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Horizon Europe

Objectives and goals of the funding programme

Horizon Europe seeks to deliver research and innovation with maximum impact along the following three dimensions:

  • Scientific impact. Creating high-quality new knowledge, strengthening human capital in research and innovation and fostering the diffusion of knowledge and open science.

  • Technological/economic impact. Influencing the creation and growth of companies within the EU, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (including start-ups); creating direct and indirect jobs, especially within the EU; and leveraging investment for research and innovation.

  • Societal impact. Addressing the EU‚Äôs policy priorities and global challenges ‚Äď including the UN sustainable development goals ‚Äď following the principles of the United Nations‚Äô 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the goals of the Paris Agreement, through research and innovation; delivering benefits and impact through research and innovation missions and European partnerships; and strengthening the uptake of innovation in society, ultimately contributing to people‚Äôs well-being.

Moreover, Horizon Europe is designed to optimise delivery to strengthen the impact and attractiveness of the European research area, to foster excellence-based participation from all Member States, including those performing poorly on research and innovation, and to facilitate collaborative links in European research and innovation.

Type of Programme

Horizon Europe

Funding type/type of support

Financing (Loans/Guarantees)

Organizational level


Programme Focus

Competitiveness, research and innovation, Crisis recovery, Skills, Smart / digital tourism, Sustainable tourism

Programme relevant for/ target group

Academic institution, SMEs and micro companies, VET Providers, Other

Geographic area

European Union

Horizon Europe has a budget of around ‚ā¨95.5 billion for 2021-27 (in current prices). This includes ‚ā¨5.4 billion from NextGenerationEU to boost the economic recovery and make the EU more resilient for the future, as well as an additional reinforcement of ‚ā¨4 billion.

The funding amounts can vary depending on the specific type of project and the activities involved.

For Horizon Europe Cluster ‚ÄúCulture, creativity and inclusive society‚ÄĚ:

  • Universities and research institutes;¬†
  • Local, regional and national public administrations;¬†
  • Museums, cultural institutions and the cultural tourism industry;¬†
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the field of digital technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality;¬†
  • Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)¬†active in the field of migration and radicalization.

For Horizon Europe Cluster ‚ÄúCivil security for society‚ÄĚ:

  • Universities and research institutes,¬†especially in the areas of cybersecurity, security R&I, information and communication technologies, Artificial Intelligence, social sciences and humanities;¬†
  • Industry and¬†SMEs in the fields of cybersecurity, security R&I, ICT, Artificial Intelligence;¬†
  • European¬†standardisation¬†organisations;¬†
  • Ministries, national & local authorities;¬†
  • Law enforcement agencies, border and custom authorities, crisis management security authorities, civil protection authorities;¬†
  • Emergency services, hospital, medical centres;¬†
  • First¬†responders¬†NGOs;¬†
  • Critical infrastructure.¬†

For Horizon Europe Cluster ‚ÄúFood, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment‚ÄĚ:

  • Universities and research institutes;¬†¬†
  • Civil society organisations¬†including NGOs and consumer¬†associations;¬†¬†
  • Public administration¬†including legislators and¬†implementing¬†authorities;¬†¬†
  • Industry and¬†SMEs;¬†¬†
  • End-users,¬†including¬†but not limited¬†to¬†farmers, foresters,¬†advisors, municipalities, water utilities, citizens‚Äô associations, professional¬†associations.¬†¬†

For Horizon Europe¬†‚ÄúReforming European R&I‚ÄĚ:¬†

  • Universities, research centres;¬†
  • NGOs, governmental organisations, civilian volunteer organisations, civil society organisations;¬†
  • Citizens associations.¬†

Horizon Europe activities include:

  • Fueling the EU‚Äôs scientific and technological excellence through the European Research Council; funding fellowships and researchers‚Äô mobility;
  • Supporting world-class research infrastructures;
  • Tackling our biggest societal challenges, including the green and digital transitions and the sustainable development goals;
  • Supporting policymaking with independent scientific evidence and technical support;
  • Boosting the EU‚Äôs innovation uptake, competitiveness and jobs through the European Innovation Council¬†and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

Within cluster 2 РCulture, Creativity and Inclusive Society Рresearch and innovation activities are offered to meet the EU’s goals and priorities for enhancing democratic governance and citizen participation. Safeguarding and promoting cultural heritage, and responding to and shaping social, economic, technological and cultural transformations are also conducted.

