During the recent Canada-EU summit on November 23-24, 2023, a significant development unfolded in the realm of global research and innovation. The European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, and Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, revealed the successful conclusion of Canada’s association with Pillar II of Horizon Europe, the European Union’s primary funding program for research and innovation. This milestone agreement signals a robust enhancement in Canada-Europe collaborative efforts in these fields.
At the summit’s periphery, Von der Leyen expressed enthusiasm about Canada joining the Horizon Europe family, anticipating groundbreaking innovations and transformative discoveries from joint endeavors. This partnership aims to pioneer new territories, expand the horizons of knowledge, and construct a resilient, prosperous future.
The formalization of the Association Agreement is slated for 2024, pending necessary validations by both parties. Post-signature, Canadian researchers and organizations will be eligible for funding under Pillar II of Horizon Europe. This Pillar, with a budget of EUR 53.5 billion, is dedicated to collaborative solutions for global challenges, including climate, energy, the digital economy, and health.
Horizon Europe: an innovative programme for a global future
Horizon Europe is the EU’s flagship research and innovation program, boasting an EU budget of EUR 95.5 billion for 2021-2027, augmented by contributions from associated countries. Its global nature allows worldwide participation, with associated countries enjoying additional collaborative opportunities and equal access to funds as EU Member States.
The association with Horizon Europe signifies a profound level of EU collaboration in research and innovation for Canada. Canadian entities will be able to contribute to Pillar II projects on par with EU Member States, accessing expansive networks of EU researchers and those from 18 other associated countries from 2024.
The EU-Canada relationship in research and innovation dates to 1996 with the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation. This foundation facilitated cooperation and dialogue on shared research interests.
This new agreement fortifies existing ties and paves the way for innovative research and global scientific advancement. The partnership aims to tackle global challenges by leveraging the diverse expertise in both regions. In an era where international cooperation is paramount, this agreement represents a significant stride toward a collaborative, innovative future.