Making ‘Horizon Europe (2021-2027)’ mission possible – Have your say

The upcoming ninth multiannual financial framework (MFF) starting in 2021 until 2027, Horizon Europe, aims to be more ambitious and more impact-oriented than its predecessor Horizon 2020 – and not only on account of the budget being in excess of € 100 billion.

Horizon Europe will be built around three pillars: Open Science, Global challenges and Open Innovation.Three Pillars EC(European Commission, 2018)

The new missions by the European Commission

The European Commission (EC) plans to focus the research and innovation (R&I) programme through ‘missions’. Inspired by the Apollo 11 mission, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, officially launched the work on five major mission boards on the 4th of July. In conjunction, the report ‘Governing Missions in the European Union’ principled by Prof. Mariana Mazzucato was published the same day setting out how to implement and govern the new mission-oriented process.

Involve everyone

At the heart of the report, Mazzucato stresses the importance of engaging all citizens in the process of developing, defining and implementing the missions. In other words ‘missions should be broad enough to engage the public and attract cross-sectoral investment; and remain focussed enough to involve industry and achieve measurable success’ (Mazzucato, 2018).

The emphasis on cross-sectoral and cross-institutional coordination should afford Horizon Europe more transparency and flexibility. This in turn should further attract private investment opportunities and ‘crowd-in’ other sources of financing for those activities that will make the difference in achieving the sustainable development goals.Mission projects Mazzucato(“Mission-oriented research & innovation in the European Union” Mazzucato, 2017)

The following five mission boards, comprising up to 15 experts and chaired by renowned experts in their respective fields, will have until the end of 2019 to propose concrete targets, approaches and timelines for each mission:

1. Adaptation to Climate Change including Societal Transformation

Led by Ms Connie Hedegaard, former European Commissioner for Climate Action

Covering, but not limited to (CL): climate change adaptation and mitigation; climate services; natural resources; systemic and nature-based solutions; environmental advocacy and citizen engagement; sustainable production and consumption; disaster risk reduction and management including public health and critical infrastructures; international development in the field of climate change; science communication; water management; biodiversity; agriculture, finance and insurance.

2. Cancer

Led by Professor Harald zur Hausen, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

CL: cancer prevention, prediction, detection, diagnosis and treatment including clinical expertise in these areas; quality of life and end of life care; public health policy and practice; patient representation incl support groups and family counselling, innovation and business development; ethics.

3. Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters

Led by Mr Pascal Lamy, former Trade Commissioner and Director-General of the World Trade Organisation

CL: systemic solutions for the prevention, reduction, mitigation and removal of marine pollution including plastics; transition to a circular and blue economy; public awareness raising; users affected by the need to adapt to and mitigate pollution and climate change in the ocean; sustainable use and management of ocean resources; development of new materials including biodegradable plastic substitutes, new feed and food; urban, coastal and maritime spatial planning; ocean governance; ocean economics applied to maritime activities.

4. Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities

Led by Professor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, former Mayor of Warsaw

CL: climate change mitigation and adaptation; air quality; spatial planning (incl. land urban and green spaces) and development; energy efficient buildings (retrofitting); urban infrastructures and networks, including transport and logistics systems, energy, ICT and water ; clean energy transformation; urban manufacturing; urban circularity and regeneration; ecosystem services and nature-based solutions; public health and well-being in cities; urban resilience; social impacts of climate change.

5. Soil Health and Food

Led by Mr Cees Veerman, former Dutch Agriculture Minister

CL: soil management in agriculture and forestry for food and nutrition security, and the delivery of non-food products and public goods; soil management beyond agriculture and forestry, e.g. peatland, wetland; restoration and remediation of soils, brownfields, soil sealing; potential of soils and soil management practices for climate mitigation and adaptation; soil functions and ecosystems’ services, and the role of practises to improve soil health; sustainable land(scape) management, land use and land use change, spatial planning; ecology, agroecology, soil microbiology; systems science / systems approaches, considering financial impacts of soil and land degradation.

Discussing the mission boards with stakeholders

The boards will discuss with citizens, stakeholders and experts from Member States and beyond at the first European Research and Innovation Days in Brussels from 24 to 26 September 2019.

In the meantime, the ‘Strategic Plan’ for the first four years of Horizon Europe is being developed that will shape the funding landscape and focus the priorities for investment. As a direct stakeholder – be it citizen, innovator or investor – you have the chance to contribute via this public consultations that will be directly discussed in the last week of September.

We recommend you partake in the consultation and attend the R&I days to ensure your priorities are heard and acted upon.

More information?

Curious to find out the other ways in which you can contribute to defining the priorities of the upcoming MFF? Keen to build awareness regarding your project or company? The specialists at Hezelburcht are experienced in advocating for change and networking at regional, national and international levels. We look forward to supporting and advising you in your endeavours. Please contact us for more information!

Contact us for more information
Or call us directly: 088 495 20 00

Horizon Europe
Related grant Horizon Europe
The ninth multiannual financial framework (MFF) starting in 2021 until 2027, Horizon Europe, aims to...Read more


More information about the upcoming MFF? Contact us!

More information?

Contact us!


More information?

Questions about this article? Contact us for more information.