Digital Twin & CM&Sto feature in Horizon Europe core text


On 17 April, the European Parliament adopted the partial agreements resulting from interinstitutional negotiations on the two Horizon Europe proposals, the successor to Horizon 2020. Both partial agreements – which will be finalised and formally approved only after adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework – were adopted by a large majority of the Members of the European Parliament.

The Avicenna Alliance has been active to promote computer modelling and simulation in Horizon Europe during the whole legislative process. Avicenna’s goal was to include CM&S language not just in the individual calls that appear on an annual basis, but also to integrate this language into the very core of Horizon Europe – into the legislation that spans the full 7 years of the programme.


Among the six key areas of intervention, while there are many references to tangential topics such as high performance computing technologies and big data technologies, the most explicit reference is in the Health Cluster’s “Health Care Systems” section which includes the concept of “digital twins” to advance the digital transformation of health and care.

VPH members in particular would do well to note the switch of positioning of digital twin with systems medicine.

Digital, Industry and Space Cluster

The cluster on digital, industry and space includes a specific section devoted to “Advanced Materials”, as the Horizon Europe Programme foresees that the EU must invest in research for novel materials. More importantly, among the issues that will be addressed, the Horizon Europe Programme plans to focus on “advanced materials enablers like characterisation (e.g. for quality assurance), modelling and simulation, piloting and upscaling”. This may well leave the door open to the material properties library which has recently been mentioned as a necessary initiative by many members.

What does this mean?

The text is partially agreed. The European Parliament sped up its work to reach this “partial agreement” to secure something concrete before the May 2019 elections so that the process would not need to restart. A partial agreement – essentially means agreed. For the first time, CM&S and Digital Twin concept is part of the core legislative text for the EU’s funding framework programme which should lead to future calls specific to these topics over the next 7 years.

Next steps

The inter-institutional negotiations have not yet focused on the agreement in terms of budget, international collaboration and synergies. The final amounts of the Horizon Europe Programme will depend on the agreement reached on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. Nevertheless, with this partial agreement, a signal has been sent to MFF negotiators, stressing the importance of research and innovation.


Horizon Europe is the Union’s flagship programme to support research and innovation (R&I) from concept to market uptake. It aims to complement national and regional funding, to strengthen science and technology, to foster industrial competitiveness, and to implement sustainable development goals in the EU.

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