In its proposal on Horizon Europe, the Commission has introduced the concept of Missions as a new means of implementation. The motivation for this new approach was to increase the impact of public investments in research and innovation activities, as well as to liaise better with citizens and raise the visibility of science, research and innovation. These issues were identified as areas for improvement in the Horizon 2020 interim evaluation, and they also reflect the recommendations by the High Level Panel chaired by Pascal Lamy.
Missions will indicate a clear direction and objectives and be targeted, measurable, time-bound and have a clear budget frame. They will be programmed within the pillar 'Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness ', but may also benefit from actions carried out within other parts of the Programme.
Following an open call for contributions in 2018, the Commission came up with some concrete mission proposals that were discussed by Research Ministers on 15 October 2018. The five proposed mission areas are:
- Adaptation to Climate Change, including Societal Transformation
- Healthy Oceans, Seas and Coastal and Inland Waters
- Climate-neutral and Smart Cities
- Soil Health and Food.
For each mission area, a mission board will be established. Mission boards will propose targets and timelines to design the specific Missions for Horizon Europe. On 4 July 2019, at the Informal Council for Research Ministers in Helsinki, Commissioner Moedas announced the chairs of the mission boards. The European R&I Missions will be a new element in the next Framework Programme, aiming at delivering solutions to some of the great global challenges.