An alphabetical list of terms and words related to Horizon Europe and similar subjects, with a brief explanation. 


A short name identifying the project; it can be derived from the title, but it is recommended to be kept easy to pronounce, and possibly evocative.


The legal entities who have signed the grant agreement (GA) with the Commission/Agency (i.e. participate in a project supported by an EU grant).
Blended finance
A single financial support to an innovation and market deployment action (IMDA), consisting of a specific combination of a grant or a reimbursable advance with an investment in equity and/or quasi-equity.
The estimation of the total eligible costs (broken down by beneficiary and budget category) required to implement the project and annexed to the Grand Agreement. The five main budget categories are Personnel costs, Subcontracting costs, Purchase costs, Other costs and Indirect costs.
Business plan

A business plan is a formal written document containing the goals of a business, the methods for attaining those goals, and the time-frame for the achievement of the goals. It also describes the nature of the business, background information on the organization, the organization’s financial projections, and the strategies it intends to implement to achieve the stated targets. In its entirety, this document serves as a road-map (a plan) that provides direction to the business.

Business readiness level scale (BRL)

Measures the capacity of a business to be ready to go to market with useful, useable and trusted outputs. Whilst the real purpose of achieving ‘market readiness’ is to develop a commercial offering for a group of customers, the process can be discretized to create a sector-agnostic scale able to quantify how far is a business to be ready to market. While it has nine levels, as the ones from TRL it can be divided into 3 main parts: Business conceptualization: (0-3), Business testing: (4-5) & Business deployment: (6-9)


Citizen science

Citizen science broadly refers to the active engagement of the general public in scientific research tasks. Citizen science is a growing practice in which scientists and citizens collaborate to produce new knowledge for science and society. According to the Science with and for Society work programme, “Citizen Science covers a range of different levels of participation: from raising public knowledge about science, encouraging citizens to participate in the scientific process by observing, gathering and processing data, right up to setting scientific agenda and co-designing and implementing science-related policies”.
Citizen Science can contribute to the Commission’s goal of Responsible Research and Innovation, as it reinforces public engagement and can redirect research agendas toward issues of concerns to citizens. As one important dimension and priority of Open Science, Citizen science can make science more socially relevant, accelerate and enable production of new scientific knowledge, increase public awareness about science and ownership of policy making, as well as increase the prevalence of evidence-based policy making. (link here)

Communication plan

“Communication” means measures for promoting the action itself and its results to a multitude of audiences, including the media and the public, and possibly engaging in a two-way exchange. The communication activities must be planned and implemented from the outset (and continue throughout the entire action), with a comprehensive communication plan that defines clear objectives (adapted to various relevant target audiences) and sets out a concrete planning for the communication activities including a description and timing for each activity in every Horizon Europe project proposal a communication plan should be included to ensure that project results are widely communicated to the public, even outside the R&I community.

Consortium Agreement (CA)

The internal written agreement between the beneficiaries regarding their operation and coordination to ensure that the project is implemented properly. The Consortium Agreements may cover the internal organisation of the consortium, the distribution of EU funding, additional rules on rights and obligations related to background and results, settlement of internal disputes, liability, indemnification and confidentiality arrangements between the beneficiaries, etc. The consortium agreement must not contain any provision contrary to the Grant Agreement.


The lead beneficiary in a group of beneficiaries and the main contact point for the EU regarding a project implementation.

Disruptive innovation

A disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market or eventually disrupts an existing market, displacing established market-leading firms and products. What is disrupted is the entire support network for the existing products and firms, therefore disruptive innovations encounter strong resistance from the market. In the long run, high (disruptive) technology bypasses, upgrades, or replaces the outdated support network.

Dissemination plan

“Dissemination” means the public disclosure of the results by appropriate means (other than resulting from protecting or exploiting the results), including by scientific publications in any medium; in every Horizon Europe work plan a dissemination plan should be included to ensure the sharing of the knowledge produced.

Diversity and Inclusiveness

Diversity and inclusiveness contribute to excellence in collaborative research and innovation: collaboration across disciplines, sectors and throughout the European Research Area makes for better research and higher quality project proposals, can lead to higher rates of societal take-up and can foster the benefits of innovation, thus advancing Europe.


