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European Research Executive Agency
News article13 June 2022European Research Executive Agency3 min read

First R&I projects to start research into culture, creativity and inclusive society under Horizon Europe

The 51 projects recently signed their grant agreements with the European Commission. The projects will begin their research by the end of the year.

First projects to begin research under Horizon Europe - Cluster 2


The European Commission mobilised €158 million for four calls under Horizon Europe - Cluster 2: Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society. The Cluster 2 calls opened in June 2021 and closed on the 7th of October. The European Research Executive Agency (REA) received 378 applications across the four calls.

51 projects were selected for funding following evaluations from experts drawn from the Commission’s experts’ database.

What to expect from these upcoming R&I projects

These Cluster 2 research and innovation projects will support and contribute to a range of EU policies, priorities, and missions.

Nurturing democracy in the face of emerging threats

Protecting and promoting democracy is a core value of the EU. Selected projects under Cluster 2 will research how to nurture and safeguard democracy from a variety of intersecting yet distinct threats.

Some examples include the AUTHLIB project, which will explore illiberalism; the RECLAIM project, which will investigate post-truth politics; the INCA project, which will examine digitalisation and large tech corporations; and the SHAPEDEM-EU project, which will review the EU’s support for democracy in its neighbourhood.

As the EU is equally committed to gender-equality, projects such as FIERCE, PushBackLash, and RESIST will study feminism and the role of gender in order to envision inclusive versions of democracy.

Building a concrete trade policy through supply chains

In a shock-prone world, we need to re-evaluate global supply chains to ensure that we can continue to import and export vital goods and services. The COVID-19 pandemic spurned researchers to examine these topics. This field of research has become even more important following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the disruption it has caused to food and energy exports.

Ensuring a reliable and resilient trade policy is another EU priority. Projects such as ReSchape, RETHINK-GSC, and TWIN SEEDS will investigate—from different angles—the changing nature of global supply chains as well as how to improve their societal and environmental impacts.

Protecting European cultural heritage for future generations

The EU strives to preserve cultural heritage for future generations by making it accessible, digital—where possible—and open. Projects such as IN SITU are putting this into practise; it will study how to foster the cultural and creative industries in non-urban areas—long forgotten in the realm of cultural heritage. Projects such as MuseIT, PREMIERE, and SHIFT focus on the role of technologies, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence in museums and the performing arts.

Ensuring preservation becomes more sustainable is the aim of projects such as MOXY, GREENART, and GoGreen.

Engaging with cultural stakeholders

By engaging with stakeholders, the EU ensures that its funding opportunities reach diverse audiences.

Continuing in the field of cultural heritage, the ARCHE project will focus on developing a pan-European framework for research into European cultural heritage. The Net4SocietyHE project will establish transnational networks to advise potential beneficiaries on EU-funding opportunities.

Further information

The 51 selected research and innovation projects are some of the first to sign their grant agreements with the Commission under Horizon Europe. Horizon Europe is the Commission’s flagship programme for funding research and innovation for 2021 to 2027. The programme replaces Horizon 2020.

Cluster 2 researches social, economic, technological and cultural transformations to help move towards healthier democracies where cultural values are protected. The four calls that opened in June 2021 align with Cluster 2’s three research topics, or destinations:

-        The Protecting and Nurturing Democracies call (HORIZON-CL2-2021-DEMOCRACY-01) forms part of the Democracy and Governance destination.

-        The call Inclusiveness in Times of Change (HORIZON-CL2-2021-TRANSFORMATIONS-01) forms part of the Social and Economic Transformations destination.

-        Two calls—Cultural Heritage and CCIs (HORIZON-CL2-2021-HERITAGE-01) and Engagement with Stakeholders (HORIZON-CL2-2021-HERITAGE-02)—form part of the European Cultural Heritage and the Cultural and Creative Industries destination.

Another Horizon Europe - Cluster 2 call closed in April 2022. Visit the Funding and Tenders portal for opportunities to see the latest openings to apply for EU funding. Read more in the Work Programme 2021-2022 for Cluster 2.

Keep up-to-date with these projects—as well as other innovative research—by following REA on Twitter and LinkedIn. You will get the latest news on events they may organise as well their research outcomes. Subscribe to the Cluster 2 newsletter for these updates straight into your inbox.


Publication date
13 June 2022
European Research Executive Agency