Horizon Europe Work Programme 2023-24 Guide

This article gives you an overview of all Horizon Europe Work Programmes for 2023-24, that will provide some €13.5 billion in funding to foster excellence in European research and innovation.

Written by RedKnight Consultancy
Horizon Europe Work Programme Guide

Horizon Europe is the European Commission’s (ECs) flagship Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. It sets the best minds in Europe and the rest of the world to work on delivering excellent solutions to global challenges, whilst supporting EU policy priorities, and building a brighter and better Europe for future generations. Framework Programmes are typically implemented through a biennial Horizon Europe Work Programme. On the 6th of December 2022, the EC adopted the work programme for 2023-24, which is based on Horizon Europe's Strategic Plan 2021-2024, and co-created through consultation with stakeholders, Member States, and the European Parliament.

The 2023-24 Work Programme will provide some €13.5 billion in funding to foster excellence in European research and innovation, supporting breakthrough solutions for environmental, energy, digital and geopolitical challenges. It will support fellowships, training, and exchanges for researchers, build more connected and efficient European innovation ecosystems, create world-class research infrastructures, support European industrial competitiveness, and widen participation and strengthen the European Research Area.

To provide a structure which enables the delivery of these extremely ambitious aims, Horizon Europe Work Programme 2023 is broken down into 4 pillars, each consisting of various parts, also known as Work Programmes. Each Work Programme (often lengthy documents) sets out funding opportunities for all Horizon Europe’s research and innovation activities. The pillars and their various work programmes are as follows:

Pillar 1: The Excellent Science Pillar

Aims to increase the EU’s global scientific competitiveness. It supports frontier research projects driven by top researchers through the European Research Council, funds fellowships for experienced researchers, doctoral training networks and exchanges through Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and invests in world-class research infrastructures.

  • European Research Council: Financing cutting-edge study planned and directed by the greatest scientists in Europe. The 2023 ERC work schedule is now available. 2023 deadlines have been announced.

Total budget, 2023: €2.4 billion

visit the ERC website to read more.

  • Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions: Funding fellowships and mobility of researchers.

Total budget, 2023: €874M; 2024: €902M

Visit the European Commission website to read more.

  • Research Infrastructures: Funding new world-class research infrastructures.

Total budget, 2023: €320.26M; 2024: €333.80M.

Pillar 2: The Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness Pillar

Supporting research relating to societal challenges and reinforcing technological and industrial capacities through clusters. It sets ambitious goals for EU missions. It also includes the Joint Research Centre which supports EU and national policymakers with independent scientific evidence and technical support.

  • Health: This cluster's objectives include enhancing and safeguarding the health and wellbeing of people of all ages by producing new knowledge, creating cutting-edge solutions, and integrating a gender perspective when appropriate in order to prevent, diagnose, monitor, treat, and cure diseases.

    Total budget: 2023: €1010.45M

    Total budget: 2024: €521.2M

    Learn more about this cluster.

    • Culture, Creativity, and Inclusive Society: This cluster aspires to enhance democratic principles in Europe, such as the rule of law and fundamental rights, while also preserving our cultural legacy and encouraging socioeconomic changes that promote inclusiveness and progress.

      Total budget: 2023: €284.88M

      Total budget: 2024: € 260.15M

      Learn more about this cluster.

      • Civil security for society: This cluster addresses the issues brought on by ongoing security concerns, such as cybercrime, in addition to natural and man-made disasters.

        Total budget: 2023: € 171.4M

        Total budget: 2024: € 161.49M

        Learn more about this cluster.

        • Digital, Industry and Space: It is the vision of Europe that, through its investments under this cluster, it will develop competitive and trusted technologies that will enable a European industry to lead in key areas, ensuring that production and consumption respect the planet's boundaries, and maximizing the benefits for all members of society in various European social, economic, and geographical contexts.

          Total budget: 2023: € 1677.02M

          Total budget: 2024: € 1118M

          Learn more about this cluster.

          • Climate, Energy and Mobility: This cluster aims to comprehending the causes, evolution, risks, impacts, and opportunities associated with climate change, as well as by improving the energy and transportation sectors' climate and environmental friendliness, competitiveness, efficiency, and ability to innovate, as well as their safety, security, and resilience.

          Total budget: 2023: € 1648.47M

          Total budget: 2024: € 1114.88M

          Learn more about this cluster.

          • Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment: By transforming the economy and society in both urban and rural areas, this cluster aims to reduce environmental degradation, halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity on land, in inland waters, and at sea, and improve the management of natural resources.

            Total budget: 2023: € 1056.39M

            Total budget: 2024: €903.9M

            Learn more about this cluster.

            Non-nuclear direct actions of the Joint Research Centre:

            The EC’s science and knowledge department, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), hires experts to conduct research in order to offer impartial scientific advice and assistance to EU policy. Horizon Europe's goal in this field is to produce top-notch scientific proof in support of sound public policy.

            Learn more about this cluster.

            EU Missions

            More than €600 million will be invested in the five EU Missions in 2023. This will support research and innovation, which is expected to result in, for example, better prepared local and regional authorities to face climate-related risks, the restoration of at least 25 000 km of free-flowing rivers, Climate City Contracts with 100 cities, the roll-out of soil monitoring programmes or optimise minimally invasive diagnostic cancer interventions. 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.

            Pillar 3: The Innovative Europe Pillar

            Aims to make Europe a frontrunner in market-creating innovation via the European Innovation Council. It also helps to develop the overall EU innovation landscape through the European Institute of Innovation and Technology which fosters integration of the knowledge triangle of education, research, and innovation.

            • European Innovation Council (EIC): EIC 2023 focus on SME expansion and market-creating innovation. The EIC Pathfinder, EIC Transition, and EIC Accelerator are all part of the EIC 2023 work programme.

            Total budget for 2023: €1.2B

            Learn more about this cluster

            • European Innovation Ecosystems: To enhance the overall ecosystem for innovation in Europe, European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) will work in conjunction and synergy with the European Innovation Council (EIC) and European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), as well as innovative activities across Horizon Europe and other EU funding programmes.

            Total budget for 2023: €69.5M

            Learn more about this cluster

            • European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT): The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an independent EU body. By encouraging new ideas and fostering entrepreneurial talent, it improves Europe's capacity for innovation.

            Horizontal Pillar: Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area (ERA)

            The final pillar aims to increase support to the EU Member States in their efforts to make the most of their national research and innovation potential, fostering closer collaborations and spreading excellence.

            In addition to the above Work Programmes, the General Annexes to the 2023-24 work programme set out the general conditions applying to the calls, such as eligibility rules; details on how to apply; and how the Commission services evaluate applications.

            As part of the broader €95.5 billion research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe, will also address targeted actions to support Ukraine, boost economic resilience and contribute to a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

            Getting started

            Are you interested in applying for funding through Horizon Europe? The first calls for proposals opened on the EU Funding & Tenders Portal on 7th December 2022. There you can see which topics are currently open for applications, and which are forthcoming. The network of National Contact Points (NCPs) can also answer any questions you might have on the application process in your own language.

            This article is written in a cooperation with our valued partner RedKnight Consultancy.

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