Horizon Europe, the new Research & Innovation Framework Programme

EMDESK – all-in-one solution to develop and manage your Horizon Europe project.

Horizon Europe – lighting the path to innovation (2021-2027)

Europe is putting forth a great effort to improve and sustain the continent’s robust growth and development, while creating a better quality of life. Horizon Europe is the most ambitious programme ever implemented to address the ills of society. Within the long-term budget 2021-2027 the Programme will receive €95.5 billion.

The EU is investing substantial resources towards alleviating common problems facing its citizens: human resources, industrial modernization, infrastructure, and inter-regional collaboration. Europe plans to transform science leadership into global leadership in entrepreneurship and innovation by 2027. Its strategic planners are using a complex funding structure with a consortium of public-private partnerships to enhance opportunities for all Europeans.

Horizon Europe budget

The new EU research and innovation programme will have a budget of around €95.5 billion for 2021-2027.

This includes €5.4 billion from Next Generation EU to foster recovery and make the EU more resilient for the future, as well as an additional reinforcement of €4.5 billion. The overall Horizon Europe budget represents a 30% increase comparing against Horizon 2020 and makes it the most ambitious research and innovation programme in the world.

Structure of the Programme

Horizon Europe supports an inclusive structure that widens collaboration and enhances research and innovation systems throughout the continent. The three pillars support the creation and diffusion of excellent knowledge, expected outcomes, including expanding access to research, improving economic opportunity, and innovating collaborative processes.

Mission boards propose and implement specific objectives, relating to areas of expertise, such as cancer prevention, climate change, and food resources. These proposals encourage engagement from citizens to ensure alignment with EU priorities. The overall impact aims to bridge the gap between citizens and the innovations that affect their daily lives.

Researchers expect to resolve global challenges and improve conditions worldwide by targeting ground-breaking initiatives. Sustainable goals address societal needs, as outlined in the proposal. Regional innovations also benefit Europe’s innovation ecosystems to ensure advantages for its citizens in technology, economics, science, and health.

Three pillars of Horizon Europe

  • Excellent Science – this pillar supports researchers through fellowships, exchanges, and funding the projects defined and driven by researchers themselves. The pillar operates within European Research Council, Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions, and Research Infrastructures.
  • Global Challenges & Industrial Competitiveness – this pillar fosters directly research related to societal challenges around issues that worry us daily, such as health, climate change, clean energy, mobility, security, digital, materials, etc. For that the Joint Research Centre provides EU with independent scientific evidence and technical support. Within this pillar and throughout the programme as a whole the industrial leadership is supposed to get prominent.
  • Innovative Europe – this is a new pillar that aims to make Europe a front runner in market-creating innovation. A new funding body, the European Innovation Council offers a one-stop shop for high potential and breakthrough technologies and innovative companies. The pillar includes as well the activities of European Innovation Ecosystems and European Institute of Innovation and Technology.
  • Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area – the fourth component of Horizon Europe aimed to support European Member States in developing their national research and innovation capacities. A special focus is put on encouraging countries that perform lower in research and innovation to succeed in the Programme.
Three pillars of Horizon Europe
Source: the European Comission

EMDESK checklist for Horizon Europe – towards a successful participation

Download and share with your colleagues our helpful at a glance Horizon Europe checklist, which shows all the key elements for a successful preparation to your Horizon EU project.

Horizon Europe strategy

The areas of funding priorities, partnerships, and missions of Horizon Europe are to be set in line with the strategic planning approach and take the form of a multiannual strategy. The European Comission stresses the importance of the planning to remain flexible in order to respond quickly to unexpected crisis or substantiated policy demands.

