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Document 52023DC0277

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL Annual Report on Research and Technological Development Activities of the European Union and Monitoring of Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020 in 2022

COM/2023/277 final

Brussels, 31.5.2023

COM(2023) 277 final


Annual Report on Research and Technological Development Activities of the European Union and Monitoring of Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020 in 2022


This report provides a non-exhaustive overview of the EU’s key research and innovation (R&I) activities in 2022 and the monitoring of Horizon Europe, Horizon 2020 and the Euratom Programme.

It was drafted in accordance with Article 190 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 7 of the Euratom Treaty , in conjunction with Article 50 of the Horizon Europe Framework Programme for Research and Innovation  and Article 12 of the Council Regulation (Euratom) 2021/765 establishing the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community . 

2.Political context and policy developments

In 2022, Russia’s war against Ukraine marked a historical break, breaching international law and undermining European and global security. By doing so, Russia also violated the core values and principles of international cooperation on R&I, as set out in the Communication on a Global Approach to Research and Innovation .

The war has had immense consequences for the EU and its R&I landscape, in particular for scientific collaboration with Ukraine and Russia, but also for energy supply, secure supply chains and migration.


The Commission imposed sanctions against Russia in the field of R&I 1 . Concretely it:

·stopped cooperation projects in R&I and terminated participations from Russian public entities in the EU R&I programmes and ensured a coordinated implementation of the sanctions through guidance and monitoring;

·launched dedicated actions to support the Ukrainian research and scientific community, including the ERA4Ukraine portal  in March 2022, to support Ukrainian researchers; a Marie Skłodowska-Curie action (MSCA) 4Ukraine  scheme in October 2022 with a budget of EUR 25 million to support displaced researchers from Ukraine; a call under the European Innovation Council with EUR 20 million to support Ukrainian innovative enterprises.

·published the REPowerEU Plan  in May 2022, which aims to make Europe independent of Russian fossil fuels by accelerating the EU’s clean energy transition;

·launched a new topic under the Euratom programme  with a budget of EUR 10 million on the  Safety of alternative nuclear fuel for VVER reactors , to ensure the continued operation of these reactors, which were built in the Soviet Union.

2.2.Green and digital transition

Both, Russia’s war against Ukraine and the increased frequency of climate-related extreme events have made it even more urgent for the EU to transition to a fair green and digital society.

As part of the REPowerEU Plan , the Commission published the Communication on the EU solar strategy  and identified how R&I can help deliver on technologies such as wind, heat pumps, biomethane, hydrogen and in general the reduction of materials consumption and recyclability of renewable energy equipment. The  Communication on the Digitisation of the Energy Systems underlined the need to expand R&I activities.

The 7th report on the state of the Energy Union (October 2022) noted the need to increase R&I investments to stay at the forefront of clean energy research.

A staff working document on the role of EU research and innovation investments to deliver on the EU’s Hydrogen Strategy (January 2022) showcased the project results in this area and underlined the need for skills development on hydrogen.

The  New European Innovation Agenda , adopted in July 2022, highlighted deep-tech innovation as indispensable to achieve the objectives of the green and digital transition.

In October 2022, the Commission published the strategic research and innovation plan for safe and sustainable chemicals and materials inviting stakeholders and research funders to use it as a guidance document. In addition, the Commission proposed creating a European framework for ‘safe and sustainable by design’ chemicals and materials for R&I activities in December 2022, launching a two-year testing phase of the framework.

The Circular Economy Package II (November 2022) built on the results of EU R&I projects relating to the circular plastics economy, sustainable packaging and carbon removal and storage ( sustainable products , textiles , construction materials , packaging , plastics ).

The Joint Communication on International Ocean Governance (June 2022) identified research to support evidence-based action to protect and sustainably manage the ocean.

Towards a strong and sustainable EU algae sector (November 2022) promoted further research on a resource that can be used – with a limited carbon and environmental footprint – to produce food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, bioplastics and plant biostimulants.

