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What is new in Horizon Europe? 8 prerequisites you must know – no. 3.

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Open Science, Open Innovation and Open to the World 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 3rd of our 8 blogs, we are focusing on Open Science, Open Innovation and Open to the World. In short, these terms in Horizon Europe refer to a broad set of concepts and practises that should be considered for any EU funded project.

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

While the EU benefits from world class research and strong industries, the EU can do better at transforming this knowledge leadership into tangible innovations and entrepreneurship. The EU makes up 7% of the world’s population, but creates 20% of global R&D and 33% of all high-quality (independently peer reviewed) scientific publications. The three following concepts are viewed as key enabling methods to increase Europe’s capacity for capitalising on this work.

Open Innovation

Open Innovation seeks to involve all active players so that knowledge can circulate freely and be transformed into products and services that create new markets, fostering a stronger culture of entrepreneurship.

Open Innovation has already evolved from linear, bilateral transactions and collaborations towards dynamic, networked, multi-collaborative innovation ecosystems. The European Commission’s concept of Open Innovation is characterised by:

  1. Combining the power of ideas and knowledge from different actors (whether private, public, or civil society/third sector) to co-create new products and find solutions to societal needs.
  2. Creating shared economic and social value, including a citizen and user-centric approach.
  3. Capitalising on the implications of trends such as digitalisation, mass participation and collaboration.

Horizon Europe and its predecessor Horizon 2020, both support an open innovation ecosystem that facilitates the translation of knowledge into socio-economic value. In addition to the formal supply side elements such as research skills, excellent science, funding and Intellectual Property management, there is also a need to concentrate on the demand side aspects of knowledge circulation, making sure that scientific work corresponds to the needs of the users and that knowledge is findable, accessible, interpretable, and re-usable (FAIR).

Open Science

Open Science represents a change to the scientific process, based on cooperative work and new ways of diffusing knowledge by using digital technologies and new collaborative tools. The idea captures a systemic change, shifting from the standard practices of publishing research results in paid-for scientific publications towards a sharing model, where knowledge is available at an earlier stage in the research process.

Open Science permits knowledge to circulate more quickly and be more freely available. Open Science, however, does not mean ‘free science.’ It is essential to ensure that intellectual property is protected before making knowledge publicly available to subsequently attract investments that can help translate research results into innovation. If this is considered, fuller and wider access to scientific publications and research data can help to accelerate innovation.

The EU identified five lines of potential policy:

  1. Fostering Open Science in education programmes, promoting best practices, and increasing the input of knowledge producers into a more Open Science environment (citizen science).
  2. Removing barriers to Open Science: incentives and rewards for engaging in Open Science.
  3. Mainstreaming and further promoting open access policies as regards both research data and research publications.
  4. Developing research infrastructures for Open Science, to improve data hosting, access, and governance, with the development of a common framework for research data and creation of a European Open Science Cloud, a major initiative to build the necessary Open Science infrastructure in Europe.
  5. Embedding Open Science in society as a socioeconomic driver, whereby Open Science becomes instrumental in making science more responsive to societal and economic expectations, by addressing major challenges faced by society

Open to the world

Fostering international cooperation in research and innovation is a strategic priority for the European Union to access the latest knowledge and the best talent worldwide, tackle global societal challenges more effectively, create business opportunities in new and emerging markets, and use science diplomacy as an influential instrument of external policy.

To increase the effectiveness of international cooperation, while avoiding a wasteful fragmentation of efforts, the Commission prioritises actions of critical mass in terms of scale/resources and scope/coverage. Priority areas for international engagement are identified based on the following criteria:

  1. Research and innovation capacity
  2. Access to markets and their impact on EU competitiveness
  3. Contribution to the EU’s international commitments
  4. Legal and administrative frameworks in place to engage in cooperation

Openness to and engagement with the world is a strategic priority for Europe to produce the absolute best science and technology, to get research results faster to market and create new business opportunities for R&D-intensive industries, to solve global societal challenges and to have a leading voice in global debates and developments. Targeted thematic cooperation remains crucial to capitalise on rising excellence, new value chains and growing markets beyond Europe, and to solve societal challenges in the most effective way.


While these concepts are evolving and will no doubt be refined, these broad frameworks should be included in any project at ideation phase to ensure that research and projects have a positive legacy, beyond financial success, in the broader context of the developments.

To explore the full EU positions on all three concepts the full published texts are available here

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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Clean Energy

In 2019 the EU completed a comprehensive update of its energy policy framework to facilitate the transition away from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy and to deliver on the EU’s Paris Agreement commitments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The agreement on this new energy rulebook – called the Clean energy for all Europeans package – marked a significant step towards the implementation of the energy union strategy, published in 2015.

Climate, Energy and Mobility is the focus for Cluster 5 in Horizon Europe. This clusters aims to fight climate change by better understanding its causes, evolution, risks, impacts and opportunities, and by making the energy and transport sectors more climate and environment-friendly, more efficient and competitive, smarter, safer and more resilient

More information here.

