Horizon Europe in brief

Horizon Europe is the European Union’s research and innovation framework programme for 2021–2027. The aim of the programme is to create growth and new jobs in Europe by strengthening the scientific expertise in the EU region, supporting the development and introduction of new technologies and innovations in companies and seeking solutions to major societal challenges in Europe.

Horizon Europe has a budget of around 95 billion euros. The programme is open to universities, higher education institutions, research institutes, businesses, individual researchers and other organisations performing or utilising research, such as an association or a city. The programme provides funding for research and innovation projects carried out in international cooperation and research projects carried out by individual researchers. In Horizon Europe calls, experts from different fields are invited by the European Commission to review the project proposals received, and only the best are funded.

Horizon Europe introduces a new, impact-oriented approach to research and innovation. The programme includes mission-driven research that is aimed at bringing research closer to people and tackling major global challenges.

The first mission areas are:

  • Adaptation to climate change including societal transformation
  • Cancer
  • Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters
  • Climate-neutral and smart cities
  • Soil health and food.

The programme has four pillars.

Pillar 1: Excellent Science

Excellent Science focuses on supporting and funding frontier research. The European Research Council (ERC), which funds top-level science, and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, which support researcher mobility, are both part of this pillar. Additionally, the pillar includes a development programme for research infrastructures.

Pillar 2: Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness

Pillar 2 consists of themes mainly implemented as consortium projects between participants from at least three member states or associated countries. The themes are divided into six clusters:

  1. Health
  2. Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society
  3. Civil Security for Society
  4. Digital, Industry and Space
  5. Climate, Energy and Mobility
  6. Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment.

Pillar 3: Innovative Europe

Innovative Europe aims to support research to produce European innovations. One of the framework programme’s novelties, the European Innovation Council (EIC), is included in the pillar. The objective of the EIC is to support European growth by translating research excellence into breakthrough innovations and by helping pioneering companies to become global market leaders. The EIC will therefore fund both multidisciplinary research consortia focusing on early-stage technology research and new initiatives and the commercial development of research results, in particular global-level scale-up. Additionally, the pillar supports the development of European innovation ecosystems.

Collaboration projects for future and emerging technologies (FET) will be dispersed under Horizon Europe. The FET flagships will be transferred to the clusters under the second pillar of the programme. FET Open and FET Proactive actions will be transferred to the EIC under the third pillar.

Pillar 4: Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area

Horizon Europe includes a part that contains so-called widening actions that contribute to building research and innovation capacity for countries lagging behind and that reform and enhance the European Research Area.

More information: 

Do you have questions or feedback for us?