Up to €14.7 billion to be invested via Horizon Europe

The money will help accelerate the green and digital transitions and will contribute to sustainable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic

Photo: EPA Margrethe Vestager

The Commission adopted today the main work programme of Horizon Europe for the period 2021-2022, which outlines the objectives and specific topic areas that will receive a total of €14.7 billion in funding, the EU press service reported. These investments will help accelerate the green and digital transitions and will contribute to sustainable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and to EU resilience against future crises.

They will further support European researchers through fellowships, training and exchanges, build more connected and efficient European innovation ecosystems and create world-class research infrastructures. Moreover, they will encourage participation across Europe and from around the world, while at the same time strengthening the European Research Area.

“This Horizon Europe work programme will support European researchers, deliver top quality, excellent research and innovation, for the benefit of us all. Covering the full research and innovation cycle, from the lab to the market, it will bring researchers and innovators from all over the world closer together, to address the issues we are facing,” Executive VP Margrethe Vestager said.

More than one third of the amount, or around €5.8 billion in total, will be invested in research and innovation to support the European Green Deal and the EU's commitment to make the EU the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The funds will support projects that advance the science of climate change, and that develop solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the changing climate.

Making this decade Europe's Digital Decade and laying the groundwork for new digital enterprises even further into the future are also core objectives of the programme, which will ensure a substantial increase of investment in this area. For instance, it will help maximise the full potential of digital tools and data-enabled research and innovation in healthcare, media, cultural heritage and creative economy, energy, mobility and food production, supporting the modernisation of industrial models and fostering European industrial leadership. The development of core digital technologies will be supported with around €4 billion over 2021-2022.

Finally, this work programme will direct investments of around €1.9 billion in total towards helping repair the immediate economic and social damage brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. In line with NextGenerationEU, the funding will contribute to building a post-coronavirus Europe that is not only greener and more digital but also more resilient for the current and forthcoming challenges. This includes topics that aim to modernise health systems and contribute to research capacities, in particular for vaccine development.

International cooperation in research and innovation is essential for tackling global challenges and to enable Europe to access resources, know-how, scientific excellence, value chains and markets that are developing in other areas of the world. In May 2021, the Commission presented a Global Approach to Research and Innovation, Europe's strategy for international cooperation in a changing world. With this, the EU aims to deliver solutions and facilitate global responses to global challenges, based on multilateralism, openness and reciprocity.

The work programme of Horizon Europe for 2021-2022 includes dedicated actions to support and strengthen cooperation through multilateral initiatives in areas such as biodiversity and climate protection, environmental observations, ocean research or global health. It also includes targeted actions with key non-EU partners, including the first ever ambitious and comprehensive 'Africa Initiative'.

The first calls for proposals will be opened on the Commission's Funding and Tenders Portal on 22 June. The European Research and Innovation Days on 23 and 24 June mark the occasion to discuss Horizon Europe amongst policymakers, researchers, innovators and citizens. Horizon Europe Information Days targeting potential applicants take place between 28 June and 9 July.

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