Billion reasons to love EU – Horizon 2020 – results in Helsinki-Uusimaa

Horizon 2020 program has created quality jobs, while also having positive impact on economy in the whole EU, in different members states and regions like our own Helsinki-Uusimaa. This biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever has supported over 340 000 researchers, world-class research institutes and universities and numerous companies. Alone over 26 000 SMEs have benefitted from the funding*.


Finland has received in total about 1,3-billion-euro net EU-contribution**. Within Finland the Helsinki-Uusimaa region is the most successful. Close to 67 % of the whole funding in Finland has come to Helsinki-Uusimaa and all three top grant receivers are based here. The most successful organisation has been VTT Technical Research Centre. VTT of course has also active operations in other parts of Finland. Aalto University and University of Helsinki are the other organisations in the top three in Finland.

There are also many other actors who have participated in Horizon 2020 projects. For example, the universities of applied science have received funding, as well as many companies and municipalities. The three biggest cities of our region are naturally involved, but also smaller municipalities have benefitted from Horizon 2020. For instance the city of Kerava has been participating in a project called MAtchUP. The goal has been to find innovative solutions in the energy, mobility and ICT sectors that will serve as a model of urban transformation for other cities in Europe and beyond.

With nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020), Horizon 2020 has affected the topics of research and development. Horizon 2020 has been the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness, but also an important tool  to achieve other policy goals such as EU’s climate targets, UN sustainable development goals and policy goals of different EU member states.

In Horizon 2020 projects, typically about 50-70 % of the funding is used for salary expenses. The programme thus has both immediate and indirect impact to job creation and prosperity in our region. Framework programme funding often covers longer timespans than national funding does. This creates much needed stability for research groups and other beneficiaries. Other and even more significant benefits are the creation of innovation ecosystems, increasing capacity and knowhow and developing technologies in wider European cooperation.

In July 2020 the member states agreed on the next program called Horizon Europe, as part of the multiannual financial framework for the next 7 years. Now the whole package is at the European parliament, which is expected to make some changes. There are hopes that the research and innovation funding would be increased from the proposal of the state leaders. Nevertheless, the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region should be even more active than before. In the coming years, after corona crisis, new sustainable innovations as a basis for sustainable growth are even more important. The Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council wants to help our regional players to find stronger consortiums and make better applications. Be in touch.

* All this information can be found on Commission’s dashboard.

** All grant types are included in the H2020 statistics except the following ones: Inducement Prizes (IPr), Recognition Prizes (RPr), grants managed by Knowledge and Innovation Communities of EIT (KICS), Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) with the exception of the FPA’s Specific Grant Agreements (SGA) which is implementation. Furthermore, the statistics lag a bit behind. Thus, the actual amount is somewhat higher.

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