UiBs Brussel-kontor
Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe: EU's next Research and Innovation programme

Starting in 2021, EU’s next research and innovation framework programme is called Horizon Europe. Kristof Vlaeminck from UiB’s Brussels Office explains what this will mean to UiB researchers.

EU budget illustration
Horizon Europe is the most ambitious Research and Innovation programme so far. The European Commission has proposed nearly 100 billion euros for research and innovation in 2021-2027.


The current framework programme, Horizon 2020, will go on until 2020. The European Commission is now proposing a new research and innovation programme from 2021.

“The new programme is an evolution, not a revolution. The broad lines of Horizon 2020 will be prominently present in Horizon Europe. For researchers already familiar with Horizon 2020, navigating through Horizon Europe will not take much time”, Vlaeminck says.

If adopted, the new programme will have a budget of nearly €97.6 billion.

Norway is expected to participate in Horizon Europe as an associated country, as we do in Horizon 2020. The financial contributions of countries such as Norway and Switzerland will be added to the total funding.

    ERC still important

    Horizon Europe will be designed around three pillars:

    • Open Science
    • Global Challenges
    • Open Innovation

    "ERC grants have been one of the biggest success stories of Horizon 2020 and this is translated by an increase of the budget for the European Research Council under the Open Science pillar. Taken into consideration the importance of the ERC grants for UiB, this is good news for our university", Vlaeminck says.

    UiB's strategic areas are relevant

      The University of Bergen has three strategic areas: Marine research, Climate and energy transitions and Global challenges. In the Global Challenges pillar, the main focus areas for Horizon Europe are well suited to these research priorities, as Rector Olsen also emphasises in his blog post. 

      The main focus areas are: 

      • Health
      • Inclusive and Secure Societies
      • Digital and Industry
      • Climate, energy and mobility
      • Food and natural resources

      "This means that it should be possible for many of our researchers to find a possibility in this funding programme", Vlaeminck says.

      ‘Sea and Oceans’ is a separate Area of Intervention within ‘Food and Natural Resources’. This is not only important for the University of Bergen, but for a lot of Norwegian stakeholders, Vlaeminck says. 

      Factsheet about Horizon Europe

      "Focus on Horizon 2020 first"

      The first work programmes and calls for proposals will be officially published in the autumn of 2020. The first drafts of the work programme will be available in late spring 2020, according to Kristof Vlaeminck. He adds some advice to UiB researchers:

      "Although a new framework programme is always exciting, there are still two rounds of calls for proposals (2019 and 2020) available. Since the yearly budget per year increases towards the end of the framework programme, there is still a lot of money left over to support your research ideas.

      So keep an eye on the developments of Horizon Europe, but mainly focus on Horizon 2020 first. Also don’t forget that novelties in a new framework programme are always tested a bit in the last calls of the previous programme. So the best preparation toward Horizon Europe is going for Horizon 2020", adds Vlaeminck.