4-1aHorizon 2020 is characterized by three key dimensions of change:

1) A target shift concerning the participation of SMEs

2) A shift of scope from research and development towards problem orientation and innovation

3) A system shift concerning the programme structure

  • Compared to previous programmes Horizon 2020 provides for new participation rules: the general rule is that at least three legal entities need to partner to participate in Horizon 2020. Each of the three legal entities shall be established in a different Member State or associated country and all of the three legal entities shall be independent of each other.
  • Horizon 2020 also is to be based on simplified funding rules including simpler reimbursement of direct costs: one single reimbursement rate for all participants and activities in the same project and overhead costs covered by a single flat-rate applied to the direct costs.