Horizon Europe is the European Union’s new framework programme for Research and Innovation, which will run from 2021 to 2027, replacing the previous one, Horizon 2020.

The main objective of this new programme is to generate a scientific, technological, economic and social impact on the European Union’s investments in research and innovation, thus promoting an increase in the competitiveness of the member states of the Union.

This programme, which has a proposed budget of 95.5 billion euros for the next seven years, presents many new features such as the approach to European partnerships and ‘fact-finding missions’. These missions are defined as a portfolio of interdisciplinary actions based on R&D&I, aimed at achieving a bold and inspiring, yet measurable, goal that will have a major impact on society.

Another key aspect is inter-country partnerships and public-private partnerships, which will be the second pillar of the new programme, 50% of which is foreseen to be implemented through these partnerships.

This new programme is structured around three main pillars:

  • European Research Council (ERC): Frontier research carried out by the best researchers and their teams. Budget: EUR 16.6 billion
  • Marie Sklodowska Curie: Providing researchers with new knowledge and skills through mobility and training. Major research infrastructures. Budget: EUR 6.8 billion
  • World-class, integrated and interlinked research infrastructures. Budget: EUR 2.4 billion

It aims to drive key technologies and solutions to underpin EU policies and the Sustainable Development Goals.

It brings together the above themes pertaining to societal challenges and industrial leadership, with a cluster structure such as health; culture, creativity and inclusive society; civil security; digital industry and space; climate, energy and mobility; food, bio-economy, natural resources, agriculture and environment.

Commission’s budget proposal: EUR 52.7 billion

  • European Innovation Council (EIC): Supporting breakthrough innovations with market-creating potential.
  • European Innovation Ecosystems: Connecting regional and national innovation actors. Budget: EUR 10.5 billion, including up to EUR 500 million for ecosystems.
  • European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT): Bringing together key actors (research, education and business) around a common goal to foster innovation. Budget: EUR 3 billion


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In terms of participation and management rules, and in an increasingly competitive environment, the new framework programme will promote easier access to instruments, fairer and more transparent evaluation processes and smoother grant management. To this end, the Commission has cut unnecessary bureaucracy, building on the simplifications of the current programme, so that participation in EU research and innovation will be easier than ever:

  • Simplification of rules under the stability of a new legal framework programme, including simplification of funding modalities and calculation of personnel costs in order to minimise errors in financial control and fraud prevention and detection.
  • All processes digitised under a single platform, with transparency and user-friendliness.
  • Fairer, more objective and transparent evaluation processes, with a focus on more accurate selection of evaluators.
  • Data management. Dissemination and exploitation for value creation and support in bringing innovations to market.
  • Outreach, guidance and support to participants via the single platform through the tools of the enquiry service, online handbooks, online days and workshops, and networks of national contact points.

Check the feasibility of your projects under Horizon Europe