Preparing and assessing missions

A preparatory phase for Horizon Europe missions began in November 2020, and will last a maximum of 12 months. Plans with detailed actions, investment strategy and performance indicators will be developed during this phase. At the end of the preparatory phase, the Commission will assess the missions against a set of robust criteria.

These criteria are:

1. Assess added value

Does the proposed mission have a clear added value compared to existing EU initiatives in the mission areas, (such as e.g. European Partnerships, Industry Alliances, Important Projects of Common European Interest, European Innovation Partnerships, Smart Specialisation Strategies)?

Is the mission’s goal not more easily reachable via regular Horizon Europe actions or other EU funding, such as calls for proposals or public-private partnerships?

2. Assess if the mission has clear research and innovation content

Does the mission’s goal clearly require research and innovation to be achieved?

Does the inception phase of a candidate mission predominantly entail research and innovation actions?

The “complementary actions carried out under other Union funding programmes” are not envisaged for funding under Horizon Europe but comply with respective rules under the relevant EU programme/source of funding.

3. Assess buy-in

Does the candidate mission enjoy the support of several Commissioners? What does this support translate into? (e.g. budgetary support, alignment of policies, etc)?

4. Assess if the mission’s goal is ambitious yet realistic, measurable and time bound

Does the candidate mission have a measurable goal, which is realistically reachable within the set timeframe and with the limited budget available?

5. Assess if implementation plan is feasible

Is the proposed implementation plan sound and likely to reach the expected objectives? Does the implementation plan convincingly describe which actions (Research and innovation actions, deployment actions, possible policy actions etc) need to be taken over the lifetime of a mission and by whom? Are the mission’s milestones and indicators appropriate and robust?

6. Assess budget

Is the indicative budget of the mission adequate and commensurate to reach the intended objectives?

What are the confirmed sources of funding for the mission?

What are the possible future additional sources of funding for the missions?

Is implementation of different types of funds functional, and does it bring additionality compared to the actions that would have been implemented anyway by the different EU funds?

Once approved, missions will get fully up and running. Europeans will continue to be engaged throughout their implementation.

Detailed assessment criteria for EU missions