On 27 April, the European Parliament adopted the EU’s key research and innovation programme Horizon Europe for 2021-2027, with an overall budget of €95.5 billion.
The research programme secures short- and long-term financing for research and innovation relating to global challenges including digitalisation, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also provide support for innovative SMEs, European research infrastructure, and an additional €1 billion secured by the Parliament for basic research, which will be channelled through the European Research Council.
The programme was already provisionally put in place by the European Commission from 1 January 2021.
Horizon Europe comprises three pillars:
- The Excellent Science pillar will support frontier research projects defined and driven by researchers themselves through the European Research Council (ERC). It will fund fellowships and exchanges for researchers through Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, and will invest in research infrastructure.
- The Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness pillar will directly support research relating to societal challenges, technological and industrial capacities, and will determine the focus of EU-wide research missions.
- The Innovative Europe pillar aims to make Europe a frontrunner in market-creating innovation through the European Innovation Council. It also aims, by further strengthening the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), to foster the integration of business, research, higher education and entrepreneurship.
Associated countries can participate fully in the Horizon Europe programme. Armenia, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine were associated to the previous research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. Researchers from non-associate countries are also eligible for funding.
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