Recent Projects


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 Gerd Gemein


Olaf is a passionate Serial Entrepreneur and Business Architect with a specific ambition: to be a change catalyst!

With over 30 years of practical experience in various markets in Europe, Asia, North and South America and Canada, he has successfully supported more than 100 projects in the ICT sector. His contributions have focused on accelerating start-up and innovation clusters, building networks, products and services from scratch, facilitating and implementing go-to-market strategies. He is frequently asked to speak at conferences and facilitate networking on smart tech topics around the world.

Peter Schottes

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 Neu

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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Smart City

A smart city is a place where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies for the benefit of its inhabitants and business. 

A smart city goes beyond the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for better resource use and less emissions. It means smarter urban transport networks, upgraded water supply and waste disposal facilities and more efficient ways to light and heat buildings. It also means a more interactive and responsive city administration, safer public spaces and meeting the needs of an ageing population. Last not least, it aims to make a city a healthier, more sustainable and more attractive place to be for its residents and visitors.

More than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. This is expected to reach 80% by 2050. Cities and metropolitan areas are centres of economic activity, knowledge generation, innovation and new technologies. Cities influence the quality of life of citizens who live or work in them and they are major contributors to global challenges.

A mission in this area will help us meet the goals and targets set out by international policy frameworks such as the COP21 Paris Agreement, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (notably SDG11), the Urban Agenda for the EU and the Habitat III New Urban Agenda as cities play a key role in all of them.

Read more here.

Recent Projects

Green City L Green

Green Deal

The European Green Deal sets out how to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. It maps a new, sustainable and inclusive growth strategy to boost the economy, improve people’s health and quality of life, care for nature, and leave no one behind.

The Green Deal spans and informs all of the Horizon Europe Pillars and Destinations. As such, there is no dedicated funding programme, apart from Horizon Europe itself. This strategy underpins Horizon Europe funding from 2021-2027. You can read more about the Pillars and funding opportunities here.

Recent Projects

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Open Data

The success of Europe’s digital transformation will depend on establishing effective rules to ensure trustworthy technologies, to give businesses the confidence and means to digitise, and to ensure highest privacy standards for citizens. The Data Strategy and the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence are the first pillars of the new digital strategy of the Commission. They all focus on the need to put people first in developing technology, as well as on the need to defend and promote European values and rights in how we design, make and deploy technology in the economy.

The European strategy for data aims at creating a single market for data that will ensure Europe’s global competitiveness and data sovereignty. Common European data spaces will ensure that more data becomes available for use in the economy and society, while keeping companies and individuals who generate the data in control.

Cluster 4 in Horizon Europe is dedicated to Digital, Industry and Space. The overarching vision behind the proposed investments under Cluster 4 is that of Europe shaping competitive and trusted technologies for a European industry with global leadership in key areas, enabling production and consumption to respect the boundaries of our planet, and maximising the benefits for all parts of society in the variety of social, economic and territorial contexts in Europe.

This will build a competitive, digital, low-carbon and circular industry, ensure sustainable supply of raw materials, develop advanced materials and provide the basis for advances and innovation in  global challenges to society.

Recent Projects

Electric Car L Green


The European Green Deal calls for a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from transport in order for the EU to become a climate-neutral economy by 2050, while also working towards a zero-pollution ambition. To achieve this systemic change, we need to (1) make all transport modes more sustainable, (2) make sustainable alternatives widely available in a multimodal transport system and (3) put in place the right incentives to drive the transition.

Climate, Energy and Mobility is the focus for Cluster 5 in Horizon Europe. This clusters aims to fight climate change by better understanding its causes, evolution, risks, impacts and opportunities, and by making the energy and transport sectors more climate and environment-friendly, more efficient and competitive, smarter, safer and more resilient

More information here.

Recent Projects

Leaf L Green


The Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the Green Deal. It addresses comprehensively the challenges of sustainable food systems and recognises the inextricable links between healthy people, healthy societies and a healthy planet. The strategy is also central to the Commission’s agenda to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All citizens and operators across value chains, in the EU and elsewhere, should benefit from a just transition, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn. A shift to a sustainable food system can bring environmental, health and social benefits, offer economic gains and ensure that the recovery from the crisis puts us onto a sustainable path. Ensuring a sustainable livelihood for primary producers, who still lag behind in terms of income, is essential for the success of the recovery and the transition.

Cluster 6 under Horizon Europe ringfences innovation grant funding for Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resouces, Agriculture & Environment. This cluster aims at reducing environmental degradation, halting and reversing the decline of biodiversity on land, inland waters and sea and better managing natural resources through transformative changes of the economy and society in both urban and rural areas. It will ensure food and nutrition security for all within planetary boundaries through knowledge, innovation and digitalisation in agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and food systems and steer and accelerate the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient circular economy and sustainable bioeconomy, including forestry.

More information here.

Recent Projects