The Council adopted a Recommendation on ensuring a fair transition towards climate neutrality (June 2022), in which Member States commit to put in place comprehensive policy packages to ensure the green transition is fair. It recommended a strong role for R&I in creating a sound knowledge base for policy making.

The European Parliament and Council adopted the Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030  (December 2022). The Policy Programme sets out digital targets that the EU is aiming to achieve by 2030 and a cooperation mechanism between the Commission and the Member States that also provides a framework for developing multi-country projects that no single Member State can develop alone (e.g. in European common data infrastructure and services’and secure quantum communication).

In June, the Commission launched a dialogue with Member States  on the Collaborative Cloud for Cultural Heritage to help safeguard European cultural treasures through a digital infrastructure, building on an experts report and a stakeholder consultation .

2.3.Economy & industry

The European Chips Act  was proposed to help build up the EU’s semiconductor ecosystem, in particular by strengthening the EU’s research and technological leadership, and its capacity to innovate design, manufacturing and packaging of advanced chips.

The aggression of Russia in Ukraine underlined the urgent need to foster geographical independence for critical space technologies. 2022 saw the proposal of the Commission for a Union Secure Connectivity Programme , to be achieved through a third satellite constellation for secure telecommunications.

The uptake of human-centred, resilient and sustainable Industry 5.0 has gained further traction. This was confirmed by the high-level roundtable with industry leaders in April 2022 and by the first Industry of the Future Award , highlighting EU-funded R&I projects on Industry 5.0.


Over the past years, the threat environment has evolved in significant ways. Cybersecurity attacks have continued to increase in scale and form and the impact of the war in Ukraine has been felt on the EU’s internal security, leading to increased risks of organised crime activities as well as human and drug trafficking. Increasing extreme weather events, including drought, heat waves and wildfires, brought to the fore the need for civilian protection, societal resilience and capacity to react to crises, including against chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive incidents and natural events.

R&I contributed significantly to addressing the fast-evolving threat landscape as regards the protection in the EU of critical infrastructure with cross-border relevance. Member States were encouraged by the Council Recommendation on a Union-wide coordinated approach to strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure  to make best use of the results of R&I projects, in particular for stress tests and scenario planning.

The resilience of entities that provide services that are crucial for the maintenance of vital societal functions is being strenghtened by the Critical Entities Resilience Directive , as its implementation will be supported by R&I.

The role of research under Horizon Europe in making our digital infrastructure safer and in building capacity to prevent and mitigate cyberattacks, as well as in supporting law enforcement with new technologies (such as artificial intelligence) was highlighted by the fifth  Progress Report on the EU Security Union Strategy.

The Community for European Research and Innovation for Security  expert group started work , including four sub-groups one of them on ‘strengthening security research and innovation’.

The work started by the  European Food Security Crisis preparedness and response mechanism  highlighted the relevance of R&I in production diversification process.

2.5.COVID-19 pandemic

Although the pandemic moved into the endemic phase in 2022, research activities remained a high priority in order to tackle the disease and its consequences.

The European COVID-19 Data Platform continued to grow, currently holding over 11 million records of diverse data types, including over 6.4 million viral genomes recorded by 112 countries.

The communication on COVID-19 - Sustaining EU Preparedness and Response: Looking ahead  (April 2022) tackled the need to develop the next generation of vaccines under Horizon Europe.

2.6.Partnership with Member States

In 2022, all recovery and resilience plans except for Hungary’s plan have been approved. The plans are R&I-rich, with a volume of EUR 47.4 billion in R&I. At this stage, out of the 608 R&I-related targets set, 98 have been completed and 36 have already been assessed as met.

The enhanced dialogues  as a new approach to support Member States in implementing a common R&I policy agenda, has been piloted in five Member States.

The European Research Area (ERA) Forum , bringing together Member States, stakeholders and associated countries, was created in 2022 to coordinate implementation of the 20 ERA Policy Agenda actions . These include researchers’ careers, open science, research assessment  and infrastructures. In December 2022, the Council adopted the recommendation on the guiding principles for knowledge valorisation to increase the socioeconomic impact from R&I.

In November 2022, the Commission published a guidance note on ‘ Synergies between Horizon Europe and European regional development fund programmes’ , which outlines opportunities for synergies available to the programme managing authorities.

2.7.International aspects

The Global Approach to R&I strategy  remained the backbone of international R&I cooperation in 2022. This approach strikes a balance between openness and promoting reciprocity underpinned by fundamental values and common framework conditions. In April 2022, the European Parliament supported the strategy in a resolution .

The Commission strengthened R&I cooperation with Africa by developing the African Union - EU Innovation Agenda . Cooperation activities with countries in the South Mediterranean received a boost with the adoption of a Ministerial Declaration at the first Union for the Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on R&I (June 2022).

Discussions on the EU-China joint roadmap for cooperation in science, technology and innovation continued with slow progress due to China’s reluctance to engage in innovation activities. With the United States new actions were agreed in the EU-US Joint Consultative Group and the EU-US Trade and Technology Council .

The Commission supported the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services  with science and policy options.

In 2022, the Commission held a series of dialogues on sustainability in agriculture with Canada , the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean to identify R&I needs to tackle common challenges such as greenhouse gas emissions from livestock or soil health.

The MSCAdvocacy project was launched in June 2022 to foster cooperation with the 20 international partner countries and six regions.

2.8.Direct actions implemented by the Joint Research Centre of the Commission

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) supported numerous Commission initiatives by providing scientific analyses, in particular in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine such as energy pricing, the general macroeconomic situation, short- and long-term scenarios for energy supply and the risks related to the Russian occupation of the nuclear sites of Tchernobiyl and Zaporozhye. The JRC also analysed the drivers affecting food security. In addition, the 2022 Strategic Foresight Report focused on ‘twinning the green and digital transitions in the new geopolitical context’. To help achieve the goal set out in the EU Green Deal, JRC created the EU Blue Economy Observatory , a knowledge dissemination platform to foster sustainability of our oceans, seas and coastal areas. To help implement the  New European Bauhaus  projects, the JRC launched the NEB Lab .

3.Implementation and Monitoring of Horizon Europe, Horizon 2020 & Euratom

3.1.Horizon Europe in 2022 – Highlights & new features

In May 2022, the Commission adopted an amendment to the ‘main’ Horizon Europe work programme 2021-2022 , which fully rolled out actions for EU missions in 2022.

During the R&I Days 2022 , the Commission launched the process for the next Horizon Europe strategic plan 2025-2027 .

In December 2022, the Commission adopted the ‘main’ Horizon Europe work programme 2023-2024 , which made available around EUR 13.5 billion for R&I to accelerate a fair green and digital transition, increase Europe’s energy resilience, and contribute to a sustainable recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. It also included actions to address the geopolitical situation with targeted support for Ukraine.

International cooperation & association

Topics encouraging international cooperation increased from approximately 20% in the 2021-2022 work programme to approximately 22% in the currently implemented 2023-2024 work programme.

The Horizon Europe Regulation Article 22(5), which allows restriction of participation in order to safeguard EU strategic assets, interests, autonomy or security in certain sensitive areas, was applied to 49 topics in the Horizon Europe work programme 2021-2022 representing around 4% of that work programme’s budget (around 2% of the overall 2021-2022 Horizon Europe operational budget).

The eligibility criterion that obliges all public bodies, research organisations and higher education bodies in Member States and associated countries to have a gender equality plan in place to be eligible for funding, has entered into effect in 2022.

By the end of 2022, 16 third countries were associated to Horizon Europe. Negotiations have been finalised with New Zealand and launched with Canada. Both are expected to become associated in 2023. Exploratory talks with Japan and South Korea were initiated.

3.2.Horizon Europe Monitoring data

Calls and Topics

Source: Call Passport System (CPS) data extraction of 19/01/2023

In 2022, 44 new calls for proposals covering a total of 202 topics were launched under the Horizon Europe main work programme 2021-2022. Overall, 874 topics under 160 calls for proposals as well as an additional 195 other actions were launched under the work programme 2021-2022 for a budget of around EUR 16 billion.

In addition, the European Research Council (ERC) launched 7 calls under the excellent science pillar in its work programme 2022 for a total budget of EUR 2 427 million.

The European Innovation Council (EIC) launched four calls for proposals for the three key instruments (two pathfinder, transition and accelerator calls with multiple cutoff dates) and 13 other actions for a total budget of EUR 1 711.4 2 million. 

The topics launched under the Horizon Europe main work programme were designed to attract projects that will help achieve the Commission’s overarching political priorities for 2019-2024 . A more precise contribution to each policy priority will be known when beneficiaries will have reported on the projects’ results.

Fig 1: Percentage of topics of Horizon Europe main Work Programme 2021-2022 addressing the Commission’s priorities.

Research and innovation play a central role in accelerating the green transition. So far, 34% and 7.3% of Horizon Europe spending 3  have been allocated to address climate change and biodiversity, respectively.

Proposals submitted and success rates

Source: Horizon Dashboard frozen data on 30/12/2022

A total of 44 832 eligible proposals were submitted under the calls closed and fully evaluated by the end of 2022. 54% were assessed by external experts as being of high quality as they reached the minimum score threshold. 7 108 proposals were selected for funding, amounting to total requested funding of EUR 20.5 billion.     

Fig. 2: Eligible and selected proposals

So far, the success rate of proposals 4  is higher for Horizon Europe (15.9%) than it was for Horizon 2020 (11.9%). 71% of the high quality proposals are still not receiving funding with 10.6% likely to as they were put on a reserve list. An additional amount of approximatively EUR 34.4 billion would have been needed to fund all high quality proposals.

Grants signed

Source: Horizon Dashboard frozen on 30/12/2022

Following the evaluation of the proposals, EUR 16.3 billion have already been awarded through 5 509 signed grants. However, many grants are still under preparation as 7 108 proposals have been selected for funding.

The average grant size is EUR 3 million, higher than the average under Horizon 2020 (EUR 2.million 5 ). Average EU funding allocated to mono-beneficiary grants (43% of the grants) is around EUR 1.3 million while it is around EUR 4.2 million for collaborative grants (57% of the grants). Collaborative grants involve 12 participants on average.

Programme part

Eligible proposals

Selected proposals

Success rate of proposals (% of eligible)

EU contribution requested in selected proposals (in EUR million)

Signed grants

EU contribution in signed grants (in EUR million)

Average grant size
(in EUR million)

Pillar 1 - Excellent Science

European Research Council

14 814

1 769


2 906

1 398

2 271


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

16 672

2 692


1 093

1 532



Research infrastructures








Pillar II - Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness

Cluster 1

1 307



2 291


1 575


Cluster 2

1 120







Cluster 3








Cluster 4

2 736



3 606


3 290


Cluster 5

2 121



4 434


3 506


Cluster 6

1 492



2 341


1 766


Pillar III – Innovative Europe

The European Innovation Council*

2 549





1 171


European innovation ecosystems








The European Institute of Innovation and Technology




1 103



Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area

Widening participation and spreading excellence








Reforming and enhancing the European R&I System








Total for Horizon Europe

44 832

7 108


20 546

5 509

16 279


* EIC accelerator proposals data was not available at the date of this analysis     
Table 1: Proposals and grants per programme part    

Applicants and participants

Source: Horizon Dashboard frozen on 30/12/2022

Member States account for 81.8% of the eligible applications submitted; 18.8% came from organisations based in widening countries . 

Associated countries submitted 5.7% of all applications and third countries submitted 12.5% of applications, over 50% of which came from UK 6 -based organisations.

