Horizon Europe (HE) is the European Union’s current research and innovation program (successor to Horizon 2020), has a budget of €95.5 billion for the period 2021-2027, and is based on the Strategic Plan adopted in March 2021 to set the EU’s research and innovation priorities. Most of the funding is allocated on the basis of competitive calls for proposals, set out in the work programs.

In the area of accelerating the EU’s ecological and digital transitions, and recovery from the current pandemic, €14.7 billion of funding has been earmarked to support European researchers through fellowships, training and exchanges and the creation of world-class research infrastructures, fostering global participation and strengthening the European Research Area.

This international research cooperation is essential to address new global challenges, so the program includes specific actions to support international cooperation through multilateral initiatives in areas such as biodiversity and climate protection, environmental observations, ocean research or global health, open to everyone under the same general conditions as those of the Member States.

Within the budget, 5.8 billion will be invested in research on climate change and its solutions (clean energy, sustainable mobility, circular economy), supporting the Green Deal and the goal of making the EU the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Another main objective of the program is the digital conversion of the EU, so it will contribute to maximize the potential of digital tools and Big Data in the fields of health, media, cultural heritage and creative economy, energy, mobility and food production, counting on 4 billion budget. Approximately 1.9 billion will go to repairing the damage (economic and social) caused by the coronavirus pandemic, including modernizing health systems and improving vaccine development.

This new program is structured around three main pillars:

PILLAR 1: Excellent Science

Marie Sklodowska Curie

Providing researchers with knowledge and skills through mobility and training.

European Research Council (ERC)

Funding to support excellent researchers and their teams.

Research Infrastructures Programme

Empowering Europe through an integrated ecosystem of research and technology infrastructures.

PILAR 3: Europa Innovadora

Consejo Europeo de Innovación

Actions for the European Innovation Ecosystem:

It contributes to the development of an effective innovation ecosystem at the European Union (EU) level and fosters cooperation, networking and the exchange of ideas and knowledge, developing national, regional and local innovation ecosystems.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology

EIT Food, EIT Health, EIT Digital, EIC Climate, EIT Innoenergy, EIT Raw Materials, EIT Manufacturing, EIT Urban Mobility, EIT Culture and Creativity

European Public-Private Partnerships

European partnerships are initiatives in which the EU, together with public and private partners, commit to jointly support the development and implementation of a research programme and innovation activities in a particular area.


This horizontal pillar is cross-cutting and complementary and aims to promote the exchange and networking of researchers and scientific institutions to mitigate the uneven distribution of R&D capabilities within the EU. 


In Horizon Europe, the EU will adopt 5 EU missions as a commitment to solve major societal challenges: 1/ Adaptation to climate change, including social transformation 2/ Cancer 3/ Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters 4/ Climate-neutral and smart cities 5/ Soil health and food.


With regard to participation and management rules, and in an increasingly competitive environment, the new framework program will promote easy access to instruments, fairer and more transparent evaluation processes and smoother grant management. To this end, the Commission has cut unnecessary bureaucracy, building on the simplifications of the current program, so that participation in EU research and innovation will be easier than ever:

Simplification of rules under the stability of a new legal framework program, including simplification in funding modalities and calculation of personnel costs in order to minimize errors in financial control and, prevention and detection of fraud.
All processes digitized under a single platform, with transparency and ease of use.
Fairer, more objective and transparent evaluation processes, with a focus on more accurate selection of evaluators.
Data management. Dissemination and exploitation for value creation and support in bringing innovations to market.
Outreach, guidance and support to participants through the single platform by means of consultation service tools, online manuals, online conferences and workshops, and networks of national points of contact.