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European Research Executive Agency
News article12 February 2024European Research Executive Agency1 min read

European Excellence Initiative: new projects to empower higher education institutions and widen cooperation

The European Commission will invest €54 million in new projects under the European Excellence Initiative, with the goal of strengthening R&I collaboration and excellence in universities from across Europe.

© European Union, 2024

The European Excellence Initiative (EEI) is part of the Horizon Europe: Widening participation and spreading excellence funding sub-programme. The objectives of the action are to improve science and value creation by promoting diverse collaboration among higher education institutions, and with other actors in local ecosystems, as well as to boost Europe's universities by establishing a strong presence in key areas such as the green transition and Horizon Europe mission areas in order to improve global competitiveness.

The latest EEI call for proposals (HORIZON-WIDERA-2023-ACCESS-03-01) closed on 12 April 2023, with 59 eligible submissions. The 12 selected projects signed the Grant Agreements in 2023, aiming to start their activity within the first quarter of 2024.

The projects will contribute to fostering collaborations with beneficiaries in local ecosystems, accelerating institutional reform, upskilling, creating and circulating knowledge, and implementing relevant European Research Area (ERA) Policy Agenda actions in the higher education sector, all while consolidating geographically inclusive alliances in Widening countries.

Project titleAcronym
Widening Innovation and Research Excellence in FilmEUWIRE FilmEU
Supporting European R&I Through stakeholder collaboration and institutional reformINITIATE
Empowering EDUC for Inclusive Development of the ERAEDUC-WIDE
Promoting Excellence Through Innovative Eco-systemsEU-CONEXUS ENABLES
Bioeconomy Excellence Alliance for Stimulating Innovative and Inclusive Green TransitionBEAMING
Heritage Innovation in EURECA-PRO AllianceHI-EURECA-PRO
Excellence Initiative for Nutrifood-based Theranostics for Healthy European SocietyEINSTEIN
Raise Excellence in R&S&I in HEI For Widening CountriesUnite.WIDENING
Transforming Access to Excellence with Successful Alliances of Higher Education in Digital AgricultureTALLHEDA
Alliance4Life Bridging the Research and Innovation Gap in Life SciencesA4L_BRIDGE
CROSS-disciplinary Network for Research Excellence in Regenerative Economy Innovation Eco-SystemsCROSS-REIS
Empowering Widening Universities In EUTOPIA_HEALTH Consortium to Foster Academic Excellence in HealthEUTOPIA_HEALTH

Currently there are 9 other ongoing projects funded in 2022 under the call “European Excellence Initiative (EEI): Strengthening capacity for excellence in higher education institutions and surrounding ecosystems HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ACCESS-05”.

More about the Widening funding opportunities

In line with the ERA policy objectives, the Widening sub-programme is providing funding for projects that enhance the research and innovation capabilities of countries with lower performance.

Other Widening Participation funding opportunities currently open to receive proposals are Excellence Hubs and ERA Chairs. Both calls are open until 7 March 2024.

The call for the ERA Talents action will open on 11 April 2024.


Publication date
12 February 2024
European Research Executive Agency