Canada latest to join Horizon Europe research programme

4 Jul 2024

Image: © Fredex/

Canadian researchers and organisations can now participate in Horizon Europe, which funds research projects across a wide range of domains.

Canada has become the latest non-European country to officially join Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation programme.

In a joint statement today (4 July) European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau celebrated “a new chapter” for researchers on both sides of the Atlantic.

As entities within a member country, Canadian researchers and organisations can now participate in the Horizon Europe programme, which funds collaborative research projects across a wide range of domains, on equal terms with EU counterparts.

According to the Commission, Canadian entities can now join and lead research consortia with the best of European research organisations to tackle global challenges together, with the opportunity to be funded directly from the programme while Canada contributes to the programme’s budget.

“By combining the strengths of our research communities, we can accomplish greater scientific breakthroughs and technological progress, and become better equipped to meet today’s global challenges and succeed in the green and digital transitions,” the joint statement reads.

“Canada’s association to Horizon Europe will allow us to build on our research and innovation cooperation in crucial areas such as oceans, health, raw materials, energy and bioeconomy, as well as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and digital infrastructure.

“Researchers in Canada will have access to the network of European researchers and beyond. This deeper relationship will also boost economic opportunities and contribute to job creation and growth in both regions.”

Negotiations for Canada to join Horizon Europe were first concluded at the EU-Canada Summit in November last year.

The Commission said that while awaiting the signature, a “transitional arrangement” allowed Canadian researchers to apply and be evaluated as prospective beneficiaries in Horizon Europe proposals for all calls implementing Pillar II already in the budget 2024 onwards.

Iliana Ivanova, EU commissioner for innovation and research, said that the EU needs to work together with other countries such as Canada because “the challenges we face are global”.

“I wholeheartedly welcome Canada in our Horizon Europe programme. With this step, we are strengthening the EU’s ties with trusted partners that have a solid scientific base and a robust track record in research and innovation,” she said. “Now we can enable our brightest minds to come together and work on joint solutions for our future.”

Earlier this year, the EU and Canada announced their intentions to boost their strategic digital partnership to address “new challenges in digital transformation”.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic