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European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA)
Digital, Industry and Space

Supporting research relating to societal challenges and reinforcing technological and industrial capacities

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the research and innovation framework programme running from 2021-2027.

The second pillar: Global Challenges and European Industrial Competiveness pillar supports research relating to societal challenges and reinforces technological and industrial capacities through clusters. It consists of 6 clusters.

Cluster 4 Digital, Industry and Space aims at:

  • advancing key enabling, digital and space technologies
  • underpinning the transformation of our economy and society
  • supporting the digitisation and transformation of European industry
  • contributing to securing global industrial leadership and autonomy / sovereignty in terms of technologies and resources.

Cluster 4 of Horizon Europe

HaDEA manages scientific projects funded under Cluster 4 of the Horizon Europe framework programme (grouped by destinations).

  • Destination 1 “Climate neutral, circular and digitised production”

The destination “Climate neutral, circular and digitised production” aims at accelerating the twin green and digital transitions and will be key to building a lasting and prosperous European growth, in line with the European Green Deal.

Topics in this destination will lead to global leadership in clean and climate-neutral industrial value chains, circular economy and climate-neutral digital systems and infrastructures (networks, data centres). This will be achieved through innovative production and manufacturing processes and their digitisation, new business models, sustainable-by-design advanced materials and green and digital technologies. 

  • Destination 2 “Increased autonomy in key strategic value chains for resilient industry”

The destination “Increased autonomy in key strategic value chains for resilient industry” is focused on the need to tackle missing segments in strategic areas and value chains to strengthen the EU’s industrial base as well as boost its competitiveness and strategic autonomy. In addition, it explores how increased circularity has the potential to increase the strategic autonomy of EU industry through the more efficient use of resources and secondary raw materials (in particular, critical raw materials).

Topics in this Destination will lead to industrial leadership and increased autonomy in key strategic value chains with security of supply in raw materials. This will be achieved through R&I activities focusing on four areas key for the resilience of EU industry: i) Raw materials; ii) Advanced materials; iii) Circular value chains and iv)Preparedness of businesses/SMEs/startups. These activities will be managed in close collaboration with DG GROW - responsible for the EU's raw materials policy, and DG RTD in charge for the latter three areas. On Raw materials there will also be close relation and collaboration with the EIT RawMaterials. 

The raw materials related activities will tackle the vulnerabilities in the entire EU raw materials value chain, from sustainable and responsible exploration, extraction, processing, recycling, and contributing to building the EU knowledge base of primary and secondary raw materials and ensuring secure, sustainable and responsible access to (critical) raw materials.

Destination 1 and 2 builds on the H2020 Legacy, including on the results of Private Public Partnerships on low carbon industries and European leadership in manufacturing, on the Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and Biotechnology (NMBP) programme and part of H2020 Societal Challenge 5: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials.

Relevance of Space research

Today, EU citizens enjoy watching satellite TV, increasingly accurate global navigation services for all transport modes and users (e.g. mobile phones and car navigation systems), extended Earth monitoring for land, marine, atmosphere and climate change, global meteorological observation and accurate cartographies of a wide number of variables. Space also makes important contributions to security crisis management and emergency services.

These are key assets for the EU policies on climate, environment, transport, agriculture and secure society (e.g. Maritime Strategy, the Arctic Strategy, the Digital Agenda, the Common Security and Defence Policy, the Sustainable Development Strategy, the SGDGs). Finally, the space sector is a source of economic growth, jobs and exports, and also of inspiration for innovations and public engagement.

Horizon Europe Space R&I

Horizon Europe Space R&I  aims to achieve as impact: “Open strategic autonomy in developing, deploying and using global space-based infrastructures, services, applications and data”, including by reinforcing the EU’s independent capacity to access space, securing the autonomy of supply for critical technologies and equipment, and fostering the EU's space sector competitiveness.

This expected impact is fully in line with the Space Strategy for Europe and the proposal for the European Space Programme. Horizon Europe R&I funds will contribute to this expected impact along two main programme axes by:

  • providing support with R&I funding to the EU space sector at large (A) ;
  • preparing future evolutions of the European Space programme components (B). 

Activities are structured along the following headings, of which those in bold will be addressed by projects implemented by HaDEA (programme implementation is shared mainly with EUSPA, ESA and other contracted entities):  

  1. Foster competitiveness of space systems (A)
  2. Reinforce the EU capacity to access to space (A)
  3. Evolution of Space and ground infrastructures for Galileo/EGNOS (B)
  4. Evolution of services for Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus (B)
  5. Development of applications for Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus (B)
  6. Innovative space capabilities: SSA, GOVSATCOM, Quantum (B)
  7. Space entrepreneurship ecosystems (incl. New Space and start-ups) and skills (A)
  8. Targeted and strategic actions supporting the EU space sector (A)

Implementation by HaDEA will be via annual calls for proposals and Identified Beneficiary Actions. For more information, see the work programmes for Horizon Europe: Cluster 4: Digital, industry and space (adoption work programme 2021/2022 expected in the week of 17 May, more coming soon).

Relevant websites European Union