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Assistance for HEu proposal design

Eligibility conditions 

Eligible organisations

In Horizon Europe proposals can participate legal entities, meaning a legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations.

The following types of organisations are eligible in HEU proposals:

- Public organisations (agencies, ministries, public authorities)

- Secondary or Higher education organisations

- Research organisations (institutes, centres)

- Large companies

- Small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs)

- Non-profit organisations (NGOs)

- International organisations
  • Attention! International organisations do not automatically receive EU funding. Their funding is subject to evaluation, and they can get funded only if their participation is considered essential for implementing the proposal.
  • International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’
- International organisations of European interest (are eligible to receive EU funding)

- EU bodies. They are legal entities created under EU law and an participate in proposals and may also be eligible to receive funding.

- Joint Research Centre (JRC). Proposals may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
Eligible organisations
Eligible countries

To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
(The list below is correct at the time of adoption of the Work Programme 2023-2024, i.e. 6 Dec. 2022. Please see the Horizon Europe List of Participating Countries on the Portal for up-to-date information on the current list and on the position for Associated Countries).
EU Member States:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden

Countries associated to Horizon Europe:
Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine

Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States:
Aruba (NL), Bonaire (NL), Curação (NL), French Polynesia (FR), French Southern and Antarctic Territories (FR), Greenland (DK), New Caledonia (FR), Saba (NL), Saint Barthélemy (FR), Sint Eustatius (NL), Sint Maarten (NL), St. Pierre and Miquelon (FR), Wallis and Futuna Islands (FR)

Low- and middle-income countries:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Comoros, Congo (Democratic Republic), Congo (Republic), Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt (Arab Republic), El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic), Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea (Democratic People's Republic), Kyrgyz Republic, Lao (People’s Democratic Republic), Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia (Federated States), Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic), Vietnam, Yemen Republic, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Eligible countries
Eligible activities

Projects must focus exclusively on civil applications and must NOT:
  • aim at human cloning for reproductive purposes;
  • intend to modify the genetic heritage of human beings which could make such changes heritable (except for research relating to cancer treatment of the gonads, which may be financed);
  • intend to create human embryos solely for the purpose of research, or for the purpose of stem cell procurement, including by means of somatic cell nuclear transfer.

Projects must, moreover, comply with EU policy interests and priorities (environment, social, security, industrial policy, etc.).

Eligible activities per type of project:

Research and innovation actions (RIA) — Activities that aim primarily to establish new knowledge or to explore the feasibility of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution. This may include basic and applied research, technology development and integration, testing, demonstration and validation of a small-scale prototype in a laboratory or simulated environment.
Innovation actions (IA) — Activities that aim directly to produce plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services. These activities may include prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, large-scale product validation and market replication.
Coordination and support actions (CSA) — Activities that contribute to the objectives of Horizon Europe. This excludes research and innovation (R&I) activities, except those carried out under the ‘Widening participation and spreading excellence’ component of the programme (part of ‘Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area’). Also eligible are bottom-up coordination actions which promote cooperation between legal entities from Member States and Associated Countries to strengthen the European Research Area, and which receive no EU co-funding for research activities.
Programme co-fund actions (CoFund) — A programme of activities established or implemented by legal entities managing or funding R&I programmes, other than EU funding bodies. Such a programme of activities may support: networking and coordination; research; innovation; pilot actions; innovation and market deployment; training and mobility; awareness raising and communication; and dissemination and exploitation. It may also provide any relevant financial support, such as grants, prizes and procurement, as well as Horizon Europe blended finance or a combination thereof. The actions may be implemented by the beneficiaries directly or by providing financial support to third parties.
Training and mobility actions (TMA) — Activities that aim to improve the skills, knowledge and career prospects of researchers, based on mobility between countries and, if relevant, between sectors or disciplines.
Public procurement of innovative solutions actions (PPI) — Activities that aim to strengthen the ability of a transnational buyers’ group to deploy innovative solutions early by overcoming the fragmentation of demand for such solutions and sharing the risks and costs of acting as early adopters, while opening market opportunities for industry. Eligible activities include preparing and implementing, under the coordination of a lead procurer, one joint or several coordinated PPI by the buyers’ group and additional activities to embed the PPI into a wider set of demand-side activities.
Innovation and market deployment actions (IMDA) — Activities that embed an innovation action and other activities necessary to deploy an innovation on the market. This includes the scaling-up of companies and Horizon Europe blended finance.
Eligible activities

Projects must comply with ethical principles (including the highest standards of research integrity) and applicable EU, international and national law.

