Missions are a major novelty in the future framework programme for research and innovation, Horizon Europe. Inspired by the Apollo 11 mission that aimed at putting a man on the moon, Horizon Europe Missions will deliver solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing our world and ordinary people.

Missions are portfolios of actions conceived to achieve measureable goals within a set period with relevant impact for European citizens.

Governance of the Missions

For each mission area, a Mission Board and a Mission Assembly have been set up. The Board is composed of 15 independent experts whose role is to provide advice to the European Commission on potential missions and how to implement these.

The Mission Assembly’s role is to provide a wider source of reference, advice and ideas, on the design and implementation of the possible missions. The Assembly is composed of top-level expertise, supporting the broader process of identifying specific missions and on outreach issues.

These bodies have been also tasked to deliver a communication and engagement strategy for each Mission.

5 proposed Missions and interim reports

Each Mission Board has produced an interim report proposing concrete targets and timelines for possible Missions.

These interim reports will be the base for further discussion and engagement with Europeans until September, to make sure that they are relevant for them and make a real difference.

5 possible Missions proposed by the Boards:

  • Conquering Cancer: Mission Possible
    Targets for 2030: more than 3 million more lives saved, living longer and better, achieve a thorough understanding of cancer, improve prevention, improve diagnosis and treatment, support the quality of life of all people exposed to cancer, and ensure equitable access to the above across Europe.
  • Accelerating the transition to a climate prepared and resilient Europe
    Targets by 2030: prepare Europe to deal with climate disruptions, accelerate the transition to a healthy and prosperous future within safe planetary boundaries and scale up solutions for resilience triggering transformations in society.
  • Regenerating our Ocean and Waters
    Targets by 2030: cleaning marine and fresh waters, restoring degraded ecosystems and habitats, decarbonising the blue economy in order to sustainably harness the essential goods and services they provide.
  • 100 Climate-Neutral Cities by 2030 – by and for the citizens
    Targets by 2030: support, promote and showcase 100 European cities in their systemic transformation towards climate neutrality by 2030 and turn these cities into experimentation and innovation hubs.
  • Caring for Soil is Caring for Life
    Targets by 2030: at least 75% of all soils in the EU are healthy and able to provide essential services that we depend on, for healthy food, people, nature and climate.

Next steps

The final recommendations of the mission boards will be handed over to the European Commission at the European Research & Innovation Days (22-24 September 2020).

The Commission will then announce its selected missions at the end of 2020 and they will launch in 2021, with Horizon Europe.

For further information, we are happy to discuss with you, feel free to contact Benjamin Questier, Strategic Advisor, Head of European R&D and Innovation Support.


Luxinnovation is the National Contact Point for Horizon 2020, the European framework programme for research and innovation. Building on our decade-long experience of EU funding programmes, we are able to respond to questions on where to get up-to-date information on programmes and calls for project proposals, what programmes are the most suitable for you or where and how to find European partners.

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