The Ninth Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will run from 2021 to 2027 and is called Horizon Europe. The EU Commission submitted its proposal for the new Framework Programme on 7 June 2018 and proposed a total budget of about €100 billion. Formal acceptance is expected in the summer or autumn of 2020. Horizon Europe is due to start on 1 January 2021.
While the current (Eighth) EU Framework Programme for Research, Horizon 2020, will last until the end of 2020, the discussions and preparations on the next (Ninth) Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2021-2027) have been underway for more than a year. It is called Horizon Europe. The European Commission submitted its proposal on the programme on 7 June 2018.
The intensive negotiations in the Council of the EU began in July 2018 during the Austrian Presidency. In just five months, the Member States reached agreement on the key content points for Horizon Europe. That took at least a year for each of the earlier Framework Programmes. The progress of these negotiations was the result of great effort and met with approval throughout Europe. Despite the fast pace, the parties managed to secure a high-quality dossier.
Building on this foundation, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament reached an agreement in principle on the content of Horizon Europe in April 2009 during the Romanian Presidency. The budget was not covered in these negotiations and is part of negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU for 2021-2027. Following an agreement on the budget, Horizon Europe is also expected to be formally approved in the course of 2020.
The EU Commission is proposing a total budget of about €100 billion for Horizon Europe. If a budget of this size is confirmed in the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU, Horizon Europe will have substantially more resources at its disposal than its predecessor programme.
Continuity will prevail to a large extent, for instance with the highly successful European Research Council (ERC) or with the scholarships for mobile researchers (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions). The collaborative research projects (in which at least three institutions from at least three different countries take part) will also continue to be the rule.
As in Horizon 2020, the major societal challenges will be top priorities. One new aspect is that concrete missions are to be defined.
This means that concrete goals achievable in the medium term through concerted efforts are to be defined in areas of particular importance to the general public and/or to the economy in the EU. The programme will utilise a broad range of actions on basic research, applied research and innovation funding but also incorporate the demand side, including sectoral policies. Examples are the fight against cancer and the efforts to achieve healthy bodies of water, healthy soils or CO2-neutral cities. Five missions are currently planned.
Key technologies will also play an important role. They were integrated in a pillar with the societal challenges so that the interactions between these two aspects can be controlled more effectively.
The second major change in Horizon Europe pertains to the European Innovation Council (EIC) and encompasses measures for efficiently supporting ground-breaking innovations that create markets. The object is to fund these innovations from initial idea through to the scale-up of highly innovative businesses in a one-stop shop.