Horizon Europe, the 9th European Framework Programme funding research and innovation, was launched on 2nd February 2021 with a budget of €95.5 billion for 2021-2027. First calls are expected in April 2021.
Horizon Europe is proposed as the most ambitious research and innovation funding programme ever. Excellence in science will continue to be funded by the European Research Council and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Knowledge-based innovations and support by the European Innovation Council will drive forward the EU’s industrial competitiveness and innovative performance. The overall aim of the new research programme is to expand the EU’s science and technology base by investing more in highly qualified workers and cutting-edge research. Horizon Europe will help in achieving the EU’s strategic priorities, such as implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and addressing other global challenges. The Horizon Europe programme is also guided by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Horizon Europe will be organised differently to Horizon 2020 and include new elements and simplifications:
- The European Innovation Council will become an integral part of Horizon Europe, with its own governance structures and research promotion instruments.
- A new element in Horizon Europe is the five EU-wide research and innovation mission areas that aim to address major societal challenges, such as the spread of cancer and climate change, through ambitious and applied research and innovation activities conducted over the long term.
- Open Science will be the new modus operandi in Horizon Europe. The Open Access policy already applied in Horizon 2020 will be developed.
- European partnerships will be streamlined and consolidated.
- Simpler rules will increase legal certainty and reduce red tape for funding recipients and programme managers.
Structure of Horizon Europe
Source: European Commission
Progress on Horizon Europe Implementation Strategy
The European Commission announced new developments regarding Horizon's Europe Implementation Strategy. The rules and simplification measures put in place for Horizon 2020 were widely acknowledged by stakeholders as a big step towards a more attractive programme. Based on this experience, work has been ongoing on Horizon Europe’s Implementation Strategy to set out how the programme will be managed in practice to achieve its ambitious objectives. The Strategic Plan is a living document thus it will receive further updates.
It will support the implementation of Horizon Europe, in particular for the "Global Challenges & European Industrial Competitiveness" Pillar of the programme. It will also cover the "Widening Participation & Strengthening the European Research Area" part of the programme as well as relevant activities in other pillars.
The Strategy will contain:
- Key strategic orientations for Research and Innovation support and their targeted impact;
- European partnerships (co-funded and co-programmed);
- Areas of international cooperation;
- Specific issues like social sciences and humanities, gender, and the role of key enabling technologies.
For further information, see the European Commission's page on Horizon Europe