Horizon Europe 2021 - 2027 (FP9)

Horizon Europe 2021 - 2027

Horizon Europe is the Ninth European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation running from 2021 to 2027. It has a budget of around € 100 billion and it is the most ambitious programme ever for financing research and innovation in Europe.

The programme aims at  the following three strategic objectives:
-  strengthening science and technology in the EU through increased investments in highly qualified people and cutting-edge research;
- promoting industrial competitiveness in innovation, in particular by supporting measures and actions with a high technological and innovative impact on the market;
- tackling global and societal challenges, providing effective responses and strategic solutions that positively impact on the lives of European citizens

  The Horizon Europe structure

The new programme presents a three-pillar structure, which is similar to the one adopted in Horizon 2020:

Excellent Science pillar (around € 25 billion) will support cutting-edge research projects proposed by researchers in a bottom-up approach- It will promote cross-sectorial mobility of researchers and will invest in research infrastructures of the highest level. The first pillar comprises programmes and funding schemes that were already established in Horizon 2020, such as the ERC (with € 16.6 billion) and the Marie Curie Actions (with € 6.8 billion).

Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness pillar (€ 52 billion), will directly support research projects proposing effective solutions to global and social challenges. It aims at strengthening the technological and industrial capabilities that can tackle some of our biggest problems. It will tackle a variety of “challenges” that are considered relevant at EU level for the following topics: health; safe and inclusive society; digital and industry; climate, energy and mobility; nutrition and natural resources.

Innovative Europe pillar, (€ 13 billion), is intended to support Europe in gaining a leadership position in innovation. By supporting the European Innovation Council (EIC) and strengthening the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), its strategic purpose is to explore new markets.

The Framework Programme comprises two transversal programmes - Sharing excellence and Reforming and enhancing the European R&I system - aimed at fostering the European Research Area.

  Horizon Europe key novelties: European Innovation Council (EIC) and Missions

The key novelties in Horizon Europe are the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the so-called “Missions”

EIC (European Innovation Council)
The EIC will support innovative start-ups and companies in the shift of their most promising business ideas from the concept phase to the application and commercialization on the market. It will provide direct support to innovators through two main financing tools, one for the initial phase and the other for the development and commercialization phase. The strategic goal is to bridge the gap between EU and the most competitive economic areas in applying the efforts deriving from basic science research to highly innovative and technological products and services.

Horizon Europe aims at generating a positive impact on the lives of European citizens through the definition of specific research and innovation Missions that are intended to contrast some critical problems affecting our lives daily. To date, the five Missions defined by the European Commission are the following:

  • Adaptation to climate change, including societal transformation
  • Cancer
  • Healthy oceans and natural waters
  • Carbon-neutral and smart cities
  • Soil health for sustainable food


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