Today, the European Commission has released its €94.1 billion budget proposition for Horizon Europe, an upcoming seven-year research programme, which was labeled the EU’s ‘most ambitious ever’. If approved, this would constitute a €17.1 billion increase compared to the current popular and oversubscribed Horizon 2020 framework programme. The biggest share of funding, namely €52.7 billion, will be allocated to pillar two – global challenges and industrial competitiveness. Within this pillar, the following clusters were defined:
- Health – €7.7 billion
- Inclusive and secure societies – €2.8 billion
- Digital and industry – €15 billion
- Climate, energy, and mobility – €15 billion
- Food and natural resources – €10 billion
The plan is to increase the ERC budget to €3.6 billion and support the open innovation (including the European Innovation Council) with a total of €13.5 billion. Money for countries that lag behind the highest performing states will now be allocated to “strengthening European Reseach Area”, which is expected to be supported with €2.1 billion, namely €1.7 billion are planned to go to sharing excellence actions and €400 million to reforming and enhancing the European R&I system.
Planned novelties of Horizon Europe are for example moonshot missions and new rules to ease foreign access. In addition to Horizon Europe, the Commission plans a separate budget line of €4.1 billion for defense research. Despite the proposed budgetary increase compared to Horizon 2020, the application success rates that are currently about 11,9% under Horizon 2020 might not improve, mainly due to the cuts of research funding at national levels and stimulation of higher numbers of applicants, Jean-Eric Paquet, director general for research and innovation at the Commission warned.
More information about the proposal for upcoming Horizon Europe can be found HERE.