The Commission was proud to announce that
this would be the biggest ever research and innovation funding programme. According to the proposal, Horizon Europe would be based around three pillars:
- Open Science Pillar – Would
support researchers through fellowships and exchanges as well as funding to
projects through the European Research Council and the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie
- Global Challenges Pillar – Would
be built on clusters. This pillar is intended to support research relating to
societal challenges e.g. fight against cancer, clean mobility and plastic-free
- Open Innovation Pillar – A
European Innovation Council would offer a one-stop shop for high potential and
breakthrough technologies and companies with potential for scaling up. It would
further offer fast, flexible grants and market-based instruments with private
investors while ensuring that support close to the market activities does not
distort competition between innovators.
As part of the programme, the Joint
Research Centre would provide EU policy makers with independent scientific
evidence and technical support throughout the whole policy cycle.
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology would support all
three pillars and specifically address global challenges primarily through its
Knowledge and Innovation Communities integrating business, research, higher
education and entrepreneurship.
Horizon Europe would also simplify the
rules for beneficiaries:
simplification of the current real cost reimbursement system will be
pursued, including its simplified funding model and the principle of one
funding rate per project;
- To increase
flexibility, the future programme will allow allocation of funds between and
within the pillars to react swiftly to emerging policy issues or challenges;
- Further improvements
to the proposal submission and evaluation process (i.e. evaluation criteria,
involvement of independent experts) will be envisaged;
and funding schemes in the EU Research & Innovation landscape will be
streamlined and coordinated. Partnerships will be improved building on the
success of Joint Undertakings and linked with specific missions. In
particular, specific support schemes for innovation will be streamlined under
the newly-created European Innovation Council. The combination of Horizon
Europe grants and financial instruments under the InvestEU Fund and with other
relevant EU funding programmes will also be made easier.
- There is also room to
further expand the use of new management modes, including through
delegation to agencies and a simplified set of partnerships.
Building on these proposals, the Commission
will present in the coming weeks a more detailed proposal for Horizon Europe.
For more information, the Commission
Communication published on 2 May can be found here.