Cosmetics - Overview – R&D - Simple Text Content

This section gives an overview of the Horizon 2020 projects focused on cosmetics. The projects titles and abstracts that contained the keyword “cosmetic*” were filtered out from the general collection of nanotechnology projects developed for the study.

In the period 2017-2020, Horizon 2020 funded 8 projects in the field of cosmetics. Such projects comprised 1% of all research projects in nanotechnology funded by the EU from 2017-2020. In general, it shows that the interest in nanotechnology in cosmetics was low.

Analysis of the start date of cosmetics projects shows that seven of them received funding and started in 2017 and 2018, while only one in 2019. H2020 covered the 2014-2020 period, so with 2017 as a mid-term of the programme, it is not surprising that most projects started during this period. The decreasing number of research projects towards the end of the funding period is explained by the fact that most research projects require several years to complete.

H2020 contained several high-level programmes/priorities/specific actions and their sub-programmes. Three thematic and two horizontal high-level programmes funded nanotechnology research and innovation:

  • Priority “Excellent science” (1) aimed to improve the excellence of the European research base and consolidate the European Research Area (ERA) to increase the global competitiveness of European research and innovation.
  • Priority “Industrial leadership” (2) focused on boosting the development of the technologies and innovations that will underpin future businesses and help innovative European SMEs to grow into world-leading companies. This priority contained a sub-programme targeted at nanotechnologies.
  • Priority “Societal challenges” (3) focused on the societal challenges that were identified in the Europe 2020 strategy and aimed to encourage sufficient research and innovation efforts necessary to cope with these challenges and achieve the EU strategic goals.
  • Specific objective “Spreading excellence and widening participation” (4) was a horizontal objective of Horizon 2020 aimed at pooling research and innovation talents in Europe, nurturing and connecting pools of excellence to maximise and fully exploit Europe’s research and innovation potential. 
  • Specific objective “Science with and for society” (5) was a horizontal objective of Horizon 2020 aimed at strengthening the collaboration between science and society by engaging citizens in science and using collective intelligence for solving research problems, promoting scientific careers, etc.

Each of the described high-level programmes contained the whole hierarchy of sub-programmes. Usually, one project received funding through a combination of programmes. Those combinations of (sub)programmes from 2017-2020 were filtered out. Four projects received funding through the second priority “Industrial leadership”, while three projects – through the first priority “Excellence in science”. Two projects were funded under the third priority “Societal challenges”.

Most projects focused on introducing specific materials into cosmetic products, while one of them investigated eco-toxicity of substances. An illustrative example of a cosmetics project is provided in the table below.

Table AIII-2: An example of a cosmetics project
Project title, acronym,
(coordinating country)
Objectives Start, end dates Funding
(EU contribution)
Safe, Transparent, Active and Reliable mineral sunscreen technology, STAR (Turkey) The product MicNo® is a patented Zinc Oxide UV filter for use in cosmetic formulations. MicNo® are designed platelet-shaped micron particles composed of nano primary particles - developed to exploit benefits of the nano-size particles while removing adverse effects of them. The aim of this project is to mature, in-vivo test and commercialise MicNo® onto the global markets. We had been awarded Phase I funding and we have conducted a Feasibility Study (GAN #741192) that verified the market potential. Our product is at TRL 7 and this project will enable us to bring our solution to TRL9 ready for commercialisation on the global cosmetics market valued at $454 billion with CAGR of 6%. 2018-2019 € 544 250