Summary of some of the Horizon Europe highlights

Horizon Europe budget will be divided into three “pillars”, on open science, open innovation, and global challenges and industrial competitiveness (“open to the world”, or international cooperation, will be scattered throughout the programme). The highest budget share will benefit the global challenges. 

Science Business looked into the details of the new programme's highlights. Find below an abstract of the summary and check this link for the whole information:


The European Research Council, the EU’s frontier-science funder, would be given an extra push to attract top researchers from around the world, and raise the bar for scientific quality overall in Europe. But, cried a chorus of academic critics of the Horizon Europe plan on 7 June, it won’t get enough money to accomplish that.

A related programme, the Marie Skłowdowska Curie Actions, would also get a relatively modest extra push with a seven-year budget of €6.8 billion; it is due to spend €890 million this year. MSCA provides grants for researchers of all career stages to work in other labs and countries, and with its sister programme, Erasmus+, is among the EU’s most popular activities. The Horizon Europe plan highlights the need for more researcher training, noting the EU will need at least 500,000 new researchers if it aims to hit its objective of raising Europe’s overall R&D spending to 3 per cent of GDP by 2027, from just over 2 per cent today.

Meanwhile, at Europe’s big public labs, new computing and “cloud” services appear to be at the core of the Commission’s latest thinking on how to bolster them. For years, the Commission has steadily expanded support for new research infrastructure – from a laser facility in Eastern Europe to a massive linguistic database spanning most European languages. In Horizon Europe, the labs would get €2.4 billion over seven years. Now, the plan says, more effort will be made to interconnect all these facilities online, with open access to their scientific data and “integrating their services when necessary so as to harmonise access conditions, (and) improve and enlarge service provision.” To do this, the European Open Science Cloud project, first started in 2016, will be emphasised.


One big – and controversial – change from Horizon 2020 is to lump projects for industrial competitiveness into the same box as those to help solve such global challenges as climate change or food supply.


The health cluster is allotted €7.7 billion to promote cooperation on the multifaceted, increasingly complex health issues the Union faces...For all these, a special emphasis is planned to help health systems improve – with new technologies and digital solutions... Horizon Europe proposes research and innovation that taps into the capabilities of big data, artificial intelligence, and other evolving technologies in revolutionising the health industry.

Inclusive and Secure Society

This cluster addresses a grab-bag of economic, social and security issues. The broad aim: Make European society safer and happier. For this, the cluster is allotted €2.8 billion, the least of the five clusters. Promptly after the announcement on June 7, advocates for social science and humanities research were quick to say it wasn’t enough.

Digital and industry

About €15 billion is allocated to a collection of emerging industrial technologies, and the intersection of digital and industrial capabilities. The proposal says that: “EU industry provides one out of five jobs and two thirds of private sector R&D investments and generates 80% of EU exports.” In short, support for industrial research – which is where the very first Framework Programme began in 1984 – remains important to the EU.

Climate, energy and mobility

Receiving a proposed budget of €15 billion, climate, energy and mobility research tackles some of the most important challenges society faces today. Horizon Europe proposes focusing on research goals that align with the Paris Agreement and EU policy in order to make the largest impact...The programme states that “by 2050, more than 80 per cent of the EU's population will live in urban areas, consuming the lion's share of available resources, including energy, and being areas particularly vulnerable to the adverse meteorological change impacts worsen by climate change and natural disasters already now and increasingly in the future.” As societies develop, the proposal says, the EU needs to maintain its progress in achieving its environmental goals through a cleaner, smarter, and more energy efficient transport system, and the Commission proposes innovations such as “smart buildings and large mobility hubs.”

Food and natural resources

The Commission allots €10 billion for the food and natural resources global challenges research cluster... What’s required, the Commission says, is more monitoring and analysis of resource consumption. New evaluative measures such as “ecotoxicology of compounds and new pollutants” and “adaptable and multi-functional nature-solutions” are encouraged.

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Geographical focus
  • H2020
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Admin on June 18, 2018
Modified on June 18, 2018