On the 6th of December 2022, the European Commission has adopted the main Horizon Europe work programme 2023-24, with around €13.5 billion to support researchers and innovators in Europe and their parners to pursue breakthrough solutions for environmental, energy, digital and geopolitical challenges.
As part of the broader EU €95.5 billion research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe, this funding will contribute to the EU reaching its climate goals, increasing energy resilience, and developing core digital technologies. It will also address targeted actions to support Ukraine, boost economic resilience and contribute to a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
€5.67 billion (over 42% of the work programme's budget) is dedicated to reaching key climate action objectives, finding innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change. €1.67 billion contributes to supporting biodiversity.
Over €4.5 billion will support the EU digital transition, including for the development of core digital technologies and encouraging their integration in our lives.
Nearly €970 million will be invested to help speed up the clean energy transition, in line with the REPowerEU Plan, and increase Europe's energy independence from unreliable suppliers and volatile fossil fuels.
In 2023, the work programme will direct investments of more than €1 billion from NextGeneration EU towards Europe's recovery from the economic and social damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, it supports research and innovation with €336 million to enhance pandemic preparedness and to respond to health emergencies. It will also support critical infrastructures against physical and cyber threats to reinforce the EU resilience.
€70 million will be targeted to support Ukraine, new actions include reinforcing the access of researchers from Ukraine to European research infrastructures, continuing support to the health scientists from Ukraine, and supporting the climate-neutral reconstruction of several Ukrainian cities through the EU Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities.
The Horizon Europe work programme 2023-2024 covers actions to support and strengthen international initiatives in renewable energies, food systems, global health, environmental observations and more. It builds on the ‘Africa Initiative' and introduces the new ‘Mediterranean Initiative', responding to the new research and innovation agenda developed with the Union for the Mediterranean.
Other work programmes include cooperation with China while more than €600 million will be invested in the five EU Missions in 2023 to support research and innovation, which is expected to result in, for example, better prepared local and regional authorities to face climate-related risks, the restoration of at least 25 000 km of free-flowing rivers, Climate City Contracts with 100 cities, the roll-out of soil monitoring programmes or optimise minimally-invasive diagnostic cancer interventions. The Commission expects missions to raise contributions from other funding sources, to reach an overall level of investment at the end of 2023 that surpasses investments made from Horizon Europe.
The first calls for proposals opened on the EU Funding & Tenders Portal on 7 December 2022.
Photo courtesy / European Commission
Article by Carolyne Nyokabi