Horizon Europe: European Commission to Increase Funding for 2024

The European Commission has adopted an amendment to the 2023-24 Work Programme of Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation programme.

The amendment mobilises previously unallocated Horizon Europe funding to increase the 2024 budget by nearly €1.4 billion to a total of €7.3 billion.

This amendment includes an investment of nearly €650 million in the EU Missions aiming to contribute to solving some of the challenges facing Europe, for example, making more than 100 cities climate neutral, a New European Bauhaus facility, as well as experimental actions opening EU research and innovation opportunities to more newcomers, among other novelties.

Some of the main features of this update of the Horizon Europe Work Programme include:

EU Missions

The EU will invest €648 million in 2024 in research and innovation activities underpinning the EU Missions. The EU Missions cover five areas and are a novelty brought by Horizon Europe to bring concrete solutions to some of our greatest challenges.

They have ambitious goals and will deliver concrete results by 2030.

The new actions for 2024 should result in restoring at least 25 000 km of free-flowing rivers, Climate City Contracts with more than 100 cities, 100 living labs and lighthouses leading the transition towards healthy soils, local and regional authorities better prepared to face climate-related risks, better cancer diagnosis and support to young cancer sufferers.

New European Bauhaus

The New European Bauhaus (NEB) aims to bring the benefits of the European Green Deal into people’s daily lives and living spaces.

In the three years since its launch, the NEB has provided solutions to concrete problems. Examples include the TOVA project from Spain that developed a 3D printing technique with earth to provide architectural solutions for sustainable, affordable, community-based housing.

Another example is the WATSUPS project from Belgium that creates a new public space alongside the river Dyle to mitigate the risk of gentrification. These solutions are rooted in research and innovation that place the Europeans at the heart of the green transformation.

A new NEB Facility will ensure that Europe continues to make most of this potential. It brings multi-annual budget support for 2025-2027 through two pillars, a research and innovation part to develop new ideas and a roll-out part to scale-up such solutions.

The amended Horizon Europe work programme 2023-24 allocates €20 million to preparing the ground for the implementation of the NEB Facility.

Experimental actions to attract newcomers

This amendment includes a package of new experimental actions to reinforce the openness of the programme, support the goals of the EU Missions and foster young researchers’ careers.

They will test new approaches in view of preparations for the last three years of Horizon Europe as well as of its future successor programme.

The actions include four open topics giving researchers more freedom to focus their work on a subject they choose with a total budget of €76 million in Horizon Europe Clusters addressing ‘Health’, ‘Climate, energy and mobility’ and ‘Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment’.

An experimental action of €15 million for the EU Missions will make knowledge institutions such as universities or research organisations focal points of local transdisciplinary research and innovation activities with European outreach.

In addition, the NEB call ‘Transforming neighbourhoods, making them beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive’ also aims to attract newcomers to the programme to maximise impact. Finally, €20 million will support talent ecosystems for attractive early research careers.

Cultural Heritage

The amendment also dedicates €48 million to the European Collaborative Cloud for Cultural Heritage. This new digital collaborative space will support cultural heritage institutions and researchers as well as the cultural and creative industries to reap the benefits of the digital transition.

It will complement the common European Data Space for Cultural Heritage (the Data Space) funded under the Digital Europe programme.

Pandemic preparedness

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the challenges faced by European health care systems in detecting, preventing, fighting and managing outbreaks of infectious diseases. To help equip Europe for potential future pandemics, the amended work programme includes an investment of €50 million for a European Partnership for pandemic preparedness.

Paving the way for 2025

Calls for 2025 are also included in the amendment to ensure continuity of certain recurrent actions, such as the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and ‘Teaming for Excellence’ and ‘ERA (European Research Area) Fellowships’ in the ‘Widening participation and spreading excellence’ and ‘Reforming and Enhancing the European R&I system’ part.

The Commission plans to roll out the full range of actions for 2025 in a dedicated work programme in 2025.

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the EU’s research and innovation programme for 2021-27. Originally working with €95.5 million over seven years, the European Council decided to reduce its budget by €2.1 billion as part of the mid-term revision of the EU’s long-term budget to allow the Union to finance other urgent priorities such as aid to Ukraine.

The cut has been reduced by €100 million stemming from the re-use of decommitments, therefore, the reduction in 2025-27 will amount to €2 billion.

The 2023-24 Horizon Europe work programme was adopted on 6 December 2022 and first amended on 31 March 2023.

It is based on Horizon Europe’s Strategic Plan 2021-2024, adopted in March 2021, which was co-designed with stakeholders, the European Parliament and the Member States.

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