Strategic plan for 2021-2024

Home Strategic plan for 2021-2024

Horizon Europe Programme is the next stage of the EU’s “scientific and technological expansion”, which outlines strategic trajectories, promoting cooperation not only between its member states, but also between scientific communities, industry, and the public in other regions of the world.

The first strategic document for the Horizon Europe Programme is the Strategic Plan for 2021-2024. It delineates the course of research and innovation funding spanning from 2021 to 2024, closely aligning with the European Commission’s goals for advancing technology, achieving climate neutrality, and fostering economic prosperity for the European citizens. Emphasizing the significance of collective actions, the Plan tackles the intricate issues brought to light by the COVID-19 pandemic, urging substantial investments in state-of-the-art expertise and collaborative, interdisciplinary strategies. Horizon Europe aims to expedite the transitions toward environmental sustainability and digital advancement, with a focus on critical domains like green supply chain components, digital technologies, and societal transformations. At the same time, the Plan focuses on the need to achieve EU climate neutrality by 2050.

In most general terms, the Strategic Plan intends to articulate four pivotal directions for research and innovation investments within the Horizon Europe Framework over the ensuing four years:

  1. Advancing an open strategic autonomy through spearheading the advancement of crucial digital, enabling, and emerging technologies, sectors, and value chains.
  2. Rehabilitating Europe’s ecosystems and biodiversity while sustainably managing natural resources.
  3. Pioneering the transformation of Europe into the foremost digitally enabled circular, climate-neutral, and sustainable economy.
  4. Fostering the development of a more robust, inclusive, and democratic European society.

The forthcoming Horizon Europe Strategic Plan for 2025–2027 articulates the key strategic directions for the concluding phase of the European Union’s most extensive research and innovation programme to date, Horizon Europe.

Grounded in the legal foundation of Horizon Europe, this analysis examines developments since the Programme’s initial Strategic Plan (2021–2024), scrutinising changes in the context of EU policy, global affairs, societal dynamics, economic policies, and advancements in science and technology. Utilising tailored foresight and cutting-edge analysis, including insights from the Science, Research, and Innovation Performance of the EU 2022 report, the document provides an overview of key political, socioeconomic, and environmental drivers, aligning with EU and Member State’ policy priorities and addressing challenges and opportunities for European society. Emphasising themes of resilience and a just green and digital transition, the document encompasses sections on societal challenges and recent policies, the global research and innovation landscape, and potential new research needs arising from global challenges, discussing the role of transformative policies in fostering systematic change and addressing the need for increased EU