Annexes to COM(2018)435 - Horizon Europe - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, laying down its rules for participation and dissemination

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The general and specific objectives referred to in Article 3 of this Regulation shall be pursued across the Programme, through the areas of intervention and the broad lines of activities described in this Annex and in Annex II to this Regulation, as well as in Annex I to Decision (EU) 2021/764.


Pillar I 'Excellent Science'

Through the following activities, this pillar shall, in line with Article 4, promote scientific excellence, attract the best talent to Europe, provide appropriate support to early-stage researchers and support the creation and diffusion of scientific excellence, high-quality knowledge, methodologies and skills, technologies and solutions to global social, environmental and economic challenges. It shall also contribute to the other specific objectives of the Programme as referred to in Article 3.

(a)ERC: providing attractive and flexible funding to enable talented and creative individual researchers, with an emphasis on early stage researchers, and their teams to pursue the most promising avenues at the frontier of science, regardless of their nationality and country of origin and on the basis of Union-wide competition based solely on the criterion of excellence.

Area of intervention: Frontier science.

(b)MSCA: equipping researchers with new knowledge and skills through mobility and exposure across borders, sectors and disciplines, enhancing training and career development systems as well as structuring and improving institutional and national recruitment, taking into account the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the recruitment of researchers; in so doing, the MSCA help to lay the foundations of Europe's excellent research landscape across the whole of Europe, contributing to boosting jobs, growth, and investment, and solving current and future societal challenges.

Areas of intervention: nurturing excellence through the mobility of researchers across borders, sectors and disciplines; fostering new skills through the excellent training of researchers; strengthening human resources and skills development across the ERA; improving and facilitating synergies; promoting public outreach.

(c)Research infrastructures: endowing Europe with world-class sustainable research infrastructures which are open and accessible to the best researchers from Europe and beyond. Encouraging the use of existing research infrastructures, including those financed from funds under Union Cohesion Policy. In so doing, enhancing the potential of the research infrastructure to support scientific advance and innovation, and to enable open and excellent science in accordance with the FAIR principles, alongside activities related to Union policies and international cooperation.

Areas of intervention: consolidating and developing the landscape of European research infrastructures; opening, integrating and interconnecting research infrastructures; the innovation potential of European research infrastructures and activities for innovation and training; reinforcing European research infrastructure policy and international cooperation.


Pillar II 'Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness'

Through the following activities, this pillar shall, in line with Article 4, support the creation and better diffusion of high-quality new knowledge, technologies and sustainable solutions, reinforce the European industrial competitiveness, strengthen the impact of R&I in developing, supporting and implementing Union policies, and support the uptake of innovative solutions in industry, in particular in SMEs and start-ups, and society to address global challenges. It shall also contribute to the other specific objectives of the Programme as referred to in Article 3.

SSH shall be fully integrated across all clusters, including specific and dedicated activities.

To maximise impact, flexibility and synergies, R&I activities shall be organised in six clusters, interconnected through pan-European research infrastructures, which individually and together incentivise interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral, cross-policy, cross-border and international cooperation. Pillar II of the Programme shall cover activities from a broad range of TRLs, including lower TRLs.

Each cluster contributes towards several SDGs and many SDGs are supported by more than one cluster.

The R&I activities shall be implemented in and across the following clusters:

(a)Cluster 'Health': improving and protecting the health and well-being of citizens of all ages by generating new knowledge, developing innovative solutions, ensuring to integrate, where relevant, a gender perspective to prevent, diagnose, monitor, treat and cure diseases, and developing health technologies; mitigating health risks; protecting populations and promoting good health and well-being, also in the work place; making public health systems more cost-effective, equitable and sustainable; preventing and tackling poverty-related diseases; and supporting and enabling patients' participation and self-management.

Areas of intervention: health throughout the life course; environmental and social health determinants; non-communicable and rare diseases; infectious diseases, including poverty-related and neglected diseases; tools, technologies and digital solutions for health and care, including personalised medicine; health care systems.

(b)Cluster 'Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society': strengthening democratic values, including rule of law and fundamental rights; safeguarding our cultural heritage; exploring the potential of cultural and creative sectors, and promoting socio-economic transformations that contribute to inclusion and growth, including migration management and integration of migrants.

Areas of intervention: democracy and governance; culture, cultural heritage and creativity; social and economic transformations.

(c)Cluster 'Civil Security for Society': responding to the challenges arising from persistent security threats, including cybercrime, as well as natural and man-made disasters.

Areas of intervention: disaster-resilient societies; protection and security; cybersecurity.

(d)Cluster 'Digital, Industry and Space': reinforcing capacities and securing Europe's sovereignty in key enabling technologies for digitisation and production, and in space technology, all along the value chain; to build a competitive, digital, low-carbon and circular industry; ensure a sustainable supply of raw materials; develop advanced materials and provide the basis for advances and innovation in global societal challenges.

Areas of intervention: manufacturing technologies; key digital technologies, including quantum technologies; emerging enabling technologies; advanced materials; artificial intelligence and robotics; next generation internet; advanced computing and Big Data; circular industries; low carbon and clean industries; space, including earth observation.

(e)Cluster 'Climate, Energy and Mobility': fighting climate change by better understanding its causes, evolution, risks, impacts and opportunities, by making the energy and transport sectors more climate and environment-friendly, more efficient and competitive, smarter, safer and more resilient, promote the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, improve the resilience of the Union to external shocks and adapt social behaviour in view of the SDGs.

