Comments on the Horizon Europe Mission concept

Comments on the Horizon Europe Mission concept

By Ingemar Pongratz

Dammtorp 2022 by Ingemar Pongratz

Dammtorp 2022 by Ingemar Pongratz

The Horizon Europe funding scheme is underway. One of the novelties in Horizon Europe is the Mission concept. The Mission are expected to bring forward concrete solutions to concrete problems that Europe is facing today.

The European Commission has launched 5 Mission which include:

  • Cancer
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Soil Health
  • Ocean and Water Restoration
  • Climate Neutral and Smart cities


The Missions are focused arounds a topic. In addition, the Mission should solve a pressing societal problem. Furthermore, their activities should include research, innovation, technology development and they are expected to solve problem, influence policy and provide specific recommendations.

For example, the Soil Mission includes objectives such as Restoration of Degraded Soil, Reduction of Soil Pollution, etc. To measure success, the Soil Mission will utilize different indicators, such increase bacterial biodiversity, presence of chemical contaminants etc.

The approach for the Soil Mission is rather straightforward and the expectation are clear. In particular, the use of indicators is interesting. This approach simplifies planning and execution of projects and simplifies monitoring in the future. Of course, there are drawbacks with this approach as well. New knowledge may challenge the choice of indicators.


The Soil mission will operate through a network of Living Labs and Light Houses. The Soil Mission will establish a the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL). The Living Labs will perform  co-creation, exploration, evaluation and experimentation activities in collaboration between researchers, stakeholders, farmers and citizens.

The European Commission aims to create 100 Livings Labs across Europe to implement the activities of the Soil Health Mission. The development of the Living Labs will be gradual and start with the first Living Labs 2023.

For the Soil Mission, the approach seems clear. It will be very interesting to follow further developments.


The structure of the Cancer Mission is not very easy to understand, also, the information available is rather unclear. The aims for the Cancer Mission is to increase understanding of Cancer development, Prevent Cancer, Diagnose and Treat Cancer and finally provide support for Cancer survivors. however it is not clear how this will be achieved.

The information material calls for cross disciplinary projects and polling of resources and knowledge from different areas. The information material highlights the role of nutrition, chemical pollutants, agriculture etc on cancer development.

However, it is not clear how the Cancer Missions aims will operate. Comments on the Horizon Europe Mission concept include concern that the Cancer Mission is unclear. The activities are not clear and not well understood by the research community. Science|Business reports that members from the European Parliament have indeed voiced concern in this area as well.


Hopefully more information will be available soon and provide more guidance.


Ingemar Pongratz is co-founder of Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting. In addition, Ingemar Pongratz founded Letavis AB. Through Pongratz Consulting, we help Universities and other organization to apply for European and National funding for different projects. Contact us to receive support and terms. Contact information is available in the Contact Information page

Dammtorp 2 by Ingemar Pongratz

Dammtorp 2 by Ingemar Pongratz


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