DATE: 08-07-21

InfoDay Horizon Europe Cluster 2 - Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society

New opportunities for the CCIs

The first calls under Horizon Europe for the cultural and creative industries are now open. On 1 July 2021, the European Commission held an Information Day on the funding programme Horizon Europe, dedicated to the programme’s Cluster 2 Culture, Creativity & Inclusive Society, the most fitting for the cultural and creative industries, in which they provided a detailed overview of the opportunities available. The event focussed primarily on the work programme of Horizon Europe for the year 2021.

In the introduction, the Commission explained that among the novelties of Horizon Europe there is an increased emphasis on the impact of the projects to be funded, with the various research topics having targets: outcomes are specified as the result of an interactions between researchers and users, with wider benefits for society in mind; the topics are also much broader.

The work programme for Cluster 2 for 2021-22 is divided into three so called destinations, that are the areas of expected impact: Innovative Research on Democracy and Governance; Innovative Research on the European Cultural Heritage and the Cultural and Creative Industries; and Innovative Research on Economic and Social Transformations. The budget for Cluster 2 has been increased to 2.28 billion EUR when the programme was finally approved; discounting 10% of the funds dedicated to the Horizon Europe missions (commitments to solve some of the greatest challenges facing the world like fighting cancer, adapting to climate change, protecting the oceans, living in greener cities and ensuring soil health and food) and 6% for administration, there are 1.923 billion available, of which 422.92 million EUR for the Work Programme 2021-22.

The second destination is the most interesting for the cultural and creative industries, especially with a call on Research and innovation on cultural heritage and CCIs. The various topics are open for proposals for Research and Innovation actions; these are primarily consisting of activities aiming to establish new knowledge and/or to explore the feasibility of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution. For this purpose, they may include basic and applied research, technology development and integration, testing and validation on a small-scale prototype in a laboratory or simulated environment. Projects may contain closely connected but limited demonstrations or pilot activities aiming to show technical feasibility in a near to operational environment. Proposals should have a budget between 2 and 4 million EUR (depending on specific calls). Calls for 2021 opened on 22 June and have a deadline of 7 October 2021. Calls for 2022 will open in April.

An interesting point was raised during the Q&A session: according to the Commission, wider adoption of existing technology would not properly fit under the funding programme. Rather, the Commission maintained that for that kind of activity the most appropriate environment would be Creative Europe. However, an objective of making some technology evolve further or be used for new purposes, thus implying technological research or development, could fit into the calls. A small improvement, on the other hand, would not justify the R&I component but rather call for implementation measures under Creative Europe.

The third destination has a call for Inclusiveness in times of change, which includes a topic dedicated to Integration of emerging new technologies into education and training, which might be of interest for those working in education. Once again, it aims to fund Research and Innovation actions, with a budget between 2 and 3 million EUR; the deadline is the same, 7 October.

The Horizon Europe Cluster 2 Work Programme for 2021-22 can be found here. The recording of the Information Day is available here.