Horizon Europe 2021-2027

The next research and innovation framework programme

In August 2019, the European Commission has published a Presentation outlining Horizon Europe available in 23 languages. The Commission's proposal for Horizon Europe is an ambitious 100 billion EUR research and innovation programme to succeed Horizon 2020.

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.

Horizon Europe is the ambitious EU research and innovation framework programme (2021-2027) which aims to strengthen the EU's scientific and technological bases and the European Research Area, to boost Europe's innovation capacity, competitiveness and jobs and to deliver on citizens' priorities and sustain socio-economic model and values.

Building on the success of the EU’s past flagship research and innovation programmes, the Commission proposes to increase investment in research-innovation and digital by allocating 114.2 billion EUR for the future Multiannual Financial Framework.

Horizon Europe defines mission characteristics and elements of governance, and 5 missions areas. A mission is a portfolio of actions across disciplines intended to achieve a bold and inspirational and measurable goal within a set timeframe, with impact for society and policy making as well as relevance for a significant part of the European population and wide range of European citizens. Among 5 mission areas, cancer has been stated. Specific missions will be programmed within the Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness pillar.

Key elements of the Commission proposal are preserved: Three pillar structure addressing fundamental science, global challenges and innovation; missions as key novelty for more impact and visibility; a new cross-sectoral clusters approach; European Innovation Council as one-stop shop for innovation to help small companies to innovate and scale up; strategic planning as direction-setting for the work programmes; new approach to partnerships to rationalise the landscape; impact pathways to track progress with the achievement of the programme's objectives over time; rules for participation aiming at further simplification and a more robust Open Access regime.

Key changes introduced are cluster inclusive and secure society is split; fast track procedure in pillar II and in the European Innovation Council; pathfinder for bottom-up proposals, small consortia and time-to grant not exceeding 6 months; European Innovation Council to provide two types of support: blended and grants-only; areas for possible missions and institutionalised partnerships are listed; widening participation: additional measures and increased budget prospect; strategic planning as Commission implementing act to facilitate implementation.

In terms of clusters in 'Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness‘, areas of interventions in domain of health are: health throughout the life course, non-communicable and rare diseases; tools, technologies and digital solutions for health and care, including personalised medicine; environmental and social health determinants; infectious diseases, including poverty-related and neglected disease; and health care systems. Some areas of interventions in terms of digital, industry and space are next generation internet, key digital technologies, including quantum technologies, artificial intelligence and robotics, advanced computing and Big Data.

In overall, the accent is on open access:  

  • Open access to scientific publications to be ensured
  • Open access to research data to be ensured in line with principle 'as open as possible, as closed as necessary'
  • Responsible research data management to be ensured in line with FAIR principles
  • Other open science practices to be promoted and encouraged
  • Reciprocity in open science to be promoted and encouraged in all association and cooperation agreements with third countries.

In terms of implementation strategy, importance to shift the focus from administration to content has been stated.

You can find more information here.