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Research and innovation

Widening participation and spreading excellence

Policy, strategy, how to apply and work programmes.

Policy and strategy

Widening Participation and Spreading Excellence actions under Horizon Europe, contribute to building research and innovation capacity for countries lagging behind.

They will strengthen their potential for successful participation in transnational research and innovation processes, promote networking and access to excellence.

Participants in the programme will be able to upgrade their research and innovation systems, making them stronger and allowing the EU as a whole to advance together, in line with the policy objectives of the European Research Area.

Areas of intervention

Teaming: Support/create centres of excellences as role models to stimulate excellence, new investments and reforms of national research and innovation systems.

Twinning: Develop excellence in chosen research and innovation domain, increase visibility of the research institutions and universities, and upskill its staff.

ERA Chairs, to support universities or research organisations from eligible countries to attract and maintain high quality human resources and help excellent scientists and their teams to become game changers in their field.

European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST),cross-border scientific network helping excellent researchers and innovators get access to the European and international networks.

Results under Horizon 2020, the previous programme

Widening measures under Horizon 2020 have triggered advanced reforms and changes within national research and innovation systems, encouraged new partnerships and introduced new scientific curricula, extended networks, encouraged more peer reviewed international publications and opened up established research partnerships.

In the recent years, the widening countries (EU 13) have increased their participation under Horizon 2020. On average, as of February 2021, it represented 5.1% of the total Horizon 2020 budget allocated so far (up from 4.2% in the Seventh Framework programme, FP7 and 4.8% in 2018). 

Project success stories

Apply for funding

All funding information and details on how to apply are on the Funding and Tenders portal.

Work programme

Funding opportunities under Horizon Europe are set out in multiannual work programmes, which cover the large majority of support available.

2023 - 24

Commission work programme6 December 2022
Horizon Europe Work programme (2023-24) - WIDERA
(1.51 MB - PDF)

2021 - 22

Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area work programme


17 MAY 2021
Horizon Europe: Widening participation and spreading excellence across Europe (Factsheet)
(338.05 KB - HTML)