Horizon 2020

What is H2020?

Horizon 2020 is the largest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness.

Read more on the European Commission website.

Why is H2020 important for stroke?

Horizon 2020, worth nearly €80bn, shapes the future of scientific endeavour in the European Union, and beyond, for the remainder of the decade. Its widened remit, which includes the key pillars of Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges, means this framework programme will touch more lives and shape more sectors then any of its predecessors.

Incorporated in Horizon 2020 will be the pioneering investigative work of the European Research Council, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and EURATOM, as well as the next generation of scientists through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

The inclusion of such vital areas as the Future and Emerging Technologies platform, which will see unprecedented funding for the Human Brain and Graphene projects, will push Europe to the forefront of global science. In addition, the emergence of a stated desire to involve scientists and researchers from all over the world, will lead to international collaboration between European member states and third countries on an extraordinary scale.

ESO Endorsed H2020 Projects

ESO endeavors to endorse activities which benefit the stroke community and compliment the ESO`s mission to reduce the burden of Stroke. The ESO further endeavors to promote these works and has accordingly compiled a list of relevant H2020 projects. If you are part of an H2020 project which is missing from this list, please submit the project for ESO Endorsement. This list is updated as endorsements are approved.


Project Description:

1.   To perform a pragmatic, randomised, controlled, open undefinedclinical trial with blinded outcome assessment in 3800 patients aged 66 years or older with acute ischaemic stroke or intracerebral haemorrhage, recruited from 80 centres in 9 European countries.
2. In this trial, to assess the effects of preventive treatment with high-dose paracetamol, ceftriaxone, and metoclopramide on a comprehensive array of relevant health outcomes, including survival, functional outcome, quality of life, and cognition. This treatment strategy is simple but innovative because these drugs will be used for the prevention of complications, whereas these are currently recommended for their treatment.
3. To perform subgroup analyses based on age, sex, stroke severity, comorbidities, and geographic region, to detect specific populations in which the proposed treatments are particularly effective or not effective, to allow treatment to be tailored to specific patient groups.


Project Description:

The study aims to develop a standardised approach in the collection of secondary prevention and rehabilitation measures across Europe, in addition to using epidemiological and economic modelling approaches to assess differing health policy scenarios and establish healthcare interventions. Data will be collected in Ireland, UK, Scotland, France, Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway and Italy.


Project Description:

Effect of acute modulation of SYmpathetic and compleMent activation on short- and long-term outcomes in PAtients with acuTe Ischemic stroKe – SYMPATIK. The central objectives of the study are to test the influence of acute modulation of sympathetic drive in acute stroke using a beta-blocking agent, and to test acute modulation of complement activation through administration of recombinant C1-inhibitor.


Project Description:

The MAESTRO Project has a number of objectives
1. To identify evidence-based existing interventions to improve stroke outcomes across Europe
2. To Estimate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of existing interventions in stroke
3. To agree core outcome datasets which could be used to identify gaps in stroke care
4.To examine the impact of existing evidence-based internevtions to reduce inequalities in stroke care.
5. to provide a decision-framework for investment and disinvestment decisions
6. To ensure improved patient outcomes through ongoing engagment of stakeholders. This work will be completed via a series of workpackages and the results will be disseminated to the wider stroke community in Europe.


Project Description:

Nico.lab in Amsterdam fulfils the criteria for support by the ESO. Computer algorithms for automated analyses of neurovascular images may have potential in the treatment of patients with acute stroke. The chance of benefit of intra-arterial treatment depends not only on clinical characteristics, but also on various imaging factors such as ASPECTS, the presence of collaterals, and thrombus location. It could therefore be of great benefit if computer algorithms could automatically quantify the relevant markers, but this first has to be evaluated in the proposed study.


