Are you ready for Horizon Europe?

The last calls for proposals from the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 are closed, and it is time to start looking at the new European programme for the period 2021-2027, Horizon Europe. Its budget is of around €95.5 billion for the whole period, making it the largest and most ambitious transnational research and innovation programme in the world.

By Mari Kristine Buckholm, 18 February 2021

“Horizon Europe will promote excellence and provide valuable support to top researchers and innovators to drive the systemic changes needed to ensure a green, healthy and resilient Europe,” explains Joseph Negreira, Section Head International Research at Smart Innovation Norway. He adds:

“The programme will also support collaborative research relating to our societal challenges and reinforces technological and industrial capacities through thematic clusters that address the full spectrum of global challenges.”

New features

Horizon Europe introduces new features such as the European Innovation Council (EIC) and EU missions. The EIC, which is already running in a pilot phase, will receive over €10 billion in budget to provide support for emerging and breakthrough innovations by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, and midcaps.

“EU missions will increase the effectiveness of funding by pursuing clearly defined targets. By 2030, they aim at achieving 3 million lives saved from cancer diseases, 100 climate neutral cities, healthy oceans, seas and internal waters, healthy soils and food, and regions resilient to climate changes,” notes Negreira (photo).

Opportunities for Norwegian organisations

Other funding programmes will also contribute to the research and innovation activities of Norwegian organisations, e.g. EUREKA and LIFE programmes.

EUREKA is an international network with 45 countries in Europe and beyond who share the same goals and have national funding available to organisations who apply through their different programmes (Clusters, Eurostars, Globalstars, Network projects and InvestHorizon) to foster European competitiveness and integration and to encourage Research and Development cooperation.

“The programmes give proposers freedom to create their ideal consortium and decide the technological focus of their international R&D projects. The programmes are flexible and open to start-ups, SMEs, large companies, research organisations and universities,” says Negreira.

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action contributing to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value.

Help and support

All these programmes will open calls for proposals that will be competing between them, and only the excellent and best ones will be funded.

“Despite these European R&I programmes seem initially complex and confusing and generate fears, thousands of organisations did successfully this trip into the European opportunities and got funded to develop their ideas, processes, products and services,” emphasizes Negreira. He continues:

“Smart Innovation Norway has a remarkable track record in participating in previous Research and Innovation Programmes, our broad expertise in Energy markets, Smart Cities and Communities and applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be relevant for your projects. We can help you in being successful in your proposal’s application and project’s execution.”

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the European Commission’s research and innovation framework programme running from 2021-2027.

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