Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment

Last checked on:
6 February 2024
Published on:
12 March 2021

Human activities put pressure on natural resources, such as soils, seas and oceans, water, air and biodiversity. Climate change and the growing demand for natural resources create environmental pressures that are not sustainable. The pressure on natural resources affects ecosystems. This impacts the resources available to us.

The Horizon Europe framework programme cluster 6 funds projects that contribute to research and innovative solutions that focus on:

  • biodiversity,
  • ecosystem services,
  • food systems,
  • agriculture,
  • fishery and aquaculture,
  • oceans,
  • freshwaters and coastal areas,
  • zero pollution,
  • circular economy,
  • bioeconomy and biotechnology,
  • green solutions for society, and
  • climate change.

Activities under this cluster will directly support:

  • the European Green Deal;
  • Paris Agreement; and
  • Sustainable Development Goals.

The activities will also help other relevant initiatives in the transition towards a sustainable Europe.

Calls for proposals

The Cluster 6 programme 2023-2024 has several calls for proposals. The programme has 7 goals:

  1. Biodiversity and ecosystem services;
  2. Fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems from primary production to consumption;
  3. Circular economy and bioeconomy sectors;
  4. Clean environment and zero pollution;
  5. Land, oceans and water for climate action;
  6. Resilient, inclusive, healthy and sustainable rural, coastal and urban communities; and
  7. Innovative governance, environmental observations and digital solutions in support of the Green Deal.

The European Commission will publish the calls for proposals throughout the period of 2023 and 2024.

See the European Commission’s Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal for the calls.

Cluster 6 Partnerships

Cluster 6 has several partnerships. These partnerships are initiatives between the European Commission and member states, the private sector, foundations and other stakeholders where the participants contribute financially to achieve the purpose of the partnership. Some partnerships have their own funding opportunities for which parties can submit a proposal. Below are 4 partnerships operating under Cluster 6:

  1. Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU). This partnership aims to accelerate the innovation process and development of innovative biobased solutions, accelerate the market introduction of existing and innovative biobased solutions, and ensure the high environmental performance of biobased industrial systems. 
  2. Water4All. This partnership is designed to unite research and innovation on water in Europe and beyond. The main goal of Water4All is to create long-term water security for all.
  3. European Biodiversity Partnership (Biodiversa+). This partnership works on 5 objectives:
    1. Support biodiversity research and innovation.
    2. Establish a network of harmonised schemes to improve biodiversity monitoring across Europe.
    3. Contribute to knowledge for the deployment of ecosystem services.
    4. Ensure efficient policy-making and implementation in Europe; and
    5. Strengthen the relevance and impact of pan-European research on biodiversity in a global context.
  4. Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership (SBEP). This partnership aims to achieve an equitable and inclusive transition to a resilient 'blue' economy. This will drive the transformation to a climate-neutral, sustainable, productive and competitive EU by 2030.

Questions or advice?

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency hosts the National Contact Point (NCP) for Horizon Europe. Contact the Food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment advisors for questions or advice on how to apply for funding and how to develop your project proposal.

Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
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