Developing new approaches, concepts and practices for sustainable, accessible and inclusive cultural tourism are among the research activities planned for this cluster. These opportunities will continue. Those already provided through the previous framework programme Horizon 2020 will be further developed.

Pillar 2 of Horizon Europe – Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness – supports research on societal challenges and reinforces technological and industrial capacities through clusters. It sets EU missions with ambitious goals tackling some of our biggest problems. Pillar 2 also includes activities pursued by the Joint Research Centre, which supports EU and national policymakers with independent scientiÔ¨Āc evidence and technical support.

  • Project Title:¬†SmartCulTour

Sustainable cultural tourism policies can significantly support the development of European regions. Cultural tourism, especially in rural areas as well as urban peripheries, can emerge as a factor of economic growth.

The EU-funded SmartCulTour project (Smart Cultural Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development of European Regions) intends to redefine the concept of cultural tourism. The objective is to provide European regions with strategies to engage stakeholders in co-creating smart cultural tourism practices.

Running from 2020 until 2023, the project will develop a decision support system to extensively monitor the target regions, combining traditional and non-traditional data sources. Inclusive desk research will determine which sustainable cultural tourism policies could have a positive impact. Proposals for local projects will then be made.  Each project will then be tested in six living labs.

EU contribution: ‚ā¨2,980,000.50


  • Project Title:¬†TExTOUR

TExTOUR (social innovation and TEchnologies for sustainable growth through participative cultural TOURism) (brings together 18 experts, entrepreneurs and partners from business, civil society and government to co-design, validate and upscale policies and strategies to boost socio-economic territorial development through cultural tourism.

TExTOUR uses ICT and social innovation tools to work with 8 cultural tourism pilot projects in lesser known areas. They collaborate to design methodologies for developing cultural tourism (CT) strategies in these areas.

Each pilot sets up lab communities, composed of a wide range of stakeholders who bring their own skillset to help develop CT. Stakeholders are guided through in CT labs on how to implement, monitor and secure approval of ad hoc strategies for cultural tourism.

The project started in 2020 and will run until 2024. It develops procedures, services and tools and carries out proposed activities. The results of these activities are then used to prepare a modular and scalable EU action plan for developing cultural tourism.

In parallel, a technological platform has been designed and tested to assess CT policies and strategies envisaged by public and private stakeholders. It provides data analytics-as-a-service, as well as other assessment services. Content curation and validation processes are also built in.


EU contribution: ‚ā¨3,950,468.75


  • Project Title: Crosscult

CrossCult (empowering the reuse of digital cultural heritage in context-aware crosscuts of European history) aims to boost the development of new businesses by using digital cultural assets to reinterpret European history.

This project created cross-border perspectives by connecting digital historical resources and creating new ones through public participation. CrossCult brought together computer scientists, researchers in the humanities, historians, and private companies from seven European countries.

EU contribution: ‚ā¨3,503,358 (2016-19)


  • Project Title:¬†POLARIS

Siberia, Lapland, Patagonia and regions with similar features are destined to experience changes due to global warming and globalisation. Their fragile ecosystems could be easily damaged by mass tourism and an uncontrolled development strategy.

This project provided an analysis of how to protect and promote territories and heritage. It also provided training for local officials and postgraduate degrees on tourism, geography and policies. These initiatives aimed to improve know-how and promote practices on how to make use of this heritage in a sustainable way.

EU contribution: ‚ā¨327,900 (2013-17)