On March 15, the European Commission adopted the first strategic plan 2021-2024 for Horizon Europe — the new EU research and innovation programme worth €95.5 billion in current prices. The strategic plan is a novelty in Horizon Europe and sets the strategic orientations for the targeting of investments in the programme's first four years. It ensures that EU research and innovation actions contribute to EU priorities, including a climate-neutral and green Europe, a Europe fit for the digital age, and an economy that works for people.
“This Plan provides a frame for top quality, excellence-based research and innovation to be delivered with the Horizon Europe Work Programme. With this strategic orientation we ensure that research and innovation investments can contribute to a recovery process based on the twin green and digital transition, resilience and open strategic autonomy," said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age.
The strategic plan sets out four strategic orientations for research and innovation investments under Horizon Europe for the next four years:
- Promoting an open strategic autonomy by leading the development of key digital, enabling and emerging technologies, sectors and value chains;
- Restoring Europe's ecosystems and biodiversity, and managing sustainably natural resources;
- Making Europe the first digitally enabled circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy;
- Creating a more resilient, inclusive and democratic European society.