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Research and innovation

EU TalentOn

Challenging young researchers to help find solutions to the most pressing global issues. Event details, how to participate, aims and news. 

What is the EU TalentOn?

The EU TalentOn is a new event that challenges young talented researchers to find solutions to help solve the most pressing global issues. The four-day event brings together early career researchers and features an extensive programme, co-created with academia, innovators and industry.

Divided into small teams, talented early career researchers will receive the necessary tools to create innovative and marketable solutions, as well as workshops, company visits, lectures, master classes, personal guidance and cultural experiences.

At the end of the event, each team will pitch their solution to a professional jury and the public. Winners will receive sponsored prizes from the EU, industry and mentors.

EU TalentOn 2022 Leiden

We are pleased to announce that the first edition of EU TalentOn will take place in Leiden, Netherlands from 14 to 18 September during the European Year of Youth. This year, Leiden will also be the location of the 33rd edition of the EU Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS).

The 104 selected participants of EU TalentOn will compete in teams of four to come up with the best scientific solutions to societal challenges problems linked to the five EU Missions – Climate change, Cancer, Ocean, Cities and Soil.

Detailed list of all winners


Aim of the EU TalentOn

The EU TalentOn, directly contributes to the actions set out in the ERA Policy Agenda. Specifically, the contest helps bring science closer to citizens by inviting them to co-create solutions for our most pressing challenges.

It provides a platform on which everyone wanting to share science, knowledge, art, and skills can participate, thus establishing new connections between science and society in innovative, open, playful, and sincere ways.

The EU TalentON is supported by the Horizon Europe Work Programme, "Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area".

EU TalentOn connects the most talented early career researchers studying in the EU and attracts widespread media interest. The contest is an initiative of the European Commission set up to promote cooperation and information exchange between young researchers.

How to participate

EU TalentOn is targeted at young academics from all over Europe, most specifically career researchers aged 21 to 35.

From 17 May 2022 onwards, young researchers could apply to join the EU TalentOn. The deadline to apply to the EU TalentOn was 1 July, and the 104 selected participants were announced live on 16 July during ESOF2022.

Discover the participants to the five EU Missions Arena

Contest rules

The 26 teams are challenged to come up with ideas within five Mission Arenas, linked to the five EU Missions. At the end of the contest on 17 September, the teams will be asked to present their projects. A jury of three members per Mission Arena will evaluated their projects based on a document and a pitch.

During the EU TalentOn, teams have the freedom to come up with any type of idea. From an invention, to an academic research proposal, a collaboration model, a new start-up: anything is possible.

Pitch – Saturday 17/09 between 12:30 and 13:30

  • All teams are given five minutes to pitch to the jury, and four minutes to answer questions.
  • Teams are welcome but not obliged to use slides.

Team Pages

All teams are given a template and requested to write 1 – 3 pages explaining their idea and answering the following questions:

  1. What is the problem you are solving?
  2. What is your idea?
  3. How does your idea contribute to the relevant EU Mission?
  4. How would you implement this?

Leiden European City of Science 2022

Leiden2022 is an accessible 365-day festival that anyone wanting to share science, knowledge, art and skills can take part in — locally, nationally, and internationally.

Today’s major issues will be discussed during countless international conferences and special meetings, such as EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), European Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) and the new pilot event: EU TalentOn.


  • News article

Research and innovation news alert: the winning teams of the first-ever edition of EU TalentOn were announced in Leiden’s Stadsgehoorzaal, following a four-day competition among 104 young researchers aged 21 to 35