What’s the deal with Horizon Europe Widening?

07 Sep 2022 | News

As Science|Business launches its Widening newsletter, here’s an explainer on how the EU research programme is attempting to boost R&D performance in central and eastern Europe

R&D expenditure in the EU. Source: Eurostat

When it comes to research, Europe is divided. Talent and excellence are spread across the bloc, but stark differences between regions reveal themselves when measuring R&D performance. To bridge the gap, the EU is now running a Widening programme to help fifteen member states and a few associated countries, mostly located central and eastern Europe, catch up.

The Widening programme aimed at plugging the gap in R&I performance kicked off under Horizon 2020, with 1% of the 2014 - 2020 EU research budget dedicated to it – not a whole lot. It ran a variety of calls to help bridge the divide, but a recent EU auditor’s report found Widening was not a ‘miracle pill’ and needed to be complemented by reforms in member states.

But it was successful enough to justify carrying…

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