The European Commission has launched the new research and innovation framework programme Horizon Europe which will be running from 2021-2027 with the budget of around €95.5 billion. Horizon Europe promotes excellence and provides valuable support to top researchers and innovators to drive the systemic changes needed to ensure a green, healthy, digital and resilient Europe. The first work programmes are expected to be published by April 2021 and the first calls are expected to open once the work programmes have been published.
Horizon Europe will have a strong degree of continuity with Horizon 2020 Programme: three pillars, excellence at the core, and maintaining the tested funding rules and procedures of Horizon 2020. But it has been improved to maximise its impact, its relevance to society and its potential for breakthrough innovation.
It will be greener, healthier, more digital and more resilient Europe
The vision of Europe is a sustainable, fair and prosperous future for people and planet based on European values by:
- Tackling climate change (35 % budgetary target)
- Helping to achieve Sustainable Development Goals
- Boosting the Union’s competitiveness and growth
In line with the European vision, Horizon Europe will:
- Maximise its impact and deliver on the EU’s strategic priorities, such as the recovery, green and digital transitions, and tackles global challenges to improve the quality of our daily lives;
- Strengthen excellent EU science and technology by increasing investment in highly skilled people and cutting-edge research;
- Foster the EU’s industrial competitiveness and its innovation performance, notably supporting market-creating innovation via the European Innovation Council and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology;
- Enhance access to excellence for researchers across Europe to foster participation and collaboration, as well as promoting gender balance.
Novelties to advance progress
The programme will introduce new features such as the European Innovation Council (EIC) and EU missions and will strengthen international cooperation, reinforce openness, rationalise the funding landscape and encourage participation. The EIC, which is already running in a pilot phase, will receive over €10 billion in the budget to provide support for emerging and breakthrough innovations by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, and midcaps (70% of the budget earmarked for SMEs). The EIC includes two complementary instruments bridging the gap from idea to the investable project:
- Pathfinder: grants (from early technology to pre-commercial)
- Accelerator: grants only & blended finance (from pre-commercial to market & scale-up)
In addition ‘Transition’ funding provides a bridge between advanced research outputs, their application and market and user needs. All EIC supported projects and companies have access to a range of Business Acceleration Services providing access to leading experts, corporates, investors and ecosystem actors. The EIC also provides additional activities such as prizes.
Horizon Europe defines mission characteristics and elements of governance, and 5 R&I missions areas; Adaptation to climate change including societal transformation, Cancer, Climate-neutral and smart cities, Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters, Soil health and food
Specific missions are programmed within the Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness pillar (drawing on inputs from other pillars). The European missions aim at achieving by 2030 3 million lives saved from cancer diseases, 100 climate neutral cities, healthy oceans, seas and internal waters, healthy soils and food, and regions resilient to climate changes.
The Structure of Horizon Europe
Comparing with the previous Horizon 2020 programme, there is a 30% increase in Horizon Europe.
The new EU research and innovation programme will have a budget of around €95.5 billion for 2021-2027 (current prices). This includes €5.4 billion (current prices) from NextGenerationEU to help repair the immediate economic and social damage brought by the coronavirus pandemic, kick-start the recovery and prepare for a better future for the next generations, as well as an additional reinforcement of €4.5 billion (current prices).
Horizon Europe will be implemented also through the European Defence Fund and complemented by the Euratom Research and Training Programme.
- Horizon Europe Fact Sheet