Areas of intervention: climate science and solutions; energy supply; energy systems and grids; buildings and industrial facilities in energy transition; communities and cities; industrial competitiveness in transport; clean, safe and accessible transport and mobility; smart mobility; energy storage.

(f)Cluster 'Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment': protecting the environment, restoring, sustainably managing and using natural and biological resources from land, inland waters and sea to stop biodiversity erosion, to address food and nutrition security for all and the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient and circular economy and sustainable bioeconomy.

Areas of intervention: environmental observation; biodiversity and natural resources; agriculture, forestry and rural areas; seas, oceans and inland waters; food systems; bio-based innovation systems in the Union's bioeconomy; circular systems.

(g)Non-nuclear direct actions of the JRC: generating high-quality scientific evidence for efficient and affordable good public policies. New initiatives and proposals for Union legal acts need transparent, comprehensive and balanced evidence to be sensibly designed, whereas implementation of policies needs evidence to be measured and monitored. The JRC provides Union policies with independent scientific evidence and technical support throughout the policy cycle. The JRC focuses its research on Union policy priorities.

Areas of intervention: strengthening the knowledge base for policy making; global challenges (health; culture, creativity and inclusive society; civil security for society; digital, industry and space; climate, energy and mobility; food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment); innovation, economic development, and competitiveness; scientific excellence; territorial development and support for Member States and regions.


Pillar III 'Innovative Europe'

Through the following activities, this pillar shall, in line with Article 4, foster all forms of innovation, including non-technological innovation, primarily within SMEs including start-ups, by facilitating technological development, demonstration and knowledge transfer, and strengthen deployment of innovative solutions. It shall also contribute to the other specific objectives of the Programme as referred to in Article 3. The EIC shall be implemented primarily through two instruments, the Pathfinder, implemented mainly through collaborative research, and the Accelerator.

(a)EIC: focusing mainly on breakthrough and disruptive innovation, targeting especially market-creating innovation, while also supporting all types of innovation, including incremental innovation.

Areas of intervention: Pathfinder for advanced research, supporting future and emerging breakthrough, market-creating and/or deep tech technologies; the Accelerator, bridging the financing gap between late stages of R&I activities and market take-up, to effectively deploy breakthrough, market-creating innovation and scale up companies where the market does not provide viable financing; additional EIC activities such as prizes and fellowships, and business added-value services.

(b)European innovation ecosystems

Areas of intervention: activities including in particular connecting, where relevant in cooperation with the EIT, with national and regional innovation actors and supporting the implementation of joint cross-border innovation programmes by Member States, Regions and associated countries, from the exchange of practice and knowledge on innovation regulation to the enhancement of soft skills for innovation to research and innovation activities, including open or user-led innovation, to boost the effectiveness of the European innovation system. This should be implemented in synergy with, among others, the ERDF support for innovation eco-systems and interregional partnerships around smart specialisation topics.

(c)The European Institute of Innovation and Technology

Areas of intervention (defined in Annex II): sustainable innovation ecosystems across Europe; innovation and entrepreneurial skills in a lifelong learning perspective, including increasing capacities of higher education institutions across Europe; new solutions to market to address global challenges; synergies and value added within the Programme.


Part 'Widening Participation and Strengthening the ERA'

Through the following activities, this part shall pursue the specific objectives as set out in point (d) of Article 3(2). It shall also contribute to the other specific objectives of the Programme as referred to in Article 3. While underpinning the entire Programme, this part shall support activities that contribute to attracting talent, fostering brain circulation and preventing brain drain, a more knowledge-based and innovative and gender-equal Europe, at the front edge of global competition, fostering transnational cooperation and thereby optimising national strengths and potential across the whole Europe in a well-performing ERA, where knowledge and a highly skilled workforce circulate freely in a balanced manner, where the results of R&I are widely disseminated to as well as understood and trusted by informed citizens and benefit society as a whole, and where Union policy, in particular R&I policy, is based on high quality scientific evidence.

This Part shall also support activities aimed at improving the quality of proposals from legal entities from low R&I performing countries, such as professional pre-proposal checks and advice, and boosting the activities of National Contact Points to support international networking, as well as activities aimed at supporting legal entities from low R&I performing countries joining already selected collaborative projects in which legal entities from such countries are not participating.

Areas of intervention: widening participation and spreading excellence, including through teaming, twinning, ERA-Chairs, European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), excellence initiatives and activities to foster brain circulation; reforming and enhancing the European R&I system, including through for example supporting national R&I policy reform, providing attractive career environments, and supporting gender and citizen science.



The following shall apply in the implementation of the programme activities of the EIT:


As the report of the High Level Group on maximising the impact of Union R&I (the Lamy High Level Group) clearly states, the way forward is 'to educate for the future and invest in people who will make the change'. In particular, European higher education institutions are called to stimulate entrepreneurship, tear down disciplinary borders and institutionalise strong inter-disciplinary academia-industry collaborations. According to recent surveys, access to talented people is by far the most important factor influencing the location choices of European founders of start-ups. Entrepreneurship education, training opportunities and the development of creative skills play a key role in cultivating future innovators and in developing the abilities of existing ones to grow their business to greater levels of success. Access to entrepreneurial talent, together with access to professional services, capital and markets on the Union level, and bringing key innovation actors together around a common goal are key ingredients for nurturing an innovation ecosystem. There is a need to coordinate efforts across the Union in order to create a critical mass of interconnected Union-wide entrepreneurial clusters and ecosystems.

