Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our mailing list

Horizon programmes and COVID-19

According to the latest seven-year budget proposal from the European Commission, Horizon Europe will be one of the programmes in the next Multi Annual Financial Framework (MFF) that will not see a reduction. Mariya Gabriel, commissioner in charge of science and education, recently stated at a web conference hosted by the think-tank Friends of Europe that it would not be a surprise if Horizon's budget increases.

And so, it did. An amount of EUR 94.4 billion, an increase from the original EUR 91.1 billion, and reinforced to fund „vital research in health, resilience and the green and digital transitions“ is now proposed towards the European Parliament and European Council. The final amount depends on negotiations between the three institutions. Traditionally, the European Parliament is calling for the rise, which they aim to EUR 120 billion, whereas the pre-covid19 EU budget negotiations placed the total at under EUR 87 billion. The usual position of the Council was to reduce spending, but in the new circumstances its position remains to be seen.

In the current Horizon 2020 programme, a call worth EUR 122 million has recently been published for urgent research of the coronavirus. To ensure available and affordability for all, rapid data-sharing clauses are placed in grant agreements, resulting from this call, to ensure that findings and outcomes can be put to use immediately.

The new call will cover five areas with the following indicative budgets:

  • Repurposing of manufacturing for vital medical supplies and equipment ( EUR 23 million)


  • Medical technologies, Digital tools and Artificial Intelligence analytics to improve surveillance and care at high Technology Readiness Levels ( EUR 56 million)


  • Behavioural, social and economic impacts of the outbreak responses (EUR 20 million)


  • Pan-European COVID-19 cohorts (EUR 20 million)


  • Collaboration of existing EU and international cohorts of relevance to COVID-19 (EUR 3 million)