Applicants must have completed the ethics self-assessment as part of their application.

For more information, see How to complete your ethics self-assessment.

Projects involving ethics issues will undergo a separate ethics review to authorise funding and may be made subject to specific ethics requirements. These requirements become part of the grant agreement as ethics deliverables, e.g. ethics committee opinions/authorisations required under national or EU law.

Projects involving classified and/or sensitive information will have to go through the security appraisal process to authorise funding and may be made subject to specific security rules (detailed in the Security Section, which is annexed to the grant agreement). Specific provisions for EU classified information (EUCI) and sensitive information (SEN) will be included in the grant agreement.

The rules for protecting EU classified information provide for instance that:
- projects involving information classified as EU TOP SECRET (or equivalent) can NOT be funded;
- EU classified information must be marked in accordance with the applicable security instructions in the Classification Guide appendix of the Security Aspects Letter (SAL), which is contained in the Security Section of the grant agreement;
- generation of, or access to, information with classification levels EU CONFIDENTIAL or above (and EU RESTRICTED, if required by national rules) may take place only on the premises of entities which have been granted a facility security clearance (FSC) issued by the competent national security authority (NSA);
- handling of information classified EU CONFIDENTIAL or above (and EU RESTRICTED, if required by national rules) may take place only in a secured area accredited by the competent NSA;
- access to and handling of information classified EU CONFIDENTIAL or above may be granted only to individuals with a valid personnel security clearance (PSC) and an established need-to-know, who have been briefed on the applicable security rules;
- access to, and handling of, information classified EU RESTRICTED may be granted only to individuals who have a need-to-know and have been briefed on the applicable security rules;
- at the end of the grant, the classified information must either be returned or continue to be protected according to the applicable rules;
- subcontracting of tasks involving EU classified information is subject to prior written approval by the European Commission, which is the originator of EU classified information. It is only possible to subcontract these tasks to entities established in an EU Member State or in a non-EU country with a security of information agreement with the EU (or an administrative arrangement with the Commission);
- disclosure of EU classified information is subject to prior written approval by the European Commission.

In certain cases, the project results might not require classification, but they might be sensitive and require restricted disclosure or limited dissemination for security reasons, according to the applicable instructions in the Security Section. This means that, in principle, third parties should have no access to results subject to this type of restriction. Disclosure of this information is subject to prior written approval by the European Commission.

Further security recommendations may be added to the grant agreement in the form of security deliverables (e.g. establishing a security advisory board, appointing a project security officer, limiting the level of detail, using a fake scenario, etc.).

In addition, beneficiaries must ensure that their projects are not subject to national/thirdcountry security requirements that could affect implementation or put into question the award of the grants (e.g. technology restrictions, national security classification, etc.). Any potential security issues must be notified immediately to the granting authority.

Beneficiaries must take all measures to promote equal opportunities between men and women in implementing the action and, where applicable, in line with their gender equality plan. They must aim to achieve, to the extent possible, a gender balance at all levels of personnel assigned to the action, including at supervisory and managerial level.

In addition, to be eligible, legal entities from Member States and Associated Countries that are public bodies, research organisations or higher education establishments (including private research organisations and higher education establishments) must have a gender equality plan, covering the following minimum process-related requirements:
publication: a formal document published on the institution’s website and signed by the top management;
dedicated resources: commitment of resources and expertise in gender equality to implement the plan;
data collection and monitoring: sex/gender disaggregated data on personnel (and students, for the establishments concerned) and annual reporting based on indicators;
​– training: awareness raising/training on gender equality and unconscious gender biases for staff and decision-makers.

Content-wise, it is recommended that the gender equality plan addresses the following areas, using concrete measures and targets:
– work-life balance and organisational culture;
– gender balance in leadership and decision-making;
– gender equality in recruitment and career progression;
– integration of the gender dimension into research and teaching content;
– measures against gender-based violence, including sexual harassment. A self-declaration will be requested at proposal stage.

If all the above-mentioned mandatory requirements are met through another strategic document, such as a development plan or an inclusion or diversity strategy, it can be considered as an equivalent.

This eligibility criterion does not apply to other categories of legal entities, such as private for-profit organisations, including SMEs, non-governmental or civil society organisations.
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