The EIT is today's Europe's largest integrated innovation ecosystem which brings together partners from business, research, education and beyond. The EIT continues to support its KICs, which are large-scale European Partnerships addressing specific global challenges, and strengthen the innovation ecosystems around them. It does so by fostering the integration of education, R&I of the highest standards, thereby creating environments conducive to innovation, and by promoting and supporting a new generation of entrepreneurs and stimulating the creation of innovative companies in close synergy and complementarity with the EIC.

Throughout Europe, efforts are still needed to develop ecosystems where researchers, innovators, industries and governments can easily interact. Innovation ecosystems, in fact, still do not work optimally due to a number of reasons such as:

(a)interaction among innovation players is still hampered by organisational, regulatory and cultural barriers between them;

(b)efforts to strengthen innovation ecosystems shall benefit from coordination and a clear focus on specific objectives and impact.

To address future societal challenges, embrace the opportunities of new technologies and contribute to environmentally friendly and sustainable economic growth, jobs, competitiveness and the well-being of Europe's citizens, there is the need to further strengthen Europe's capacity to innovate by: strengthening existing and fostering the creation of new environments conducive to collaboration and innovation; strengthening the innovation capabilities of academia and the research sector; supporting a new generation of entrepreneurial people; stimulating the creation and the development of innovative ventures, as well as strengthening the visibility and recognition of Union funded R&I activities, in particular the EIT funding to the wider public.

The nature and scale of the innovation challenges require liaising and mobilising players and resources at European scale, by fostering cross-border collaboration. There is a need to break down silos between disciplines and along value chains and nurture the establishment of a favourable environment for an effective exchange of knowledge and expertise, and for the development and attraction of entrepreneurial talents. The Strategic Innovation Agenda of the EIT shall ensure coherence with the challenges of the Programme, as well as complementarity to the EIC.

(2)Areas of Intervention

2.1.Sustainable innovation ecosystems across Europe

In accordance with the EIT Regulation and the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the EIT, the EIT plays a reinforced role in strengthening sustainable challenges-based innovation ecosystems throughout Europe. In particular, the EIT continues to operate primarily through its KICs, the large-scale European Partnerships that address specific societal challenges. It continues to strengthen innovation ecosystems around them, by opening them up and by fostering the integration of research, innovation and education. Furthermore, the EIT strengthens innovation ecosystems throughout Europe by expanding its Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS). The EIT works with innovation ecosystems that exhibit high innovation potential based on strategy, thematic alignment and envisaged impact, in close synergy with smart specialisation strategies and Platforms.

Broad lines

(a)reinforcing the effectiveness and the openness to new partners of the existing KICs, enabling the transition to self-sustainability in the long-term and analysing the need of setting up new ones to tackle global challenges. The specific thematic areas are defined in the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the EIT, taking into account the strategic planning;

(b)accelerating regions towards excellence in countries that are referred to in the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the EIT in close cooperation with structural funds and other relevant Union programmes where appropriate.

2.2.Innovation and entrepreneurial skills in a lifelong learning perspective, including increasing capacities of higher education institutions across Europe

The EIT education activities are reinforced to foster innovation and entrepreneurship through purposeful education and training. A stronger focus on human capital development is based on the expansion of the EIT's KICs existing education programmes in the view of continuing to offer students and professionals high quality curricula based on innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship in line in particular with the Union's industrial and skills strategy. This may include researchers and innovators supported by other parts of the Programme, in particular MSCA. The EIT also supports the modernisation of higher education institutions across Europe and their integration in innovation ecosystems by stimulating and increasing their entrepreneurial potential and capabilities and encouraging them to better anticipate new skills requirements.

Broad lines

(a)development of innovative curricula, taking into account the future needs of society and industry, and cross-cutting programmes to be offered to students, entrepreneurs and professionals across Europe and beyond where specialist and sector specific knowledge is combined with innovation-oriented and entrepreneurial skills, such as high-tech skills related to digital and sustainable key enabling technologies;

(b)strengthening and expanding the EIT label in order to improve the visibility and the recognition of EIT education programmes based on partnerships between different higher education institutions, research centres and companies while enhancing its overall quality by offering learning-by-doing curricula and purposeful entrepreneurship education as well as international, inter-organisational and cross-sectorial mobility;

(c)development of innovation and entrepreneurship capabilities of the higher education sector, by leveraging and promoting the EIT community expertise in linking education, research and business;

(d)reinforcing the role of the EIT Alumni community as role model for new students and strong instrument to communicate EIT impact.

2.3.New solutions to the market to address global challenges

The EIT facilitates, empowers and awards entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers, educators, students and other innovation actors, while ensuring gender mainstreaming, to work together in cross-disciplinary teams to generate ideas and transform them into both incremental and disruptive innovations. Activities are characterised by an open innovation and cross-border approach, with a focus on including relevant Knowledge Triangle activities that are pertinent to making them a success (such as project's promoters can improve their access to specifically qualified graduates, lead users, start-ups with innovative ideas, non-domestic firms with relevant complementary assets etc.).

Broad lines

(a)support the development of new products, services and market opportunities where Knowledge Triangle actors collaborate to bring solutions to global challenges;

(b)fully integrate the entire innovation value chain: from student to entrepreneur, from idea to product, from lab to customer. This includes support for start-ups and scaling-up businesses;

(c)provision of high-level services and support to innovative businesses, including technical assistance to fine-tuning of products or services, substantive mentoring, support to secure target customers and raise capital, in order to swiftly reach the market and speed up their growth process.

