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The European Commission finally adopted, earlier this month, the EUR 13.5 billion Horizon Europe work programme for 2023 and 2024 (out of the total of EUR 95.5 billion foreseen for the current programme period), outlining all calls for projects, their scope and related budgets. The release now includes the civil security for society work programme, which was not released previously. Although collectively called the work programme, the document package encompassed fourteen different components, including the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the European Research Council (ERC) work programmes for 2023.
Image Copyright: EU Commission
The biggest support – 42% of the entire budget – is foreseen for EU’s climate and digital oriented policies and actions, with an allocation of over EUR 5.67 billion, including EUR 1.67 billion for supporting biodiversity. Just over EUR 4.5 billion will go into digital research, while EUR 970 million are to support and advance the clean energy transition and promote energy independence.
The programme also foresees further support for mitigating the long-term economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, with EUR 1 billion from the EU’s recovery fund to be invested in research tackling these effects. An additional EUR 336 million are to be invested in proactive measures, strengthening pandemic preparedness and response to health emergencies.
Specific support is also foreseen for Ukrainian researchers and for cities, with EUR 70 million in targeted support for the country in the next two years, for accessing European research infrastructures, continuing support to Ukrainian scientists, and aid for the reconstruction of several Ukrainian cities as part of the Horizon cities mission.
Policy goals will also be supported with an extra EUR 600 million through the five EU Missions under Horizon Europe, which direct research to prepare for climate-related risks, restore Europe’s waters, help cities transition towards climate neutrality, boost soil health and fight cancer. 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 full work programme comes a few weeks before the start of the new two-year programming period, with the first calls opening already in early December, with a series of information days for potential applicants, foreseen from the release week until 16 February 2023.
In parallel, on 30 November 2022, the European Commission and the Canadian Government have launched the formal negotiations for Canada’s association to the Horizon Europe programme, with the goal to reach an agreement by spring 2023. While a positive development, the higher education sector still impatiently awaits for progress in the stalling negotiations for Switzerland’s and the UK’s association to the Horizon Europe programme, and in the case of the former, also to the Erasmus+ programme 2021-2027.
Source: European Union 2016 - EC - Audiovisual Service - Cristof Echard