MEPs approve the new Horizon Europe research and innovation programme

29 Apr 2021
Members of the European Parliament have now given the formal go ahead for the adoption of the different collaborative research initiatives that are going to be supported under Horizon Europe.

Horizon Europe will have an overall budget of €95.5 billion, which will include €5.4 billion from the EU’s Next GenerationEU recovery plan, as well as an additional investment of €4 billion from the EU’s multiannual financial framework (MFF).  This will be the EU’s highest ever budget allocation for digital-related research and digitalisation, which will also provide support for innovative SMEs, European research infrastructure, and an additional €1 billion secured by the Parliament for basic research, which will be channelled through the European Research Council.
The programme was already provisionally put in place by the European Commission from 1 January 2021. However on Tuesday 27 April, MEPs gave their final approval to the agreement with Council on the Horizon Europe regulation, adding a political declaration with 677 votes to 5 and 17 abstentions. They adopted the agreement with Council on the Horizon Europe specific programme with 661 votes to 5 and 33 abstentions.
The main aims of the Horizon Europe Programme are to strengthen science and technology, to foster industrial competiveness, and to implement the EU’s sustainable development goals. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that research and innovation are drivers for economic recovery. The 2021-2027 research and innovation programme will continue to support health research previously mobilised under the Horizon 2020 programme, and  help the EU’s health systems prepare for future pandemics

Horizon Europe comprises of  the following three pillars:

  • The Excellent Science pillar will support frontier research projects defined and driven by researchers themselves through the European Research Council (ERC). It will fund fellowships and exchanges for researchers through Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, and will invest in research infrastructure.
  • The Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness pillar will directly support research relating to societal challenges, technological and industrial capacities, and will determine the focus of EU-wide research missions. It also includes public-to-public and public-to-private European Partnerships as well as activities pursued by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), which supports EU and national policymakers with independent scientific evidence and technical support.
  • The Innovative Europe pillar aims to make Europe a frontrunner in market-creating innovation through the European Innovation Council. It also aims, by further strengthening the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), to foster the integration of business, research, higher education and entrepreneurship.

Within Horizon Europe, KDT is a partnership proposed in Horizon Europe pillar 2 “Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness”, in Cluster 4 called “Digital, Industry and Space”.

Find out more about the adoption of the Horizon Europe Programme here.