Thus, work has been ongoing on Horizon Europe’s Implementation Strategy, which presents the framework for carefully designed rules and effective processes throughout the life cycle of the programme and project. As the European Commission claims the Strategy focusses on the following objectives:

  • Maximising impacts
  • Ensuring greater transparency and further simplification
  • Fostering synergies with other EU spending programmes
  • Easing access through digital transformation and outreach

Horizon Europe's first strategic plan 2021-2024

The European Commission has adopted the first strategic plan for Horizon Europe, setting research and innovation priorities for 2021-2024. The strategic plan is one of the novelties in the new funding programme, which is developed to set the strategic orientations in the first four years of Horizon Europe and, thus, to ensure that EU research and innovation contribute to EU priorities: a European Green Deal, a Europe fit for the digital age, an economy that works for people, a stronger Europe in the world, promoting the European way of life, and a new push for European democracy.

Underpinned by international cooperation essential for facing global challenges, the strategic plan for 2021-2024 sets out the following four strategic orientations:

  • Promoting an open strategic autonomy, by leading the development of key digital, enabling and emerging technologies, sectors and value chains
  • Restoring Europe's ecosystems and biodiversity, and sustainably managing natural resources
  • Making Europe the first digitally enabled circular, climate-neutral, and sustainable economy
  • Creating a more resilient, inclusive, and democratic European society

To ensure the widest possible participation and optimize the overall impact of Horizon Europe, the strategic plan was prepared following a joint development process involving Member States, EEA members, the European Parliament, stakeholders, and the public at large.

Work efficiently on your Horizon Europe projects – together in one place

Watch how EMDESK can support you in developing project proposals and help your teams collaborate successfully during the implementation stage of your projects, while keeping track of budgets, meeting deadlines on time, and having projects' data available at one glance.

Horizon Europe work programmes 2021-2022

The work programmes & call documents for Horizon Europe are now officially published and can be all downloaded here:

  • HE Main Work Programme 2021-2022
  • EIC Work Programme 2021
  • ERC Work Programme 2021

Following the link above, you’ll also be able to find other documents for the application package, including general guidance and requirements, grant agreements and contracts, as well as budget patterns and templates specific for this or that programme. Also, do not forget that all these templates are available in EMDocs – the online editor from EMDESK. It allows you to collaborate on the structure and write together the narrative part of your Horizon Europe proposal right away with the relevant template, rather than from scratch. Easily invite people to start collaborating and join the work on the proposal as your consortium grows.

Efficiently design your Horizon Europe projects with all team members

Get all the essentials you need to enable your team to work on project schedules and budgets, write proposals, and manage projects. Sign up for EMDESK 30-day free trial and then continue on the free plan with unlimited users and essential functionalities or switch to a paid plan.

Trusted by 28.000+ users in 4.000+ projects worldwide

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Eduardo Herrmann

Project Manager at Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum, Germany

EMDESK is useful and facilitates the management of EU research projects. The software differentiates itself from other competitors with its user-friendly interface and the wide range of functions. Most of all, the team actively listens and implements recommendations from its users. EMDESK offers a good value for the money spent. We are extending the use of EMDESK as it integrates well into our workflow and helps to manage projects efficiently.

Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Sergi Madonar Soria

Senior Research Project Manager at Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain

EMDESK software has proven very useful for the follow-up of our Horizon 2020 projects. The support team is very responsive and helpful with the suggestions and modifications we had on the platform.

Polytechnic Institute of Setubal

Luis Coelho

Assistant Professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department of Setúbal School of Technology of Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal, Portugal

The organization and sharing of documents, the scheduling of events, the help in the preparation of reports and other features makes EMDESK a strong support for the development of a project of this dimension and responsibility. In line with my experience, I suggest using EMDESK to everyone who will coordinate H2020 projects.

Fraunhofer Gesellschaft

Maximilian Steiert

Headquarter of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Germany

After the evaluation by the project management team of the Fraunhofer EU-Network and the Fraunhofer SIT (Institute for Secure Information technology) EMDESK clearly convinced us because of its usability. It also fulfills the strict data-protection standards of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft.

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José Luis Vadillo López

Fundación CIRCE, Spain

EMDESK provides useful solutions and helps us a lot with project management! At CIRCE we were looking for a good tool to manage our coordinated EU projects. We started using EMDESK with one project and quickly also switched running projects over to the tool as it gives us accuracy and an integral control over the project. In addition we are very happy with the technical and commercial support we receive. We plan to continue using EMDESK also for Horizon 2020 projects. We strongly recommend the tool!

