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 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.

Funds are distributed across 6 themes known as 'clusters', with a number of topic areas known as 'destinations' within each cluster. Work programmes for each cluster for the 2023 to 2024 period are available on the European Commission website. These identify predefined topics to be addressed in the current period and the expected outcomes for each.

Horizon Europe 2023–24 work programmes(external link) — European Commission

Proposals under Pillar 2 of Horizon Europe must be made by multinational consortia including (for most calls) partners from a minimum of 3 EU Member States or Associated countries (note that these are minimum criteria, and most proposals include additional partners). These can include multiple New Zealand partners on the same proposal.

Most Horizon Europe calls are also open to participants from non-associated countries, and participants from most Pacific island nations are automatically eligible to receive Horizon Europe funding. Researchers are encouraged to explore the work programmes and reach out to collaborators as early as possible.

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 (i.e., 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: HorizonEuropeBidRegistration@mbie.govt.nz.

Horizon Europe bid registration form [DOCX, 73 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

MBIE and EURAXESS Australia and New Zealand held an information roadshow in February 2023. 

European Research Days 2022(external link) — EURAXESS Australia & New Zealand

The slides from the roadshow, which contain many links to useful online resources, are available for download here:

Horizon Europe Roadshow presentation slides [PDF, 4.1 MB]

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

Last updated: 21 March 2023