Horizon Europe 2021 – 2027, the future EU research and innovation programme

Horizon Europe and the Euratom Research and Training Programme €100 billion proposed budget for 2021-2027 will become the most ambitious research and innovation funding programme ever.

Each euro invested by the programme can potentially generate a return of up to 11 euro of GDP over 25 years. Union investments in R&I are expected to directly generate an estimated gain of up to 100 000 jobs in R&I activities in the ‘investment phase’ (2021-2027).

An agreement on the next long-term budget in 2019 would provide for a seamless transition between the current long-term budget (2014-2020) and the new one and would ensure predictability and continuity of funding to the benefit of all.

The proposed budget allocation of €100 billion for 2021-2027 includes €97.6 bn under Horizon Europe (€3.5 bn of which will be allocated under the InvestEU Fund) and €2.4 bn for the Euratom Research and Training Programme. The Euratom programme, which funds research and training on nuclear safety, security and radiation protection, will have an increased focus on non-power applications such as healthcare and medical equipment, and will also support the mobility of nuclear researchers under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

The Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Commission’s science and knowledge service, will continue to contribute with scientific advice, technical support and dedicated research.


The main new features of Horizon Europe 2021 – 2027 program:

Horizon Europe is proposed as the most ambitious research and innovation funding programme ever. It will continue to drive Europe’s scientific excellence through the European Research Council and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships and exchanges and draw on the scientific advice, technical support and dedicated research of the Joint Research Centre (JRC). And it will add a new level of ambition and boost the scientific, economic and societal impact of EU funding.

  • A European Innovation Council (EIC). Foster the EU’s industrial competiveness and its innovation performance, notably supporting market-creating innovation via the European Innovation Council and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology;
  • New EU-wide research and innovation missions
  • Maximizing the innovation potential across the EU. Strengthen EU science and technology thanks to increased investment in highly skilled people and cutting-edge research,
  • Deliver on the EU’s strategic priorities, such as the Paris Agreement on climate change, and tackle global challenges that affect the quality of our daily lives.
  • More openness. A new generation of European Partnerships and increased collaboration with another EU programmes
What's new Matical

The European Innovation Council (EIC)

Providing direct support to innovators through two main funding instruments, one for early stages and the other for development and market deployment, EIC will become the one-stop shop to bring the most promising ideas from lab to real world application supporting the most innovative start-ups and companies to scale up their ideas. It will provide direct support to innovators through two main funding instruments, one for early stages and the other for development and market deployment.

EU-wide R&I Missions

Ambitious, bold goals to tackle issues that affect our daily lives ranging from the fight against the cancer, to clean transport or plastic-free oceans, co-designed with citizens, stakeholders, the European Parliament and Member States.

Open Science

The NEW modus operandi of Horizon Europe. Open access to publications, data, and to research data management plans.

A new generation of European Partnership

Horizon Europe will bring simpler rulers to increase legal certainty and reduce administrative burden for beneficiaries and programme administrators that will streamline the number of partnerships that the EU co-programmes or co-funds with partners like industry, civil society and funding foundations.

Horizon Europe will double the “sharing excellence” support to EU Member States in their efforts to make the most of their national research and innovation potential.

The programme will be implemented through three pillars:

  • The Open Science pillar (€25.8 billion)
  • Invests in world-class research infrastructures
  • Supports frontier research projects defined and driven by researchers themselves through the European Research Council (€16.6 billion)
  • Funds fellowships and exchanges for researchers through Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (€6.8 billion).
  • The Global Challenges and Industrial Competiveness pillar (€52.7 billion)
  • Directly support research relating to societal challenges
  • Reinforces technological and industrial capacities
  • Sets EU-wide missions with ambitious goals tackling some of our biggest problems.
  • Activities pursued by the Joint Research Centre (€2.2 billion) which supports EU and national policymakers with independent scientific evidence and technical support.
  • The Open Innovation pillar (€13.5 billion)
  • Aims to make Europe a frontrunner in market-creating innovation via the European Innovation Council (€10 billion).
  • Develop the overall European innovation landscape, including by further strengthening the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) to foster the integration of business, research, higher education and entrepreneurship (€3 billion).

