Horizon Europe is the European Union's key funding programme for research and innovation that runs from 2021 to 2027. It will provide 95.5 billion Euros for European research activities, which makes it the largest non-military research funding program in the world.
Similar to the previous framework program, Horizon 2020 (2014-2020), Horizon Europe is structured in three pillars:
Pillar I: Excellent Science
Pillar II: Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness
Pillar III: Innovative Europe
For applicants, it is important to understand, that excellent bottom-up research is funded in Pillar I, whereas the European Union specifies a “top-down” approach in the second pillar. The third pillar focuses on market-oriented innovation research.
The development process of Horizon Europe is based on the experiences with previous funding programs. It started officially with the publication of the proposal for Horizon Europe by the European Commission in May 2018. A final political agreement, also on the details of the financing, was reached on December 10, 2020. Nevertheless, the final national resolution in the member states of the European Union is still required for Horizon Europe to officially come into force, then retroactively from January 1, 2021. Therefore, some of the links in the following texts are not yet final.