Horizon Europe Pillar II: Clusters

Pillar II - The largest share of the Horizon Europe funding

The Pillar II of Horizon Europe includes the largest share of the funding of the programme. With the budget of EUR 53.5 billion for 2021-2027, it supports the development of new technologies and solving global challenges. The actions in the Pillar II are divided to six different clusters:

    Each cluster has specific call topics defined in the Work Programme of Horizon Europe. The calls are open for research organisations, universities, SMEs and industry. The Pillar II includes also European Partnerships that are large European efforts to create greater cooperation and collaboration in reaching strategic targets. A large part of the budget of the Pillar II is allocated through calls that have been formulated in partnership structures.

    What suits your needs?

    Under the clusters and partnerships, you will find calls that are usually Research and Innovation Action (RIA) calls or Innovation Action calls (IA). However, under the partnerships there are also Key Digital Technologies (KDT) and Circular Bio-based Europe (CBE) that differ significantly from RIA and IA applications. By carefully studying the call text, you find funded activities of the call and specific requirements. See below the comparison between the major differences in these project types. 

    Quick facts
    To whom?AnyoneAnyone
    Grant sizeTypically EUR 4-15 million Typically EUR 4-15 million
    Funding rate100%70%
    Technology Readiness Level (TRL)2-6 (defined in call text)6-8 (defined in call text)
    Project durationTypically 3 yearsTypically 3 years
    Number of pages in application45 pages45 pages
    Estimated duration of application writing process (recommendation)3-6 months depending on call and the size of consortium3-6 months depending on call and the size of consortium

    In the call announcement it might say that the call is implemented through one of the partnerships and even if in most cases the applications resemble either RIA or IA, in some cases there might be differences.

    The partnerships under Horizon Europe are expected to start in after summer 2021 and more information on their calls will be added here once the information is available.

    How to apply?

    What is funded?

    Horizon Europe Pillar II focuses on Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) and Innovation Actions (IA) on a broad range of digital, industrial and space technologies. Project proposals must reply to a specific topic in the calls announced. 

    The scope of the project is always defined on a specific call in the EU Funding and Tenders Portal.

    Terminology explained

    Research and innovation actions (RIA) consist of activities aiming to establish new knowledge and/or to explore the feasibility of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution. In these projects the development is still far from a commercial product or service.

    Innovation actions (IA) consist of activities directly aiming at producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services. These are close-to-market projects aiming for commercialization soon after the project. 

    Application process