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Eric Matrou

Finance Officer and Risk and Performance Manager, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

We thoroughly enjoy working with EMDESK. As a large project with hundreds of partners and lots of deadlines, we have a tight schedule and special requirements. We would recommend EMDESK to anyone looking for a comprehensive collaboration solution.

University of Leicester

Dr Alison Taysum

University of Leicester, the UK

EMDESK takes innovative technology and synthesises it with legal and traditional financial management requirements to offer a state of the art management solution system that enables teams to manage scheduling of activities, and allocation of resources mapped to forecast budgets and actual spends. I highly recommend a free trial of EMDESK to see exactly what excellent value for money you will be getting with this platform. My experience of the platform surpassed my expectations.

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Paolo Di Michele

Project Manager at SELEX ES SpA, Italy

The use of EMDESK has made the task of managing much more rewarding. You can have full control over every aspect of the program with minimal daily effort. It's really an invaluable tool for managing projects (especially large ones).

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Emilija Stoilova

Administrative Coordinator at HBP Project Coordination Office (PCO), Switzerland

We have an excellent experience with EMDESK. All projects, regardless of their size, small teams or large consortia with 143 partners as in the HBP project, will certainly benefit from it. EMDESK has proven to be a reliable and stable tool indispensable for the management of various project-related processes.

RWTH Aachen University 2

Eva Haas

EU Project Manager at RWTH Aachen University, Germany

The Technical Support at EMDESK is a great asset to my daily work. The support representatives provide quick and helpful answers. They carefully read what I write in emails, and provide comprehensive answers and clear guidelines on how to proceed.


Laura Cherdel

MyOcean Project Administrator, France

EMDESK was an excellent tool that the partners were able to use easily and quickly. We were happy with the choice we made. I greatly appreciated the fact that WP leaders were able to enter info directly into EMDESK and I didn't have to exchange back and forth with Word.

University of Brighton

Prof. Jacqueline O'Reilly

University of Brighton, the UK

We have been really impressed with the software in helping make monitoring and reporting so much easier. The support services in setting up the system and answering questions were always excellent, concise and efficient. I have recommended this software to anyone who is preparing an EU bid as it takes away a lot of the pain of pea counting and formatting proposal and reporting documentation.

Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology Jena

Gabriele Hamm

Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology Jena, Germany

It is a great pleasure to work with EMDESK. The software is a very convincing and facilitating project management tool.

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Peggy Favier

Project Manager at L-up

We had heard many things about the power and versatility of EMDESK, so it was an easy choice to use them as a project management tool. This switch increased our ability to handle larger projects and coordinate information among team members. We were also able to cut the time spent on our procedures by 15 percent. EMDESK is one tool that we would definitely recommend to every project manager.

University of Leicester

Dr Alison Taysum

University of Leicester, the UK

EMDESK provides a platform that empowers large teams and their stakeholders/clients to interface on many different levels from instruction and discussions to accounting, reporting and auditing systems. EMDESK fully integrates all aspects of a large and complex project offering users full and transparent accountability and assurance the system can provide information required for full audits.

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Isella Vicini

Director, European Funding Division at Warrant Hub SpA

The main results and improvements we achieved, by using EMDESK project management tool, is a greatly reduced workload that enabled gathering inputs by e-mail and collating documents for reporting and monitoring of resources.

Graphene Flagship

Katarina Boustedt

Project Coordinator at Graphene Flagship

After the EMDESK Team quickly mapped the project in EMDESK, we appreciated getting started right away using the standard edition of EMDESK. Professionally organized, the EMDESK Team executed the migration from the standard edition to our servers in less than two weeks and provided us with a seamless and uncomplicated service; including consultation with our local server team. EMDESK is a highly reliable partner that provides us with a tool that helps us to manage and monitor all our project activities. Combining a personal service with flexibility and solution-oriented thinking, we recently extended our contract with EMDESK for the next project phase.

