How to enhance the Impact of your H2020 proposal

Published: 20 July 2017

About the Horizon 2020 programme

The Horizon 2020 (H2020) programme is the biggest EU funding programme for Research and Innovation, running from 2014 to 2020 and has a total budget of €80 billion. The H2020 programme is implemented through two-year work programmes setting out funding opportunities under different sections and topics, each associated to one of the main sections (i.e. Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership or Societal Challenges).

Template for Horizon 2020 proposals

The template for H2020 proposals consists of two parts: the administrative form (Part A, containing all administrative information of all consortium partners) and the project proposal (Part B, containing all project-related information). The project proposal (Part B) is evaluated based on three different sections, i.e. Excellence, Impact, and Implementation. In particular, the preparation of the Impact section is often regarded as a challenging task for applicants. This because writing an impact section requires a view on how their work will not only impact science, but also how it will impact society and industry, and how it will compete at a European and international level.

Tips to enhance the Impact section of your H2020 proposal

ttopstart has helped prepare numerous H2020 proposals (over 150 applications over the past three years) under previous H2020 work programmes and we have summarised our best practices for writing the Impact section below.

Refer to the expected impacts as well as non-mentioned impacts

Under the topic description of each specific H2020 call, the expected impacts are mentioned in the call text. Make sure your proposal addresses all the expected impacts and explain how, by quantifying your statements, your proposal will contribute to them. For the expected impact of your proposal, we advise you to make a distinction between the expected short-term impact (1-5 years after the project), as well as the long-term impact (>5 years after the project) of your application. In addition, always describe the non-mentioned impacts of your project in this section (such as the general impact on society) and make sure your impact is presented in a qualitative as well as quantitative manner (e.g. revenues of €X Million in 5 years or a return on investment of X in 10 years etc).

Describe your market and commercialisation strategy

Numerous proposals with good excellence and implementation are not granted because they fail on writing a convincing impact section. In many cases, the proposals have not studied the market enough and it is not clear how the outcomes of the project will be exploited and disseminated amongst relevant stakeholders. A successful H2020 proposal should not only focus on the project and its impact but should also demonstrate its ability to go to the market through a clear commercialisation strategy. This should also be reflected in the ability of your team to commercialise your project. Make sure to demonstrate you know the market and its challenges (examples can include regulatory approval and addressing a niche market) and include all relevant aspects on commercialisation, such as: IP, possible business models, route to market, regulatory aspects, etc. As H2020 is interested in projects that will result in commercialisation, participation of industrial partners in your H2020 project is recommended by ttopstart or at least have Letters of Support from large companies to show the interest of the market.

Request assistance

Would you like assistance with preparing your Horizon 2020 proposal? At the ttopstart academy, we offer trainings on how to write the different sections of a H2020 application in a convincing and competitive manner. Contact us and find out what the possibilities are.