2.4.Synergies and value added within the Programme

The EIT steps up its efforts to capitalise on synergies and complementarities between existing KICs and with different actors and initiatives at Union and global levels and extend its network of collaborating organisations at both strategic and operational levels, while avoiding duplications.

Broad lines

(a)close cooperation with the EIC and the InvestEU Programme in streamlining the support (namely funding and services) offered to innovative ventures in both start-up and scale-up stages, in particular through KICs;

(b)planning and implementation of EIT activities in order to maximise synergies and complementarities with other parts of the Programme;

(c)engage with Member States, at both national and regional level, establishing a structured dialogue and coordinating efforts to enable synergies with national and regional initiatives, including smart specialisation strategies, also considering through the implementation of the 'European innovation ecosystems', in order to identify, share and disseminate best practices and learnings;

(d)share and disseminate innovative practices and learnings throughout Europe and beyond, so as to contribute to innovation policy in Europe in coordination with other parts of the Programme;

(e)provision of input to innovation policy discussions and contribution to the design and implementation of Union policy priorities by continuously working with all relevant Commission services, other Union programmes and their stakeholders, and further exploring opportunities within policy implementing initiatives;

(f)exploitation of synergies with other Union programmes, including those supporting human capital development and innovation (such as COST, ESF+, ERDF, Erasmus+, Creative Europe and COSME Plus/Single Market, the InvestEU Programme);

(g)building strategic alliances with key innovation actors at Union and international level, and support to KICs to develop collaboration and linkages with key Knowledge Triangle partners from third countries, with the aim of opening new markets for KICs'-backed solutions and attract financing and talents from abroad. Participation of third countries shall be promoted with regard to the principles of reciprocity and mutual benefits.



European Partnerships shall be selected and implemented, monitored, evaluated, phased-out or renewed on the basis of the following criteria:


Demonstrating that the European Partnership is more effective in achieving the related objectives of the Programme through involvement and commitment of partners, in particular in delivering clear impacts for the Union and its citizens, in particular in view of delivering on global challenges and R&I objectives, securing Union competitiveness, sustainability and contributing to the strengthening of the ERA and, where relevant, international commitments.

In the case of Institutionalised European Partnerships established in accordance with Article 185 TFEU, the participation of at least 40 % of the Member States is mandatory:

(a)coherence and synergies of the European Partnership within the Union R&I landscape, following the Programme's rules to the largest extent possible;

(b)transparency and openness of the European Partnership as regards the identification of priorities and objectives in terms of expected results and impacts and as regards the involvement of partners and stakeholders from across the entire value chain, from different sectors, backgrounds and disciplines, including international ones when relevant and not interfering with European competitiveness; clear arrangements for promoting participation of SMEs and for disseminating and exploiting results, in particular by SMEs, including through intermediary organisations;

(c)ex ante demonstration of additionality and directionality of the European Partnership, including a common strategic vision of the purpose of the European Partnership. That vision includes in particular:

(i)identification of measurable expected outcomes, results and impacts within specific timeframes, including key economic and/or societal value for the Union;

(ii)demonstration of expected qualitative and significant quantitative leverage effects, including a method for the measurement of key performance indicators;

(iii)approaches to ensure flexibility of implementation and to adjust to changing policy, societal and/or market needs, or scientific advances, to increase policy coherence between regional, national and Union level;

(iv)exit-strategies and measures for phasing-out from the Programme;

(d)ex ante demonstration of the partners' long-term commitment, including a minimum share of public and/or private investments.

In the case of Institutionalised European Partnerships, established in accordance with Article 185 or 187 TFEU, the financial and/or in-kind contributions from partners other than the Union, is at least equal to 50 % and may reach up to 75 % of the aggregated European Partnership budgetary commitments. For each such Institutionalised European Partnership, a share of the contributions from partners other than the Union will be in the form of financial contributions. For partners other than the Union and participating states, financial contributions should be aimed primarily at covering administrative costs as well as coordination and support and other non-competitive activities.


(a)systemic approach ensuring active and early involvement of Member States and achievement of the expected impacts of the European Partnership through the flexible implementation of joint actions of high Union added value also going beyond joint calls for proposals for R&I activities, including those related to market, regulatory or policy uptake;

(b)appropriate measures ensuring continuous openness of the initiative and transparency during implementation, in particular for priority setting and for participation in calls for proposals, information on the functioning of the governance, visibility of the Union, communication and outreach measures, dissemination and exploitation of results, including clear open access/user strategy along the value chain; appropriate measures for informing SMEs and promoting their participation;

(c)coordination or joint activities with other relevant R&I initiatives to secure optimum level of interconnections and ensure effective synergies, among other things, to overcome potential implementation barriers at national level and increase cost-effectiveness;

(d)commitments, for financial and/or in-kind contributions, from each partner in accordance with national provisions throughout the duration of the initiative;

(e)in the case of Institutionalised European Partnership access to the results and other action related information for the Commission for the purpose of developing, implementing and monitoring of Union policies or programmes.


(a)a monitoring system in accordance with Article 50 to track progress towards specific policy objectives, deliverables and key performance indicators allowing for an assessment over time of achievements, impacts and potential needs for corrective measures;

(b)periodic dedicated reporting on quantitative and qualitative leverage effects, including on committed and actually provided financial and in-kind contributions, visibility and positioning in the international context, impact on R&I related risks of private sector investments;

(c)detailed information on the evaluation process and results from all calls for proposals within European Partnerships, to be made available timely and accessible in a common e-database.