Equity investment

Form of funding provided by financial instruments. Provides capital to a firm, invested directly or indirectly in return for total or partial ownership of that firm. The equity investor may assume some management control of the firm and may share the firm’s profits.

Ethical issues

For all activities funded by the European Union, ethics is an integral part of research from beginning to end, and ethical compliance is seen as pivotal to achieve real research excellence. To ensure compliance with the ethical requirements, applicants are requested to perform a self- assessment of their proposal, going through the different relevant issues, including data handling and confidentiality, health and safety, use of human embryos or animals in research, etc. While such ethical self-assessment is mostly focused on the integrity dimension of research procedures and methodologies, the consideration of ethical issues goes beyond that. In particular, the RRI framework stresses how R&I shall incorporate in its practice appropriate approaches in order to anticipate and foresee the possible long-term and wide-spectrum societal implication of science and
technologies, also from the ethical point of view.

Exploitation plan

“Exploitation” means the use of results in further research and innovation activities other than those covered by the action concerned, including inter alia, commercial exploitation such as developing, creating, manufacturing and marketing a product or process, creating and providing a service, or in standardisation activities. It is strongly advised to include such plans in a R&I proposal, especially when the project outputs have a good potential of entering the market.


FAIR data

Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable data. With the view to have an even more open science, the EU strongly encourage to the production of FAIR data, making them available on public repository. It is advisable that the data produced and/or used in the project are discoverable with metadata, identifiable and locatable by means of a standard identification mechanism (e.g. persistent and unique identifiers such as Digital Object Identifiers), or indicating what naming conventions do you follow, provide search keywords that optimize possibilities for re-use, etc. (Link here)

Financial Support to Third Parties

Also known as ‘cascade funding’ is a simplified mechanism to distribute public funding in order to assist beneficiaries, such as start-ups, scale-ups, SME and/or mid-caps, in the uptake or development of digital innovation. It allows applicants to reach and involve a large number of legal entities that might not normally be involved in the Framework Programme, opening up the participation to a wider number of potential actors. The funding (in the form of grants, prizes or similar forms of support) is provided by the beneficiary to one or more recipient(s) that is/are not party(ies) to the Grant Agreement (GA). Actions may involve financial support to third parties only where this is explicitly allowed in the work programme/call.

Forms of Grants

The type of the Horizon Europe Grant is defined in the call for proposal/ topic and can take one of the following forms: Actual Cost Grant, Lump sum Grant, Unit based Grant:

◦ Actual costs grant

A grant based on actual costs incurred, but which may also include other forms of funding, such as unit costs, flat-rate costs, lump sum costs or financing not linked to costs (budget-based mixed actual cost grant).

◦ Lump sum grant

A global amount deemed to cover all costs of the projects. For example, in a CSA-LS (Coordination and Support Action – Lump sum) grant the funding amount is predefined in the GA and the payment of the grant is linked to the approval of the deliverables instead of the eligible costs.

◦ Unit based grant

A grant based on unit rates (fixed amount per unit) determined by the EC. For example, the funding amount of a MSCA project is calculated by multiplying the time of the fellow spent on the project by the unit rate pre-defined by EC.

Funding and Tenders Opportunities portal

The Funding & Tenders Portal is the entry point (Single Electronic Data Interchange Area) for participants and experts in funding programmes and tenders managed by the European Commission and other EU bodies. The portal provides electronic management of EU programmes and tenders and facilitates the related interactions with the EU Institutions.
(Link here)

Gender (including GEP – Gender Equality Plan):

In Horizon Europe, the gender dimension is a cross-cutting issue, mainstreamed in each of the different parts of the Work Programme, ensuring a more integrated approach to research and innovation.

Main objectives of incorporating gender issues are:

• Fostering gender balance in research teams, in order to close the gaps in women’s participation to science and STEM disciplines.

• Ensuring gender balance at the decision-making level;

• Integrating the gender dimension in research and innovation (R&I) activities (research questions; methodologies; procedures) in order to ensure that biological diversity as well as different perspective and points of view are duly conveyed into the research work, with a consequent improvement of the scientific quality and societal relevance of the produced knowledge, technology and/or innovation.

