Reforming and Enhancing the EU Research and Innovation System (Horizon Europe)

Horizon Europe has a new level of ambition – to maximise the impact of EU research and innovation funding for European science, economy and the wider society. It marks a paradigm change in the design of the EU R&I Framework Programmes (FP) from an activity-driven to an impact-driven programme. Coupled to this ambition is the relaunching of the European Research Area (ERA) as described in the recently published Commission Communication entitled A new ERA for Research and Innovation (COM/2020/628 final of 30.09.2020).

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the importance of R&I cooperation to deliver solutions to society’s most demanding needs. Delivering Europe’s recovery is a priority as are the green and digital twin transitions. To match these challenges, a new level of ambition that links better R&I with the economy, as well as with education and training, is necessary to put the EU’s scientific knowledge to work.

The new ERA calls for deepening existing priorities and initiatives through new and stronger approaches. The green and digital transitions and the recovery call for cooperation between the Commission and the Member States. They require the setting of new priorities, launching ambitious joint initiatives and developing common approaches between policies.

To address these requirements, Destination 3 of Annex 11 of the Horizon Europe Work Programme, will support efforts to reform and enhance the EU R&I system. Destination 3 is built around four strands corresponding to the four objectives set out in the ERA Communication: 1. Prioritise investments and reforms; 2. Improve access to excellence; 3. Translate R&I results into the economy and 4. Deepen the ERA. The principle of excellence, meaning that the best researchers with the best ideas that respond best to the societal challenges obtain funding, remains the cornerstone for all investments under the ERA.

Strand 1 recognises the importance of prioritising investments and reforms to accelerate the green and digital transformation and to increase competitiveness as well as the speed and depth of the recovery. It offers support for policy makers and addresses the need for better analysis and evidence, including simplifying and facilitating the inter-play between national and European R&I systems.

Strand 2 addresses the need to improve access to excellence and to increase the performance of R&I systems, building on dedicated Horizon Europe measures as well as complementarities with smart specialisation strategies under the Cohesion Policy.

Strand 3 addresses the importance of translating R&I results into the economy. R&I policies should aim to boost the resilience and competitiveness of our economies and societies.

Strand 4 addresses the challenge of deepening the ERA and includes Open Science, Higher Education and Researchers, Citizen Science, Science Education, Gender and Ethics. It aims at underpinning a new ERA benefiting from knowledge creation, circulation and use. This empowers higher education institutions and research organisations to embrace a transformative process; where a highly skilled workforce circulate freely; where research outputs are shared; where gender equality is assured; where the outcomes of R&I are understood, trusted and increasingly used, by educated informed scientists and citizens to the benefit of society.

What is the goal to be achieved?

Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to the following expected impacts:

  • Reform and Enhance the EU R&I system
  • Prioritisation of investments and reforms, realisation of the recovery and the twin transitions
  • Improved access to excellence
  • Greater quality of the scientific production and stronger translation of R&I results into the economy
  • Deepen the ERA
  • Coordinated national and regional R&I programmes by pooling national resources and contributing to the alignment of national research and innovation policies
  • Improved knowledge for policy making about the networking patterns of research support staff and research management
  • Synergies between research & innovation and higher education policies and programmes
  • Modernised higher education sector, benefitting from targeted transformations in higher education, research, and innovation
  • Increased number of interconnected knowledge ecosystems, strong in knowledge creation, circulation and use
  • Researchers benefit from attractive careers
  • Inclusive gender equality is promoted in the European research and innovation system
  • A more open and inclusive research and innovation system
  • Increased capacity in the EU R&I system to conduct open science and to set it as a modus operandi of modern science
  • Increased engagement of citizens with research and innovation
  • Increased alignment of strategic research with society needs, expectations and values
  • Identified synergies between second and third level education, and between education and business;
  • Increased trust in science and R&I outcomes, and greater two-way communication between science and society
  • Knowledge and a highly skilled workforce circulate freely
  • Improved capacities within the EU R&I system to conduct open science
  • A more open and inclusive research and innovation system

Call Topics for 2022

  • Support for policy makers – Programme level collaboration between national R&I programmes
  • Testing of the ERA Hub concept – pilot phase
  • Innowwide Bridging Facility
  • An experimentation space for the uptake and use of R&I results for EU resilience and future preparedness
  • Stepping-up institutional and territorial changes towards open and responsible research and innovation
  • Increasing the reproducibility of scientific results
  • Supporting the development of aligned policies for open access books and monographs
  • Developing and piloting training on the practice of open and responsible research and innovation
  • Developing an effective ERA talent pipeline
  • Acceleration Services in support of the institutional transformation of Higher Education Institutions
  • A European competence centre for science communication
  • Open schooling for science education and a learning continuum for all
  • Living Lab for gender-responsive innovation
  • Support to the implementation of inclusive gender equality plans
  • The empirical and behavioural approach to research ethics and integrity

Name des Förderprogramms

Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area


122 MEUR



Kontaktieren Sie uns!

Dr. Katrin Hochberg
Dr. Iuliana Nichersu
Kontaktieren Sie uns

Kontaktieren Sie uns!

Dr. Katrin Hochberg
Dr. Iuliana Nichersu