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First Steps for Writing a Successful Horizon Europe Grant Proposal

Updated: Feb 29

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Are you an organization working on sustainable technology development in Europe and looking for funding opportunities? Then, Horizon Europe, the largest program in Europe for research and innovation, can be the perfect source of funding. However, getting your grant proposal accepted can be challenging without proper grant writing skills.

LINQ Consulting has written several successful project proposals, including those for Horizon Europe. We can help you write a compelling project proposal and increase your chances of getting funded

What is Horizon Europe?

Horizon Europe is the successor of the widely successful Horizon 2020 program that awarded billions of Euros to projects that aimed to improve sustainability. Horizon Europe is specifically designed to address climate change, support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and boost the EU’s competitiveness and growth. The program promotes collaborations and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting, and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It also supports the creation and dissemination of cutting-edge knowledge and technologies.

New elements in Horizon Europe (improvements from the preceding Horizon 2020 program)

Horizon Europe includes various new elements, including the European Innovation Council, Missions, open science policy, and a new approach to partnerships.

  • The European Innovation Council supports innovations with potential breakthrough and disruptive nature with scale-up potential that may be too risky for private investors. In this program, 70% of the budget earmarked for SMEs.

  • Missions are sets of measures to achieve bold, inspirational, and measurable goals within a set timeframe.

  • The open science policy mandates open access to publications and open science principles throughout the program.

  • Objective-driven and more ambitious approach to partnerships with industry to support EU policy objectives.

How does the Horizon Europe Process Work?

To complete a proposal for Horizon Europe, you must access the call topic through the Funding and Tenders Portal and identify national and international partners. Your proposal must fulfil the requirements of three main pillars of progress: applicable scientific value, societal impact, and industrial leadership. Unfortunately, most applicants only address the scientific aspect of the program, neglecting much-needed coverage of industrial or societal concerns. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the proposal requirements and to craft an application that meets those requirements.

Familiarity with the Horizon Europe grant process is essential

The Horizon Europe grant writing process is a multi-step process with specific rules and success criteria. If researchers assume what is required without assessing the detailed requirements, there will most likely be a gap between proposal content and what reviewers are looking for in the grant application. Ideally, a proposal must be scientifically sound, include partnerships with relevant organizations, demonstrate tangible societal impact or industrial leadership, and have a working roadmap to accomplish the proposed work. The specific evaluation criteria used by reviewers should be studied, as found here.

For those more focused on the research itself, writing a proposal might result in added distress as well as a failure to secure funding. Therefore, it might be worth considering professional technical assistance.

Click here to see how LINQ Consulting can help you navigate the grant writing process

Collaboration – especially with industry – matters

Collaboration with the right partners is a key component of a winning proposal. Collaborative partnerships are recognized by local governments and government agencies, including the EU, as a safer and more reliable return on investment from grants. Managing a collaborative project is a considerable amount of added work and requires involved management to make the process of submitting a grant application run smoothly.

Keys to collaborative success

Successful collaborations are productive and cooperative at all stages of the grant application process. These collaborations are most successful when partners share norms and principles that inform project goals and when roles and duties are clear and embraced by members. This can minimize redundancy and make significant progress toward goals, while allowing for partners to realistically evaluate their goals, plans, and actions and remain adaptive to changes.

While collaboration is key to the successful completion of a Horizon Europe grant proposal, managing a collaborative project is a considerable amount of added work and requires involved management to make the process of submitting a grant application run smoothly.

How Linq Consulting can assist with your project proposal

The dedicated experts at Linq Consulting are available to assist with Horizon Europe proposals at every stage of the writing and application process. With our expertise in grants management, we can help you secure funding from Horizon Europe, as well as any other grant opportunities that may be available.

Whether you represent a large organisation or run a small business, Linq Consulting will help locate funding opportunities and secure funding for your project. Get in touch with us today.

If you or your organisation would like to secure available funding set aside for sustainability research and development, contact us at

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @linq-consulting and connect with us on LinkedIn as well.

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