Space in Horizon Europe

Cluster 4

The Horizon Europe programme is structured in three pillars: open science, global challenges and Industrial and Open Innovation. Space is under the second pillar in a joint Cluster’ Digital, industry and space’ with a proposed envelope of €13,5 billion and an additional €1,35 billion from NextGenerationEU.

The overarching vision behind the proposed investments under Cluster 4 is that of Europe shaping competitive and trusted technologies for a European industry with global leadership in key areas, enabling production and consumption to respect the boundaries of our planet, and maximising the benefits for all parts of society in the variety of social, economic and territorial contexts in Europe.

This will build a competitive, digital, low-carbon and circular industry, ensure sustainable supply of raw materials, develop advanced materials and provide the basis for advances and innovation in global challenges to society.

Space Research and Innovation

Space Research and Innovation is structured as shown in Figure on the left.

The research under “foster the competitiveness of the EU space sector” and “reinforce the EU capacity to access and use space” is guided by a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA)2 for EU-funded space research supporting competitiveness has been developed with the stakeholder’s community and will constitute an important input for R&I programming under Horizon Europe.

Horizon Europe also funds R&I for the new Space Programme of the Union, which regroups in a single programme the four components EGNSS, Copernicus, Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and secured governmental communications (GOVSATCOM). In addition, three horizontal activities support access to space, start-ups and security.

It is foreseen that R&I for the Space Programme will:

  • Continue to support the evolution of space and ground infrastructures for the two EU flagship constellations Galileo and Copernicus,
  • Foster the evolution of EGNSS and Copernicus services,
  • Contribute to the development of innovative downstream applications, including by combining EGNSS and Copernicus services with other services,
  • Develop innovative space capabilities for SSA, GOVSATCOM and pave the way for quantum technologies in EU space infrastructure (the last is not part of the Space Programme).

Furthermore, actions will be undertaken to:

  • Develop a space entrepreneurship ecosystem called Cassini
  • Support activities of interest and cutting-across all the above activity lines such as critical technologies for non-dependence, In-orbit validation (“IOV”) and in-orbit demonstration (“IOD”) services, contribute to space science and missions, outreach and education activities and international cooperation.