What is new in Horizon Europe? 8 prerequisites you must know – no. 2.

Alex Chalkley

Alex Chalkley

Founder // CEO

Citizen Science and Public Engagement in Horizon Europe.

Horizon Europe is a €100bn grant funding programme spanning 2021 to 2027 – our blog series provides you with 8 prerequisites you must understand to be successful.

In this, the 2nd of our 8 blogs, we are focusing on Citizen Science and Public Engagement. In short, this refers to involving and engaging EU citizens and civil society in the EU in research & innovation.

Horizon Europe is a funding opportunity that every SME (Small Medium Enterprise), Public Body, Research Institution and Citizen Group could benefit from. We at IFE understand that the new Horizon Europe funding programme can also be confusing – there are new requirements and areas of focus compared with Horizon 2020. Once you have read this short blog series you will understand what is new in Horizon Europe.

Main Points

There have been concerns raised during the development of Horizon Europe that the programme will not adequately address the needs of EU citizens and civil society. Many have called for Horizon Europe to be more ‘citizen orientated’ and so we see that one of the prerequisites of Horizon Europe is Citizen Science and Public Engagement. But what does this mean to consortiums seeking to develop proposals for funding?

Firstly, Citizen Science involves a wide range of actors from different sectors including academia, NGOs, public authorities, museums, and more.

In the Implementation Objectives of the Horizon Europe Strategy, there is specific mention of the use of digital tools to improve stakeholder engagement:

Easing access through digital transformation and outreach, to ensure that the whole implementation is designed in a joined-up and holistic way, supported by modern outreach channels and practices and robust electronic platforms and tools for engaging stakeholders along the programme life-cycle, increasing communication on data and results, and exploiting new approaches as these mature, including Artificial Intelligence (AI).”

It is reasonable to expect therefore that a greater emphasis will be based on:

  1. how consortiums engaged citizens and civil society in the development of projects and,
  2. the external communication plan that should be detailed in any funding proposal to share results back with citizens.

This plan must now ensure the use of “modern outreach channels and practices” with “robust electronic platforms and tools” to engage citizens and civil society. This focus is further cemented in Citizen Science & Citizen Engagement Report.

Practically, we should take notice of the following:

  • Measuring Citizen Science
  • European Platform for Citizen Science
  • Inclusiveness
  • Ethical Standards
  • Environmental Focus
  • Terminology
  • Declaration on Citizen Science
  • Reinforcing Citizen Science

Horizon Europe missions & citizen science

Missions, constituted under Horizon Europe, provide a unique opportunity to test and refine mechanisms for consulting and engaging with citizens. Effective citizen engagement involves three stages of intervention: communication and awareness raising; co-design and co-creation; and co-implementation. This approach was used extensively to create the missions in Horizon Europe and there should be a plan in every proposal for funding to do the same.

We, at IFE, can provide support to the ideation and development of these inputs.

Here are some useful links to more information about the topics in this blog:

  • The main Horizon Europe Page is here.
  • Find live calls for funding here.
  • A breakdown of funding by pillar in Horizon Europe is here.
  • Learn more about Impact Funding Europe here.


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Sophie Glaser-Deruelle

Senior Consultant

Sophie is a mission-driven, analytic, and reliable consultant. Her focus is on the development of projects, and writing public funding bids and grant proposals for R&D. She holds an MA in International Relations and European Studies and has a strong background in SME development and enabling SMEs and Start-ups to access markets and funding. Sophie has over 10 years of experience in EU funding and project implementation including international project development, tender and funding proposal writing, policy development, implementation, and project management. At IFE, Sophie is a Senior Consultant and Project Development expert. She aids companies in defining their R&D needs and aligning them to calls, this includes ideation and development of projects, consortium building and writing proposals for EU funding.

Olaf Gerd Gemein


Olaf is an entrepreneur since more than 35 years.

Peter Schottes

Eisenschmidt Consulting

Peter holds a PhD in nature science (climate impact research), worked as a project manager for software development and as a freelance consultant. He is managing director and shareholder of Eisenschmidt Consulting Crew in Kiel, Germany. He is a specialist in transformation projects and works as a sparring partner for top executives. His focus in on strategy development, digital transformation and concept development. Peter is active as advisor for StartUps and Angel investor. At IFE he overlooks the entire process of community building, stakeholder management and is also responsible for the project kick-offs.

Alex Chalkley


Alex has a BSc in Mathematics, Economics & Computing and has already built a market-leading R&D Funding Consultancy in the UK from 2009 to 2019. Alex has developed funding bids, mainly in the form of R&D Grant Applications, that have secured over €60m for clients operating at the forefront of technology innovation. Venturenomix, focuses on supporting Impact Ventures by offering specialist funding related consultancy services to ambitious people seeking funding for good projects. At IFE, Alex is Managing Director and responsible for all aspects of the business, in particular recruiting, mentoring and adding value to the EU Grant Writing Consultants working on multi-million Euro EU Grant Applications.

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