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Horizon Europe - Performance

Programme for Research and Innovation

Programme in a nutshell

Concrete examples of achievements (*)

82 543 (ℹ)
were published in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals between 2014 and 2021.
41 324 (ℹ)
joint public–private papers
were published in peer-reviewed journals between 2014 and 2021.
3 843 (ℹ)
patent applications
were made between 2014 and 2021.
> 69 000 (ℹ)
researchers, including PhDs
moved either internationally or between sectors in the 2014-2021 period.
259 505 (ℹ)
were produced between 2014 and 2021.
3 800
start-ups and scale-ups
were supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology between 2014 and 2021.
Nobel Prize winners
were supported through European Research Council grants or Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions between 2010 and 2021.

(*) Key achievements in the table state which period they relate to. Many come from the implementation of the predecessor programmes under the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework. This is expected and due to the multiannual life cycle of EU programmes and the projects they finance, where results often follow only after completion of the programmes.

(ℹ) Item corrected after adoption of the AMPR. See also link.

Budget for 2021-2027

(*) Only Article 15(3) of the financial regulation.


Rationale and design of the programme

Horizon Europe is the EU's 7-year research and innovation programme, running from 2021 to 2027. The programme is designed to serve all the political priorities of the European Union.

Legal basis

Regulation (EU) 2021/695 of the European Parliament and of the Council



Horizon Europe programme

Implementation and performance



Budget programming (million EUR):

Financial programming11 527.612 239.212 273.812 271.612 518.612 770.613 027.686 628.9
NextGenerationEU1 772.01 776.81 829. 412.0
Decommitments made available again (*)20.0      20.0
Contributions from other countries and entities842.0p.m.p.m.p.m.p.m.p.m.p.m.842.0
Total14 161.614 015.914 103.012 284.312 528.012 777.713 032.492 903.0

(*) Only Article 15(3) of the financial regulation.


more or less

  Financial programming:
  - EUR 388.1 million (- 0%)
  compared to the legal basis (*)


(*) Top-ups pursuant to Art. 5 MFF Regulation are excluded from financial programming in this comparison.


Cumulative implementation rate at the end of 2021 (million EUR):

 Implementation2021-2027 BudgetImplementation rate
Commitments13 586.492 903.015%
Payments1 203.7 1%


Voted budget implementation in 2021 (million EUR):

 Voted budget implementationInitial voted budget
Commitments11 393.611 506.5
Payments1 138.11 828.7

Contribution to horizontal priorities

EU budget contribution in 2021 (million EUR):

ClimateBiodiversityGender equality (*)
4 750.41 068.0Score 2: 37.7(ℹ)
Score 1: 160.0
Score 0*: 11 195.9(ℹ)

(*) Based on the applied gender contribution methodology, the following scores are attributed at the most granular level of intervention possible:
- 2: interventions the principal objective of which is to improve gender equality;
- 1: interventions that have gender equality as an important and deliberate objective but not as the main reason for the intervention;
- 0: non-targeted interventions;
- 0*: score to be assigned to interventions with a likely but not yet clear positive impact on gender equality.

(ℹ) Item corrected after adoption of the AMPR. See also link.


