Horizon Europe: €8.3 Billion Now Available for Innovative Health Projects

25th Jun 2021
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You might remember Horizon 2020? A European funding programme which financed over 16,000 UK innovative projects over the course of six years, from 2014 to 2020. The projects that Horizon 2020 funded ranged from changing the way respiratory illnesses were diagnosed, to developing grass-based circular business models for rural agri-food value chains.

But it’s 2021; Horizon 2020 has finished, and Horizon Europe has started. With a new structure and, more importantly, a new (bigger) pot of funding, how will the health sector, in particular, benefit?

If you have clients in the health sector, you might want to read this.

What is Horizon Europe?

Horizon Europe is Horizon 2020s successor. Set to run until 2027, it’s an EU funding programme that has a budget of €95.5 billion to support companies across the whole of Europe and the UK with their research, development and innovation projects.

Horizon Europe’s overriding objective is to encourage companies to take on risky, innovative activities that will tackle global challenges such as climate change and sustainability, and also boost the EU’s growth and competitiveness.

How does Horizon Europe work?

As with Horizon 2020, the Horizon Europe framework is based on three pillars with a horizontal action that supports all three: 

  • Pillar 1. Open Science
  • Pillar 2. Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness
  • Pillar 3. Open Innovation
  • Horizontal action: Sharing Excellence and Reforming and Enhancing the European and R&I System

Under each of the three pillars are individual initiatives designed to incentivise innovation. For example, “Pillar 2. Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness” has six initiatives (called clusters):

  • Cluster 1: Health
  • Cluster 2: Culture, Creativity & Inclusive Society
  • Cluster 3: Civil Security for Society
  • Cluster 4: Digital, Industry & Space
  • Cluster 5: Climate, Energy & Mobility
  • Cluster 6: Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environment

Each cluster has its own budget and its own, specific objectives. But each one is also laser-focused on supporting global challenges and increasing Europe’s industrial competitiveness.

As this article is focused on the funding available for innovative health projects specifically, it makes sense that we take a deeper look at “Cluster 1: Health”.

How UK companies within the health sector can benefit from cluster 1 funding

The main objective of the health cluster is to support “Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness”. To do this, it offers organisations across Europe and the UK the opportunity to respond to calls for applicants and apply for funding to support their innovative projects.

UK entities including universities, research centres, scientists, innovative businesses, industry etc will have full rights to participate in the first calls for proposals of Horizon Europe.“ – European Commission

With €8.3 billion of funding available and a range of opportunities to access new knowledge, develop partnerships, and access new markets, it’s an incredible chance for the UK health industry to prioritise research, development and innovation.

Who can apply for cluster 1 funding?

Any UK health company - including those in academia, industry, the NHS, and charities – can apply for Europe Horizon cluster 1 funding.

I know what you’re thinking: the UK is no longer part of the EU, so how is that possible?

The UK will ‘associate’ to Horizon Europe. This means that Horizon Europe will give UK scientists, researchers and businesses access to funding under the same terms as EU-based organisations.

What type of projects are eligible for cluster 1 funding?

Any project that contributes to the following objectives could be eligible to apply for Horizon Europe funding, under cluster 1:

  • Staying healthy in a rapidly changing society
  • Living and working in a health-promoting environment
  • Tackling diseases and reducing disease burden
  • Ensuring easy access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality health care
  • Unlocking the potential of new tools, technologies and digital solutions for a healthy society
  • Maintaining an innovative, sustainable and globally competitive health-related industry

So that’s the type of project that could be eligible for funding, but what type of activities apply?

What type of activities qualify for cluster 1 funding?

Three broad areas establish what type of activity Horizon Europe are looking to support with their cluster 1 funding:

Research and innovation actions (RIA)

Activities that are aiming to establish new knowledge or explore the feasibility of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution, fall under the RIA category.

For instance, companies that want to develop a small-scale prototype in a lab or simulated environment might receive funding for up to 100% of the eligible costs of the project. 

Innovation actions (IA)

Activities that involve developing plans or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services could be eligible for cluster 1 funding under the IA jurisdiction.

For example, non-profit organisations that are wanting to validate their large-scale products under like-for-like market conditions could receive up to 100% of their eligible costs (profitable companies could receive up to 70%).

Coordination and support actions (CSA)

If a company is carrying out activities that are contributing to the objectives of the overall Horizon Europe Programme, it could be eligible to receive up to 100% of its project costs.

How to apply for Horizon Europe funding

Once your client has found a suitable programme to fund their project, they’ll need to submit a grant application.

If your proposal is admissible and eligible, the selection process usually starts with independent experts that will evaluate your proposal and score it against selection and award criteria.” – European Commission

I don’t need to tell you that the grant application process is fiercely competitive. So, if your clients want to submit a winning proposal, why don’t they seek help from an expert grant application team?

One that has a 70% success rate with submitting winning grant applications…

Speak to Myriad Associates about Horizon Europe grant applications

Myriad Associates have spent over a decade writing and submitting winning, grant applications across a broad spectrum of industries and funding programmes, including Horizon 2020.

In fact, only last year the grant writing team managed to secure over £100m in grant funding for a variety of clients. Check out some of our case studies.

If your client wants to find out how they can secure grant funding from Horizon Europe, direct them to our website, advise them to call us on 0207 118 6045 or get them to drop us a message.