Horizon Europe: Research and Innovation Opportunities in the EU - AcrossLimits - Your EU Project Technology Partner

Horizon Europe: Research and Innovation Opportunities in the EU

The key aim of the Horizon Europe programme (HORIZON), formerly known as Horizon 2020, is to fund research and innovation, with a budget of €95.5 billion. It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth.

What’s new in Horizon Europe?

The European Innovation Council (EIC): This supports innovations with potential breakthrough and disruptive nature with scale-up potential. It makes up 70% of the budget dedicated to SMEs. 

Did you know? AcrossLimits’ managing director, Angele Giuliano, is an EIC jury member and EIC Ambassador. Read more here.

Learn more about the EIC here.

The Missions: These are sets of measures to achieve bold, inspirational and measurable goals within a set timeframe. 

The 5 Horizon Europe missions are:

  • Adaptation to climate change 
  • Climate-neutral and smart cities
  • Cancer mission
  • Soil deal for Europe
  • Restore our oceans and waters

Learn more about the Missions here and check out upcoming Mission events here.

Open Science policy: The programme applies mandatory open access to publications and open science principles.

You can read more about the Open Science policy by reading the Factsheet: Open science in Horizon Europe.

New approach to partnerships: Objective-driven and more ambitious partnerships with industry in support of EU policy objectives.


Structure of the programme

Since HORIZON is a vast programme, it is divided into 3 pillars and 1 horizontal activity, in order to focus funding on specific areas.

Pillar 1 – Excellent Science

  • European Research Council
  • Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions
  • Research Infrastructure 

Pillar 2 – Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness 

  • Cluster 1 – Health
  • Cluster 2 – Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society
  • Cluster 3 – Civil Security for Society
  • Cluster 4 – Digital, Industry and Space
  • Cluster 5 – Climate, Energy and Mobility
  • Cluster 6 – Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment

Pillar 3 – Innovative Europe

  • European Innovation Council
  • European Innovation Ecosystems
  • European Institute of Innovation and Technology 

Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area

  • Widening participation and spreading excellence
  • Reforming and Enhancing the EUropean R&I system

3 types of actions

Type of action Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) Innovation Actions (IA) Coordinated and Support Actions (CSA)
Description Actions that establish new knowledge or develop new technologies or solutions Actions that demonstrate the viability of new technologies and solutions or support their first deployment in the market Actions that improve skills, mobilise large-scale investments or facilitate EU policy implementation
EU Funding rate 100% 70% ; 100% for non-profit legal entities 100%
Minimum Beneficiaries  3 3 1
TRL 1-5 5-8 N/A


Searching for Upcoming Calls

The first place to look for HORIZON calls is the Funding and Tenders Portal. You can browse through forthcoming and open calls to see what is on offer. The deadlines for calls vary according to the pillar and the cluster. 

In order to plan ahead and see what will be on offer even a year from now, you are advised to also check out the latest work programme, which can be found here.  


Searching for completed projects

When writing a Horizon Europe proposal, it is advisable to check the Horizon Results Platform and CORDIS to see what has already been achieved, so that you can get inspiration and even mention a few previous projects in your proposal to show how you want to build on them.

Check out some of AcrossLimits’ previously funded Horizon 2020 projects:

ER4STEM  – Winner of Best Promotion of STEM Award (2021) Read more here 

Horizon Cloud 

Bio2Excel Centre of Excellence for Computational Biomolecular Research – Winner of Best Impact on Health, Security or Smart Mobility Award (2021) Read more here 


Looking for partners

Since Horizon Europe calls sometimes require a big consortium from different countries, it is recommended that once you have a solid concept and call in mind, you start looking for suitable partners as soon as possible. 

There are different ways to do so, which include:

  • Reaching out to people from your network who you have perhaps worked with before and are reliable partners
  • Filling in a partner search on the Funding and Tenders Portal under your call of interest
  • Attend Commission and B2B Events
  • Contact the NCP Networks (National Contact Point) and register your partner search form with them
  • Check CORDIS for previously funded projects that are related to your concept and contact the coordinators 
  • In Malta, the Malta council for Science and Technology (MCST) also offers the plumtri platform which is useful for networking, knowledge sharing and partner searches 


Who can participate

The Horizon Europe programme is open to participants from legal entities from the EU and associated countries. However, a number of non-EU/non-Associated and candidate Associated countries where they are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available to their participants in Horizon Europe projects.

These include: Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Switzerland. 

It is always advisable to check the Work Programme of the call you are applying for, since different criteria apply to certain calls, which may affect the eligibility of certain countries.

For more detailed information on Horizon Europe, visit the Horizon Europe website


I’m interested in learning more about Horizon Europe and how to apply. What should I do next? 

Here at AcrossLimits, we have over 20 years of experience writing proposals, having participated in 80+ successfully funded EU projects, ranging from Erasmus+, Horizon, Interreg, and many more. We have a dedicated team of experts from a broad range of sectors that can guide proposal writing and help you apply for EU funds. Furthermore we are well connected with industry, academia and public authorities across Europe and beyond, making sure that we can bring together the perfect consortium for your project.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you make your project idea a reality, contact us at: [email protected].