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The European Commission has received a deluge of 16,000 applications in the first round of calls for Horizon 2020, its €80 billion research and innovation programme. The Commission’s first set of calls totaled €15 billion, and it received nine times that worth in applications, that’s almost double the oversubscription rate in the first round of the previous research programme, the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Given the strong surge in bids, the first-round success rate for Horizon 2020 applications will drop to 11 per cent, half the figure in FP7.

Nearly half of all applicants were from industry compared with 29 per cent in FP7. Of all industry applicants in the first H2020 calls, half were SMEs. Among the calls, launched in mid-December, the most heavily-subscribed areas were those relating to health topics but also food, ICT and cyber-security.

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