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Horizon Europe – what you need to know about EU’s new programme!

June 18 2018

Horizon Europe, previously known as FP9, has been announced as the successor to the current Horizon 2020 programme. It is referred to by the European Commission as “the most ambitious research and innovation programme yet”, and behind the new name lies an ambition to show that Europe is the place to be when it comes to excellent research. We have studied the information that has been released about the new programme, and how it distinguishes itself from Horizon 2020.

Horizon Europe (HorizonEU) will be launched on 1 January 2021 and will be operating with a 100 billion euro budget over the period 2021 to 2027, a 30% increase compared to H2020. The programme will put emphasis on innovation and a closer connection between research and citizens. The new programme will build on the successes of H2020 and will still include initiatives such as the European Research Council (ERC) and the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions (MSCA), but it will also move away from less successful items and introduce new ones. Below, we have identified some of the main new features of HorizonEU.

Main new features of HorizonEU:

  • The programme will operate with missions-based research (also referred to as moon shots), such as ‘finding a cure for all types of cancer’ or ‘achieving plastic free oceans’. The idea is to do research that is more relatable for citizens, and make the purpose and goal of the research clear, understandable and transferable;
  • There will be an increased focus on innovation, because the EU wants to improve Europe’s performance on turning scientific discoveries into new products and services;
  • The EU wants to support companies to grow bigger to the point that they are able to compete globally and generate new quality jobs. This will be done by launching a new European Innovation Council (EIC), which will function as a mentor and work closely with start-ups and SMEs;
  • Horizon Europe promises a better success rate for applicants, due to the increased budget and synergies with other EU programmes, such as the European Structural and Investment Funds;
  • New European Partnership Initiatives: in the new programme the idea is to have fewer and simpler partnerships, in order to have more coherent R&I partnerships and thus improve the coherence of the R&I ecosystem;
  • The EU aims at bridging the gap between research in eastern and western ‘Member States’, and ensuring EU-wide research excellence, by increasing access to funding in member states with lower participation;
  • Open science will be one of the main features in HorizonEU; the new programme promises open access as a general rule (with exceptions for commercial and personal data). Guidelines will be more straightforward and there might also be financial incentives to encourage researchers to practice more open science. In addition, open science will be given more importance in proposal evaluations;
  • Increased access for third countries: due to Brexit, the UK will not be part of the new programme, however, the EU has decided to change the rules regarding third country participation, so especially rich countries will have easier access – this will benefit the UK, but also enhance collaboration with countries such as Canada and US.

Follow us for updates

In the coming period, HorizonEU will be further developed and communicated. At ttopstart, we will keep a close watch on these developments and gather additional insights. What programmes will remain? Which are to be closed after H2020? How should European life sciences and MedTech scientists prepare for the new programme? Follow us on our website and on social media to stay updated on the developments of the EU programmes, and let us know your thoughts about Horizon Europe, and its new features.

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