Horizon Europe is the European Commission’s 9th Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, the successor of the recent Horizon 2020 Programme. It is the EU’s main research and innovation funding initiative, with a budget of €95.5 billion designed to run from 2021 to 2027.

It combats climate change, aids in the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and improves the EU’s competitiveness and growth.

While addressing global challenges, the programme encourages collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting, and implementing the EU policies. It promotes the creation and dissemination of superior knowledge and technologies.

Within a reinforced European Research Area, it produces jobs, fully engages the EU’s talent pool, increases economic growth, promotes industrial competitiveness, and maximizes investment impact.

Horizon Europe Structure

Horizon Europe is composed of three Pillars covering various programmes. Please click on the link of the corresponding progamme for more details and the Work Programme.

Pillar 1 – Excellent Science includes the following programmes:

European Research Council (ERC) provides attractive and flexible funding to enable brilliant and creative individual researchers, with a focus on early-stage researchers, and their teams to follow the most promising routes at the frontier of science, based only on the criterion of excellence, through EU-wide competition.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) is the EU’s flagship initiative for doctorate and postdoctoral training, providing researchers with new skills and knowledge through cross-border mobility and exposure to a variety of sectors and disciplines.

Research infrastructures are facilities that provide researchers with the resources and services they need to conduct research and stimulate innovation in their professions.

Pillar 2 – Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness

is dedicated to collaborative research on societal challenges. It is meant to reinforce technological and industrial capacities through following thematic clusters that address the current global challenges:

  • Cluster 1: Health aims at improving and safeguarding health and well-being of residents of all ages by generating new research, finding creative solutions, and incorporating a gender perspective when appropriate to prevent, diagnose, monitor, treat, and cure diseases.

  • Cluster 2: Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society  supports research and innovation in the cultural and creative sectors, as well as in the humanities and arts, by creating a collaborative space for cultural heritage.

  • Cluster 3: Civil Security for Society  responds to the challenges posed by persistent security threats, such as cybercrime, natural and man-made disasters, including COVID- 19 pandemic.

  • Cluster 4: Digital Industry and Space aims to shape competitive and trusted technologies for a European industry that leads the world in key areas, allowing production and consumption to respect the planet’s boundaries while maximizing the benefits for all members of society in Europe’s diverse social, economic, and territorial contexts.

  • Cluster 5: Climate, Energy and Mobility intends to combat climate change by improving our understanding of its causes, evolution, risks, impacts, and opportunities, as well as making the energy and transport sectors more climate and environment-friendly, efficient and competitive, smarter, safer, and stronger.

  • Cluster 6: Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture And Environment addresses the interconnected challenges of protecting natural resources, resilient biodiversity, and ecosystem services, restoring and maintaining our planet’s health, sustainable agricultural, forest, marine, and fresh water production, promoting alternatives to fossil-based economies, sustainable consumption, closing nutrient cycles, and food and nutrition security.

Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, which employs scientists to conduct research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.

Pillar 3 – Innovative Europe includes the following programmes:

European Innovation Council (EIC)  supports breakthrough innovation from Small and Medium-Sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, and midcaps with global scale-up potential. It is primarily concerned with breakthrough, deep-tech, and disruptive innovation, with a particular emphasis on market-creating innovation.

European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) aims to build more integrated and efficient innovation ecosystems to help businesses scale up, to encourage invention, and to foster collaboration between national, regional, and local innovators. EIE will act in complement and synergy with the European Innovation Council (EIC) and European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and innovative activities across Horizon Europe and other EU funding programmes to improve the overall ecosystem for innovation in Europe.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an independent EU body set to improve Europe’s ability to innovate by promoting innovative ideas and cultivating entrepreneurial potential.

Widening participation and Strengthening the European Research Area

Widening participation and Strengthening the European Research Area actions are aimed at contributing to enhancing research and innovation capacity for countries lagging behind.

These countries will improve their research and innovation capabilities, allowing them to participate successfully in global research and innovation processes, as well as encouraging networking and access to excellence.

European Missions

The Missions is a new instrument which is implemented as part of Pillar 2. It aims at achieving common European goals through ambitious, time-bound, and attainable targets. The five approved missions aim to prevent 3 million lives from cancer diseases by 2030, as well as create 100 climate-neutral cities, healthy oceans, seas, and internal waters, healthy soils and food, and climate-resilient regions.

Adaptation to Climate Change mission
Climate-neutral and smart cities mission
Cancer mission
Soil Deal for Europe mission
Restore our Oceans and Waters mission 

Where to start?

Everything starts at the Funding & tender opportunities portal – the official website of the EU programmes, it is a Single Electronic Data Interchange Area (SEDIA) for applicants and experts in funding programmes and procurements managed by the EC.

By visiting SEIDA you can find funding opportunities and tenders managed by European Commission and other bodies. You can search for appropriate calls and apply for the ones you choose.

How to apply?

Take the following 5 simple steps towards your HE proposal submission:


STEP 1: Find a suitable call for your proposal

  • Visit SEIDA  and enter keywords related to your research area/project idea, or

  • Download the relevant Work Programme and look for a suitable call.


STEP 2: Find project partners (if the conditions of the call require forming a consortium)

  • Try to invite partners from international organizations that you have already cooperated with, or

  • Use the Partner Search tool on the portal to advertise your organization profile or find project partners for your project.

STEP 3: Create EU Login account

When you have already found the call and partners, you need to create an EU Login account by registering at European Commission Authentication Service (ECAS) which allows authorized users to access a wide range of Commission information systems, using a single username and password.

STEP 4: Register your organization

After creating an account at ECAS register your organization in Participant Register and get your Participant Identification Code (PIC). Before registering your organization please check if your organization has already been registered or not.

For more detailed guidance on these 5 steps please consult the Online Manual and IT How to.

Visit our NCP Network page and find the NCP for your specific HE programme to receive more targeted assistance.