12 March 2024

Under Horizon 2020, the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation, nearly SEK 800 billion was awarded to researchers. At Linköping University, 117 projects received funding of approximately SEK 550 million – grants that have made several research breakthroughs possible. 

Neil Lagali.  Thor Balkhed
Horizon 2020 ran from 2014 to 2020. The aim was to strengthen Europe’s international competitiveness in research and innovation and to tackle global societal challenges – with a budget of almost SEK 800 billion. Sweden accounted for ten per cent of the projects granted under Horizon 2020, which placed it ninth in the EU. LiU received a total of just over EUR 51 million, about SEK 550 million, for 117 research projects. 

Divided into three parts

The three parts of Horizon 2020, called pillars, had calls focused on different areas. Pillar One focused on research-driven calls, where scientific excellence was the criterion. There was, for example, funding from the European Research Council (ERC) and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Pillar Two focused on projects with high innovation potential and Pillar Three aimed at collaborative projects to tackle global societal challenges. 

Eleni Stavrinidou
Eleni StavrinidouEmma Burendahl

Eleni Stavrinidou, senior associate professor and principal investigator for electronic plants at the Laboratory for Organic Electronics, has received an individual Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship as well as an ERC starting grant.


“Horizon grants are very competitive and therefore it’s a great achievement to get funding. The financial support from the EU has greatly helped me to establish and develop my research.

“The Marie Skłodowska fellowship enabled me to pursue my research interests, while speeding up my scientific independence. The ERC grant, in addition to being very prestigious, has enabled me to open a new research direction in my group that will focus on using plant cells and their processes for the development of functional composites with living properties,” says Eleni Stavrinidou.

Achieved research breakthroughs

Professor Neil Lagali, eye researcher at the Institution for Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, coordinated a major research project funded under Horizon 2020.

“Thanks to the funding, we’ve been able to achieve research breakthroughs that we could never do on our own and also much faster than expected. It enabled an expansion of the research team, raised the quality of our research and expanded my collaboration network.

“Receiving funding under Horizon is a stamp of quality that definitely raised my status in my research field and among my international colleagues. What’s special about Horizon is that it enables multilateral cooperation in a way that can rarely be done with national funding sources.”

New framework programme

The successor to Horizon 2020 is Horizon Europe, which runs from 2021 to 2027. In their overall structure, the two programmes share many similarities, but Horizon Europe has a stronger focus on global challenges with calls for missions, one of which is defeating cancer. Linköping University continues to be successful, with the goal for participation in Horizon Europe having been achieved by mid-2023. 

Neil Lagali.
Neil Lagali, professor at Linköping University.Thor Balkhed


Help with the application

The LiU Grants Office and Programs Office are tasked with contributing to LiU’s objectives for participation in the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation. This is done by, for example, providing expert advice in the various phases of an EU project, from project idea to finished project. For example, information on calls and workshops concerning application writing is provided for the various parts of the framework programme, as is support for application writing. In addition, coordination support is offered for approved projects where LiU is the coordinator.

Linköping University's participation in Horizon 2020 is summarised in the report: Linköping University’s Participation in Horizon 2020: The European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 2014–2020

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