The European Commission has started preparations for Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation funding programme for 2021-2027. The programme has a proposed budget of €94.1 billion and will fund research & innovation activities in almost all sectors and across all Technology Readiness Levels.
To shape the strategic objectives of the programme, the Commission invited public and private stakeholders to have their say on the programme’s design. This feedback will help prepare the “Strategic Plan” for Horizon Europe and guide the research & innovation investments for the first four years of Horizon Europe (2021-2024). The strategic priorities laid out in that plan will be cemented in future work programmes and calls for proposals.
To deliver on its ambitious climate and energy targets, Europe needs strong and fit-for-purpose industrial and innovation programmes. These will develop and improve technology solutions and applications, and support existing European supply chains. Horizon Europe is a crucial instrument to boost the competitiveness and development of the wind energy sector. The programme should allocate substantial budgets and targeted calls for proposals to:
a) improve performance and reduce cost of utility-scale renewable energy production and bring new concepts faster to market;
b) enhance sustainability and promote circularity within European industries; and
c) accelerate a renewables-based electrification (direct and indirect) of hard-to-abate sectors (e.g. steel)
A fit-for-purpose Horizon Europe programme should have more open calls, with multi-annual deadlines. Open calls will promote bottom-up engagement and increase participation and interest from private stakeholders, especially industry. Furthermore, the expert opinion of European Technology & Innovation Platforms (ETIPs) should be fully considered in the design and evaluation process of the work programmes.