Horizon Europe: Opportunities and How to Leverage Them

Horizon Europe, the ambitious EU research and innovation framework programme running from 2021 to 2027, represents an unparalleled opportunity for researchers and innovators to advance their work. With a budget of €95.5 billion, it promises to drive scientific excellence, tackle global challenges, and support industrial competitiveness. In this article, we will introduce Horizon Europe, discuss its opportunities, and provide a guide on how to leverage these for your benefit.

Introduction to Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe builds upon the successes of its predecessor, Horizon 2020, aiming to stimulate scientific discovery, strengthen the European Research Area, and deliver innovative solutions to societal problems. It’s structured around three pillars: Excellent Science, Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness, and Innovative Europe.

The Objectives and Structure of Horizon Europe

The key objectives of Horizon Europe are promoting scientific excellence, contributing to sustainable and inclusive growth, and addressing societal challenges. The program encourages cross-border cooperation, supports top researchers, and fosters the innovation ecosystem.

The three pillars of Horizon Europe are:

  1. Excellent Science: This pillar supports researchers through the European Research Council (ERC), offers training and career development through Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, and provides researchers with access to research infrastructures.
  2. Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness: This pillar supports research related to societal challenges, reinforces technological and industrial capacities, and sets mission-oriented goals for climate change, cancer, healthy oceans, climate-neutral cities, and soil health and food.
  3. Innovative Europe: This pillar aims to make Europe a frontrunner in market-creating innovation and SME growth.

Overview of the Opportunities Under Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe offers opportunities for entities of all types and sizes: from researchers, start-ups, and SMEs to non-profit organizations, public entities, and large enterprises. You can apply for funding for collaborative projects, individual fellowships, or innovative project ideas, among others.

Step-by-step Guide on How to Apply for Horizon Europe Programs

To apply for Horizon Europe funding, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the Relevant Calls: Browse the official EU website to find open calls that align with your project.
  2. Read the Call Documents: Understand the topic description, scope, expected impact, and conditions for the call.
  3. Prepare the Proposal: Write your proposal in line with the guidelines provided, clearly detailing the project’s objectives, expected outcomes, and alignment with the call’s objectives.
  4. Submit the Proposal: Use the Funding & Tenders Portal for submission before the call deadline.

Success Stories from Horizon Europe

Many projects have already benefitted from Horizon Europe funding. For instance, “Project Sunbrella,” a collaboration between several European universities and businesses, received funding to develop innovative solar panels that can be integrated into umbrellas for charging electronic devices in public spaces, contributing to the EU’s sustainability goals.


Horizon Europe represents a significant opportunity for researchers, innovators, and organizations to drive progress and innovation. By understanding its structure and objectives, identifying relevant calls, and submitting strong proposals, you can leverage these opportunities to their fullest potential. Remember, the official EU website is your go-to source for all information and updates on Horizon Europe. Seize the opportunity, and best of luck with your applications!

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