Horizon 2020


Life multiannual work programme for 2014 - 2020

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, running from 2014 to 2020 with more than € 70 billion budget. Through Horizon 2020, the European Commission aims at increasing Europe's competitive position by strengthening scientific knowledge and by stimulating innovation. International cooperation is an important cross-cutting priority of Horizon 2020.
Part of the Horizon 2020 programme is LIFE, which is the new 2014-2020 programme for environment and climate action replacing the LIFE+ programme (2007-2013). Specific link to EU priorities are resource efficiency, biodiversity loss and climate adaptation and mitigation.


LIFE includes two sub-programmes:

  • Environment; including environment and resource efficiency, nature and biodiversity, governance and information.
    Thematic priorities: nature, biodiversity, water, marine environment, waste, resource efficiency, environment-health, air quality-emissions, information and governance.
    Budget 2014-2017: €1.1 billion.
  • Climate Action; including adaptation, mitigation and governance and information.
    Thematic priorities: climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, climate governance and information.
    Budget 2014-2017: €0.36 billion.

The sub-programmes support

  • Traditional projects: best practice, innovation and demonstration projects, dissemination/information projects, governance projects.
  • Integrated projects: projects aiming at the implementation on a large territorial scale plans and strategies required by EU legislation in the areas of nature, water, waste and air.
  • Preparatory projects: to support specific needs for the implementation and development of EU environmental or climate policy and legislation.
  • Capacity building projects: the activities required to build the capacity of Member States with a view enabling their more effective participation in LIFE


The EU mainly assesses LIFE grant applications based on the size of the European environmental problem that will be solved. Funding is typically 60% of eligible costs. There is no fixed minimum budget size, but historically the average grant awarded has been in excess of 1.5 million Euro.
Collaboration with other parties is not obligatory. But participation of international partner(s) increases the chance of success.

Who can apply?

LIFE is open to all legal persons, public or private, commercial or non-commercial that are legally established in the EU. Project proposals can either be submitted by a single beneficiary or by a partnership (which includes a project beneficiary and one or several, preferably not more than five, project partners). The participation of public authorities at regional or local level is in particular encouraged.

The main selection criteria are:

  • Technical coherence and quality
  • Financial coherence and quality
  • Contribution to the general objectives of LIFE
  • Complementary and optimal use of the EU funding
  • European added value; Transnational character
  • National added value according to the LIFE national authority (RVO NL)

Deloitte and LIFE

Compared to the previous programme the new LIFE program effectively fits with the national key-industries such as water technology or the marine industry. The R&D and Government Incentives team is experienced in both the identification and the applications for the several LIFE sub-programs. As such, to ventilate project ideas or for an explorative session, please contact Helene Geijtenbeek or Chris de Jong.

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