Missions for EU research and innovation

The mission-oriented research and innovation policy adopted in Horizon Europe is a welcomed approach to address challenges faced by people in their daily lives. From a research and innovation perspective it is also an opportunity to reduce policy fragmentation, interdisciplinarity and cross-sectoral collaboration, and strengthen public engagement through the involvement of regional and local innovation ecosystems. As such, the missions bottom-up nature, flexibility, and the clear involvement of citizens going hand in hand with the excellence is a welcome addition to Horizon Europe.

From the first discussions and the Mazzucato report to the selection of the five mission areas and the publication of the interim reports in the summer of 2020, ERRIN has been actively involved in bringing in the regional and local perspective, and exploring what opportunities the missions could provide for regions and cities. In October 2020 ERRIN submitted its input paper on the Horizon Europe missions. Below you will find more information about our work on the different missions.

EU missions

ERRIN's messages on Horizon Europe Missions Work Programmes 2023-2024

May 2022

ERRIN's work on the Horizon Europe missions

Read more about our work related to the five mission areas.

Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities

The EU Mission on 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030 will support 112 European cities in their systemic transformation towards climate neutrality by 2030. The mission aims to create a bottom-up approach towards achieving climate neutrality supported by a Climate City Contract, which requires the participation of the entire local ecosystem and support from all governance levels.

ERRIN has actively contributed to shaping and implementing the Mission on 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030 through the development of several input papers and organisation of events and discussions with the European Commission. The latest input was a letter on cities' concerns (November 2021) focusing on the selection criteria and evaluation process for the Expression of Interest, the Climate City Contract and the Mission Label. 


Adaptation to climate change

The Mission on Adaptation to Climate Change will support EU regions, cities and local authorities in their efforts to build resilience against the impacts of climate change. The vision is to turn the urgent challenge of adapting to climate change into an opportunity to make Europe more resilient, climate prepared and fair. The objective is to support at least 150 European regions and communities to become climate resilient by 2030 and enable large-scale transformations of 75 demonstrators.

ERRIN has followed the Mission closely and contributed to its shaping and implementation through the development of input papers, organisation of events and discussions with the Mission Secretariat. ERRIN became a Friend of the Mission in 2022, alongside 130 of its member cities and regions, and provided input on the Mission Charter

Green leaves


The Mission on Cancer aims to improve the lives of more than 3 million people through prevention and cure, as well as support individuals and their families affected by cancer to have longer and better lives by supporting the EU's Beating Cancer Plan. The Mission will oversee the creation of the EU Platform UNCAN.eu, the European Cancer Patient Digital Centre and a network of Comprehensive Cancer Infrastructures.

In 2020, ERRIN developed and released a joint statement with EUREGHA calling for the regional dimension of the Mission to be clearly defined and included in its design and implementation. In 2021, the Health WG held meetings on the state of play of the Cancer Mission and cancer policy more widely, and continued to follow the implementation of the Mission in 2022 and 2023.

national cancer institute

Restore our ocean and waters by 2030

Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030 aims to protect and restore the health of our ocean and waters through research and innovation, citizen engagement and blue investments. The Mission strives to reach these goals by deploying innovative solutions at basin scale, with each basin focusing on a particular area in the developing and piloting phase (2021-2025). Phase two (2026 - 2030) will focus on deployment and upscaling, with the replication of pilot activities. The scale-up actions would be carried out through annual calls for expressions of interest from 2025 onwards to macro-regions, regions and communities looking to become Mission scale-up sites.

ERRIN has closely followed the Mission since 2020, and organised in June 2021, together with the Mission Secretariat, an informal dialogue on the area-based lighthouses anticipated in the Mission, focussing on the lighthouses' activities, their scale and governance. The dialogue report includes ERRIN's key messages and outcomes relating to the scope, scale, governance and synergies of the lighthouses within the Missions. In 2022, ERRIN provided input on the Mission Charter, which was shared with the Mission Secretariat.

Jakob Owens on Unsplash

A Soil Deal for Europe

The Mission: A Soil Deal for Europe aims to establish 100 living labs and lighthouses to lead the transition towards healthy soils by 2030. 

ERRIN has, through its Bioeconomy Working Group, followed the Mission since 2021 through the organisation of information sessions and dialogues with the Mission Secretariat. In February 2021, the Bioeconomy Working Group organised an information session on the Mission, which was followed up in November 2021 with a meeting to discuss the role of regions in the Mission. In March 2022, an information session was set up in which ERRIN members exchanged ongoing soil activities and projects in the regions. 

Spade in soil

Latest Updates

  • By Gianpiero Petruzziello

Join the Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’: Sign the Manifesto!

The European Commission and ERRIN recently launched the Mission Soil Manifesto. Representatives of municipalities, regions, private or public companies and organisations, NGOs and philanthropic organisations, schools and education institutions, research institutions, as well as Individuals can also sign the Manifesto and join a vibrant community of practice dedicated to soil health.

  • By Lucy Hammond

NetZeroCities Call for Twin Cities opening on 3 May

On 3 May 2023, NetZeroCities, in which ERRIN is a partner, will launch a Call for Twin Cities. This Twinning programme is a tailored learning programme for knowledge sharing and transfer of good practices between European cities, selected as Twins, and the 53 cities that were selected to join the NetZeroCities’ Pilot Cities Programme in March 2023. Applications will be accepted from 3 May until 30 June 23:59 CEST.

  • By Lucy Hammond

Amended Horizon Europe Programmes 2023-24 and new Annotated Grant Agreement published

The European Commission has published the amended Horizon Europe Work Programmes 2023-24, along with a new Annotated Grant Agreement to guide applicants and beneficiaries. The aim of the amendment is to foster research and innovation supporting civil security for society and renewable energy by increasing the budget of existing calls and adding new topics.

  • By Ewa Chomicz

Interest mapping: Regional Innovation Valleys call for proposals under Horizon Europe

In anticipation of the launch of the “Implementing co-funded action plans for connected regional innovation valleys” HORIZON-EIE-2023-CONNECT-03-01 call for proposals on 17 May 2023, ERRIN opened a mapping of members’ interest in developing project proposals under this call, to facilitate consortium building. ERRIN members are encouraged to share their interest by filling in a short survey by 20 April.

  • By Silvia Ghiretti

Call for expression of interest for HORIZON-MISS-2023-CLIMA-CITIES-01-01

ERRIN is launching a call for expressions of interest for the Horizon call HORIZON-MISS-2023-CLIMA-CITIES-01-01. If you are interested in becoming a leading or replicator city, you can express your interest by Monday 6 March 2023.

  • By Lucy Hammond

DG RTD's EU Missions' Study

DG RTD has launched a study to collect insights on the missions' selection process, their governance, budget, instruments and actions as well as their focus and progress to date. The study seeks to identify what has worked well and less well, draw lessons, and make suggestions for improvement in the short and longer-term of EU Missions' implementation. The deadline to complete the survey is 15 March.