Korea joins Europe’s Horizon research programme focusing on shared global challenges

Korea is to join the growing group of countries associated to Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation programme. The signing of the Association Agreement is expected to take place in the second half of 2024, pending the completion of all necessary ratification procedures on both sides. This will enable Korea’s participation in HorizonEurope as of 2025.

Once signed, researchers and organisations in Korea will be able to receive funding under Pillar II of the Horizon from 2025 onwards. Pillar II is the largest collaborative part of the programme, which is primarily focused on shared global challenges: climate, energy, digital economy, and health, with a budget of EUR53.5 billion.

The association to Horizon Europe is a key instrument of Europe’s global approach to cooperation in research and innovation in an increasingly changing and volatile world. It reconfirms the EU commitment to driving excellence, pooling resources for faster scientific progress, developing vibrant innovation ecosystems and promoting global openness that is also strategic and reciprocal, according to the European Commission.

Association to the EU’s Horizon Europe is the closest form of international cooperation in science and technology between the EU and a non-EU country. Traditionally, this form of cooperation was offered by the Union to countries in its geographic proximity. However, the Horizon Europe programme introduced a major change of the approach towards international research and innovation cooperation, introducing for the first time the possibility of association of like-minded countries with a strong science, innovation, and technology profile, not necessarily located in the geographic proximity of the EU.

Cooperation between the EU and the Republic of Korea in research and innovation is governed by the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, which entered into force in 2007, and is monitored and guided by the Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.

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