 Country group

Applications in eligible proposals

% of total number of applications

Success rate of app-lication

Parti-cipation in signed grants

% of all parti-cipations

EU contribution in signed grants (EUR million)

% of total EU contribution in signed grants

Member States

167 859



32 954


14 989


Widening Countries

38 583



6 876


2 221


Other Member States

129 276



26 078


12 768


Associated countries

11 794



2 090


1 091


Non-associated third countries

25 471



4 035





205 124



39 079


16 279


Table 2: Applicants origin

The first projects signed involve over 39 000 participants from 142 different countries, including 19% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and 15.7% from non-EU countries. The highest shares of participants come from higher education institutions (32.7%), private sector entities (30.7%) and research organisations (22.6%). A preliminary analysis shows that 35.6% of participants are new applicants.

Overall, widening countries were allocated EUR 2.2 billion (13.6%) of the Horizon Europe funds through signed grants. Other Member States received EUR 12.8 billion, associated countries over EUR 1 billion and non-associated third countries EUR 200 million. SMEs were allocated 18% of the total budget (EUR 2.86 billion).

Focus on European partnerships

Source: Performance of European Partnerships report

Under the first strategic plan 2021-2024 , 49 partnerships were identified, of which 37 had been launched by May 2022.

Fig.3: European partnerships

Partnerships will be financed with estimated commitments of EUR 31.4 billion from partners other than the EU (EUR 9 billion from Member States and associated countries and EUR 22.4 billion from industry) and an estimated commitment of EUR 23.8 billion from Horizon Europe. This represents 37.7% of Horizon Europe pillar II budget and is distributed as follows:

Fig. 4: Budgetary commitments per cluster of activities

Focus on EU missions

Source: Horizon Dashboard frozen on 30/12/2022

By the end of 2022, 25  Horizon Europe mission calls had been launched, closed and fully evaluated. They had attracted 8 167 eligible research & innovation proposals of which 137 were selected for funding for a total of EUR 1 046 million of EU funding requested.

71 grants involving 1 525 participants had already been signed for a total amount of EUR 567 million split 7 as follows across the five missions:

Fig. 5: Signed grants, participation and EU contribution per mission

Focus on the European Institut of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

During 2021-2022 8 :

·2 320 people graduated from European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) labelled master and doctoral programmes;

·76 start-ups were created by students from EIT programmes and 203 start-ups as a result of EIT innovation projects;

·2 425 start-ups received support from EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs);

·607 innovative products or services were put on the market by the EIT KICs.

3.3. In-depth analysis: Horizon Europe monitoring flashes and other studies

Newcomers in EU R&I programmes

A new monitoring flash looks at newcomers in EU R&I programmes . Mostly retrospective on participation in Horizon 2020, it shows that 69.2% of its successful applicants did not participate in the previous seventh framework programme. Newcomers received EUR 12.9 billion, around half of which went to SMEs (EUR 6.1 billion). The first figures on newcomers in Horizon Europe point in the same direction.
Update on evaluation studies

A series of evaluation studies are under way as part of the ex-post evaluation of Horizon 2020, while also preparing the ground for the interim evaluation of Horizon Europe. In 2022, the Commission published the  Evaluation study on the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot and launched the largest public consultation - on the past, present & future of European research and innovation programmes 2014-2027.

3.4. Horizon 2020

Under Horizon 2020, in total 35 426 grant agreements were signed for a total budget allocation of EUR 68.32 billion. Projects under the Societal challenges pillar received the biggest share (38.6%), followed by the Excellent Science pillar (36.6%) and the Industrial leadership pillar (20.2%).

A total of 41 575 different organisations benefitted from Horizon 2020. Higher education institutions received 39.5% (EUR 26.9 billion), followed by private-sector entities (28.2% or EUR 19.3 billion) and research organisations (25% or EUR 17 billion).

By end of 2022, 41% of the Horizon 2020-funded projects were still ongoing. Projects have generated more than 197 000 peer-reviewed publications, around 3 200 patents applications and 2 300 patent awards.

3.5.Dissemination and exploitation

Numerous activities during the  Research and Innovation Days  in September 2022 promoted the dissemination of Horizon Europe results.

