Horizon Europe, the European Union's new research and investment programme - the biggest programme ever undertaken in Europe - has been launched today. 

The new multidisciplinary programme will run until 2027 and will be backed by a budget of over €95 billion.

Horizon Europe was launched by the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris. 

It will have three key pillars - Science of Excellence, Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness and Innovative Europe. 

Ireland secured more than €1 billion in support for research and innovation over the lifetime of the previous programme Horizon 2020.

Simon Harris said that as we navigate a way through the global Covid-19 pandemic, science and research have been the forefront of the response.

"Today, we launch a significant investment in research across Europe to ensure societies and economies are ready for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

"The mission areas for research include cancer, climate-neutral and smart cities and adaption to climate change and social transformation under this €95 billion programme," Mr Harris said. 

"We want Irish innovators, researchers and entrepreneurs to be at the centre of this programme and to fulfil their research and innovation ambitions, scale their companies, and support a green recovery," he added.

Commissioner Gabriel said that Horizon Europe will allow researchers, scientists and innovators to lead a more green, digital and inclusive recovery. 

"With Ireland being a strong innovator, I am confident that its top talents will continue to participate with great success and help deliver new knowledge and solutions for a sustainable future," the Commissioner added. 

Enterprise Ireland coordinates the cross governmental network of National Contacts Points for Horizon Europe.

Garrett Murray, the National Director for Horizon Europe at Enterprise Ireland, said that over 2,700 Irish entities were involved in grant agreements under the Horizon 2020 programme.

He said that Enterprise Ireland is encouraging all Irish researchers, innovators and newcomers across all disciplines to look at the opportunities under the new programme.

They are urged to contact their National Contact Points in Enterprise Ireland and across the Horizon Europe national support network for information, funding, guidance and expert support in evaluating opportunities, and making applications.

"That we have over 2,000 people registered to attend the launch event is a really exciting start to Ireland's Horizon Europe journey," he added.