Horizon 2020 is the European Union’s (EU) new framework programme for research and innovation for the period 2014-2020. As the successor to the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), Horizon 2020 implements the Innovation Union and therefore is one of the driving forces to create growth and jobs in the EU. With the clear goal of simplifying the access to EU funding, Horizon 2020 merges all research and innovation funding previously provided through FP7, plus the innovation-related activities of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Hence in Horizon 2020 participants work with a single programme with a single set of rules including those related to intellectual property.

With Horizon 2020, the Union aims at strengthening the European scientific and technological base and fostering benefits for society as well as better exploitation of the economic and industrial potential of policies of innovation, research and technological development. In fact, it is essential that the public resources and efforts used in research are converted into socio-economic benefits to the EU. For this reason Horizon 2020 establishes commitments from the participants in terms of dissemination and exploitation of the projects’ results, including their protection through intellectual property.

This fact sheet therefore intends to assist applicants in Horizon 2020 with the management of intellectual property in the proposal stage of their project. Even though Horizon 2020 research and innovation activities are implemented through different forms of funding, particularly grants, prizes, procurement and financial instruments, this fact sheet deals solely with grants. This fact sheet is the first of a series of three fact sheets dealing with the management of intellectual property in the different stages of a Horizon 2020 project.

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