4.Evaluation, phasing-out and renewal:

(a)evaluation of impacts achieved at Union and national level in relation to defined targets and key performance indicators, feeding into the Programme evaluation set out in Article 52, including an assessment of the most effective policy intervention mode for any future action; and the positioning of any possible renewal of a European Partnership in the overall European Partnerships landscape and its policy priorities;

(b)in the absence of renewal, appropriate measures ensuring phasing-out of the Programme funding according to the conditions and timeline agreed with the legally committed partners ex ante, without prejudice to possible continued transnational funding by national or other Union programmes, and without prejudice to private investment and on-going projects.



Synergies with other Union programmes are based on complementarity between programme design and objectives and on compatibility of financing rules and processes at implementation level.

Funding from the Programme shall be used only to finance R&I activities. The strategic planning shall ensure the alignment of priorities for the different Union programmes and ensure coherent funding options at different stages of the R&I cycle. Missions and European Partnerships shall, among other things, benefit from synergies with other Union programmes and policies.

The deployment of research results and innovative solutions developed in the Programme shall be facilitated with the support of other Union programmes, in particular through dissemination and exploitation strategies, transfer of knowledge, complementary and cumulative funding sources and accompanying policy measures. Funding for R&I activities shall profit from harmonised rules that are designed to ensure Union added value, to avoid overlaps with different Union programmes and to seek maximum efficiency and administrative simplification.

More detail as to how the synergies shall apply between the Programme and the different Union programmes is set out in the following paragraphs:

1.Synergies with the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) shall ensure that:

(a)the R&I needs of the agricultural sector and of rural areas within the Union are identified, for example, within the European Innovation Partnership 'Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability' and taken into consideration in both the Programme's strategic planning and the work programmes;

(b)the CAP makes the best use of R&I results and promotes the use, implementation and deployment of innovative solutions, including those stemming from projects funded by the framework programmes for R&I, from the European Innovation Partnership 'Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability' and relevant KICs of the EIT;

(c)the EAFRD supports the uptake and dissemination of knowledge and solutions stemming from the Programme's results leading to a more dynamic farming sector and new openings for the development of rural areas.

2.Synergies with the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) shall ensure that:

(a)the Programme and the EMFAF are closely interlinked, since Union R&I needs in the field of marine and integrated maritime policy are translated through the Programme's strategic planning;

(b)the EMFAF supports the rolling out of novel technologies and innovative products, processes and services, in particular those resulting from the Programme in the fields of marine and integrated maritime policy; the EMFAF also promotes ground data collection, processing and monitoring, and disseminates relevant actions supported under the Programme, which in turn contributes to the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy, the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, International Ocean Governance and international commitments.

3.Synergies with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) shall ensure that:

(a)with the aim of strengthening the ERA and of contributing to the SDGs, arrangements for alternative and cumulative funding from ERDF and the Programme support activities that provide a bridge, in particular, between smart specialisation strategies and excellence in R&I, including joint trans-regional/trans-national programmes and pan European Research Infrastructures;

(b)the ERDF focuses, among other things, on the development and strengthening of regional and local R&I ecosystems, networks and industrial transformation, including support to building R&I capacities, to the take-up of results and to the rolling out of novel technologies and innovative and climate-friendly solutions from the framework programmes for R&I through the ERDF.

4.Synergies with the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) shall ensure that:

(a)through national or regional programmes, the ESF+ can mainstream and scale up innovative curricula supported by the Programme, in order to equip people with the skills and competences needed for evolving demands of the labour market;

(b)arrangements for alternative and combined funding from ESF+ can be used to support activities of the Programme that promote human capital development in R&I with the aim of strengthening the ERA;

(c)the ESF+ mainstreams innovative technologies and new business models and solutions, in particular those resulting from the Programme, so as to contribute to innovative, efficient and sustainable health systems and facilitate access to better and safer healthcare for European citizens.

5.Synergies with the EU4Health Programme shall ensure that:

(a)Union R&I needs in the field of health are identified and established through the Programme's strategic planning;

(b)the EU4Health Programme contributes to ensuring best use of research results, in particular those resulting from the Programme.

6.Synergies with the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) shall ensure that:

(a)the R&I needs in the areas of transport, energy and in the digital sector within the Union are identified and established through the Programme's strategic planning;

(b)the CEF supports the large-scale roll-out and deployment of innovative new technologies and solutions in the fields of transport, energy and digital physical infrastructures, in particular those resulting from the framework programmes for R&I;

(c)the exchange of information and data between the Programme and CEF projects are facilitated, for example by highlighting technologies from the Programme with a high market readiness that could be further deployed through the CEF.

