Canada set to join Horizon Europe

Negotiations on association deal completed, says joint statement, with signing expected in 2024

November 24, 2023
Justin Trudeau
Source: iStock

Canada is set to join Horizon Europe, the European Union’s €95.5 billion (£83 billion) research funding programme.

At a Canada-EU summit, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced the conclusion of negotiations for the country’s association to Pillar II of Horizon Europe. This concerns large collaborative projects focused on tackling global challenges in climate, energy, the digital economy and health, and does not include excellence-focused programmes such as the European Research Council.

The signing of the association agreement is expected to take place in 2024. A joint statement issued after the summit said “substantive associations” on association had been completed “and both sides are working towards its prompt signature and implementation”.

“We warmly welcome Canada into the Horizon Europe family, and we eagerly anticipate the innovative breakthroughs and transformative discoveries that will emerge from our joint projects,” Ms von der Leyen said. “Together, we will chart new frontiers, push the boundaries of knowledge, and build a more resilient and prosperous world for generations to come.”

Mr Trudeau hailed Horizon Europe as “the greatest research and innovation mechanism in the world right now”.

“This is about the research and the innovation that’s going to create a better future for all citizens,” he told journalists.

Association means that Canadian applicants will be eligible to win funding from Horizon Europe, in return for a budget contribution. It will also make it easier for Canadian institutions to lead consortia with European institutions that are seeking funding.

The announcement came after the UK and New Zealand signed deals to associate Horizon Europe, and just days after the EU said it was prepared to resume exploratory talks with Switzerland on the possibility of its rejoining the programme.

Japan and South Korea might also choose to join, Times Higher Education has reported.

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