• A Gender Equality Plan as a set of actions aiming at:

• Conducting impact assessment / audits of procedures and practices to identify gender bias;

• Identifying and implementing innovative strategies to correct any bias;

• Setting targets and monitoring progress via indicators.

• This set of actions, which can have different degrees of complexity, is meant to articulate a strategic view aimed at achieving gender equality. Gender equality plans will also gradually become part of the eligibility criteria for public bodies, research organisations and higher education establishments applying to the programme.


Direct financial contributions donated from the EU budget, under specific rules and procedures, in order to finance activities that are in line with EU policies, i.e research and innovation, regional & urban development, employment & social inclusion, etc.

Horizon Dashboard

The Horizon Dashboard is an intuitive and interactive reporting platform, composed of a set of sheets that allows series of views to discover, filter and share real-time programme data (implementation: proposals, projects and participants) in an easy, flexible and user-friendly manner.


Innovation Management (IM)

Innovation Management should be ideally interconnected with the management structure of the project; in principle, a definition for an Innovation Management system is the following: IM systems can be described as structured and regularly practiced ways of running organisational activities contributing to its innovativeness capacity and performance, including organisational structure, responsibilities, procedures, practices, activities and resources needed for the development, implementation, achievement and maintenance of organisational policies and objectives. This aspect is a very important part in the project planning where we want to ensure that all results produced are highlighted and valorized.

Joint Research Centre
A Directorate-General of the European Commission. It provides independent scientific and technical advice to the European Commission and Member States of the European Union in support of EU policies, and it takes part in research and technological development actions through direct actions.
Joint technology initiatives
Public-private partnerships for performing research at European Union level with dedicated structures, used as a strategy of implementing Horizon 2020 to support, in a limited number of cases, initiatives that could not be implemented efficiently, using the other R&D funding mechanisms.
Joint undertaking
It is a collaboration of two or more companies to undertake a common project or to pursue a specific objective. To this end, co-venturers bring together their common resources and capabilities, such as project funding, capital equipment, know-how and intellectual property. The joint venture has the scope to create a legally independent company to develop a competitive advantage by commercialising a new product or service.
Key Enabling Technologies
A major component of ‘Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies’ in Horizon 2020 are Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), defined as micro- and nanoelectronics, photonics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, advanced materials and advanced manufacturing systems . These multi-disciplinary, knowledge and capital-intensive technologies cut across many diverse sectors providing the basis for significant competitive advantage for European industry, for stimulating growth and for creating new jobs.

Legal entity

Any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, European Union law or international law.

Legal entity appointed representative (LEAR)

Person (in a beneficiary organisation) responsible for managing the beneficiary’s data in the Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal. Must keep the data up to date and is responsible for attributing user roles in the organisation.

Legal representative

A legal representative is a natural person who has been empowered (directly or indirectly) by a legal entity to enter into legal commitments on its behalf.


Agreed sum of money for an agreed period of time provided by financial instruments. The borrower is obliged to repay that amount within the agreed time.


Model Grant Agreement (MGA)

The grant contract concluded between the EU and the beneficiaries. It establishes the rights and obligations that govern the grant. It consists of the core part (determining the terms and conditions of the grant, including the Datasheet which is a summary of the specific data of the grant agreement) and the annexes (including Annex1: Description of the action, Annex2: Budget Table, Annex5: Special Rules etc).

Mutual Insurance Mechanism (MIM)

The Mutual Insurance Mechanism replaces the H2020 Guarantee Fund and extents to other funding programmes of the EU beyond Horizon Europe. It is an insurance scheme for all Horizon Europe beneficiaries by providing security against certain defaults in payment. The beneficiaries’ liability towards the Commission/funding agency is thus limited to their own debts. An amount of up to 8% (usually 5%) of each project’s total grant is retained from the pre-financing payment and transferred to the MIM on behalf of the beneficiaries. The amount is returned to the consortium with the final payment of the project.


Non-profit making

A legal entity which by its legal form is non-profitmaking or which has a legal or statutory obligation not to distribute profits to its shareholders or individual members.


