Horizon Europe is the European Union’s research and innovation (R&I) framework programme in force for the period 2021-2027. Horizon Europe aims to strengthen the EU’s science and technology base and develop solutions to address strategic priorities such as the green and digital transition. The programme contributes to the achievement of sustainable development goals and strengthens competitiveness and growth. Horizon Europe is Europe’s answer to major global challenges in critical areas such as health, ageing, security, pollution and climate change.

In summary, projects presented under Horizon Europe aim to:

● combat climate change;

● contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals;

● promote the Union’s competitiveness and growth;

● facilitate collaboration and enhance the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while addressing global challenges;

● to support the creation and better dissemination of knowledge and technologies of excellence

● creating jobs by tapping into the EU talent pool to stimulate economic growth, promote industrial competitiveness and maximise the impact of investments within a European Research Area.

The total budget of Horizon Europe is EUR 95.5 billion, including EUR 5.4 billion from Next Generation EU, divided into three main pillars. Pillar I aims to strengthen and expand the excellence of the Union’s science base. This pillar includes actions of interest to universities, such as Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships, and integrated and interconnected research infrastructures (such as libraries). Pillar II intends to focus on research in six thematic clusters, all of which are of interest to libraries if they are engaged, for example, in disseminating the results of intra-university activities by researchers. One pole in particular – Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Societies – seems to be tailor-made for libraries. Finally, Pillar III aims to make Europe the spearhead of market-oriented innovation.

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The overall project aims at providing knowledge and tools to support analysis, debate and decision-making, in view of facilitating the strict protection of 10% of European seas, as per the European Union’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. SPA4OCEAN requires the support of libraries to raise awareness about the importance of ocean protection in their local communities.

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