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What is Horizon Europe?

Horizon Europe brings big opportunities for innovation in Ireland, boosting the country's competitiveness on a global stage. Find out what it's all about.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


10 minute read

Horizon Europe replaces Horizon 2020, bringing big opportunities for innovation in Ireland. It’s also concerned with boosting Europe’s competitiveness on the world stage, creating innovation capacity, and shoring up jobs that meet core socio-economic values.

What is the budget for Horizon Europe?

The budget has been set at around €95.5 billion for 2021-2027. €5.4 billion of this (plus an additional reinforcement of €4.5 billion) from Next Generation EU aimed at helping the EU recover from recent challenges, allowing it to become more resilient in the future.

The Horizon Europe budget is actually 30% higher than that of its predecessor, Horizon 2020. This signifies how ambitious this new programme is, and the drive to make research and innovation in Europe the most advanced in the world.

The four components of Horizon Europe

There are four main elements of Horizon Europe as below:

Innovative Europe

Innovative Europe is a new pillar which aims to put Europe at the forefront of market-creating innovation. A new funding body has been created called the European Innovation Council, which acts as a one-stop shop for breakthrough technologies with high growth potential. The work carried out by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and European Innovation Ecosystems also come under this pillar.

Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness

This pillar directly supports research into some of the key concerns of EU citizens. These are things like climate change, health, security, clean energy, mobility etc. Supported by the Joint Research Centre, it’s also about enhancing industrial leadership and addressing current societal challenges.

Excellent Science

This element of the Horizon Europe programme supports researchers through funding, exchange opportunities and fellowships. The support is driven by the researchers themselves. The pillar operates within European Research Council, Research Infrastructures and Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

Strengthening the European Research Area and Widening Participation

The final element works to support EU member states in developing their innovation capacities and national research. It particularly focuses on encouraging countries with lower R&D performance to succeed under Horizon Europe support.

What is the strategy behind Horizon Europe?

A multiannual strategy underpins Horizon Europe and a broad range of funding, grants, partnerships and mentoring is on offer. The European Commission also places strong emphasis on the importance of planning for unforeseen events so that flexible action plans can be implemented quickly.

Work is already well underway on Horizon Europe’s Implementation Strategy and the framework will continue to take shape into 2023. It sets out the processes and rules to be actioned throughout the life cycle of the programme, robustly emphasising the following objectives:

  • Ensuring increased transparency and further simplification
  • Maximising impacts
  • Easing access through digital transformation and outreach
  • Encouraging synergies with other EU spending programmes

What are its goals?

Horizon Europe stands out in that it is mission-orientated, relevant to a wide variety of citizens and stakeholders via a “bottom up” approach.

The programme sets out its five mission areas that seek to address some of the world’s most significant challenges. They are:

  • To make Europe more climate-resilient. It is hoped that by the year 2030 Europe will be in a far stronger position to deal with climate disruptions.
  • To create 100 climate neutral cities by 2030. These cities, designed by citizens for citizens, will showcase and promote systemic transformation towards climate neutrality by 2030.
  • To regenerate our oceans and waters. This mission is about recovering and regenerating European marine and freshwater ecosystems by the year 2030.
  • To conquer cancer. The goal here is to save over 3 million lives, allowing people to stay healthier for longer.
  • To look after our life-sustaining soil. Ensuring that 75% of all soil is healthy by 2030 so that it can provide essential ecosystem services.

How the programme is structured

Horizon Europe is structured to broaden collaboration between EU member states in an inclusive way. It also serves to enhance research and innovation systems across the continent, improving economic opportunities for all.

The pillars that make up the structure encourage full citizen engagement to ensure alignment with EU priorities. It’s about driving forward the innovations that affect people’s lives every day.

Breakthrough innovations will also be encouraged on a regional level to then benefit Europe’s wider innovation ecosystems. It is hoped that by putting the right local and regional structures of support in place, improvements in technology, science, health and economics can be sustained over the challenging years ahead.

Where can I find more information on Horizon Europe?

A wealth of information is available of the European Commission website on their Horizon Europe programme analysis webpage. You are also of course welcome to discuss any aspect of innovation grant funding and how your business can benefit by contacting our team.

European R&D grant funding opportunities - and how to get your hands on them

There are numerous opportunities to obtain R&D grant funding if your business is located in the Republic of Ireland. All sorts of support is on offer, including feasibility grants, innovation vouchers and much more.

So the big question is - how are you supposed to know which grant would suit your plans for innovation best? When are the competitions run and how do you apply? That’s where R&D funding consultancies like us at Myriad Associates come in.

Our Dublin-based team has years of experience in matching our clients to the ideal R&D funding options for them. We take the time to understand what your plans for innovation are and will then help you identify the right scheme for you. Plus, when it comes to making your application, we’re on hand to advise you every step of the way.

At Myriad Associates we’re proud of our exceptional track record in winning our clients the cash they need to innovate - could your business be next?

Send us a message using our contact page or call our friendly expert team on +353 1 566 2001.

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