Horizon Europe

Pillar 2 of the European Union’s largest-ever research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe, is now open to applications from New Zealand researchers and organisations. New Zealand-based researchers can now join or lead Horizon Europe projects and receive funding on equal terms with their European counterparts.

Horizon Europe Pillar 2

Pillar 2 of Horizon Europe focuses on science and technologies that address major global challenges, such as climate change, energy and health, and addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It has funding of €53.5 billion (approximately NZD$90 billion) over the 2021 to 2027 period. New Zealand is now an Associated Country, meaning New Zealand partners can lead or join these consortia on equal terms with their European counterparts and receive funding through the programme.

Horizon Europe Pillar 2 funds are distributed across 6 themes known as 'Clusters'. Pillar 2 is a top-down programme, meaning that the topics to be addressed in the current period are determined in advance by Programme Committees and published in Work Programmes for each Cluster. The Work Programmes include details of the scope of the topic, the expected impacts and outcomes, the available budget, and any conditions relating to the call.

The details of each of the Clusters, including links to the current Work Programmes and details of the relevant New Zealand National Contact Point for the Cluster, are linked on the pages below.

Cluster 1: Health

Cluster 2: Culture, creativity and inclusive society

Cluster 3: Civil security for society

Cluster 4: Digital, technology and space

Cluster 5: Climate, energy and mobility

Cluster 6: Food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment

How to get involved

Pillar 2 programmes are inherently multinational, with proposals for most actions requiring research consortia with partners from a minimum of 3 EU Member States or Associated Countries (note that these are minimum criteria, and most proposals include additional partners). Finding the right mix of partners to build the consortium is key to being successful.

Much of Pillar 2 is focused on impact and implementation. The program is open to any legal entity, meaning that alongside researchers in traditional research organisations, the consortia can include businesses, local or regional authorities, non-government organisations, or community groups. These organisations can help to deliver the outcomes and ensure that the impacts of the projects are realised. Including the right mix of complementary skills is extremely important to demonstrate that the project can credibly deliver the programme of work, and it’s essential to find your partners early in the process.

To get involved, you should start by:

  • browsing the work programme of the relevant cluster for open and forthcoming calls by following the links above
  • reaching out to your networks in Europe as early as possible to find partners and build your consortium.

Horizon Europe proposal submission all takes place through the European Commission’s Funding and Tenders Portal, where you can also find all of the documentation, guidance, and details of funding calls.

Funding and Tenders Portal(external link) — European Commission

If you need support with those steps, there are resources available below to help.

National Contact Points

John Creech profileJohn Creech – NCP Coordinator

  • Programme Manager, Horizon Europe, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • Email: nzncp@mbie.govt.nz

Brussels NCPs

Isaac Holliss profileIsaac Holliss

  • Science and Innovation Counsellor, Europe New Zealand Mission to the European Union
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Email: nzncp@mbie.govt.nz

placeholderCécile Richardeau – NCP for Pillar I (ERC, MSCA)

Rachel Taylor profileRachael Taylor – Cluster 1 (health)

  • Research Professor, Head of Department (Medicine) and Karitane Fellow in Early Childhood Obesity, University of Otago
  • Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Email: Cluster1NCP@mbie.govt.nz

Nancy November profileNancy November – Cluster 2 (culture, creativity and inclusive society)

Stephen MacDonell profileStephen MacDonell – Cluster 3 (civil security and society)

  • Professor of Software Engineering, Auckland University of Technology; Professor of Information Science, University of Otago; Deputy Director, Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge
  • Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Email: Cluster3NCP@mbie.govt.nz

John Cater profileJohn Cater – Cluster 4 (digital, technology and space)

  • Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Aerospace Research Institute, University of Canterbury
  • Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Email: Cluster4NCP@mbie.govt.nz

Iain White profileIain White – Cluster 5 (climate, energy and mobility)

Cecile De Klein profileCecile de Klein – Cluster 6 (food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment)

  • Principal Scientist – Environmental Science, Ethical Agriculture Group, AgResearch
  • Mosgiel, New Zealand
  • Email: Cluster6NCP@mbie.govt.nz

Andrew Sporle Andrew Sporle – Māori NCP

  • Managing Director, iNZight Analytics; Deputy Director, Healthier Lives National Science Challenge; Associate Professor (Honorary) of Statistics, University of Auckland
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Email: MaoriNCP@mbie.govt.nz

Domestic top-up scheme

New Zealand’s full-cost funding model means that the way we fund overheads in research grants is different from European grants. MBIE recognises that for New Zealand researchers to be able to productively participate in Horizon Europe, we need a domestic top-up scheme for overhead costs.

Projects funded under Horizon Europe receive a flat rate of 25% of eligible direct costs from the European Commission to cover indirect costs (for example, overheads), such as administrative and institutional running costs.

The MBIE domestic top-up will bring the overheads rate to 100% of the eligible direct costs awarded to the New Zealand participants by the European Commission, subject to the conditions below:

  • The top-up will be available for all New Zealand entities contracted by the European Commission under Horizon Europe Pillar 2 programmes, with no additional New Zealand assessment of the merits of the individual projects.
  • MBIE will provide the funding via Catalyst: Strategic contracts, which must be agreed and signed by both the research organisation and MBIE prior to funds being transferred.
  • A cap of NZD$1.05 million of top-up funding per project will apply, which is equivalent to New Zealand partner receiving a budget portion of EUR€1 million or higher (i.e., NZD$1.75 million, at the currency conversion rate applied in the planning for Horizon Europe Association).

To be eligible for the top-up funding, New Zealand research organisations will need to notify MBIE of their Horizon Europe bids by providing basic information in the following short form. The completed form should be emailed to:


Horizon Europe bid registration form [DOCX, 74 KB]

Bids must be registered with MBIE within 10 working days of proposal submission to the European Commission. Any New Zealand research organisation that is awarded funding by the European Commission but has not registered their project with MBIE will be deemed ineligible for top-up funding.

Further information

For general queries about New Zealand involvement in Horizon Europe, please contact:


For information and advice about opportunities in the Horizon Europe work programmes, please contact the relevant Cluster NCP.

Find the relevant Cluster NCP

To receive updates and information by email, please follow the link below and select the topics of interest.

Receive updates(external link)

Other useful resources are available from EURAXESS Australia and New Zealand, an initiative of the European Commission providing free information about European research, career opportunities, international collaboration & networking possibilities.

EURAXESS Australia and New Zealand(external link) — European Commission

Documents on the House of Representatives website

Parliamentary Treaty Examination: Report of the EDSI Select Committee [PDF, 528KB](external link) — House of Representatives NZ

For queries about New Zealand involvement in Horizon Europe, please direct these to nzncp@mbie.govt.nz.

Last updated: 08 September 2023