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APRE Roundtable on “EIC, Missions and Clusters” – executive Report

Three of the most-debated issues among the EU Research & Innovation community will become a reality as Horizon Europe is launched: cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral Clusters, resulting from the integration of societal challenges and industrial technologies; the R&I Missions, that will define ambitious and R&I-relevant targets to finally stimulate the interest of European citizens around research and innovation; and the European Innovation Council, the expected “one stop shop” for supporting all forms of innovation under the Framework Programme.

On the 13th June 2019, APRE – Italian Agency for the Promotion of European Research organised – in the context of initiatives “Towards Horizon Europe” – the RoundTable EIC, Clusters and Missions: A Threefold Perspective to Empower Innovation. The aim of the roundtable was to raise awareness and facilitate an exchange of views about those three key novelties in Horizon Europe, while highlighting possible suggestions for their definition, governance and implementation. The event gathered more than 40 participants among European institutions representatives and stakeholders from academia, research and industrial organisations.


The following takeaways emerged from the roundtable.

  • Horizon Europe Pillar II Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness and the six cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral clusters will strengthen the impact-driven approach of the Programme, and will specifically support applied research, i.e. «research with a purpose». In view of the Work Programme and calls preparation, the European Commission could explore the possibility to set the targeted impact and then come to the definitions of activities, resources and conditions that are needed to achieve it (this may be a significant difference from Horizon 2020, where the expected impact usually follows the description of activities and the expected EU contribution).

  • United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are expected to provide an overall policy framework for Horizon Europe. The strategic plan – the outcome of a priority-setting co-designed process focusing on Pillar II, i.e. the strategic planning – will inter alia draw up R&I key orientations for the first four years of the Programme (2021-24) and will be finalised only when the priorities of the next European Commission are established (i.e. not earlier than the end of 2019). The consultation document to prepare the strategic plan, to be published soon, will be mainly centred on the impact that stakeholders and the general public expect from R&I investments, with the first phase of consultation lasting from 8 to 10 weeks and be opened till the beginning of September.

Read the other takeaways and download the full report here: ExReport_13June