7.Synergies with the Digital Europe Programme (DEP) shall ensure that:

(a)whereas several thematic areas addressed by the Programme and DEP converge, the type of actions to be supported, their expected results and their intervention logic are different and complementary;

(b)the R&I needs related to digital aspects of the Programme are identified and established through its strategic planning; this includes, for example, R&I for high performance computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, distributed ledger technologies, quantum technologies combining digital with other enabling technologies and non-technological innovations; support for the scale-up of companies introducing breakthrough innovations (many of which combine digital and physical technologies); and support to digital research infrastructures;

(c)DEP focuses on large-scale digital capacity and infrastructure building in, for example, high performance computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, distributed ledger technologies, quantum technologies and advanced digital skills aiming at wide uptake and deployment across the Union of critical existing or tested innovative digital solutions within a Union framework in areas of public interest (such as health, public administration, justice and education) or market failure (such as the digitisation of businesses, in particular SMEs); DEP is mainly implemented through coordinated and strategic investments with Member States, in particular through joint public procurement, in digital capacities to be shared across the Union and in Union-wide actions that support interoperability and standardisation as part of developing the Digital Single Market;

(d)DEP capacities and infrastructures are made available to the R&I community, including for activities supported under the Programme including testing, experimentation and demonstration across all sectors and disciplines;

(e)novel digital technologies developed through the Programme are to be progressively taken up and deployed by DEP;

(f)the Programme's initiatives for the development of skills and competencies curricula, including those delivered at the relevant EIT KICs, are complemented by DEP supported capacity-building in advanced digital skills;

(g)strong coordination mechanisms for strategic programming, operating procedures and governance structures exist for both programmes.

8.Synergies with the Single Market Programme shall ensure that:

(a)the Single Market Programme addresses the market failures which affect SMEs and promotes entrepreneurship and the creation and growth of companies, and complementarity exists between the Single Market Programme and the actions of both the EIT and the EIC for innovative companies, as well as in the area of support services for SMEs, in particular where the market does not provide viable financing;

(b)the Enterprise Europe Network may serve, in addition to other existing SME support structures (e.g. National Contact Points, Innovation Agencies, Digital Innovation Hubs, Competence Centres, incubators), to deliver support services under the Programme, including the EIC.

9.Synergies with the LIFE - Programme for Environment and Climate Action (LIFE) shall ensure that:

(a)the R&I needs to tackle environmental, climate and energy challenges within the Union are identified and established through the Programme's strategic planning;

(b)LIFE continues to act as a catalyst for implementing the Union's environment, climate and relevant energy policy and legislation, including by taking up and applying R&I results from the Programme and help deploying them at national, interregional and regional scale where it can help address environmental, climate or clean energy transition issues. In particular LIFE continues to incentivise synergies with the Programme through the award of a bonus during the evaluation for proposals which feature the uptake of results from the Programme;

(c)LIFE standard action projects support the development, testing or demonstration of suitable technologies or methodologies for the implementation of the Union's environment and climate policy, which can subsequently be deployed on a large scale, funded by other sources, including by the Programme. The EIT as well as the EIC can provide support to scale up and commercialise new breakthrough ideas that may result from the implementation of LIFE projects.

10.Synergies with Erasmus+ shall ensure that:

(a)combined resources from the Programme, including from the EIT, and Erasmus+ are used to support activities dedicated to strengthening, modernising and transforming European higher education institutions. Where appropriate, the Programme complements the Erasmus+'s support for the European Universities Initiative in its research dimension, as part of the development of new joint and integrated long-term and sustainable strategies on education, R&I based on trans-disciplinary and cross-sectoral approaches to make the knowledge triangle a reality. The EIT's activities could complement the strategies to be implemented by the European Universities Initiative;

(b)the Programme and Erasmus+ foster the integration of education and research through assisting higher education institutions to formulate and set up common education, R&I strategies and networks, through informing education systems, teachers and trainers of the latest findings and practices in research and in offering active research experience to all students and higher education staff and in particular researchers, and to support other activities that integrate higher education and R&I.

11.Synergies with the Union Space Programme shall ensure that:

(a)the R&I needs of the Union Space Programme and those of the space upstream and downstream sector within the Union are identified and established as part of the Programme's strategic planning; space research actions implemented through the Programme are implemented with regard to procurement and eligibility of legal entities in accordance with the Union Space Programme, where appropriate;

(b)space data and services made available as a public good by the Union Space Programme are used to develop breakthrough solutions through R&I, including in the Programme, in particular for sustainable food and natural resources, climate monitoring, atmosphere, land, coastal and marine environment, smart cities, connected and automated mobility, security and disaster management;

(c)the Copernicus Data and Information Access Services contribute to the EOSC and thus facilitate access to Copernicus data for researchers, scientists and innovators; research infrastructures, in particular in situ observing networks constitute essential elements of the in situ observation infrastructure enabling the Copernicus services, and in turn, they benefit from information produced by Copernicus services.

12.Synergies with the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III) shall ensure that:

(a)the R&I needs in the areas of NDICI and IPA III are identified through the Programme's strategic planning, in line with the SDGs;

(b)the Programme's R&I activities, with the participation of third countries and targeted international cooperation actions, seek alignment and coherence with parallel market uptake and capacity-building actions strands under the NDICI and IPA III, based on joint definition of needs and of areas of intervention.

13.Synergies with the Internal Security Fund and the instrument for border management as part of the Integrated Border Management Fund shall ensure that:

(a)the R&I needs in the areas of security and integrated border management are identified and established through the Programme's strategic planning;

(b)the Internal Security Fund and the Integrated Border Management Fund support the deployment of innovative new technologies and solutions, in particular those resulting from the framework programmes for R&I in the field of security research.

14.Synergies with the InvestEU Programme shall ensure that:

(a)the Programme provides Horizon Europe blended finance and EIC blended finance for innovators, characterised by a high level of risk and for which the market does not provide sufficient and viable financing; at the same time, the Programme supports the effective delivery and management of the private part of blended finance through funds and intermediaries supported by the InvestEU Programme and others;

(b)financial instruments for R&I and SMEs are grouped together under the InvestEU Programme, in particular through a dedicated R&I thematic window, and through products deployed under the SME window, thereby helping to deliver the objectives of both programmes as well as establishing strong complementary links between both programmes;

(c)the Programme provides appropriate support to help the reorientation of bankable projects, not suitable for EIC funding, towards the InvestEU Programme, where relevant.

