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Expected sustainable funding opportunities  in the Work Programme 2021-2022. Horizon Europe is the European Union’s new funding programme for research and innovation.

This article outlines four Horizon Europe funding Clusters aimed at various approaches of sustainability and their respective funding objectives for R&I, R&D and digitalisation projects that are to be expected in the upcoming funding period. Naturally, all of these Clusters approach the targets of the strategies EU Green Deal, EU Security Union Strategy, European way of Life, New Industrial Strategy for Europe and A Clean Planet for All.

Food, Bioeconomy Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment

From this Horizon Europe Cluster it is expected that funding will be provided to enhance and balance environmental, social and economic objectives. This will include the support for the reduction of environmental degradation, halting of the decline of biodiversity and managing natural resources in line with the EU’s climate targets and ensuring food and water security. The following key features are expected as funding objectives:

  • Climate neutrality and the reduction of GHG emissions;
  • Recovery of biodiversity on land, inland water and at sea;
  • Sustainable and circular management and use of natural resources as well as prevention and removal of pollution;
  • Food and nutrition security for all;
  • Demographic change in the framework of rural, coastal and urban areas;
  • Innovative governance models.

Climate Energy and Mobility

The expected objectives of this Cluster are the provision of funding to intensify the green and digital transitions and associated transformation of the EU’s economy, industry and society. This encompasses the support of innovation-based projects aiming at inclusive growth and the transition to greenhouse gas neutrality of the energy and mobility sectors, while boosting competitiveness, resilience and utility for citizens and society. The following key features are expected as funding objectives:

  • Sustainable resource management;
  • Advanced climate science and responses to climate change (mitigation and adaptation) and behavioural transformations;
  • Sustainable and globally competitive transport solutions concerning all modes of transport;
  • Efficient, clean, sustainable, secure and competitive energy supply and renewable energy solutions;
  • Safe, seamless, smart and climate neutral mobility systems including user-centric technologies and services.

Digital, Industry and Space

In this Cluster funding opportunities are expected in the framework of transformation and enhancement of digital and industrial technologies in space as well as products and services. This involves sustainable innovations that strengthen the EU’s competitiveness in a resilient, green and digital socio-economic system. The following key features are expected as funding objectives:

  • Circular economy and clean and climate-neutral industrial value chains;
  • Upskilling and reskilling of the work force;
  • Dynamic industrial innovation ecosystems;
  • Digital technologies and in future emerging enabling technologies;
  • Next-generation computing and data technologies and infrastructures and artificial intelligence ecosystem;
  • EU’s space sector competitiveness;
  • Empowering end-users and workers and supporting social innovation.


Civil Security Society

This Horizon Europe Cluster is expected to provide funding support for projects that help implement EU priorities concerning security, cybersecurity, disaster risk reduction and resilience as well as consequences of the COVID-19 situation. Amongst others, this will include funding for security infrastructure projects, EU external border management as well as R&I in the framework of protection against crime and terror.

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