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Commission finally adopts main Horizon Europe work programme

Publication of €14.7 billion spending plan paves way for opening of funding calls on 22 June

The European Commission has finally adopted the main 2021-22 work plan for the EU’s €95.5 billion R&D programme, Horizon Europe, allowing delayed funding calls to open on 22 June.

Months of wrangling between the Commission and EU governments over the eligibility of non-EU countries to participate in strategically sensitive projects saw the adoption of the main work programme pushed back several times, causing consternation among some academics and politicians as the opening of several funding calls was postponed.

“Horizon Europe is now fully open for business,” the R&D commissioner Mariya Gabriel said when the adoption was announced on 16 June.

The work programme outlines the objectives and topic areas that will receive €14.7bn over the first two years of Horizon Europe, with the Commission emphasising the potential of the funding to boost Europe’s digitisation and environmental sustainability.

Among the calls opening on 22 June are two delayed Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions calls, which will provide €402 million for doctoral training networks and €205m for individual research fellowships.

Also opening on 22 June are calls that will lay the groundwork for the ‘missions’ being introduced to Horizon Europe to increase its socioeconomic impact and public recognition. Initial calls are offering €3-5m for preliminary work on potential missions on cancer, climate change, health soils, oceans and smart cities.

Correction 16/6 – This story originally misstated the funding range for missions calls.