A new program—Horizon Europe—will build on the achievements and success of the previous European research and innovation program (Horizon 2020) and keep the EU at the forefront of global research and innovation. With a proposal of €100 billion for the next long-term budget (2021–2027), Horizon Europe is a more ambitious research and innovation program than any proposed previously.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, says, “As part of this [proposal], we want to increase funding for the European Research Council to strengthen the EU’s global scientific leadership, and re-engage citizens by setting ambitious new missions for EU research. We are also proposing a new European Innovation Council to modernize funding for ground-breaking innovation in Europe.”
The European Innovation Council is to help identify and fund fast-moving, high-risk innovations with strong potential to create entirely new markets. It will provide direct support to innovators through two main funding instruments, one for early stages and the other for development and market deployment. It will complement the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.
Also new for Horizon Europe are EU-wide research and innovation missions focusing on societal challenges and industrial competitiveness. Examples could range from the fight against cancer, to clean transport or plastic-free oceans. These missions will be co-designed with citizens, stakeholders, the European Parliament, and member states.
The principle of “open science” will become the modus operandi of Horizon Europe, requiring open access to publications and data. According to the European Commission (EC), this will assist market uptake and increase the innovation potential of results generated by EU funding.
The proposed budget allocation of €100 billion for 2021–2027 includes €2.4 billion for the Euratom Research and Training Programme. The Euratom program, which funds research and training on nuclear safety, security, and radiation protection, will have an increased focus on non-power applications such as health care and medical equipment, and will also support the mobility of nuclear researchers under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, which provide grants for all stages of researchers’ careers.