Horizon Europe draft work programmes 2023-2024 published
The usually well-informed Science|Business forum, based in Brussels, has published the draft work programmes for the next two years of the EU’s Horizon Europe research programme. For the sake of transparency and fairness. During the draft phase, the programmes are submitted to member states and some selected stakeholders for their opinion and approval. Depending on who gets their hands on them, they are often passed on to selected research organisations. This early access allows some researchers to start preparing their proposals earlier than others, giving them an unfair advantage.
Official publications expected late this year
The formal work programmes for 2023 and 2024 are expected before the end of the year, with the first calls for proposals opening within days of approval. Below are the links and breakdown of what you can find in the near-final versions of the documents.
The Commission will spend more than 1 billion euros on health research next year and around 500 million euros in 2024. Most of the funding, 551 million euros, will go to projects to fight diseases such as cancer and other non-communicable diseases, as well as preparedness and response to health threats.
It also allocates a lot of money to prevention, research on environmental factors affecting health and the transformation of healthcare systems. This includes accelerating the development of personalised medicine, boosting the competitiveness of the health industry and creating digital health tools. The budget will also support the EU’s cancer mission, which aims to save three million lives by the end of the decade; 116 million euros will be allocated for this purpose.
This cluster will receive 291 million euros in 2023 and 260 million euros in 2024, for research on democracy and governance, cultural heritage and creative industries, and social and economic transformations.
The smallest of the six clusters for large collaborative projects will have a budget of 171 million euros next year and 161 million euros in 2024. There is 69 million euros for projects that help fight crime and terrorism, 48 million euros for external border management, 26 million euros for infrastructure protection, 101.6 million euros for cybersecurity, 51.5 million euros for increasing Europe’s resilience to disasters and 20.5 million euros for increasing the uptake of security innovation.
This cluster is all about boosting the EU’s strategic autonomy with a strong focus on the green transition. This is one of the largest clusters with 1.67 billion euros in 2023 and 1.12 billion euros in 2024. The three largest parts of this budget go to eco-friendly and digitised production (635 million euros), greater autonomy in key strategic value chains (560 million euros) and creating technologies for the Green Deal (461.5 million euros). There is also funding for data and computing projects, space infrastructures, application of services and data, and to ensure human-centred and ethical development of new technologies.
With the EU deadline for carbon neutrality in 2050 approaching, the Commission wants to put a lot of money into Green Deal-related research. Next year’s calls allocate 1.655 billion euros for climate, energy and mobility projects and 1.112 billion euros for the year after. Energy will dominate the work programme, with more than 1 billion euros for energy supply projects over the next two years. There is also 208 million euros for energy efficiency.
Transport is another big theme, with 420 million euros for research on clean and competitive transport and 231.5 million euros for smart and resilient transport and mobility. There is also funding for climate science and responses to it, and cross-sectoral Green Deal research.
This cluster also has significant funding for sustainability-related projects. The total budget for next year is 1.056 billion euros and 903.9 million euros for 2024, including funding for Green Deal-focused research missions. Research in biodiversity and ecosystem services (326 million euros), food systems (453 million euros) and circular economy and bioeconomy (326 million euros) dominate the work programmes. There is also significant funding for tackling pollution, reducing emissions, supporting rural, coastal and urban communities and managing the Green Deal.
The Commission will invest 614 million euros in 2023 in the five missions it has defined for 2030.
The work programme will be updated next year, but so far the budget appears to be lower than the 1.9 billion euros initially invested in 2021 and 2022. There is funding to implement and demonstrate all five missions, which aim to tackle cancer, help regions adapt to climate change, lead cities towards climate neutrality and improve Europe’s waters and soils. This time there will be also three joint calls to demonstrate solutions for several missions at once. There is also a separate paper on the climate adaptation mission.
Budgets and deadlines have not yet been set, but the Accelerator, Pathfinder and Transition innovation programmes will continue. The work programme only covers 2023, as EIC programming is not reviewed every two years, but annually.
MSCA schemes for mobility and training of researchers will continue for the next two years. There is 885.95 million euros for doctoral training programmes, 531.22 million euros for postdoctoral fellowships, 159 million euros for staff exchanges and 195.85 million euros to co-finance existing and new doctoral and postdoctoral schemes.
The EU will invest 910.52 million euros to make its research ecosystem more equitable. The Horizon Europe legislation stipulates that 3.3% of the budget should go to projects promoting the participation of regions lagging behind in the programme, most of which are in Central and Eastern Europe. Following previous years’ calls, the Commission continues to invest in Teaming, Twinning, ERA Chair, ERA Fellowships and other calls.
The funding pillar for large science laboratories will receive 320.26 million euros in 2023 and 333.80 million euros in 2024 from Horizon Europe. The Commission has allocated funds to improve European research infrastructures and enable their global leadership, the European Open Science Cloud and the EU’s green and digital transition.
This part of the work programme funds projects to accelerate and strengthen innovation within the overall framework programme and supports the EU’s partnership with the Eureka network, which provides funding for cross-border projects involving innovative SMEs. The total budget for the next two years is 142.6 million euros.
This work programme has been officially published by the Commission.
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