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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.

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:

Climate Impact Pilot

This modernised monitoring approach is already being tested through the Climate Impact Pilot.

The EU aims to be climate-neutral by 2050 and 35% of Horizon Europe investment is committed to tackling climate change.

The Climate Impact Pilot initiative aims to develop tools to enhance promising Horizon Europe projects and ease the transition towards a climate-natural society for all.

Climate impact monitoring tools are being tested under the Green Deal call

The testing includes

  • asking projects to describe their impact pathways towards a climate neutral society by 2050 through a survey
  • assessing and collecting individual project stories through this survey to help create an assessment of the programme as a whole

Some climate project video stories are already available in this playlist.

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. Q1 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 synopsis report from the public consultation

  7. December 2023

    Publication of the Horizon Europe interim 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 47 of the proposed Horizon Europe Regulation 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.