This horizontal programme has 2 goals:
1. To improve the participation of European countries, and
2. To strengthen the European Research Area.
I: Widening Participation and Spreading Excellence (WPSE)
The European Commission wants member states to bring their research and innovation systems up to a level of excellence. For example, in ‘Teaming’ and ‘Twinning’ activities, excellent and underperforming research institutes work together. The idea behind this is to set up Centres of Excellence (Teaming), and staff exchanges and training sessions (Twinning).
The programme is not only for participants from widening countries. It aims for pan-European collaboration and knowledge sharing.
II: Strengthening the European Research Area (ERA)
We must use the European Union's scientific knowledge to link research infrastructures with the economy, as well as with education and training programmes. The goal is to have a European Union where:
- knowledge and highly-skilled personnel circulate freely;
- researchers share outputs rapidly and efficiently; and
- researchers enjoy attractive careers and gender equality is no longer an issue.
Also, the European Union has strategic research agendas aligned with national plans. An important part of the plans is that citizens trust and understand the outcomes of research and innovations.
Calls for proposals
The Widening Participation and Spreading Excellence programme 2021-2022 has several calls for proposal with 3 goals:
- Improved access to excellence (widening)
- Attracting and mobilizing the best talents (ERA Calls)
- Reforming and enhancing the EU research and innovation system
Submit a proposal together with an international consortium of partners from different European countries. A consortium consists of 3 organisations from 3 different European Member States or Associated Countries.
- Conditions for Widening Participation and Spreading Excellence programme: the widening country is responsible the coordination of the project.
- Conditions for Strengthening the European Research Area programme: the conditions are the same as those for projects under Pillar II.
Questions or advice?
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency hosts the National Contact Point (NCP) for Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area in Horizon Europe. Contact the Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area advisors for questions and advice on your Horizon Europe application or project.