15.Synergies with the Innovation Fund under the Emission Trading Scheme (the 'Innovation Fund') shall ensure that:

(a)the Innovation Fund specifically targets innovation in low-carbon technologies and processes, including environmentally safe carbon capture and utilisation that contributes substantially to mitigate climate change, as well as products substituting carbon intensive ones, and to help stimulate the construction and operation of projects that aim towards the environmentally safe capture and geological storage of CO2 as well as innovative renewable energy and energy storage technologies, and to enable and to incentivise 'greener' products;

(b)the Programme funds the development and demonstration of technologies, including breakthrough solutions, that can deliver on the Union's climate neutrality, energy and industrial transformation objectives, especially through its Pillar II and Pillar III activities;

(c)the Innovation Fund may, subject to fulfilment of its selection and award criteria, support the demonstration phase of eligible projects that may have received the support from the Programme and strong complementary links shall be established between both programmes.

16.Synergies with the Just Transition Mechanism shall ensure that:

(a)R&I needs are identified through the Programme's strategic planning to support a just and fair transition towards climate-neutrality;

(b)the take-up and deployment of innovative and climate-friendly solutions, in particular those resulting from the Programme, are promoted.

17.Synergies with the Euratom Research and Training Programme shall ensure that:

(a)the Programme and the Euratom Research and Training Programme develop comprehensive actions supporting education and training (including MSCA) with the aim of maintaining and developing relevant skills in Europe;

(b)the Programme and the Euratom Research and Training Programme develop joint research actions focussing on cross-cutting aspects of the safe and secure use of non-power applications of ionising radiation in sectors such as medicine, industry, agriculture, space, climate change, security and emergency preparedness and contribution of nuclear science.

18.Potential synergies with the European Defence Fund shall benefit civil and defence research with a view to avoiding unnecessary duplication and in accordance with Article 5 and Article 7(1).

19.Synergies with the Creative Europe Programme shall be fostered by identifying R&I needs in the field of cultural and creative policies in the Programme's strategic planning.

20.Synergies with the Recovery and Resilience Facility shall ensure that:

(a)R&I needs to support making Member States economies and society more resilient and better prepared for the future are identified through the Programme's strategic planning;

(b)the take-up and deployment of innovative solutions, in particular those resulting from the Programme, are supported.



Impact pathways, and related key impact pathway indicators, shall structure the monitoring of the Programme's progress towards its objectives as referred to in Article 3. The impact pathways shall be time-sensitive and reflect three complementary impact categories reflecting the non-linear nature of R&I investments: scientific, societal and technological or economic. For each of those impact categories, proxy indicators are used to track progress distinguishing between the short, medium and longer terms, including beyond the Programme's duration, with possibilities for breakdowns, including by Member States and associated countries. Those indicators shall be compiled using quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Individual Programme parts contribute to those indicators to a different degree and through different mechanisms. Additional indicators can be used to monitor individual Programme parts, where relevant.

The micro-data behind the key impact pathway indicators are collected for all parts of the Programme and for all delivery mechanisms in a centrally managed and harmonised way and at the appropriate level of granularity with minimal reporting burden on the beneficiaries.

In addition and beyond key impact pathways indicators, data on the optimised delivery of the Programme for strengthening the ERA, fostering the excellence-based participations from all Member States in the Programme as well as facilitating collaborative links in European R&I are collected and reported in close to real-time as part of implementation and management data, referred to in Article 50. This includes the monitoring of collaborative links, of network analytics, of data on proposals, applications, participations, projects, applicants and participants (including data on the type of organisation, such as civil society organisations, SMEs and private sector), country (such as a specific classification for country groups such as Member States, associated countries and third countries), gender, role in project, scientific discipline or sector, including SSH), and the monitoring of the level of climate mainstreaming and related expenditures.

Scientific impact pathway indicators

The Programme is expected to have scientific impact by creating high-quality new knowledge, strengthening human capital in R&I, and fostering diffusion of knowledge and open science. Progress towards this impact is monitored through proxy indicators set along the following three key impact pathways.

Table 1

Towards scientific impactShort-termMedium-termLonger-term
Creating high-quality new knowledgePublications -

Number of peer-reviewed scientific publications resulting from the Programme
Citations -

Field-Weighted Citation Index of peer-reviewed Publications resulting from the Programme
World-class science -

Number and share of peer-reviewed publications resulting from the projects funded by the Programme that are core contribution to scientific fields
Strengthening human capital in R&ISkills -

Number of researchers involved in upskilling (training, mentoring/coaching, mobility and access to R&I infrastructures) activities in projects funded by the Programme
Careers -

Number and share of upskilled researchers involved in the Programme with increased individual impact in their R&I field
Working conditions -

Number and share of upskilled researchers involved in the Programme with improved working conditions, including researchers' salaries
Fostering diffusion of knowledge and open scienceShared knowledge -

Share of research outputs (open data/publication/software etc.) resulting from the Programme shared through open knowledge infrastructures
Knowledge diffusion -

Share of open access research outputs resulting from the Programme actively used/cited
New collaborations -

Share of Programme beneficiaries which have developed new transdisciplinary/transsectoral collaborations with users of their open access research outputs resulting from the Programme

Societal impact pathway indicators

The Programme is expected to have societal impact by addressing the Union's policy priorities and global challenges, including SDGs, following the principles of the 2030 Agenda and the goals of the Paris Agreement, through R&I, delivering benefits and impact through R&I missions and European Partnerships and strengthening the uptake of innovation in society ultimately contributing to people's well-being. Progress towards this impact is monitored through proxy indicators set along the following three key impact pathways.

