Horizon Europe: Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area

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European Commission
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Horizon Europe is the ninth European Research and Innovation Framework programme (2021-2027). In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is one of the key instruments of the European Union's efforts to steer and accelerate Europe's recovery, preparedness and resilience. In the context of a new European Research Area for research and innovation, it aims to strengthen Europe's knowledge base through frontier research, spur breakthrough innovation and support the development and demonstration of innovative solutions, and help restore industrial leadership and open strategic autonomy.

Activity under Horizon Europe is primarily organised under three 'pillars':

Pillar I - Excellent Science

Pillar II - Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness

Pillar III - Innovative Europe.

The 'Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area' part of Horizon Europe is a cross-cutting strand relevant to all three pillars. The philosophy of the part is that R&I policy can only strive towards more excellence if everyone progresses. The EU's R&I system therefore needs to promote a more inclusive approach in which all can participate and from which all can benefit.

This part of the Work Programme is divided into two components:

I: Widening Participation and Spreading Excellence.

II: Strengthening the European Research Area.


Widening Participation and Spreading Excellence

Existing disparities between R&I leading and lagging countries can be tackled by introducing structural policy reforms. Closer links between research and innovation and institutional cooperation to produce high-quality knowledge are also paramount to help bridging these disparities. By building upon their excellence pockets and connecting them to broader networks of excellence less R&I advanced countries will be able to upgrade their R&I systems, making them stronger and allowing the EU as a whole to advance together.

Strengthening the European Research Area

The goal is a Union where knowledge and a highly skilled workforce circulate freely, where research outputs are shared rapidly and efficiently, where researchers benefit from attractive careers, and gender equality is assured; where common strategic research agendas are aligned to national plans and where the outcomes of research and innovation are understood, trusted and increasingly used, by informed citizens to the benefit of society. Envisaged activities complement the direction of the ERA Communication.

Some relevant topics covered are listed below. Please refer to the PDF for the complete list of topics.

HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-44: Societal trust in science, research and innovation. The total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 2.00 million. Per topic 2.00 million aprox. Expected to fund one project.

HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-60: A capacity-building and brokering network to make citizen science an integral part of the European Research Area. The total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 4.00 million. Per topic 4.00 million aprox. Expected to fund one project.

HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-61: Supporting and giving recognition to citizen science in the European Research Area. The total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 5.00 million. Per topic 5.00 million aprox. Expected to fund one project.

HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-70: Developing a STE(A)M roadmap for Science Education in Horizon Europe. The total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 5.00 million. Per topic 1.50 million aprox. Expected to fund 3 projects.



Any legal entity may participate in an action provided that the conditions laid down in the Rules of Participation have been met as well as any conditions laid down in the relevant work programme or work plan.

Applicants must be established in:

  • A Member State of the European Union, including their outermost regions.
  • Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States.
  • Non-EU countries associated to Horizon Europe.

The 'Widening Countries' eligible for hosting the coordinator of widening actions are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and all Associated Countries with equivalent characteristics in terms of R&I performance, and the Outermost Regions.


Applications to Horizon Europe calls and topics must be submitted via the European Commission Funding and Tenders Portal.

In case of interest, please contact internacional(ELIMINAR)@fsjd.org