Catalan companies have secured €386 million for Horizon 2020 innovation projects, double the amount received in the previous European framework program

Catalan Economy

11 May 2023

Catalonia is thus ranked with similar results in Finland or Denmark and above Portugal or Poland.

Between 2014 and 2020, Catalan companies received 386 million euros for innovation projects through the European Commission's Horizon 2020 program. This amount is twice as much as what was received during the previous framework program, which was between 2007 and 2014.

In this European Commission aid package, companies in Catalonia have been assigned 2.1% of the total funding. This percentage is higher than the weight of Catalonia's population in Europe, which is 1.5%. It is also six-tenths higher than the previous framework program's allocation. As a result, Catalonia's ranking is similar to that of Finland or Denmark, and it is ranked higher than Portugal or Poland.

This is one of the main conclusions from the study "Horizon 2020 Program in Catalonia" (Catalan version) done by ACCIO-Catalonia Trade & Investment and published to coincide with the celebration of Europe Day.

Based on the document, 616 companies in Catalonia have received funding through H2020, which is 63% higher than the previous program. Companies are the primary recipients of these discretionary funds, surpassing associations, research centers, and universities.


“Catalonia has attracted 1,762 million euros in Horizon 2020, the highest figure of all the European framework program”

Horizon 2020 Program in Catalonia report.

This funding has allowed Catalan companies, for example, to perform feasibility studies on their business plan or develop the necessary pilot tests to bring their technology to market.  At the same time, these projects have made it possible for Catalan companies to make more and stronger connections with the rest of the European ecosystem and improve their R+D+I projects thanks to a collaboration with other European institutions.

According to this study, Catalan companies have a 12% success rate in receiving Horizon 2020 funding, which is higher than the average for the European Union and countries such as Italy and Finland.

88.4% of the companies that received these grants in Catalonia are SMEs, small to medium-sized businesses, especially. These companies are mainly operating in the sectors of ICT, R+D, technical engineering services, and health products and services, with a focus on small and micro-enterprises.

In total, including grants to companies, associations, research centers, and universities, Catalonia has attracted 1,762 million euros in Horizon 2020, the highest figure of all the European framework program. Catalonia also leads the total funding granted to Spain, with 28.8%.

Public support to access these highly competitive funds

ACCIO-Catalonia Trade & Investment offers a free technical structuring service for R&D&I projects with the aim of maximizing the possibilities for the project to access funding.  Within the framework of Horizon 2020, Catalan companies structuring their projects with ACCIO-Catalonia Trade & Investment showed a 31% success rate, almost triple the Catalan average (12%).

Moreover, in 2023, the agency is intensifying its support for the Catalan productive environment to further increase Catalan participation in collaborative research, development, and innovation programs (such as Horizon Europe, Life, or Digital Europe Program). Thus, from May 16th, Catalan SMEs can apply for grants of up to 12,000 euros from ACCIO-Catalonia Trade & Investment to receive personalized advice on submitting proposals to access these European grants.


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