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Dr. Christian Fauteux

Chief Administrative Officer, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

We selected EMDESK to submit the HBP proposal after facing problems with other tools. We switched to EMDESK less than 3 months before submission and were very happy that the collaboration went so smoothly. The EMDESK Team met our individual requirements quickly and professionally. With budget and administrative data to be consolidated for more than 80 partners, this was quite an achievement. I believe that such a big proposal could not have been prepared without its help and we plan to use EMDESK even more now, in particular as our project management tool.


What is new in Horizon Europe

The new framework funding programme has a number of remarkable novelties:

  • The European Innovation Council (EIC): established as a one-stop shop to support breakthrough innovation.
  • Research & Innovation (R&I) missions: mission-orientation is one of the great innovations under Horizon Europe aimed to address important societal challenges, such as cancer and climate change.
  • Open Science policy: meaning open access to publications, data, and research data management plans.
  • New approach to Partnerships: the European Partnership Instrument is simplified in order to rationnalize the funding landscape.
  • Simpler rules: administrative burden is reduced in order to streamline the number of co-funded partnerships with partners like industry, civil society, and funding foundations.

Missions of the Programme

One of the main novelties in Horizon Europe is the mission-orientation – a set of certain objectives connected with the key societal challenges aimed to be achieved with project portfolios. The missions relevant to a broad range of stakeholders and to citizens should be completed using a bottom-up approach.

There are five mission areas aimed to address some of the world's biggest challenges:

up next Webinar on Gender Dimension in Horizon EU


Upcoming Webinar: Horizon Europe – Quick guide to tackle gender dimension & cross-cutting issues / 10 Feb, 14:00 CET

We're happy to announce our free webinar on gender dimension and cross-cutting issues in Horizon Europe. Register for the webinar and learn how to address a Gender Equality Plan, Open Science, Social Innovation, as well as the role of SSH in Horizon EU proposals.

Expert article

5 simple steps to design a successful Horizon Europe proposal workplan

In this article, we outline the main steps one should follow to develop a successful Horizon Europe proposal workplan, as well as provide expert tips on creating and organising project activities and deliverables.

Finding the right Horizon Europe call

This article provides an overview of the Horizon Europe work programmes to help you choose the most relevant Horizon Europe call for your research project. Here, you'll also find a quick checklist on how to apply to the Programme.

Quick guide for using the Horizon Europe Participant Portal

This article provides a detailed step by step overview of how to use the Horizon Europe Participant Portal to apply for the funding Programme.

3 steps to build winning Horizon Europe partnerships

This article is an expert guidance on how to build a winning consortium for a Horizon Europe project – from tips on devising the proper strategy and using the right tools for finding Horizon Europe partnerships to recommendations on considering different types of partners.

The comprehensive Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement guide

In this article, we will make a brief but substantial introduction about the new Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement that was officially announced by the European Commission in June 2021.

Introduction to Horizon Europe proposal development

How can one apply to the Horizon EU Programme? What’s the ideal time to start developing a Horizon Europe proposal? What are the main steps to make and the core evaluation criteria to keep in mind while creating your proposal? Read this article for expert guidance on the proposal development process.

How to successfully manage collaborative European projects

What do you and your teams need to know about managing European projects with numerous partners? Find out the 4 criteria for successful project management, as well as a list of must-haves a project & work management tool needs to fully support your projects.

“Horizon Europe will have simpler rules, cutting red tape for beneficiaries”, the European Commission

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use EMDESK for Horizon Europe projects?

Yes, EMDESK is designed to help you plan and execute a Horizon Europe project. During project creation just choose the right Horizon Europe template.

What Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020 templates are available on EMDESK?

EMDESK offers several ready-to-use templates that populate new workspaces with predefined content – all easily customized to your needs and the way your teams work. When you create a new workspace, choose from a variety of templates – generic or specialized, e.g. Horizon Europe or H2020.

Are the costs for EMDESK eligible for reimbursement under Horizon Europe and H2020?

Yes, EMDESK is reimbursable in Horizon Europe and H2020 (as Other Direct Costs or overhead fees).

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