Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe igniting new innovative space downstream applications

Opportunities for  development of European space downstream applications

Horizon 2020 was the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever, with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). It supported breakthroughs, discoveries, and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. EUSPA managed more than €140 million across five calls in support of the market creation and development for the EGNSS industry. This key funding mechanisms for EGNSS allowed the development of innovative applications in the space downstream sector.

Since the launch of Horizon 2020 Programme in 2014 until 2020, 79 projects have been funded covering all key market segments such as aviation, maritime, LBS, rail, road, agriculture, surveying and mapping, timing and education and international cooperation.

All H2020 projects are strongly supporting the adoption of the European GNSS with its two key components Galileo and EGNOS; to date more than 170 prototypes and 70 products have been developed, with 14 patents and almost 350 scientific papers, as well as more than 400 demonstrations.

With Horizon 2020 coming to an end, Horizon Europe stands as its successor.

Planned for the 2021 to 2027 period, Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with an overall budget of €95.5 billion. It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth.

The programme facilitates collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It supports creating and better dispersing of excellent knowledge and technologies. It creates jobs, fully engages the EU’s talent pool, boosts economic growth, promotes industrial competitiveness and optimises investment impact within a strengthened European Research Area. 

EUSPA will be involved in Horizon Europe to stimulate the market and support the creation of commercial solutions for the space downstream sector. However, Horizon Europe will be even more ambitious than its predecessor, and the support provided by EUSPA to EGNSS will expand to include Copernicus and GOVSATCOM, and the synergies between these programmes as well. New calls for proposals within Horizon Europe will be announced soon.

EUSPA managed programmes


The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) is Europe’s first venture into satellite navigation. It augments the positioning signals provided by the United States’ GPS global navigation satellite system and makes them suitable for such safety critical applications as flying aircraft or navigating ships through narrow channels.

Consisting of three geostationary satellites and a network of ground stations, EGNOS achieves its aim by transmitting a signal containing information on the reliability and accuracy of the positioning signals sent out by GPS. It allows users in Europe and beyond to determine their position to within three metres, compared with about 17 metres for GPS. Since its launch in 2009, the EGNOS open service has been improving GPS accuracy and providing an integrity function to numerous users. Already, 70% of commercial receiver models are EGNOS-compatible, with applications being developed in the road, rail, aviation, maritime, agriculture, search and rescue, mapping, timing and synchronisation and location-based services (LBS).

To find out more about EGNOS


The Galileo programme is Europe's initiative for a state-of-the-art global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control. The fully deployed system will consist of 30 satellites and the associated ground infrastructure. Galileo will be inter-operable with GPS and GLONASS, the two other global satellite navigation systems.

To find out more about Galileo


Copernicus is the European Union's Earth Observation Programme. With its 6 services on Atmosphere, Marine, Land, Climate Change, Security, and Emergency, it aims to look down on our planet and its environment for the benefit of Europe’s citizens.

To find out more about Copernicus


The European Union Governmental Satellite Communications (GOVSATCOM) programme aims at providing secure and cost-efficient communications capabilities to security and safety critical missions and operations managed by the European Union and its Member States, including national security actors and EU Agencies and institutions.

Find all the H2020 Visual Identity here

Updated: May 23, 2021