Horizon Europe: investing in a healthier, greener and more digital future

The European Commission is investing €14.7bn from Horizon Europe towards a healthier, greener, and more digital Europe.

The Commission has approved the main work programme of Horizon Europe for the period of 2021-2022, which delineates the aims and specific topic areas that are to receive a total of €14.7bn in funding.

The aim of this investment is to facilitate the acceleration of green and digital transitions and will offer support to sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to EU resistance against future crises.

Moreover, the investment will aid European researchers through fellowships, training, and exchanges, build more united and economical European innovation ecosystems and develop world-class research infrastructures. As well as this, it will promote participation across Europe and from around the world, while strengthening the European Research Area.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: “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.”

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “With 40% of its budget devoted to making Europe more sustainable, this Horizon Europe work programme will make Europe greener and fitter for the digital transformation. Horizon Europe is now fully open for business: I would like to encourage researchers and innovators from all over the EU to apply and find solutions to improve our daily lives.”

Of the investment total, around €5.8bn in funding will be invested into research and innovation to support the European Green Deal, as well as the Union’s pledge to ensure that Europe is the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

The funds will enable projects that improve climate change science and create solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adjust to the changing climate. For instance, activities will accelerate the shift towards clean energy and mobility in a sustainable and fair way.

A further €4bn in funding will be invested into Europe’s Digital Decade, preparing the framework for new innovation in digital enterprise and developing core digital technologies. For example, it will allow the maximisation of the potential of digital tools as well as data-enabled research and innovation across different industries in Europe.

Finally, approximately €1.9bn of funding will be put towards facilitating the repair of immediate economic and social damage created by the pandemic. In line with NextGenerationEU, the investment will aid the building of a post-coronavirus Europe that is not only greener and more digital but more resilient for the current and forthcoming challenges in healthcare, research and beyond.

The first calls for proposals will open 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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