Horizon 2020 expert advisory groups appointed

The European Commission has appointed the 15 groups of independent experts to advise on priorities for Horizon 2020, the next EU research and innovation programme. The advisory groups are the most diverse yet, drawing on public, private and civil society sources. Nearly 40% of their members have not advised on previous EU research programmes, ensuring a ‘fresh approach’ in the new programme. Advisory groups have also for the first time overcome the underrepresentation of women, with female participation averaging 52% across the groups. The diverse composition of the groups will help in deciding how EU-funded research and innovation can help address major concerns for Europe, such as providing better healthcare and clean, efficient energy.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said:

“Horizon 2020 is a totally new research and innovation programme, geared towards tackling the challenges of the 21st Century. That is why we needed the best and the brightest for our experts, and I am grateful that the European research and innovation community has responded. I am in particular delighted to see a high number of women and new experts wanting to get involved.”

Following an open call inviting experts from all fields to participate, more than 15.000 responded by the first deadline in March of this year. From these, around 400 experts were chosen for the 15 groups, with 20-30 in each.

The groups have a good balance, including industry and public research actors as well as representatives of civil society. The groups are one of the key sources of advice on the implementation of Horizon 2020, in particular the priorities for the development of the work programmes from which the calls for research and innovation proposals are published.

While all groups have been appointed, groups are being finalised on an on-going basis as individual experts accept the appointment. Most of the groups can already be found on the European Commission’s online register for expert groups, along with some additional information and the original call text:

The call for expressions of interest will stay open for the lifetime of the Horizon 2020 programme in order to accommodate the renewal of groups at the end of each mandate. The mandate of the selected experts is for a period of 2 years with the possibility of renewal for a further maximum 2 years.

The 15 Horizon advisory groups cover the following areas:

  • Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions on skills, training and career development
  • European research infrastructures including e-Infrastructures
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Nanotechnologies, advanced materials and advanced manufacturing and processing
  • Space
  • Access to risk finance (debt and equity financing)
  • Innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy and biotechnology
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy and Euratom
  • Smart, green and integrated transport
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials
  • Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
  • Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens


In 2014 the European Union will launch a new, seven year research and innovation funding programme called Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 will have an even greater focus on turning excellent ideas into marketable products, processes and services. The work programmes under Horizon 2020 will provide a two year perspective with less prescriptive topics, to allow researchers more time to prepare proposals and more scope to make innovative proposals.

In addition to the advisory groups, the Commission will soon launch a further call to establish a database of experts to advise and assist on activities like evaluation of proposals and the preparation of future programmes.

Source: European Commission


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