Open science

Open Science is defined as an umbrella term that involves various practice that aim to make academic research more accessible, inclusive, and transparent. It encompasses several movements such as open access to publications, open research data, open source software,open collaboration, open peer review, open notebooks, open educational resources, open monographs, citizen science, or research crowdfunding. Each one of them has a specific goal but a common objective to remove the barriers for sharing any kind of output, resources, methods or tools, at any stage of the research process, trying to re-define the paradigm of the future of knowledge creation and dissemination of scientific knowledge. Factsheet Link

The European Commission has defined eight ambitions in Open Science :

• Open Data: FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable data) and open data sharing should become the default for the results of EU-funded scientific research.

• European Open Science Cloud (EOSC): a ‘federated ecosystem of research data infrastructures’ will allow the scientific community to share and process publicly funded research results and data across borders and scientific domains.

• New Generation Metrics: New indicators must be developed to complement the conventional indicators for research quality and impact, so as to do justice to open science practices.

• Future of scholarly communication: all peer-reviewed scientific publications should be freely accessible, and the early sharing of different kinds of research outputs should be encouraged.

• Rewards: research career evaluation systems should fully acknowledge open science activities.

• Research integrity: all publicly funded research in the EU should adhere to commonly agreed standards of research integrity.

• Education and skills: all scientists in Europe should have the necessary skills and support to apply open science research routines and practices.

• Citizen science: the general public should be able to make significant contributions and be recognised as valid European science knowledge producers.

Pathway to impact

It is a narrative explaining how the project’s results are expected to make a difference in terms of impact, beyond the immediate scope and duration of the project. In Horizon Europe, the Pathway to Impact is a key part of the Impact section of the proposal. Proposers will be asked to describe the unique contribution project results would make towards the outcomes specified in this topic, and the wider impacts, in the longer term, specified in the respective destinations in the work programme. Further, they will be requested to describe any requirements and potential barriers – arising from factors beyond the scope and duration of the project – that may determine whether the desired outcomes and impacts are achieved. Finally, they will have to give an indication of the scale and significance of the project’s contribution to the expected outcomes and impacts, should the project be successful, possibly in quantitative way.

Participant Identification Code (PIC)

9-digit number serving as a unique identifier for organisations (legal entities) registered to participate in EU funds/funding programmes.

Public Body

Any legal entity established as a public body by national law or an international organisation. Excludes Research Organisations and Higher or Secondary Education Establishments.


Quasi-equity investment

Quasi-equity investment means a type of financing that ranks between equity and debt, having a higher risk than senior debt and a lower risk than common equity. Quasi-equity investments can be structured as debt, typically unsecured and subordinated and in some cases convertible into equity, or as preferred equity.

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)

Responsible Research and Innovation is a policy framework aimed at interpreting and guiding the relationship among science, technology and society, from both the theoretical and operational point of view. In particular, the RRI approach aims to incorporate into the scientific research and technological development processes a reflective, critical, and meta-scientific dimension in order to highlight the moments where the needs of science and society may conflict, or where simply research and innovation may entail potential important transformational effects and impacts on society. In order to realize the RRI approach, a number of founding values shall be incorporated within the R&I methodologies and approaches, and namely: anticipation; reflexivity; reactive adaptation; inclusion and diversity; openness and transparency; sustainability. The European Commission has identified a number of interconnected and prioritary policy areas – the so-called RRI pillars – strategic to convey RRI principle into action and operation. Such pillars are: governance of R&I; gender [and diversity] issues; ethics; public engagement; science education; open access [and open science].

Security issues

Proposals can be dealing with information that are subject to be EU-classified, or their results may be subject of dual-use, both civil and military. Proposers are asked to disclose such potential security issues, in order to enable the appropriate screening procedure.

Single stage/two stages Submission

Different mechanisms of proposals submissions. In the single stage submission, proposers should send a full, complete proposal on the day of the single deadline. In the two stages submission process, applicants submit a first, shorter proposal, which is then evaluated; proposers going through this first evaluation, are invited to submit a full proposal, which undergoes a new, independent evaluation.

Social innovation

Social innovation is an “innovation that is social both in its ends and its means” (Murray et al., 2010). Social in its ends means aiming at addressing and solving societal problems or challenges; social in its means relates to the fact that social innovations mobilize and activate societal resources. Therefore, social innovations “lead to new or improved capabilities and relationships and better use of assets and resources. In other words, social innovations are both good for society and enhance society’s capacity to act” (The Young Foundation, 2012).