The five clusters challenges and technologies: “Health”, “Inclusive and secure society”, “Digital and Industry”, “Climate, energy and mobility”, and “Food and natural resources” are themes that resonate with the focus of a number of Interreg Europe projects and regional smart specialization strategies, such as TITTAN, ELISE, ITHACA, HoCare.

The cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral, and cross-policy collaboration will be essential ingredient of Horizon Europe’s second pillar to help research institutes, technology transfer organizations, universities and SMEs to better take up the challenges of participation.

Horizon Europe and the Euratom Research and Training Programme will promote effective and operational synergies with other future EU programmes and policies to promote faster dissemination at national and regional level and uptake of research and innovation results, including:

  • EU Cohesion Policy, which plays an important part of in EU funding for Research & Innovation through an increased focus on innovation and Smart Specialization strategies. The “Seal of Excellence” allows projects successfully evaluated under Horizon Europe to be funded at regional level under the European Structural and Investment Funds.
  • The new European Defence Fund (€13 billion, €4.1 billion of which will be devoted to defence research) which will boost Europe’s ability to protect and defend its citizens. It will offer EU funded grants for collaborative projects which address emerging and future defence and security threats and bridge technological gaps.
  • ITER, the international fusion energy project (€6.1 billion), a first-of-a-kind, long-term project to build and operate a reactor to test the feasibility of fusion as an energy source.
  • Digital Europe Programme (€9.2 billion) will boost frontline investments in high-performance computing and data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and advanced digital skills.
  • Connecting Europe Facility Digital (€3 billion) will support the Digital Single Market by offering basic capabilities that can be reused in any European project to facilitate the delivery of digital public services across borders and sectors.


  • The Programme will provide the possibility to apply for funding in a faster manner for all beneficiaries. A number of research and innovation actions shall apply a Fast Track to Research and Innovation logic where time-to-grant shall not exceed 6 months. This shall allow a faster, bottom-up access to funds for small collaborative consortia covering actions from fundamental research to market application. Calls under the Fast Track to Research and Innovation approach shall be continuously open with cut-off dates and be implemented in the work programmes under clusters, the EIC and the “spreading excellence” part.
  • Horizon Europe activities will be delivered through calls for proposals, some of which organized as parts of missions and European Partnerships.
  • The Programme will support all stages of research and innovation especially within collaborative projects.
  • The Programme aim is to significantly reduce the RDI divide within the Union and to promote broad geographical coverage in collaborative projects.
  • The Programme will ensure the effective promotion of gender equality and the gender dimension in research and innovation content. Particular attention will be paid to ensuring gender balance.
  • The Programme will focus on continuous administrative simplification and reduction of the burden for the beneficiaries.
  • Attention shall be paid to the principle of proportionality, the right to privacy, the right to the protection of personal data, the right to the physical and mental integrity of a person, the right to non-discrimination and the need to ensure high levels of human health protection.
  • Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countriesor international organisation may participate in actions under the Programme, provided that the conditions laid down in this Regulation have been met together with any conditions laid down in the work programme or call.
  • Entities shall be part of a consortium that shall include at least three independent legal entities each established in a different Member State including outermost regions or in anassociated country and with at least two of them established in a Member State. Where indicated in the work programme, the Joint Research Centre may participate in actions.
  • The beneficiary of the EIC Accelerator shall be a legal entity qualifying as a start-up, scale-up, an SME or as a mid-cap, established in a Member State or associated country. The proposal may be submitted by the beneficiary, or by one or more natural persons or legal entities intending to establish or support that beneficiary.
  • Entities are eligible for funding if they are established in a Member State or associated country.
  • Entities established in othernon-associated third countries should bear the cost of their participation.
  • Affiliated entities are eligible for funding in an action if they are established in a Member State orAssociated country.
  • A proposal shall be evaluated on the basis of the following award criteria:
  • Excellence
  • Impact
  • Quality of efficiency of Implementation
  • The Commission shall take into account the possibility of a two-stage submission procedure and where possible, anonymized proposals may be evaluated during the first stage of evaluation based on the award criteria


  • Time to grant:
  • for informing all applicants of the outcome of the evaluation of their application, a maximum period of five months from the final date for submission of complete proposals;
  • for signing grant agreements with applicants, a maximum period of eight months from the final date for submission of complete proposals
  • for signing grant agreements with applicants, a maximum period of eight months from the final date for submission of complete proposals