The European Commission only looks for R&D projects with a clear potential IMPACT when the product, process or service goes on the market

Do you really know what Impact means?


These are specific to the proposal and are usually produced in the short and medium term


More directly show the medium and short term progress and represent the immediate effects of the efforts made to reach the objectives


Generically defines the long-term progress generated in the broadest economic, social and environmental terms and represents the expected effects on the economy and society assuming complete success of the proposal

The impact is the cornerstone of R&D&I projects and the result of appropriate proposals for exploitation of the results, implying that you have selected the best market applications and have made a correct analysis of future target markets.

The European Commission looks for strategic technologies that can generate productivity gains and higher competitiveness, attract private investment and hence can encourage growth of European businesses and generate highly qualified employment.

The European Commission considers it important to describe in the proposals new types of inter-related impacts associated with important factors in order to obtain funding.

Impact Criterion H2020


Impact of the research

General advances in knowledge.
New applications of existing technology/knowledge.
Knowledge transfer within the EU.


Social impact

Improved quality of life
Creation of new professional profiles associated with new technologies
Creation of direct and indirect employment


Environmental impact

Increase or decrease in CO2 and GHG emissions and other aspects related to the greenhouse effect, climate change, energy dependence, noise pollution, etc.


Economic impact

Strengthening industrial competitiveness, internationalisation as a means of strengthening, especially of SMEs and improving business productivity


Ethical impact

Management of personal and medical data
Animal experimentation
Management of immigration and borders
Security, defence and military technology


Impact on standardisation

Contribution to the creation of a single market for innovation at European level, uniform and standardised

Private investment

Impact on private investment

Increased private participation in R&D projects as well as investment that may increase during the course of the project in its later stages


Regulatory impact

Changes in regulations to adapt to new scenarios and technological advances

Educational and training activities

Impact on education

Promoting excellence and education and skills development as a result of developments and changes brought about by R&D projects

Technology is no longer the End but the Means. The end is the IMPACT

The Horizon Europe programme has significantly strengthened the role of the impact criterion within proposals. Following these changes, the impact:

  • Must be present as an integral part of the “Excellence” and “Quality and efficiency of implementation” sections and not only in the “Impact” section.
  • Is one of the two sections that evaluators of the European Commission examine in a first phase and should include aspects related to the business model, business plan or potential impact when the results of the project are on the market, so it is crucial for any project to succeed.
  • In innovation actions and proposals for the SME instrument, for example, Impact is the deciding factor when awarding funding in case of a tied score between two proposals.