Currently the EU is facing a situation where disparities in research excellence and innovation performance at national and regional level are significantly wide . Furthermore, low participation in the EU framework programs, inadequate R&D&I investment at national level or lack of synergies between national research systems/strategies and the EU landscape in certain countries hamper competitiveness, business growth and employment creation.

To prevent further disparities, maximize investment in R&D and enhance economic growth, the Horizon Europe took relevant actions under the separate specific objective “Widening Participation and Spreading Excellence”. Its core aim is to fill in the gap between research and innovation in countries lagging behind the rest of Europe in terms of scientific output by investing in selected knowledge institutions, enhancing research excellence, creating new CoE or creating space for international cooperation for researches.



Teaming will invest in Europe’s research and innovation potential through supporting the creation of new (or upgrading of existing) Centres of Excellence on the basis of partnerships with internationally leading institutions.


Twinning aims to build on the huge potential of networking for excellence through knowledge transfer and exchange of best practice between research institutions and leading partners.

ERA Chairs

ERA Chairs will bring outstanding researchers to universities and other research organisations that have high potential for research excellence.

Excellence Hubs

An initiative aimed at strengthening regional excellence in innovation ecosystems by developing a common R & D & I strategy, as well as developing the research and innovation potential of the entire ecosystem through international cooperation with other ecosystems in the so-called widening (networking of ecosystems in widening countries).

Hop On

The instrument is addressed to project consortia financed under Pillar II or EIC Pathfinder of the Horizon Europe with a signed grant agreement, but without a partner from a widening country, as well as entities from the widening countries that would like to join such consortia.  The list of available projects that you can join is constantly updated here.

Fostering Balance Brain Circulation

BBC is to attract more R&I talents to Widening countries, part of the wider ERA policy initiative on nurturing talents. There are 2 calls:

  • ERA Fellowship
  • ERA Talents


Supporting access to international networks for excellent researchers and innovators who lack sufficient involvement in European and international networks. This will include support provided through COST.

Support for R&I policy making in the Western Balkans

The actions funded under this topic will coordinate national and regional R&