European Union Flag at Parliament Building Brussels
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Canada’s upcoming association with Horizon Europe, the EU’s €95 billion research and innovation program, makes a significant milestone in global collaboration

This is set to happen in the middle of this year and will position Canada as the second country outside of Europe to join this initiative, following in the footsteps of New Zealand.

Horizon Europe and the future for Canada

This partnership promises Canadian researchers many opportunities, like accessing a whole new funding agency. However, Horizon Europe has a poor success rate, currently sitting at 15.9%.

Navigating Horizon Europe’s application and reporting procedures acts as a learning curve, especially for those accustomed to Canada’s relatively light administrative burden.

Despite the challenges, several joint EU-Canadian projects have paved the way for integration into EU funding schemes. These initiatives, facilitated by special funding arrangements, underscore the potential benefits of seamless collaboration between Canadian and European partners.

Benefits of Canada joining Horizon Europe

The positive aspects of joining Horizon Europe include the flexibility in funding, which exceeds the limitations often encountered in Canada. Unlike Canadian contributions, Horizon Europe projects typically support diverse partners, including NGOs and think tanks. But EU-funded projects offer clearer objectives and deadlines, enhancing project management and accountability.

However, Canadian researchers must adapt to the strict paperwork requirements included in Horizon Europe projects. The need to align with EU standards, such as gender equality plans, poses additional considerations for Canadian universities participating in Horizon projects.


While Canadian grants traditionally prioritise student funding, Horizon Europe projects offer broader financial support, potentially alleviating the burden on principal investigators. However disagreements in funding models and administrative processes between Canada and the EU may pose challenges for some researchers.

Despite the enthusiasm surrounding Canada’s association with Horizon Europe, there are limitations to consider. Access to the European Research Council (ERC), renowned for funding basic research, still needs to be expanded for Canadian researchers, requiring relocation to Europe.

The opportunity to participate in Horizon Europe opens doors to new partnerships, networks, and enhanced visibility within the global research community. However, addressing the administrative complexities and ensuring alignment with EU standards will be imperative for maximising the benefits of this partnership.

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