The European Commission has published the Horizon Europe work programme for the next two years. With an overall budget of 13.5 billion euros, it marks the beginning of a new phase for the European Union’s research and innovation programme.
Encouraging European researchers and innovators to seek ever more novel solutions to tomorrow’s major challenges, this funding is intended to contribute to achieving the EU’s climate objectives, improving energy resilience and developing digital technologies. It also focuses on targeted actions to support Ukraine, strengthen the EU’s economic resilience and contribute to a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Lastly, it aims to contribute to the strengthening of the European research and innovation ecosystem, including through greater participation and mobility for researchers and innovators across Europe, as well as through funding world-class research infrastructures.
Moving forward on climate action and digital transformation
The new work programme emphasizes the importance of climate-related research, with more than 5.67 billion euros (42% of the total budget) dedicated in particular to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to climate change. In parallel, 1.67 billion euros will be allocated to support biodiversity.
More than 4.5 billion euros (34.5% of the total budget) will also be devoted to digital research, with more than 1 billion euros invested in the development of digital technologies. Beyond the financial aspect, this work programme aims to support the digital transition, in particular by ensuring that all actors in society master the complex interaction between technology and humankind.
For a safer, more secure and resilient Europe
In light of the new geopolitical situation, more than 970 million euros will be invested in actions contributing to reducing the EU’s energy dependence and accelerating the transition to clean energy, in line with the REPowerEU Plan.
In 2023, the work programme will ensure Europe’s recovery from the economic and social damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 1 billion euros in financial support from the NextGenerationEU instrument. In addition, 336 million euros will be devoted to preparing for future pandemics and health emergencies, in line with the objectives of the European Health Emergency Response and Preparedness Authority (HERA).
Assistance to Ukraine
The targeted support to Ukraine is added on top of the 70 million euros of specific measures already launched in 2022. New actions include strengthening the access of Ukrainian researchers to European research infrastructures, continuing support to Ukrainian health scientists, and supporting the climate-neutral reconstruction of several Ukrainian cities through the Smart and Carbon Neutral Cities mission.
Horizon Europe and international cooperation
The Horizon Europe 2023-2024 work programme covers actions to support and strengthen international initiatives in the fields of renewable energy, food systems, global health, environmental observations, etc. It builds on the “Africa Initiative” and introduces the new “Mediterranean Initiative“, which responds to the new research and innovation agenda developed with the Union for the Mediterranean.
Regarding the cooperation with China, the work programme aims to address global challenges through two flagship research initiatives on food, agriculture and biotechnology and on climate change and biodiversity.
More than 600 million euros will be invested in the five EU missions in 2023. This money will support research and innovation and should help, among other things, to better prepare local and regional authorities to face climate-related risks, restore at least 25 000 km of free-flowing rivers, deploy soil monitoring programs or optimize minimally-invasive cancer diagnostic interventions. The Commission expects missions to mobilise contributions from other funding sources, in order to reach an overall level of investment by the end of 2023 that exceeds the investments made under Horizon Europe.
The first calls opened on 7 December 2022 on the EU Funding & Tenders Portal and the European Commission is organising a series of information days until 16 February 2023. The 2023-2024 work programmes of the different Horizon Europe clusters are available on the EU Funding & Tenders website.
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