To understand social innovations is also important to specify that:

• Social innovations can be products, solutions, services, but also markets, processes, organizational models and systems.

• Resources and assets relevant for social innovation are also intangible and non-monetary ones, since they directly contribute to the creation of social capital, e.g. time, knowledge, competences, emotional tights, the quality of relationships.

• Social innovations target the deep causes of a problem, and not its symptoms, therefore they may lead to structural transformations of the relationship among societal actors, and of social fabric.
Link here

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement refers to the series of processes and methodologies aimed at involving and including different social actors in dialogue and bi-directional and interactive opinion exchange activities. The final objective of stakeholder engagement (or public engagement, if referred to a wider panorama of actors) is to better understand actors’ different needs, interests, and perspectives, to integrate those within the research and innovation process, or co-decide on sensitive issues. Through the actuation of the RRI principles of participation, inclusion, reactive adaptation, and societal desirability, stakeholder engagement contributes to RRI objectives through improving the mutual understanding between science and society. Stakeholder engagement is effective if its process is appropriately designed. In particular we shall be able to understand and assess: If there is real need to engage (do I need different and additional knowledge? Is the issue too complex?; Why and on what R&I questions to engage; When/ in which phase of our research or policy work we want to engage; Who shall be engaged (who has interests? Who can provide a useful perspective?); How to engage, through which methodologies, processes and formats; How much to engage, meaning the intensity of engagement (e.g. shall the action be recursive; at which extent there is a real power delegation and co-decision).

Technology readiness levels (TRLs)

TRLs are a method for estimating the maturity of technologies during the acquisition phase of a program, developed at NASA during the 1970s. They are adopted in EU Framework Programmes since Horizon 2020. TRLs are based on a scale from 1 to 9 with 9 being the most mature technology. In general, TRL are defined according the image below. The different level of maturity of the technology, and the consequent relative innovation risk, is normally linked to the funding instrument in Horizon Europe. Very low TRL are addressed normally by EIC Pathfinders, ERC and MSCA grants; low TRL are addressed by Research and Innovation Actions; higher TRL can be found in Innovation Actions and in the EIC Accelerator; and finally, the equity component of the EIC Accelerator is designed to support activities at the end of the TRL scale.


The Standard Proposal Template (RIA, IA, CSA, etc.) for Horizon Europe proposals dictate the required format and outline of a proposal by providing a clear and uniformed structure. The template aims to guide and assist the applicants in preparing an outstanding proposal. It has been designed to guide and assist the applicants in preparing their proposals and ensure that the important aspects of the applicants planned work are presented in a way that will enable the experts to make an effective assessment against the evaluation criteria. There are available different templates, basically one per type of action.

Type of action

The funding scheme inside a programme with common features (i.e. scope, single or multi-beneficiary, purpose, reimbursement rates, etc). Under Horizon Europe, the following types of actions are used, among others: Coordination and support actions (CSA), Innovation actions (IA), Innovation and market deployment actions (IMDA), Pre-commercial procurement actions (PCP actions), Prizes, Programme co-fund actions (CoFund), Public procurement of innovative solutions actions (PPI actions) Research and innovation actions (RIA), Training and mobility actions (TMA).

Coordination and Support Action (CSA)

They fund projects consisting mainly of accompanying measures or complementary activities, such as standardisation, dissemination, awareness-raising and communication, networking, coordination or support services, policy dialogue, mutual learning exercises, studies and networking and coordination between programmes in different countries (no research funding per se).

Innovation Action (IA)

Innovation action means an action primarily consisting of activities with a relatively high TRL expected at the end, and a strong focus on putting a product or a technology on the market, such as activities directly aimed at producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services, possibly including prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, large-scale product validation and market replication.

Innovation and market deployment actions (IMDA)

An action consisting activities embedding an innovation action and other activities necessary to deploy an innovation in the market, including the scaling-up of companies and blended finance.

