On 17 April 2019, the European Parliament approved a string of deals with the European Governments on Horizon Europe - the EU’s research and innovation programme for the period 2021-2027. This will allow the European Commission to start the preparatory work to launch the programme in 2021, knowing that the budget details still have to be agreed by the co-legislators.
Horizon Europe will build on the achievements and success of the current research and innovation programme (Horizon 2020). It will continue to drive scientific excellence through the European Research Council (ERC) and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships and exchanges.
Horizon Europe will boost research and innovation in 6 main clusters:
- Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society;
- Civil Security for Society;
- Digital, Industry and Space;
- Climate, Energy and Mobility;
- Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment
It will introduce new features including the European Innovation Council (EIC). The EIC, which is already running now in a pilot phase, will be a one-stop shop to bring disruptive and breakthrough innovations from lab to market application, and help start-ups and SMEs scale up their ideas. It will provide direct support to innovators through two main funding instruments, one for early stages and the other for development and market deployment.
The outline agreement on Horizon 2020 also clarifies the themes for the large scale missions - a new instrument to focus research funding on particular themes, such as adapting to climate change; cancer; healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters; climate neutral and smart cities, and soil health and food.