HORIZON EUROPE (HEU) Draft Work-programmes have been made available online
We were excited to see that draft work-programmes for all the pillars of the Horizon Europe programme have been made available by various sources from across the internet. While they will clearly be subject to change, these drafts will give researchers and industry a great feel for what to expect when they are formally released some time within April this year.
Reminder of the HEU Structure
As a quick summary, the structure of Horizon Europe is based around three pillars and one cross-cutting pillar as shown below. See also our dedicated blog on HEU here for more info.
Draft Work-Programmes by Pillar
We should make it clear that these draft programmes have been in circulation for some months, so we cannot vouch for their accuracy relative to the final versions. However, they will still provide researchers and industries who are anxious about how they can fit in to the new programme with an excellent insight.
We expected to see calls for ERC grants being launched in January this year. However, on-going EU budget negotiations delayed the start of HEU and therefore also ERC grants.
The programme now starts on 2 February with the ERC announcing that draft work-programmes will be officially available also in early February. If you read the ERC work-programme at the above link, you will see that the first official grant calls are planned for 20 May, although this could be subject to change.
The draft at the above link (from September) outlines sixteen research calls over 2021-2022 across six topics or "Destinations" as they are now called. These are:
- Disease prevention
- The links between environment and health
- Digital tools for health
- Tackling various diseases
- Strengthening healthcare systems
- Supporting Europe’s health-related industries
This cluster will integrate strongly with the EU4Health programme.
This is a new cluster that will support innovation in the creative industries. There will be 3 areas of research that will be funded over the next 2 years. These are:
- Democracy and governance
- European cultural heritage and the cultural and creative industries
- Social and economic transformations
According to the draft, calls in each of the areas will open on 31 March.
The linked September draft states that there will be calls for the following research areas:
- Better protection from crime and terrorism
- Effective management of external borders
- Infrastructure protection
- Resilience to disasters
- Increasing the impact of security R&I
With the exception of distaster resilience that encourages collaborative activity, the remaining areas require applying organisations to work on their own.
This draft details the 6 destinations against which calls will be released. These are based around the Commission's six goals for the cluster: leadership in climate-neutral industrial value chains; increased autonomy in key value chains; digital sovereignty; a secure and data-agile economy; global space-based infrastructures; and creating human-centred technology. The destinations are:
- Climate neutral, circular and digitised production.
- Increased autonomy in key strategic value chains for resilient industry
- World leading data and computing technologies
- Digital and emerging technologies for competitiveness and fit for the green deal
- Open strategic autonomy in developing, deploying and using global space-based infrastructures, services, applications and data
- A human-centred and ethical development of digital and industrial technologies
Activities within this work programme support the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The linked draft from November shows the Commission's vision of a "Green Planet for All" via its green agenda, which will be supported through calls in the following six areas:
- Climate sciences and responses to climate change
- Cross-sectoral solutions for the green transition
- Sustainable, secure and competitive energy supply
- Efficient, sustainable and inclusive energy use
- Clean and competitive solutions for all transport modes
- Safe, resilient transport and smart mobility services for passengers and goods
Until the end of 2022, the draft programme indicates there are calls in seven different areas. Specifically:
- Biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems from primary production to consumption
- Circular economy and bioeconomy sectors
- Clean environment and zero pollution
- Land, oceans and water for climate action
- Resilient, inclusive, healthy and green rural, coastal and urban communities
- Innovative governance, environmental observations and digital solutions in support of the Green Deal
These seven areas are all in support of the EU's Green Deal. The first calls for each of these topics are due to launch on 15 April, with a total funding of almost €900M.
The current draft work-programme indicates there will be three open calls for funding:
- The Pathfinder:
Funding projects up to €3M to develop
- The Accelerator:
An SME support programe providing a mix of equity and grant funding
- The Transition Programme:
This supports single applicants or small consortia building on the results from eligible Pathfinder or ERC Proof of Concept projects
It should be noted that due to the (on-going) UK participation agreement in HEU, UK SMEs are not eligible to participate within the EIC cluster.
As ever, through its Widending programme, the Commission continues to support EU regions that lag behind the highest performing countries. Through an updated approach, the Commission is launching three initiatives:
- Enhancing networking between researchers in widening countries and their counterparts in leading R&I countries
- Reversing brain drain and encouraging brain circulation
- Strengthening the European Research Area
Within the next two years expect to see calls to support the creation and upgrades of new Centres-of-Excellence (up to €15M grants), to support twinning programmes to enhance networking between research institutions in widening countries and their internationally leading counterparts, and to generate grants to attract talent to widening countries.
We would be very happy to discuss with you how your research and innovation might fit within these work-programmes and how we could support you in applying for funding. Please use the contact link below!