With a budget of €95.5 billion (excluding the additional contributions associated countries like the UK will make), Horizon Europe will be the largest ever transnational research and innovation programme. They say that every time!
More newsworthy, the European Commission has published its work programmes for 2021/22 (the calls) for the central, and largest pillar, of its Horizon Europe programme focused on “global challenges and European industrial competitiveness”
This pillar of the programme provides funding for the bulk of the collaborative activity with over €50 billion of funding to facilitate partnering with the best researchers and innovators in Europe and beyond.
There’s more on offer than money
However, the sizeable funding is not the only reason to engage. It certainly oils the wheels, but more importantly, the ambition, long-term commitment, and focus of the programme allows us to collaborate on leading-edge research and innovation projects that respond to challenges such as the greening of our energy systems and the development of advanced therapeutics.
Through the platform for collaboration, Horizon Europe also allows participants to access essential capabilities, influence future standards and gain access to supply chains and markets.
The UK’s association to Horizon Europe paves the way for UK stakeholders to engage fully in this programme. This means we can both get our hands dirty by working with partners across Europe to shape strategic initiatives such as those on hydrogen and artificial intelligence, data, and robotics, but also subsequently benefit from the funding on offer under these initiatives.
We have a strong story to tell in terms of the strength and impact of our participation in previous framework programmes. However, I would argue that we punch well below our weight, especially of late, when it comes to collaborative activity.
The UK does disproportionately well in the European Research Council (ERC) and on Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, which underlines the excellence of our academic base (we secured over 40% of our funding under Horizon 2020 through these schemes).
I sincerely hope we continue to perform as strongly going forward in this part of the programme, but also that we strengthen our networks and engagement in the collaborative parts of the programme.
Research and innovation are inherently global and 95% of R&D and innovation is conducted outside the UK. Horizon Europe provides us with a unique and stable platform to collaborate internationally, and we know from the experiences and successes of companies like Promethean Particles, PragmatIC printing, Perpetuum and P1vital to name but a few starting with ‘P’ as to what a powerful impact this can have.
We are here to help you
We at UKRI are therefore eager to help and support UK stakeholders to navigate the options, understand the networks and influencing points so that you can take full advantage of our association with the programme.
In particular, do draw on the knowledge and expertise of the network of UK national contact points, who act as both technical experts and provide practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation. They will be able to provide you with more details about the opportunities and associated drivers underpinning the various calls and will be pleased to hear from you.
We also have the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Innovate UK EDGE and the combined Brussels presence (UKRO and the Innovate UK Brussels Office) through which we can also help you make the connections to succeed.
European Commission events
Do also watch out for a series of upcoming European Commission events, starting with Research and Innovation days on 23 and 24 June, which will give you a flavour of the policy drivers underpinning various initiatives. This will be followed by their first edition of Horizon Europe info-days, to take place online from 28 June to 9 July 2021.
Other blogs in the Horizon Europe series:
This is an introductory blog to a Horizon Europe series of blogs, to be published on our Innovate Blog page during June 2021.
What you can do next
You can follow Mani on Twitter
You can go to the Innovate UK website
You can go to the Innovate EDGE website
You can go to the UKRI website