIA - High Energy Solar Particle Events foRecastIng and Analysis [Start Date: 2015-05-01, End Date: 2017-05-01]
  3. PROGRESS - Prediction of Geospace Radiation Environment and solar wind parameters [Start Date: 2015-01-01, End Date: 2018-01-01]