The Commission adopted on Wednesday the main Horizon Europe work programme 2023-24, with around €13.5 billion to support researchers and innovators in Europe to pursue breakthrough solutions for environmental, energy, digital and geopolitical challenges.
As part of the broader EU €95.5 billion research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe, this funding will contribute to the EU reaching its climate goals, increasing energy resilience, and developing core digital technologies. It will also address targeted actions to support Ukraine, boost economic resilience and contribute to a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will help to achieve a stronger European research and innovation ecosystem, including through wider participation of researchers and innovators across Europe, greater mobility and funding for world class research infrastructures.
Delivering on climate action and digital transformation
€5.67 billion (over 42% of the work programme’s budget) is dedicated to reaching key climate action objectives, finding innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change. €1.67 billion contributes to supporting biodiversity.
Over €4.5 billion will support the EU digital transition, including for the development of core digital technologies and encouraging their integration in our lives.
Extensive support will also be provided to the New European Bauhaus, which aims to show the benefits of the green transition in people’s daily lives and living spaces.
A safe, secure and resilient Europe
Nearly €970 million will be invested to help speed up the clean energy transition, in line with the REPowerEU Plan, and increase Europe’s energy independence from unreliable suppliers and volatile fossil fuels.
In 2023, the work programme will direct investments of more than €1 billion from NextGeneration EU towards Europe’s recovery from the economic and social damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, it supports research and innovation with €336 million to enhance pandemic preparedness and to respond to health emergencies. This is in line with the objectives of the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA).
It will also support critical infrastructures against physical and cyber threats to reinforce the EU resilience.
New actions to support Ukraine include reinforcing the access of researchers from Ukraine to European research infrastructures, continuing support to the health scientists from Ukraine, and supporting the climate-neutral reconstruction of several Ukrainian cities through the EU Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities.
Global challenges in Horizon Europe work programme 2023-24
The Horizon Europe work programme 2023-24 covers actions to support and strengthen international initiatives in renewable energies, food systems, global health, environmental observations and more. It builds on the Africa Initiative and introduces the new Mediterranean Initiative, responding to the new research and innovation agenda developed with the Union for the Mediterranean.
Concerning cooperation with China, the work programme will focus on tackling global challenges through two research flagship initiatives on Food, Agriculture, and Biotechnology and Climate Change and Biodiversity.
More than €600 million will be invested in the five EU Missions in 2023. This will support research and innovation, which is expected to result in, for example, better prepared local and regional authorities to face climate-related risks, the restoration of at least 25 000 km of free-flowing rivers, Climate City Contracts with 100 cities, the roll-out of soil monitoring programmes or optimise minimally-invasive diagnostic cancer interventions. The Commission expects missions to raise contributions from other funding sources, to reach an overall level of investment at the end of 2023 that surpasses investments made from Horizon Europe.
Opening of the calls for projects
The 2023-2024 Horizon Europe work programme is based on Horizon Europe’s Strategic Plan 2021-2024, adopted in March 2021. It was co-created with stakeholders, Member States and the European Parliament. On 1 December, the Commission launched the largest public consultation ever held on the past, present and future of the EU’s Horizon research and innovation programmes 2014-2027. It is open for 12 weeks and contributes to the final evaluation of Horizon 2020, the interim evaluation of Horizon Europe as well as laying the groundwork for the preparations of the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan 2025-2027.
The first calls for proposals will open on the EU Funding & Tenders Portal on 7 December 2022.