Horizon 2020 first-timers win only 20% funding, despite high participation

21 Feb 2023 | News byte

Source: Newcomers in EU R&I programmes / European Commission

Horizon 2020 newcomers received less than 20% of direct EU funding from the programme, despite representing nearly 70% of grant recipients, a recent report from the European Commission shows.

Of 36,396 unique participants in Horizon 2020, which ran between 2014 and 2020, 25,179 were first-timers. However, they only obtained 18.9%, or €12.9 billion of the total €68.3 billion handed out.

The Commission’s report puts this down to two main factors. The first is that returning participants generally take part in several projects, suggesting that the more experience an applicant has, the more success they will have in winning funding. Nearly 75% of first-time grantees only took part in one project, and fewer than 10% of them participated in more than three Horizon 2020 projects.

Another factor is that newcomers in general received less money for the projects that they participated in, getting on average €161,000 less than those who had participated in projects funded under the previous framework programme.

Part of this is caused by the high number of newcomers participating in smaller projects, in which beneficiaries receive under €50,000. But if these projects are taken out of the equation, along with the very few projects worth over €5 million, newcomers were still awarded around €121,000 less than experienced participants.

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