Pre-commercial procurement actions (PCP )

It can be used when there is a need for new and better solutions that are technologically demanding and for which no commercially stable solution exists yet on the market, or existing solutions exhibit shortcomings which require new R&D. Such actions may consist activities aiming to enable a transnational buyers’ group to reinforce the public procurement of research, development, validation and possibly the first deployment of new solutions that can bring significant quality and efficiency improvements in areas of public interest, whilst opening market opportunities for industry and researchers active in Europe. Eligible activities include the preparation, management and follow-up, under the coordination of a lead procurer, of one joint PCP and additional activities to embed the PCP into a wider set of demand-side activities.


It is a Financial contribution given as a reward following a contest. There are different types of Prizes used in the context of EU R&I programmes:

◦ Inducement prize

A prize to stimulate investment in a given area, by specifying a goal prior to the performance of the work. Contests for inducement prizes must address technological and/or societal challenges. The award criteria will define a goal, but without prescribing how to achieve it. Contests for inducement prizes are split into rewards of the contestant that first meets the specific goal defined in the contest rules, and rewards of the best contestant within a given period.

◦ Recognition prize

A prize to reward past achievements and outstanding work after it has been performed. Recognition prizes must contribute to raise public awareness of EU policies, create role models and support best-practice exchange. The Rules of the Contest (RoC) of a specific prize describe the eligibility and award criteria, the evaluation procedure, the indicate timetable and the reward. The RoC is found in the call topic page on the Portal.

Programme co-fund actions (CoFund)

Programme co-funding action’ means an action to provide multi annual co-funding to a programme of activities established and/or implemented by entities managing and/or funding research and innovation programmes, other than Union funding bodies. Eligible participants are legal entities owning or mandated to manage national research and innovation programmes.

Public procurement of innovative solutions actions (PPI)

It can be used effectively when challenges can be addressed by innovative solutions that are nearly or already in small quantity in the market and don’t required new research and development activities. Such actions may include activities aiming to enable a transnational buyers’ group to reinforce the early deployment of innovative solutions by enabling a transnational buyers’ group to overcome the fragmentation of demand for innovative solutions and to share the risks and costs of acting as early adopters of innovative solutions, whilst opening market opportunities for the industry.

Research and Innovation Action (RIA)

Research and innovation action means an action primarily consisting of activities aiming to establish new knowledge and/or to explore the feasibility of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution. This may include basic and applied research, technology development and integration, testing, demonstration and validation on a small-scale prototype in a laboratory or simulated environment.

Training and mobility actions (TMA)

An action consisting of activities geared towards the improvement of the skills, knowledge and career prospects of researchers based on mobility between countries and, if relevant, between sectors or disciplines.

Type of beneficiaries:

◦ Private Sector

Private, for-profit entities, including small or medium-sized enterprises and excluding Universities and Higher or Secondary Education Establishments.

◦ Research Organisation

A legal entity that is established as a non-profit organisation and whose main objective is carrying out research or technological development.

◦ University

A legal entity that is recognised by its national education system as a University or Higher or Secondary Education Establishment.
It can be a public or a private body.

◦ Other

Any entity not falling into one of the other four categories.

Type of Costs

Methods for determining / calculating the eligible costs. The Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement (MGA) specifies the following 4 types of costs: Actual cost, Lump sum cost, Unit cost and Flat-rate cost:

◦ Actual cost

Cost which is real (actually incurred, identifiable and verifiable, recorded in the accounts, etc.) and not estimated or budgeted.

◦ Flat-rate costs

Cost calculated by applying a percentage fixed in advance to other types of eligible costs. Under Horizon Europe, Flat-rate cost applies only for the calculation of the indirect cost.

◦ Lump sum cost

Global amount to cover one or several cost categories or all the costs of the project.

◦ Unit cost

A fixed amount per unit. The unit cost can be determined by the commission (eg SME owner’s unit cost) or calculated by the beneficiary based on its usual accounting practices (eg average personnel cost, internally invoiced goods and services, etc).

Work Package

Major sub-division of the beneficiaries’ project, organising the planned work.

Work Programme

Multi annual document, by the EU Commission, describing the activities that will be undertaken during a certain period of time as well as the overall objectives, the respective destinations, calls for proposals, and the topics within each call and the general rules (standard admissibility conditions, eligibility criteria, selection and award criteria) applied.


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