Looking back: the first two years of Horizon Europe

In January 2021, the EU launched the newest and largest framework programme for research funding so far: Horizon Europe. Radboud University has been involved in these programmes for a long time and Horizon Europe offers new opportunities on a wide variety of topics, including some completely new funding schemes. The first evaluation moment is ongoing, making it is a good time to look back at Radboud University’s participation so far.

Traditionally, Radboud University researchers focus on obtaining personal grants to help them evolve their research. This becomes very clear when looking at the number of acquired grants from the European Research Council (ERC): since 2021, no less than 20 researchers received funding to pursue their research ambitions. 

Parallel to this continuing strong representation in the ERC, we see an increasing number of researchers pursue collaborative projects. These projects focus on providing solutions to Europe’s (and the world’s) societal challenges by combining forces between researchers from various universities or businesses and across disciplines. Working with (European) partners this way offers our researchers a chance to make an impact for society, by providing new policy frameworks or technologies.

Radboud University managed to secure one of the first grants allocated within the Horizon Europe Missions: a new funding instrument, focusing solely on solving five challenges to society: healthy water, climate-neutral cities, soil health, sustainability and cancer. Radboud will be leading a collaboration executing the FLOW project, aimed to understand the youth’s climate worries and to empower them to make a change, especially connected to the wellbeing of the seas, oceans and inland waters. In particular, the project will enable the engagement of policy-makers, researchers and water stakeholders with the youth in co-creation of stewardship assemblages.

In the next years of Horizon Europe, Radboud University will continue to reach out to both academic and non-academic partners on and off the continent to build collaborations that may have a lasting impact as well as exploring new ideas that may change the world. To help the European Commission shape the best framework programme in the future, we have written a position paper with our experiences and suggestions for improvements to Horizon Europe and programmes in the future.

For more information, please contact Ms. Mechteld Bous (Mechteld.Bous [at] ru.nl (Mechteld[dot]Bous[at]ru[dot]nl)).

For additional context, please read the position papers by the Guild of European Research Intensive  Universities and Universities of the Netherlands.

Radboud University & Horizon Europe - position paper