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Research and innovation

Monitoring Horizon Europe

Key Impact Pathways - a modernised monitoring approach

The Commission’s proposal for Horizon Europe includes a ground breaking approach for capturing and communicating impact - the Key Impact Pathways. This approach aligns with a new level of ambition to boost the diversity of impact of EU research and innovation funding.


The objective is to allow policy makers and the wider public to get regular insights regarding the effects and benefits of the programme or European science, the economy and wider society.

The Key Impact Pathways will allow the Commission to capture and communicate the difference we are making around 9 key story lines during and after the programme.

Horizon Europe monitoring and evaluation framework

A Staff Working Document published by the Commission in 2023 describes the intervention logic of Horizon Europe, explains the evidence that will be used for designing, informing and improving the programme, including a comprehensive set of data and indicators.

It responds to the requirements set out in the Communication on the performance framework for the EU budget under the 2021-2027 MFF for each programme to have a monitoring and evaluation framework.


Key Impact Pathways

  1. Creating high-quality new knowledge
  2. Strengthening human capital in research and innovation
  3. Fostering diffusion of knowledge and Open source
Scientific impact
  1. Addressing EU policy priorities and global challenges through research and innovation
  2. Delivering benefits and impact through research and innovation missions
  3. Strengthening the uptake of research and innovation in society
Societal impact
  1. Generating innovation-based growth
  2. Creating more and better jobs
  3. Leveraging investment in research and innovation
Towards technological/economic impact

Final report

To find out more about the Key Impact Pathways:

Evaluation timeline

  1. May 2020 to February 2023

    Evidence-gathering for Horizon 2020 evaluation through external evaluation studies, internal analysis and other sources of information

  2. June 2022

    Publication of the call for evidence for the ex-post evaluation of Horizon 2020 & interim of Horizon Europe (4 weeks)

  3. November 2022 to February 2023

    Public consultation (12 weeks) covering Horizon 2020 ex-post evaluation, Horizon Europe interim evaluation and consultation to feed the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan 2025-2027

  4. January 2023 to February 2024

    Evidence-gathering for Horizon Europe evaluation through external evaluation studies, internal analysis and other useful sources of information

  5. Q2 2023

    Call for expressions of interest for the High Level Group (HLG) to develop recommendations based on the conclusions of H2020 ex-post evaluation and Horizon Europe mid-term evaluation

  6. Q2 2023

    Publication of the factual summary reports (public consultation)

  7. December 2023

    Publication of the Horizon 2020 ex-post evaluation report (SWD)

  8. Q4 2023 to Q4 2024

    Work of the High Level Expert Group

  9. September 2024 (tbc)

    Publication of the SWD on Interim Evaluation of Horizon Europe

  10. December 2024

    Publication of HLG report

Impact assessment of the Horizon Europe proposal

The impact assessment of Horizon Europe provides evidence-based policy and design recommendations. These include elements unique to the programme such as EU missions and a fully-fledged European Innovation Council.

The impact assessment for Horizon Europe was published in June 2018. It was drafted in line with the Commission’s better regulation guidelines and builds on

  • evidence and lessons learned from the interim evaluation of the preceding programme, Horizon 2020
  • recommendations of the independent high-level group on maximising the impact of EU research and innovation
  • results of a stakeholder consultation


Evaluating Horizon Europe

Article 52 of the Regulation establishing Horizon Europe outlines that evaluations will be carried out in a timely manner to feed into the decision-making process on Horizon Europe and future framework programmes.

An interim evaluation of Horizon Europe should be carried out once there is enough information about its implementation. It must be done no later than 4 years after the start of the programme.

It will assess the programme's effect based on its indicators and targets and provide a detailed analysis of the degree to which the programme is

  • relevant
  • effective
  • efficient
  • providing enough EU added-value
  • coherent with other EU policies

The evaluation will also identify deficiencies or problems. It will identify potential to improve the programme’s activities and results and maximise the exploitation and impact of the programme.


Factsheet28 October 2022
Tackling Covid-19: The contribution of EU FP funding

An analysis of academic publications of the last two years shows that the EU is the third most frequently acknowledged funding source for COVID-19 related research.
Relevant Programmes: Horizon 2020 (H2020), Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

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