Horizon Europe (2021 – 2027)
With the overall budget €95.5 billion, Horizon Europe will be the main tool of the European Union to support research and innovation in 2021 – 2027. The legislation process leading to official adoption of the HE programme is still ongoing, and therefore, the following information must be regarded as indicative.
Horizon Europe is replacing the preceding programme Horizon 2020 and many features that were successful in Horizon 2020 will remain in place for Horizon Europe – which is often referred to as “evolution not revolution”.
Structure of Horizon Europe
The structure of the programme is based on three pillars:
Pillar 1: Excellent Science
The goal of this pillar is reinforcing and extending the excellence of European Union’s science base.
It consists of:
- European Research Council (ERC)
See Faculty of Science webpage on ERC – including info on support for applicants.
- Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)
- Research Infrastructures (This part will support cooperation between and development of European research infrastructures including e-infrastructures.)
Pillar 2: Global Challenges & European Industrial Competitiveness
This pillar will support research projects carried out (mostly) by international and inter-disciplinary consortia. The projects will have to address concrete pre-determined topics. Calls for proposals are structured into following clusters:
- 1) Health
- 2) Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society
- 3) Civil Security for Society
- 4) Digital, Industry & Space
- 5) Climate, Energy and Mobility
- 6) Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environment
Pillar 3: Innovative Europe
The goal of this pillar is stimulating market-creating breakthroughs and ecosystems conducive to innovation.
Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area
Widening Participation and Spreading Excellence
Some countries (so called “widening countries” including Czechia) still participate in European framework programmes much less than others. The goal of this part is to increase participation of these widening countries.
- This includes funding of so-called “Teaming”, “Twinning”, and “ERA Chairs” projects.
- It also includes contribution of the European Union to the COST programme (European Cooperation in Scientific and Technical Research).
- Funding of high-quality but unsuccessful Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual fellowships (newly “MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships”) will hopefully also continue within this part (probably as “Brain Circulation Grants”, formerly “Widening Fellowships”).
- A new “hop-on” mechanism (a way of participants from widening countries to join approved projects) might also be introduced.
Reforming and enhancing the European research and innovation system
This part will support projects and activities focused on e.g. Open science, Citizen science, Responsible Research & Innovation, Gender equality and similar.
Draft Horizon Europe documents
Draft documents about Horizon Europe that have leaked online are being published by Science|Business:
The Horizon Papers
These are drafts which may change before their final adoption (expected in April 2021)
and therefore must be regarded just as indicative information.
The documents include draft Work Programmes for some parts of Horizon Europe specifying the upcoming calls and topics to be funded in 2021 – 2022.
New features in Horizon Europe
See Missions in Horizon Europe on European Commission website.
Horizon Europe will incorporate so-called “R&I Missions” – ambitious, measurable research and innovation goals highly relevant for European citizens. The missions will be addressed within calls of the Pillar 2. Member states and other stakeholders should be highly involved in setting up these missions. Concrete mechanism for implementation of the R&I Missions is to be piloted in the forst years of Horizon Europe.
R&I Missions are to be set up in following areas:
- adaptation to climate change including societal transformation
- healthy oceans, seas coastal and inland waters
- climate-neutral and smart cities
- soil health and food
Horizon Europe will hopefully simplify the landscape of various initiatives (Joint Programming Initiatives, Joint Technological Initiatives, Flagships, Public to Public Partnerships, ERA-Nets, etc.) that are related to the framework programmes – e.g. are (partly) funded by the framework programme, sometime fund research projects themselves and especially influence formulation of topics to be subsequently funded by the framework programme.
See European Partnerships in Horizon Europe on European Commission website.
Last update: 18. 2. 2021