Performance assessment

  • The first main work programme for Horizon Europe for 2021-2022 aimed at boosting the European green and digital transitions and at contributing to sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and EU resilience against future crises. It also provided support to researchers at all stages of their career for acquiring new knowledge and skills. Additionally, it targeted the creation of better-connected and more efficient innovation ecosystems and world-class research infrastructures. Finally, calls also encouraged participation across Europe and from around the world, while at the same time helping to strengthen the European research area. 2021 also saw the launch of the European Innovation Council's first work programme.
  • Regarding non-EU countries' association with Horizon Europe, as of December 2021, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Türkiye had applicable association agreements in place. National ratification procedures are expected to enter into force for the association agreements signed with Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo (1) and Ukraine. As long as the ratification of the agreement by Ukraine is suspended, Ukraine is eligible for EU funding under Horizon Europe as a low- to middle-income country. The association agreements are yet to be signed with Albania, the Faroes and Tunisia.
  • A performance framework using key impact pathways has been designed to monitor the programme's progress towards reaching its general objective. It covers the whole life cycle of a funded R & I activity, from outputs to impacts, depending on the period of time to which indicators are assigned (short, medium or long term). To measure the performance in the first phase of the programme's life cycle, the reporting will concentrate on output indicators.
  • After 1 year of programme implementation, results are mainly available from direct actions carried out by the Joint Research Centre.
  • In addition, in response to the five calls for proposals relating to the 2021 Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, 9 660 applicants have applied, showing that the scheme has garnered a large amount of interest. The selection results will be announced in 2022.
  • The first EU missions were launched in May 2021 (2) to deliver solutions in five cross-sectoral areas where there is an urgent need: adaptation to climate change; cancer; climate-neutral and smart cities; oceans, seas and waters; and soil health and food.
  • The EU provided nearly EUR 10 billion of funding to the 10 new institutionalised partnerships established in November 2021 between the European Union, Member States and/or industry. The partners will match the EU funding with at least an equivalent amount of investment. This combined contribution is expected to mobilise additional investment in support of the green and digital transitions and to create long-term positive impacts on employment, the environment and society.
  • In June 2021, the Commission also launched 11 new co-programmed partnerships, mostly together with the private sector, to deliver solutions to major societal challenges. In addition, a call for proposals for co-funded partnerships involving public authorities was published in the 2021-2022 work programme.
  • In 2021, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology launched the first 'EIT community booster – Scaling New European Bauhaus ventures' call to support the New European Bauhaus initiative in accelerating solutions integrating sustainability (from climate goals to circularity, zero pollution and biodiversity), aesthetics (quality of experience and style, beyond functionality) and inclusion (including diversity first, securing accessibility and affordability). A pilot phase launched for this community booster has already supported 13 ventures with a total of EUR 650 000.

(1) This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
(2) Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on European missions, COM(2021) 609.

MFF 2014-2020 – Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 – the eighth framework programme funding research, technological development and innovation – was established as a means of putting the EU at the heart of world-class science and innovation, making it more competitive and creating economic growth and new jobs.


Budget implementation

Cumulative implementation rate at the end of 2021 (million EUR):

 Implementation2014-2020 BudgetImplementation rate
Commitments75 616.375 623.6100%
Payments61 946.2 82%

Performance assessment

  • Many Horizon 2020 projects are still ongoing, as reflected by the payment rate (82%), which explains why some targets have a deadline after 2020. The Horizon 2020 performance will be measured until the last initiatives financed under Horizon 2020 are finished, i.e. several years after the formal end of the programme in 2020. Overall, Horizon 2020 has made good progress towards achieving scientific impacts by improving R & I capacity, scientific excellence and reputation and by integrating R & I efforts. The results indicate that, in most areas, Horizon 2020 has achieved its targets, and even exceeded them. No indicator deserves attention.
  • The initiatives under the programme as far as the 'Excellent science' pillar is concerned are very satisfactory. Since 2014, the share of publications from European Research Council-funded projects among the top 1% most cited has remained high, at about 7 %, considerably exceeding the target of 1.8 %. Future and emerging technologies have already generated more than 20.2 publications in peer-reviewed journals per EUR 10 million of funding, and about one patent per EUR 10 million of funding, thus approaching the targets. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions scheme has exceeded its target of 65 000 researchers, including 25 000 PhDs. Since 2014, 115 053 supported researchers have had access to research infrastructures, including e-infrastructures, both remotely and physically, thus far exceeding the target.
  • The initiatives under the 'Industrial leadership' pillar have progressed well. In this respect, projects on leadership in enabling and industrial technologies have produced more than 9 000 public–private publications. 197% of participating firms have introduced innovations 'new to the company or the market' with the potential to generate scientific breakthroughs, which almost meets the target of 200% (including private companies beyond the beneficiaries involved in the project). As regards patents, the result of 0.85 patent application per EUR 10 million of funding shows that it is progressing slowly towards the target of 3. This is normal, since patents are generally filed at the end of projects. Under the 'access to risk finance' activities, more than 32 000 organisations have been funded, and the total investment mobilised via debt financing and venture capital investments is EUR 71 billion, exceeding the targets. The instruments for small and medium-sized enterprises have generated around 2 545 jobs.
  • On the other hand, the 'Societal challenges' pillar shows moderate progress. So far, the initiatives under this pillar have generated about 9 910 public–private publications and 83 900 innovations, including prototypes and testing activities. However, the number of peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals per EUR 10 million of funding and the number of patent applications per EUR 10 million of funding are lower than the respective targets. Nevertheless, we expect to see better performance results following the end of the projects, when publications and patents generally start to be produced.

Programme statement

7 JUNE 2022
Programme statement – Horizon Europe
(720.04 KB - PDF)