Horizon Europe 2021-2027

EU budget for the future. Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the next Research and Innovation European Framework Programme.

With a budget of around € 100 billion for 2021-2027, it is the most ambitious R&I funding programme ever.

Contacts and reservations

What’s new?

Following the experience of Horizon 2020, the new Framework Programme will continue to drive Europe’s scientific excellence with a new mission-oriented approach. This will help define a new way to achieve wider social and policy aims as well as economic goals.

The programme aims to:

  • Strengthen excellent basic and frontier research, including by fostering wider participation of citizens throughout the Union, reinforcing the link between research, innovation, and where appropriate, education and other policies;
  • Deliver on the EU’s strategic priorities, support the implementation of Union policy priorities and tackle global challenges that affect the quality of our daily lives, applying policies aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030) and the Paris Agreement, promoting responsible R&I and strengthening the gender dimension;
  • Increase collaboration links in European R&I and across sectors and disciplines, strengthening the international cooperation and attracting high-skilled research through mobility;
  • Develop competitive research infrastructures across the European Research Area to foster easier open access and to ensure visibility to the public and open access to scientific publications and research data;
  • Encourage exploitation of R&I results and actively disseminating and exploiting results, in particular for leveraging private investments and policy development;
  • Deliver, through R&I missions, on ambitious goals, to stimulate R&I activities in SMEs and the creation and scale-up of innovative companies;
  • Accelerate industrial transformation, foster the EU’s industrial competitiveness and its innovation performance and supporting market-creating innovation, including through improved skills for innovation and improved access to risk finance;

A simpler and improved programme

Further improvements have been developed to simplify rules, funding models and forms of grants, and to disseminate and exploit further research results. Some news: 

  • The European Innovation Council (EIC) shall stimulate all forms of innovation ranging from incremental to breakthrough and disruptive innovation, targeting especially market-creating innovation. The EIC through its instruments – Pathfinder and Accelerator – should aim to identify, develop and deploy high risk innovations of all kinds
  • Missions, with an higher impact through a well-oriented focus and a tighter correlation between EU research and innovation and a wider involvement of citizens. A mission is a cluster of actions with a very specific objective, relevant for science, technology, society and European population, within a limited period
  • Strengthen international cooperation thanks to a wider openness to third countries’ affiliation with excellent competences and to a more general openness to the international participation
  • Open science policy to better spread the R&I results and open access to scientific publications and research data, through a responsible use of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)
  • A more ambitious and strategic approach to the European Partnerships, more independent and co-financed in co-joint programmes between partners, with a long-run perspective and a higher level of integration. 

Programme structure

Pillar 1:
Excellent Science

Supporting the creation and diffusion of excellent methodologies, skills, researchers and knowledge at all levels.

  • European Research Council (ERC): support frontier research in a bottom-up manner
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions: mobility and intersectoral training for researchers in a bottom-up manner
  • Infrastructures: interconnection of infrastructures to extend the frontiers of knowledge

Pillar 2:
Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness

Joint, aligned and flexible actions to tackle adequately global challenges through industrial competitiveness, to achieve a sustainable and inclusive growth.

  • Clusters: pipelines of innovative solutions and technologies through missions and partnerships

    • Health
    • Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society
    • Civil Security for Society
    • Digital, Industry and Space
    • Climate, Energy and Mobility
    • Food, Bioeconomy, Nartural Resources, Agriculture and Environment

  • Joint Research Centre

Pillar 3:
Innovative Europe

Stimulating new ideas and forms of responsible, ethical and sustainable innovation to carry on delivering prosperity to citizens and meeting challenges of the future in cooperation with other EU policies and in particular the InvestEU Programme

  • European Innovation Council (EIC): support cutting-edge ideas and market-creating innovations
  • European innovation ecosystems: improvement of the environment within which innovation can flourish at all levels
  • European Institute of Innovation and Technology(EIT) through Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs): joint action of fundamental elements (research, education and enterprises) towards innovation

Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area

Implementation of concrete measures, such as:

  • Widening participation and spreading excellence
  • Reforming and Enhancing the European Research and Innovation system

On April 17, 2019, the European Parliament has formally agreed on the Regulation – Framework Porgramme and Decision – Specific Programme for the period 2021-2027. This agreement has been reached by European institutions on March 19 of the same year and it establishes the legislative text for the next Framework Programme. It entails some core features and topics needed for development and growth in Europe, such as research, energy, space, transports, telecommunications and digital Europe.
The Strategic Plan of Horizon Europe has started, and it will end with the design of the Work Programmes and the first calls for funding.

The official start of Horizon Europe is expected on January 1st, 2021.

All information is available on the European Commission website.
You can find further updates on the programme on APRE’s platform "Towards Horizon Europe" [ITA].

Last update: 26/11/2021