The programme is an evolution from Horizon 2020 and includes three main pillars and a cross-pillars section:
Pillar 1 – includes the following programmes –
- European Research Council (ERC) enables the most excellent researchers to push the frontiers of knowledge to tackle economic and social challenges.
- The Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships and exchanges help the best talented and young researchers to expand on their knowledge and skills through international, intersectoral, and interdisciplinary mobility.
- The Joint Research Centre (JRC) provides the Commission's science and knowledge service and dedicated research.
Pillar 2 - supports collaborative research relating to societal challenges and also reinforces technological and industrial capacities through thematic clusters that address the full spectrum of global challenges. The second pillar includes the following clusters:
- Health cluster tackles challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic, the extension of clinical trials, innovative protective measures, virology, vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics, and the translation of research findings into public health policy measures.
- Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society support research and innovation in the cultural and creative sectors, cultural heritage, through building cultural heritage collaborative space, as well as in humanities and arts.
- Civil Security for Society supports the implementation of EU policy priorities relating to security, including cybersecurity, disaster risk reduction, and resilience. In addition, it builds on lessons learned from the COVID 19 crisis both in terms of preparedness and capacity building for crises.
- Digital Industry and Space cluster strengthens European capacity in central digital, industrial, and space technologies, and supports a competitive, digitised and circular European industry.
- Climate, Energy and Mobility cluster scales up R&I resources in climate-related domains
- Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture And Environment cluster addresses the interlinked challenges of safeguarding the natural resource base, resilient biodiversity, and ecosystem services, restoring and sustaining the health of our planet, sustainable agricultural, forest, marine, and freshwater production, promoting alternatives to fossil-based economies, sustainable consumption, closing nutrient cycles, and food and nutrition security.
The European missions is a new instrument introduced as part of pillar 2. It focuses on ambitious, time-bound, and achievable goals to deliver on common European goals. The five missions that were approved, aimed at achieving by 2030, 3 million lives saved from cancer diseases, 100 climate-neutral cities, healthy oceans, seas, and internal waters, healthy soils and food, and regions resilient to climate changes.
In addition, a number of European Partnerships are encouraging wide participation of partners from public and private sectors, covering critical areas such as energy, transport, biodiversity, health, food, and circularity.
Pillar 3 - The European Innovation Council (EIC). The EIC is receiving over €10 billion in budget to provide support for emerging and breakthrough innovations by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, and midcaps. It complements the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) - building ecosystems by connecting with regional and national innovation actors.
And a cross-pillars section called ‘Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area’.
- The programmes within the "Widening Participation" part (in short - "Widening") are aimed at strengthening low R&I performing countries across Europe and Horizon Europe Associated Countries (namely "Widening Countries") by providing grants to support the transfer of knowledge and increase their excellence in the R&I ecosystem.
- The programmes within the "European Research Area" part (in short - "ERA") are aimed at strengthening the European research by planning policy reforms and national initiatives contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure (SDG 9), and Partnerships for the goals (SDG 17).
Horizon Europe is increasing its impact by working closely together with other EU programmes and policies, such as InvestEU, Erasmus+, EU Cohesion Policy, Digital Europe, European Structural and Investment Funds, Connecting Europe Facility, and the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
Horizon Europe Strategic Plan 2021-2024 guides the development of work programmes in the covered period.
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