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Research and innovation
News article17 May 2022Directorate-General for Research and Innovation2 min read

Open Call: New EU TalentOn invites young, academic talent to find solutions for our most pressing challenges

Today, the Commission and Leiden – European City of Science 2022 launched a call for applications for the EU TalentON, a new event that challenges young, academic talent to find solutions contributing to the goals of the five EU Missions from Horizon Europe. The four-day event brings together early career researchers between the ages of 21 and 35 and features an extensive programme, co-created with academia, entrepreneurs and industry.

Divided in small teams, young academic talents will receive the necessary tools to create innovative and marketable solutions with societal impact, as well as workshops, company visits, lectures, creative 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.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said:

As part of the European Year of Youth, we invite young talented researchers from all over Europe to join us in Leiden - European City of Science 2022 for the very first EU TalentON. Events such as these are essential to promote careers in research and innovation and facilitates cross-border and cross-sectoral collaboration among early-career researchers, entrepreneurs and industry.

Each team will focus on a challenge related to one of the five EU missions. These novel tools of Horizon Europe support research to find responses to some of the greatest challenges we are facing today: fighting cancer, adapting to climate change, protecting the ocean, seas and waters, living in greener cities and ensuring healthy soil and food. Missions set clear goals to be achieved by 2030. They provide the right conditions and funding to enable researchers, innovators, policy makers, businesses and citizens to act together.

The EU TalentON is supported by Horizon Europe Work Programme ‘Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area’. All costs of participants, including travel, accommodation and mails will be covered. Early career researchers can apply to join the EU TalentON until the end of June.


The EU TalentOn, part of Leiden 2022 European City of Science, 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. During 2022, Leiden will be 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.

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.

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