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Research and innovation
News article12 May 2022Directorate-General for Research and Innovation1 min read

The EU and Japan open Horizon Europe association talks

An important milestone for the EU-Japan Partnership was reached in today’s EU-Japan Summit in Tokyo: leaders on both sides acknowledged the launch of discussions to explore the possibility of Japan joining the Horizon Europe Programme as an associated country.

Horizon Europe is the very first EU Framework Programme that offers association statuses to countries outside EU’s geographic vicinity, taking into account that they share common values with the EU and demonstrate a good capacity in science, technology and innovation. Association is the closest form of international cooperation on research and innovation with third countries.

In times of global uncertainty, both sides are committed to ensure that their scientific communities benefit from a closer relationship in research and innovation, with respect of the shared values and principles and in line with the EU Global Approach strategy on international cooperation on R&I.

The EU and Japan will now take forward the discussions on enhancing cooperation for jointly addressing global societal challenges by opening exploratory talks on Japan’s possible association to the programme. Exploratory talks provide an opportunity to discuss the envisaged scope of the association, the terms and conditions for their participation in Horizon Europe actions and the programme’s governance.

A possible association of Japan to Horizon Europe builds on the already excellent level of cooperation on Science & Technology. Under Horizon 2020 (2014-2020), Japan was successful in 176 projects, involving 219 Japanese entities connecting them to research entities across Europe and beyond. In addition, there have been 6 coordinated calls with Japanese ministries and funding agencies and 4 co-funded projects. So far, cooperation is strong in ICT, climate action, health and renewable energy (biofuels). This cooperation would of course continue under Horizon Europe, whilst the association discussions are ongoing. An association to Horizon Europe would allow increasing this cooperation and widen its scope.

The Commission has recently closed exploratory talks with Canada and New Zealand. Exploratory talks are also progressing with the Republic of Korea.

More information

International cooperation with Japan

Horizon Europe


Publication date
12 May 2022
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation