Horizon Europe structure and the first calls

Horizon Europe is the research and innovation framework programme running from 2021-2027. 

The EU institutions reached a political agreement on Horizon Europe on 11 December 2020. On this basis, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU proceed towards the adoption of the legal acts.

The first Horizon Europe Strategic Plan (2021-2024) is expected to be adopted in February 2021. 

The first work programmes are expected to be published by April 2021. It is possible that the work programmes for the European Research Council (ERC) and European Innovation Council (EIC) will be published earlier. The first calls will open once the work programmes have been published.

Presentation outlining Horizon Europe in 23 languages.

Image describing the preliminary structure of Horizon Europe. 3 pillars - Excellent science, global challenges and industrial competitiveness and innovative europe. Structure of Horizon Europe

The development process

In 2018 the Commission proposed an ambitious €100 billion research and innovation programme - Horizon Europe - to succeed Horizon 2020: read about the proposals and what shaped them

The European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached in March and April 2019 a provisional agreement on Horizon Europe. The European Parliament endorsed the provisional agreement on 17 April 2019.

Implementing Horizon Europe - strategic planning

Following the political agreement of March-April 2019, the Commission began a strategic planning process.

The result of the process will be set out in a multiannual Strategic Plan to prepare the content in the work programmes and calls for proposal for the first 4 years of Horizon Europe.

The strategic planning process will focus in particular on the Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness pillar of Horizon Europe. It will also cover the Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area part of the programme as well as relevant activities in other pillars.

The Strategic Plan will contain

  • key strategic orientations for research and innovation support and their targeted impact
  • European partnerships (co-funded and co-programmed)
  • missions
  • areas of international cooperation
  • specific issues like social sciences and humanities, gender, and the role of key enabling technologies

Co-design initiatives

In 2020 the Commission invited anyone with an interest in EU research and innovation priorities, anywhere in the world, to participate in a consultation on Horizon Europe's first Strategic Plan. 

The input received will support the implementation of Horizon Europe, especially for the programme’s second pillar, Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness.

Another co-design process took place over the summer and autumn 2019 in view of preparing the first Strategic Plan for Horizon Europe.

The views and ideas of more than 7,000 respondents were collected through web-based surveys and close to 4,000 participants engaged in in-depth debates at the first European Research and Innovation Days, which took place in Brussels on 24 - 26 September 2019.

The results of the co-design process are summarised in the document Orientations towards the first Strategic Plan for Horizon Europe.

Missions in Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe will incorporate research and innovation missions to increase the effectiveness of funding by pursuing clearly defined targets. 

The Commission has engaged policy experts to develop studies, case studies and reports on how a mission-oriented policy approach will work.

Read more about the Commission's mission-oriented approach and download the studies that shaped it

Mission areas

5 mission areas have been identified, each with a dedicated mission board and assembly. The board and assembly help specify, design and implement the specific missions which will launch under Horizon Europe in 2021.

Adaptation to climate change including societal transformation

Cancer

Climate-neutral and smart cities

Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters

Soil health and food

European partnerships in Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe will support European partnerships with EU countries, the private sector, foundations and other stakeholders. The aim is to deliver on global challenges and industrial modernisation through concerted research and innovation efforts.

The Horizon Europe proposal lays down the conditions and principles for establishing European Partnerships. 

Full information on European Partnerships including candidates and contact details

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