How is the programme designed to deliver results?


Research and innovation (R&I) contribute to improving people’s lives (e.g., through better health care) and work (through better digital services), and enhancing productivity, competitiveness and job-rich growth. They are also crucial for providing solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s challenges, e.g. in terms of environment and climate.

It is important therefore to further improve creation and diffusion of high-quality new knowledge and innovation in Europe, reinforce the impact of R&I in addressing EU priorities, ensure a more rapid uptake of innovative solutions; and more generally strengthen the European Research Area.

Gearing research to advance common EU (and indeed global) goals produces social benefits that exceed the private ones and indeed even those that flow to any individual Member State that supported such efforts within its borders or by its researchers. Thus, if left to the individual Member States, such research would be carried out at a suboptimal level. Only through action at the EU level can all the positive spillovers be fully realised. Conversely, in order to maximize EU value added, it is important that EU action in this area be squarely focused on objectives and activities that cannot be effectively implemented by Member States acting alone, but only through their cooperation.


Horizon Europe aims to promote scientific excellence and generate new knowledge and technologies, thus contributing to advancing EU’s objectives and policies (in particular in terms of boosting sustainable growth and job creation), tackling global challenges, and strengthening the European Research Area.

Horizon Europe will have a budget of around €95.5 billion. This includes €5.4 billion from NextGenerationEU to boost our recovery and make the EU more resilient for the future, as well as an additional reinforcement of €4.5 billion. Horizon Europe will be implemented also through the European Defence Fund and complemented by the Euratom Research and Training Programme.


Horizon Europe seeks to deliver R&I with maximum impact along three dimensions:

  • Scientific impact: creating high-quality new knowledge, strengthening human capital in R&I, and fostering diffusion of knowledge and Open Science;
  • Technological/economic impact: influencing the creation and growth of companies within the Union, especially SMEs, including start-ups, creating direct and indirect jobs especially within the Union, and by leveraging investments for R&I.
  • Societal impact: addressing the EU policy priorities and global challenges, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals, following the principles of the Agenda 2030 and the goals of the Paris Agreement, through R&I, delivering benefits and impact through R&I missions and European Partnerships and strengthening the uptake of innovation in society ultimately contributing to people’s well-being.

Moreover, Horizon Europe is designed to optimise delivery to strengthen the impact and attractiveness of the European Research Area, to foster excellence-based participation from all Member States, including low R&I performing countries, and to facilitate collaborative links in European R&I.


  • EUR 95 698.5 millionTotal financial programming 2021-2027
2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
16 939.6 14 015.9 13 800.6 12 364.3 12 608.0 12 857.7 13 112.4

In EUR million. Top-ups coming from NextGenerationEU are included. The top-up stemming from Art.15(3) of the financial regulation is not included (EUR 20 million in 2021).


Horizon Europe activities include: supporting frontier R&I at the European Research Council and the European Innovation Council; funding fellowships and researchers’ mobility (e.g., Marie Skłodowska-Curie. Actions); investments in world-class research infrastructures; supporting research into our biggest societal challenges (e.g., health, climate change, clean energy, mobility, security, digital, materials); and supporting policymaking with independent scientific evidence and technical support.

Delivery mode

Horizon Europe is implemented directly by the Commission or via funding bodies designated by it.

Performance framework: more information

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Where are we in the implementation?

You will find information on the programme implementation in this webpage.

It will be updated when the programme will have started on an annual basis alongside the publication of the draft budget and the discharge.

Next publication (estimation): June 2022.

Predecessor programmes 2014-2020

Horizon Europe builds on the positive results of its predecessor, Horizon 2020. As a result of the interim evaluation of the Horizon 2020 programme, some changes were made that are continued under Horizon Europe for example the European Innovation Council pilot launched in 2017 to support breakthrough innovation. In addition, novelties have been introduced in Horizon Europe, notably:

  • EU missions, to deliver targeted solutions to societal challenges together with citizens;
  • Streamlined approach to European Partnerships, to rationalise the funding landscape;
  • Extended association possibilities, to strengthen international cooperation;
  • Open Science policy, to reinforce openness;
  • Widening participation and spreading excellence, to decrease the R&I gap in Europe;
  • Synergies with other EU programmes and policies, to increase the R&I impact; and
  • Simpler rules, to reduce administrative burden.

Horizon 2020

  • EUR 75 623.6 millionBudget allocation 2014-2020

Overall execution (2014-2020)

  Total %
Commitments EUR 75 616.3 million
Payments EUR 54 198.5 million

This graph includes implementation based on voted budget appropriations and carried-over appropriations.


Key monitoring indicators

  Baseline Progress Target Results Assessment
Share of European Research Council-funded publications among the top 1% cited  
1.8% 7.0% compared to 1.8% On track
Cross-sector and cross-country circulation of researcher (in number of researchers)  
65 000 69 000 researchers compared to target of 65 000 On track
Cross-sector and cross-country circulation of PhD candidate (in number of candidates)  
25 000 27 000 PhD candidates compared to target of 25 000 On track
Researchers who have access to research infrastructures  
20 000 115 053 researchers compared to target of 20 000 On track
Total investment mobilised via debt financing and venture capital investments (in billion EUR)  
15 EUR 70 billion compared to target of EUR 15 billion On track
Amount of private funds leveraged (in billion EUR)  
35 EUR 41 billion compared to target of EUR 35 billion On track
Share of research activities in renewable energy, end-user energy efficiency, smart grids and energy storage activities  
85% 90% of the research activities compared to 85% target On track
Number of peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals – direct research  
3 360 3 659 publications compared to 3 360 On track
Collaboration within the knowledge triangle leading to the development of innovative products, services and processes – number of start-up and spin-offs  
600 466 start-ups and spin-offs out of 600 On track
% of target achieved by the end of 2020



Concrete examples of achievements

  • 58 328publications in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals.
  • 31 339joint public–private publications in peer-reviewed journals.
  • 3 089patent applications.
  • 69 000researchers, including PhD candidates, having international or sectoral mobility.
  • 186 510innovations financed.

Programme Performance Overview

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