Excellent Science is one of the three parts of the Horizon 2020 framework programme. This part is divided into four distinct programmes, whose common objective is to"reinforce and extend the excellence of the Union's science base" in order to further the European Research Area (ERA) and make the European research and innovation system more competitive compared to other parts of the world.
- The European Research Council (ERC) whose landmark is attractive and flexible funding for individual researchers and their teams to investigate fields "at the frontier of science"
- Future and emerging technologies (FET) consisting of collaborative research across disciplines in "radically new, high-risk ideas"
- Marie Sklodowska Curie actions providing training and career and knowledge-exchange opportunities through mobility programmes for researchers and research staff.
- Research infrastructures provide Europe with high-level research infrastructures accessible to all researchers in Europe and elsewhere. For science and innovation to remain world-class and able to solve societal challenges, research infrastructures that are adequately planned, maintained and operated are a prerequsite.
All four activities of this part share a common rationale: they are forward-looking,long-term oriented, and follow the so-called bottom-up logic.
Tthe Excellent science programme represents almost a third of the overall Horizon 2020 funding.