Horizon 2020's Information and Communication Technologies

The ICT sector plays an important role for Europe's global competitiveness and economic growth. It also offers opportunities to deal with social change and development. According to the European Commission, the ICT sector represents 4,8% of the European economy, generates 25% of total business expenditure in R&D, and investment in the sector accounts for 50% of all European productivity growth.

In order to reflect the importance of this sector, the EU has increased the budget allocated to ICT research and innovation projects by 25% compared to the former Framework Programme, FP7.

ICT for Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies

The principal ICT activities of Horizon 2020 are regrouped in the Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEIT) part.

The ICT-LEIT Work Programme covers the whole value chain of ICT technology. Its aim is to encourage participation from both industrial actors and SMEs in ICT research and innovation. The programme is designed to boost disruptive innovation along with providing support to the Industry.

There are six leading topic areas in the Work Programme:

  • A new generation of components and systems
  • Advanced Computing
  • Future Internet
  • Content technologies and information management
  • Robotics
  • Micro- and nano-electronic technologies, Photonics

The Work Programme further covers cross-cutting topics, such as activities dealing with the Internet of Things, the Human-centric Digital Age and Cybersecurity

ICT for all of Horizon 2020

Although the main investment in ICT will be done through the development of projects under the ICT-LEIT Work Programme, ICT topics are actually present in all three parts of Horizon 2020 (Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership, Societal Challenges).

  • While ICT topics under LEIT focus on generic ICT technologies, Excellent Science initiatives carry out research on radically new technologies. ICT topics in Excellent Science can be found in the FET (Future and Emerging Technologies) part, and in the Research Infrastructures part (eInfrastructures).
  • Several Societal Challenges topics include the multi-disciplinary application of ICT solutions. All but one Societal Challenge (Societal Challenge 2: Food security) count on ICT innovation to tackle issues such as e-health, climate change, energy efficiency, intelligent transport, security, digitisation, eGovernance, and many more.