Space in Horizon 2020

The objective of Space under Horizon 2020 is to foster a competitive and innovative space industry and research community to develop and exploit space infrastructure to meet future European Union policy and societal needs. For this the European space research is identified by Horizon 2020 as one of Europe’s ‘key industrial technologies’ highlighting its potential for EU innovation and competitiveness.

The Space programme under Horizon 2020 is placed under the pillar “Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies” (LEIT) and comprises the following topics:

  • Satellite Navigation
  • Earth Observation
  • Space Technologies – critical technologies, bottom up technologies, launcher, in orbit validation, robotics, electrical propulsion, etc.
  • Protection of Space assets – Space debris, Space weather, Near Earth Objects
  • Space Science and Exploration – exploitation of mission data, ISS experiments, etc.
  • International Cooperation – dedicated collaboration for mutual benefit

Participation in Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is mainly based on open, competitive calls. EU member states and countries associated to the programme have full access rights. Most other countries can join proposing consortia and in many cases even receive funding. For typical research and innovation projects at least 3 partners from 3 different countries with full access rights have to cooperate.


The EU contribution for research and innovation projects (RIA) is 100 % of the eligible costs directly related to the project and 25 % indirect costs. For projects with mainly innovation character (IA) the EU contributes 70 % direct costs (non-profit organisations can get up to 100 %) and 25 % indirect costs thereof. Coordination and Support Activities (e. g. studies or networking activities) also receive 100 % + 25 % EU contribution.

Support from NCPs

National Contact Points (NCPs) are part of national networks established and financed by the governments of the 28 EU Member States and the states associated to Horizon 2020. They
give customized support to organizations involved or interested in Horizon 2020.
NCPs are appointed for each domain of Horizon 2020. The national networks are the main
structure to provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of
participation in Horizon 2020.
Some international partner countries also run contact points similar to NCPs. Formally they
are called Horizon 2020 contact points.

Find your NCP (

Further Links