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Horizon Europe: Preparation of European Partnerships

Partnerships between the European Union and industrial partners or with Member States will play an important and manifold role in the Clusters of the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon Europe). The European Commission conducted a structured consultation with Member States (as well as Iceland and Norway). In this process, four additional partnerships candidates in the areas health/antimicrobial resistance, sustainable cities, waterborn transport and geological services have been added to the 44 European Partnerships already identified by the Commission.

The main findings of the discussion with Member States have been published on 12 December 2019 as a report („European Partnerships under Horizon Europe: results of the structured consultations of Member States“) by the European Commission. This report covers all partnership candidates (both identified by the Commission and proposed by Member States) and includes now also aspects from the discussion in the Strategic Shadow Committee. The report will contribute to the further preparation of the structure and content of partnerships to be included in the first implementation phase (2021-2024) of the Strategic Plan of Horizon Europe.

Main takeaways of the report „European Partnerships under Horizon Europe: results of the structured consultations of Member States“:

  • Overall positive feedback on the proposed portfolio, but thematic coverage could be improved
  • Large number of additional priorities proposed for partnerships by Member States
  • Critical view on the high number and openness of Joint Undertakings
  • Lack of cross-modal perspective and systematic approach to mobility
  • Partnership composition: the role of Member States in industry partnerships
  • Some proposals are more mature than others

The European Commission proposes recommendations addressing the above-mentioned critical issues. These recommendations are related to the Impact Assessments (to be provided by institutional partnership candidates), the role of Member States in partnerships with industry, a more open governance and funding model for Joint Undertakings and the approach for additional partnerships proposed by Member States.

During the structured consultation of Member States on the portfolios of future European Partnerships, many countries indicated their intention to contribute and participate in the proposed partnerships with industry. In this context, the Commission organised three workshops in November 2019 in the areas of mobility, digital and industrial technologies. The results of these workshops have been published by the relevant Directorate-Generals (CNECT, MOVE, RTD) in a draft in a draft report on 12 December 2019.