The relevant dissemenination tools - Horizon Results platform ,  Horizon Results Booster , CORDIS , Horizon Dashboard , European data for research and innovation policy initiative , the EU Innovation Radar and the H2020-Interreg synergies mapping tool  - continued to provide exploitable results from the framework programmes and made available rich data on innovative results of EU and national R&I funding.

Under the Horizon Europe dissemination and exploitation strategy , the Commission has implemented an action plan for 2021-2022. This focusses on providing internal guidance, support services to beneficiaries, improving networking and synergies and mapping and valorising results.

In 2022, the Horizon Standardisation Booster was launched to boost the European Standardisation dialogue between Horizon Europe projects with corresponding Standards Developing Organisations and to increase the European impact on international standardisation.

Below are some examples of activities to boost the dissemination and use of results from the framework programmes in thematic areas:

·the Commission awarded the 2022 Security Innovation Award , which rewards excellency in great examples showing the uptake of security research;

·current and closed projects are promoted by the newly established Community of European Research and Innovation for Security ;

· EIP-AGRI boosts the uptake of R&I results by agricultural policy beneficiaries and ensures that it reaches farmers, foresters and rural actors;

·the Blue Invest initiative provided assistance and access to investment for maritime start-ups and SMEs, many of which had developed services and products in previous framework programmes;

· CORDIS disseminated results from EU funded R&I projects, attributed persistent identifiers to them and classified them according to their scientific fields.

3.6.Implementation and monitoring of the Euratom Programme 2021-2025

a)Nuclear direct actions implemented by the JRC

The JRC implemented direct actions under the Euratom programme allocating the available resources with the following estimated breakdown 9 :

·20% to safety on nuclear reactors and fuels,

·10% on radioactive waste and spent fuel management,

·32% to nuclear safeguards and security,

·10% to nuclear reference materials and data,

·9% to non-power applications and radioprotection,

·11% to the Euratom objective to maintain competences in the EU,

·8% to provide direct support to EU policies.

JRC opened the access of external users to JRC facilities; the call launched in 2022 encourages Ukrainian scientists to participate.

The JRC participated in 18 granted projects (related to the safety of nuclear systems) of the last call for indirect actions of the Euratom programme.

b)Indirect actions of the Euratom Research & Training Programme (grants)

In 2022, the Commission awarded 28 grants for a total amount of EUR 117 million for research projects in nuclear safety, radiation protection and non-power applications of nuclear technologies. In March 2022, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel convened the Second High-Level Nuclear Roundtable to discuss future of research in small modular reactors and medical applications using nuclear technologies.

4.Outlook 2023

In 2023, the next Horizon Europe strategic plan 2025-2027 will be drafted. The adoption is planned for the 1st quarter of 2024. It sets out the R&I priorities for the second period of Horizon Europe.

The Commission will continue to support implementation of the REPowerEU Plan and to accelerate work to meet the aims of the European Green Deal through EU R&I actions.

The Commission will carry out communication activities on Horizon Europe, for instance by:

·promoting the results of the public consultation and the preparation of the strategic plan 2025-2027;

·promoting the EU missions and partnerships;

·citizens’ engagement through communication initiatives, such as the 34th edition of the EU Contest for Young Scientists  (September 2023 in Brussels);

·initiating the public debate on the future of R&I in Europe during the R&I Days to take place at the end of October 2023.

(1) See also COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) No 833/2014
(2)  EIC budget programmed in the EIC Work Programme 2022
(3)  Source: Preliminary Commission data for 2021 and 2022

 The success rate of proposals is the percentage of eligible proposals selected out of all eligible proposals


Average grant size for H2020 - excluding the 4 234 SME instrument phase 1 small grants of 50.000 EUR that would have distorted the overall figure. When included, average grant size drops to EUR 1.9 million


 Following Brexit, UK is not longer a Member State but a third country for whose entities there are transitional arrangements


 Figures for horizontal or joint projects between missions are split equally between the missions to which those projects contribute which explains the non-rounded figures for projects.


Targeted achievements 

(9) Source: JRC mission statement & work programme