Project Description:

Efficacy and safety of uric acid administration in acute ischaemic stroke (ASTUTE). The main objective of the project is to confirm whether the administration of uric acid (UA) in patients who receive standard therapy of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) expands the treatment options for acute ischemic stroke, reduces mortality, improves outcome of stroke survivors, and reduces the burden of stroke. To this aim, the ASTUTE project will conduct a pivotal investigator-driven multinational randomized double blinded placebo controlled trial designed to test the efficacy and safety of adding 1 g of UA to thrombolytic therapy in patients with AIS and symptoms lasting less than 4.5 hours.


Project Description:

European pre-hospital thrombolysis trial in ischemic stroke (EUPHOTiS). This pragmatic trial compares the effectiveness of pre- vs. in-hospital thrombolysis in terms of improved functional outcomes. The results in conjunction with cost-effectiveness analyses will form a basis for guideline development.


Project Description:

Small vessel diseases in a mechanistic perspective: Targets for Intervention (SVDs-at-target)Stroke and dementia rank among the most pressing health issues in Europe. Diseases in small blood vessels, known as cerebral small vessel diseases (SVDs) have emerged as a central link between these two major co-morbidities. SVDs account for more than 30% of strokes and at least 40% of dementia cases. They encounter multiple distinct diseases that can be separated based on their underlying genetic defects, risk factors, and clinical presentations. Despite this profound impact on human health, there are no treatments with proven efficacy against SVDs.
This network brings together basic scientists and academic clinicians and will make use of novel animal models, state-of-the art technologies (e.g. proteomics & ultra-high field MRI) and expertly phenotyped patient cohorts to identify key mechanisms common to multiple SVDs and determine how these mechanisms contribute to individual SVDs.


Project Description:

The occurrence of local inflammatory processes in the ischemic brain has been known for several years but how these immune reactions are linked to secondary infarct growth and the role of the immune system for the regeneration after stroke remains largely elusive. While cerebral ischemia is traditionally not regarded as a classical neuroinflammatory disorder, stroke triggers a plethora of immune responses well comparable to those occurring in other autoimmune brain diseases. Moreover, the acute brain injury has a substantial impact on the peripheral immune system inducing a multiphasic immune response after stroke. The reciprocal interaction of local and systemic immunological responses to brain injury are barely understood and particularly for stroke recovery the underlying mechanisms have not been uncovered. However, multicenter experimental stroke initiatives on stroke-immunology have so far not been funded. This research unit will be focused on immunity in repair mechanisms and the long-term recovery after stroke. The projects of these consortium have been selected to answer the questions how immunity modulates stroke recovery, dissect the impact of neuroinflammation in human stroke patients and reveal novel surrogate markers of human post-stroke neuroinflammation. Ultimately, this consortium will target key open questions for the rationale design of future immunomodulatory studies for stroke patients, and set up new standards for experimental, multicenter stroke research. This will be achieved by employing cutting-edge technologies and new treatment paradigms to understand and modulate the immune responses after experimental stroke. Preclinical experiments will be highly standardized, key findings will be validated in multicenter, international preclinical RCTs in the second funding phase and experiments will be paralleled by analyses in human stroke patients.


Project Description:

TENSION (efficacy and safety of ThrombEctomy iN Stroke with extended leSION and extended time window: a randomized, controlled trial) strives at providing effective available treatment to patients with severe stroke to reduce the individual and societal burden of death and dependency from stroke. To this end, TENSION is a randomized, controlled trial of thrombectomy in stroke patients with extended ischemic stroke lesions and patients presenting in a late time window, i.e. patients who are currently excluded from available effective treatment approaches as previous trials largely were restricted to highly selected patients with small ischemic lesions and treatment within the first six hours of stroke. Trial organization will rely on a network of experienced stroke researchers, partners with successful cooperation in previous EU-funded stroke trials with partner ins eight European countries. The trial will be accompanied by specific training of brain image judgement provided to all investigators. The project addresses a major health problem and will provide evidence for more effective and safer therapeutic intervention for patients with severe stroke resulting in improved guideline development, better individual patient outcomes and beneficial effects for the society at large. As the economic impact of stroke largely results from severe strokes, improved outcome of this group of patients will result in a large reduction of stroke-related cost throughout Europe.

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