Table 2

Towards societal impactShort-termMedium-termLonger-term
Addressing Union policy priorities and global challenges through R&IResults -

Number and share of results aimed at addressing identified Union policy priorities and global challenges (including SDGs) (multidimensional: for each identified priority)

Including: Number and share of climate-relevant results aimed at delivering on the Union's commitment under the Paris Agreement
Solutions -

Number and share of innovations and research outcomes addressing identified Union policy priorities and global challenges (including SDGs) (multidimensional: for each identified priority)

Including: Number and share of climate-relevant innovations and research outcomes delivering on Union's commitment under the Paris Agreement
Benefits -

Aggregated estimated effects from use/exploitation of results funded by the Programme on tackling identified Union policy priorities and global challenges (including SDGs), including contribution to the policy and law-making cycle (such as norms and standards) (multidimensional: for each identified priority)

Including: Aggregated estimated effects from use/exploitation of climate-relevant results funded by the Programme on delivering on the Union's commitment under the Paris Agreement including contribution to the policy and law-making cycle (such as norms and standards)
Delivering benefits and impact through R&I missionsR&I mission results -

Results in specific R&I missions

(multidimensional: for each identified mission)
R&I mission outcomes -

Outcomes in specific R&I missions

(multidimensional: for each identified mission)
R&I mission targets met -

Targets achieved in specific R&I missions

(multidimensional: for each identified mission)
Strengthening the uptake of R&I in societyCo-creation -

Number and share of projects funded by the Programme where Union citizens and end-users contribute to the co-creation of R&I content
Engagement -

Number and share of participating legal entities which have citizen and end-users engagement mechanisms in place after the end of projects funded by the Programme
Societal R&I uptake -

Uptake and outreach of co-created scientific results and innovative solutions generated under the Programme

Technological and Economic impact pathway indicators

The Programme is expected to have technological and economic impact especially within the Union by influencing the creation and growth of companies, especially SMEs including start-ups, creating direct and indirect jobs especially within the Union, and by leveraging investments for R&I. Progress towards this impact is monitored through proxy indicators set along the following three key impact pathways.

Table 3

Towards technological / economic impactShort-termMedium-termLonger-term
Generating innovation-based growthInnovative results -

Number of innovative products, processes or methods resulting from the Programme (by type of innovation) & Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) applications
Innovations -

Number of innovations resulting from the projects funded by the Programme (by type of innovation) including from awarded IPRs
Economic growth -

Creation, growth & market shares of companies having developed innovations in the Programme
Creating more and better jobsSupported employment -

Number of full time equivalent (FTE) jobs created, and jobs maintained in participating legal entities for the project funded by the Programme (by type of job)
Sustained employment -

Increase of FTE jobs in participating legal entities following the project funded by the Programme (by type of job)
Total employment -

Number of direct & indirect jobs created or maintained due to diffusion of results from the Programme (by type of job)
Leveraging investments in R&ICo-investment -

Amount of public & private investment mobilised with the initial investment from the Programme
Scaling-up -

Amount of public & private investment mobilised to exploit or scale-up results from the Programme (including foreign direct investments)
Contribution to '3 % target' -

Union progress towards 3 % GDP target due to the Programme



In accordance with Articles 8 and 12 of this Regulation, the areas for possible missions and possible European Partnerships to be established under Article 185 or 187 TFEU are set out in this Annex.

I.Areas for possible missions:

Missions Area 1: Adaptation to Climate Change, including Societal Transformation.

Mission Area 2: Cancer.

Mission Area 3: Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters.

Mission Area 4: Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities.

Mission Area 5: Soil Health and Food.

Each mission follows the principles set out in Article 8(4) of this Regulation.

II.Areas for possible Institutionalised European Partnerships on the basis of Article 185 or 187 TFEU:

Partnership Area 1: Faster development and safer use of health innovations for European patients, and global health.

Partnership Area 2: Advancing key digital and enabling technologies and their use, including but not limited to novel technologies such as artificial intelligence, photonics and quantum technologies.

Partnership Area 3: European leadership in Metrology including an integrated Metrology system.

Partnership Area 4: Accelerate competitiveness, safety and environmental performance of Union air traffic, aviation and rail.

Partnership Area 5: Sustainable, inclusive and circular bio-based solutions.

Partnership Area 6: Hydrogen and sustainable energy storage technologies with lower environmental footprint and less energy-intensive production.

Partnership Area 7: Clean, connected, cooperative, autonomous and automated solutions for future mobility demands of people and goods.

Partnership Area 8: Innovative and R&D intensive SMEs.

The process of assessing the need for an Institutionalised European Partnership in one of the abovementioned Partnership Areas may result in a legislative proposal in accordance with the Commission's right of initiative. Otherwise the respective Partnership Area can also be subject to a European Partnership following point (a) of Article 10(1) or point (b) of Article 10(1) of this Regulation or be implemented by other calls for proposals within this Programme.

As the possible areas for Institutionalised European Partnerships cover broad thematic fields, they can, based on the assessed needs, be implemented by more than one European Partnership.