The European Commission has announced the adoption of the main Horizon Europe work programme for 2023-2024, which will provide approximately €13.5 billion in funding for researchers and innovators working on environmental, energy, digital, and geopolitical challenges. This funding is part of the broader EU research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe, which has a total budget of €95.5 billion.
One of the key goals of the Horizon Europe work programme is to help the EU reach its climate action objectives and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, 42% of the programme's budget, or €5.67 billion, has been dedicated to finding innovative solutions to address climate change. An additional €1.67 billion will be used to support biodiversity conservation efforts.
The work programme also aims to support the EU's digital transition, with €4.5 billion being allocated to the development of core digital technologies and their integration into society. Additionally, the New European Bauhaus initiative, which aims to demonstrate the benefits of the green transition in people's daily lives, will receive extensive support.
In terms of energy, the programme will invest nearly €970 million to accelerate the clean energy transition and increase Europe's energy independence from unreliable and fossil fuel-based sources. It will also invest over €1 billion from NextGeneration EU towards Europe's recovery from the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Horizon Europe work programme will also provide targeted support to Ukraine, including funding for the climate-neutral reconstruction of several Ukrainian cities and support for Ukrainian researchers' access to European research infrastructures. In addition, the programme will focus on tackling global challenges through research flagship initiatives on food, agriculture, and biotechnology, and climate change and biodiversity, in cooperation with China.
Finally, the programme will invest more than €600 million in the five EU Missions in 2023, which are expected to result in a range of outcomes, including better-prepared local and regional authorities to face climate-related risks, the restoration of at least 25,000 km of free-flowing rivers, and Climate City Contracts with 100 cities.