FASI: Funding Aid Strategies Investments

The first 2023 Horizon Europe Cluster 6 calls: 1.96 billion euros for six destinations

Photo credit: European Commission, 2022The EU Commission is inviting stakeholders to submit proposals for the 2023 Horizon Europe work programme calls included in Cluster 6. Being focused on "Food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment", this area of the second pillar of Horizon Europe fulfils the mandate to provide opportunities to strengthen and balance environmental, social and economic goals and to set human economic activities on a path towards sustainability.

With a 1.96 billion euros budget allocated to calls and other actions, research and innovation activities under this cluster will contribute to the objectives of the European Green Deal related to the Biodiversity Strategy to 2030, the Farm to Fork strategy, the European Climate Pact and initiatives under sustainable industry and eliminating pollution, as well as the long-term vision for rural areas, and the Sustainable Development Goals, in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

Over the last month of December 2022 a first wave of call for proposals was published under all the destinations of Cluster 6. All deadlines are set at 5 pm (Brussels time).

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Thanks to advanced knowledge and innovation biodiversity has come back on a path to recovery, and ecosystems and their services are preserved and sustainably restored on land, inland water and at sea. An overall indicative budget amounting 184 million euros is allocated through 18 topics financing Research and Innovation Actions (RIA), Innovation Actions (IA) Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) and one Cofund Actions. Proposals can be submitted until 28 March 2023.

Fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food systems from primary production to consumption

Calls launched under Destination 2 finance projects aimed at making the agri-food production system and food consumption more equitable, healthy and environmentally sustainable, in line with the objectives of the Farm to Fork strategy. A total budget worth 196.5 million euros split for 20 topics will be invested for research and innovation projects helping farmers in monitor and manage natural resources (e.g. soil, water, nutrients, biodiversity, etc.) in innovative, sustainable ways by, among other things, boosting organic food and farming in line with the action plan for the development of organic production. New knowledge and innovative solutions will also promote plant health, reduce farmer’s dependency on pesticides and reverse biodiversity loss. The deadline to submit proposals is 12 April 2023:

Circular economy and bioeconomy sectors

Proposals under destination 3 can be submitted until 28th March 2023. A total amount of 98.5 million euros will finance 14 topics targeting safe, integrated circular solutions at territorial and sectoral levels, for important material flows and product value chains, such as textiles electronics, chemicals, packaging, tourism, plastics and construction, and more importantly sustainable bio-based systems, sustainable forestry, small-scale rural bio-based solutions,  environmental services and aquatic (including marine and freshwater) value chains:

Clean environment and zero pollution

Proposals for topics under this destination should set out a credible pathway that helps to halt and eliminate pollution to guarantee clean and healthy soils, air, fresh and marine water for all and ensure that natural resources are used and managed in a sustainable and circular manner. The 2023 Horizon Europe work programme establishes a budget of 64.5 million euros for the first 7 topics calls, whose proposals will be accepted if received by 28 March 2023.

  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-ZEROPOLLUTION-01-01 (RIA) - Knowledge and innovative solutions in agriculture for water availability and quality
  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-ZEROPOLLUTION-01-02 (RIA) - Integrated assessment and monitoring of emerging pollutants in the marine environment
  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-ZEROPOLLUTION-01-03 (RIA) - Tackling human and climate change induced pollution in the Arctic - building resilient socio-ecological systems
  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-ZEROPOLLUTION-01-04 (RIA) - Environmental sustainability and circularity criteria for industrial bio-based systems
  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-ZEROPOLLUTION-01-05 (IA) - Industrial biotechnology approaches for improved sustainability and output of industrial bio-based processes
  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-ZEROPOLLUTION-01-06 (RIA) - Biosensors and user-friendly diagnostic tools for environmental services
  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-ZEROPOLLUTION-01-07 (RIA) - Strategies to prevent and reduce plastic packaging pollution from the food system

Land, ocean and water for climate action

Activities supported under this destination will help coordinate the research community and key stakeholders in developing, testing and demonstrating carbon farming practices and in certifying carbon removals. A 90 million euros budget is made available for 2023. The deadline is set at 12 April.

  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-CLIMATE-01-1 (COFUND) - Additional activities for the European Partnership Water Security for the Planet (Water4All)
  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-CLIMATE-01-2 (IA)- Improve the reliability and effectiveness of alternative water resources supply systems and technologies
  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-CLIMATE-01-3 (RIA) - Ocean and coastal waters carbon- and biodiversity-rich ecosystems and habitats in Europe and the Polar Regions 
  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-CLIMATE-01-4 (RIA) - Demonstration network on climate-smart farming – linking research stations
  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-CLIMATE-01-5 (CSA) - Pilot network of climate-positive organic farms
  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-CLIMATE-01-6 (RIA) - Analysing fossil-energy dependence in agriculture to increase resilience against input price fluctuations
  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-CLIMATE-01-7 (RIA) - Enhancing the sustainable production of renewable energy at farm-level
  • HORIZON-CL6-2023-CLIMATE-01-8 (RIA) - Closing the research gaps on Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) in support of global assessments 

Resilient, inclusive, healthy and green rural, coastal and urban communities

This fifth destination aims at supporting transdisciplinary R&I with a strong social, behavioural and humanities sciences dimension (SSH), which will enable "a sustainable, balanced, equitable and inclusive development and management of rural, coastal and urban areas in three different ways: increase a broad understanding of the different ways of climate environmental, socio-economic and demographic changes affect rural; explore innovative ways to tailor policy responses to the place-based challenges and needs identified at various levels of governance; support bottom-up community-led innovation to empower communities to develop, test and upscale solutions that answer global challenges in locally adapted ways. Proposal submitted until 12 April 2023 can be awarded under 6 topics financed by a total budget of 38.5 million euros.

Innovative governance, environmental observations and digital solutions in support of the Green Deal

This destination supports activities aiming at experimenting with new ways to govern the transition process and strengthen the governance, in particular by ensuring appropriate and inclusive engagement with stakeholders, e.g. civil society and regional and local actors, environmental observations coverage, and that information and knowledge is made available and accessible. A 130 million euros budget is available for proposals selected among the ones submitted until 

The 2023 Horizon Europe work programme