HORIZON EUROPE: THE NEW RESEARCH PROGRAMME OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

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The European Commission has recently published the new research and innovation framework programme that will replace the Horizon 2020 framework that is ending. Horizon Europe will incorporate policy missions to ensure the effectiveness of research and innovation funding by pursuing clearly defined targets.

Horizon Europe will begin in January 2021 and will end in December 2027.

HORIZON EUROPE: OBJECTIVES

The European Commission for these new 7-years programme has allocated a budget of € 100 billion with the aim of:

These new objectives have their underlying reasons in the fact that Europe fails to transform leadership in science into leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship.

With Horizon Europe, the European Commission wants to:

HORIZON EUROPE: STRUCTURE

The whole programme is structured in 3 main pillars and each of them has specific goals to achieve and different fields of action:

THE MAIN NOVELTIES OF HORIZON EUROPE WITH RESPECT TO HORIZON 2020

All the novelties contained in Horizon Europe are correlated to the mid-term results of Horizon 2020 programme and aim at improving the total impact of the action and reducing the difficulties faced during Horizon 2020.

EUROPEAN INNOVATION COUNCIL

The European Commission, in order to support innovation with breakthrough and disruptive nature, has founded the European Innovation Council (EIC) that will have the aim of helping innovators to create markets of the future, leverage private finance, scale up their companies etc.

To do so, the EIC will use 2 instruments: Pathfinder and Accelerator.

The Pathfinder tool takes over the FET OPEN mechanism and supports collaborative research projects on emerging technologies, with an EU contribution of up to 4 million euros. The Pathfinder is aimed at researchers and innovators who want to demonstrate the commercial viability of their project.

The Accelerator tool, instead, takes up the SME Instrument and supports the development of innovative interventions presented by entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. In addition to the currently open calls for the SME Facility – which provide for the payment of grants of up to 2.5 million euros – from the 5th of June 2019 the beneficiaries will be able to apply for mixed financing, combining contributions and equity.

R&I MISSIONS

For the period covered by Horizon Europe, the EU Commission wants to better relate research and innovation to society and citizens’ needs with a strong visibility and impact.

A mission is a portfolio of actions intended to achieve a bold and inspirational as well as measurable goal within a set timeframe, with impact for science and technology, society and citizens that goes beyond individual actions.

Specific missions will be co-designed with Member States, stakeholders and citizens and programmed within the Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness pillar.

To do so, the EIC will use 2 instruments: Pathfinder and Accelerator.

The Pathfinder tool takes over the FET OPEN mechanism and supports collaborative research projects on emerging technologies, with an EU contribution of up to 4 million euros. The Pathfinder is aimed at researchers and innovators who want to demonstrate the commercial viability of their project.

The Accelerator tool, instead, takes up the SME Instrument and supports the development of innovative interventions presented by entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. In addition to the currently open calls for the SME Facility – which provide for the payment of grants of up to 2.5 million euros – from the 5th of June 2019 the beneficiaries will be able to apply for mixed financing, combining contributions and equity.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

With this respect, the Commission wants to tackle together global societal challenges, access to the world’s best talents and enhance supply and demand of innovative solutions. For all these reasons, Horizon Europe will be opened to third countries with good capacity in science, technology and innovation.

OPEN SCIENCE

For Horizon Europe the aim will be ensuring a better dissemination and exploitation of R&I results and support to active engagement of society. For this reason, the EU Commission has established 2 new rules:

EUROPEAN PARTNERSHIPS

One of the most important novelties of Horizon Europe is the re-designed architecture to find partners for the calls. There will be 3 types of partnerships:

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