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A win-win for everyone: Sustainable Development Goals in EU-funded projects

29th November 2022 at 4:08 pm

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to solve the world’s most urgent problems by 2030. As this aspiration is in line with Horizon Europe, the implementation of the SDGs is one of the core objectives of the European Commission and its Horizon Europe Framework Programme. Thus, knowing the SDGs can not only help you write a successful proposal but will also help you maximise the impact of your EU-funded project.

What are the SDGs?

Created in 2015, the SDGs contain 17 clear goals to be achieved by 2030. Each goal is divided into multiple targets which can be tracked using several indicators. By defining explicit action to be taken globally, the SDGs present a valuable tool to advance people’s quality of life while improving ecologic sustainability across the globe.

17 Sustainable Development Goals, reaching from "no poverty" to "peace, justice and strong institutions".
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sustainable_Development_Goals.svg

The SDGs in Horizon Europe

We recommend already detailing your project idea’s contribution to the SDGs, also referred to as Global Goals, in the Impact section of your Horizon Europe proposal. Once your project is funded, the Global Goals should continuously be addressed throughout the implementation. For instance, they can be used to highlight the need for your project or to advance your networking and dissemination activities by participating in SDG-related cluster events. To truly move towards achieving the SDGs and the aims of Horizon Europe, there is a strong need for international collaboration. In fact, this overarching approach has been defined as a Goal of its own (SDG 17, Partnerships for the Goals) and is strongly supported by the European Commission through Horizon Europe.

The SDGs in our projects

To maximise the impact of our ongoing projects funded through Horizon Europe and its predecessor, Horizon 2020, we have recently analysed each action’s contributions to the Global Goals. We found that the 32 EU-funded projects in which we currently participate collectively support 13 SDGs, with SDG 3 (Global health and well-being) and SDG 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure) being the ones to which the projects we are involved in contribute the most. This knowledge has already proved valuable as we were able to identify multiple opportunities for collaboration, which we will implement together with our partners.

Such measures are not only a valuable contribution to achieving the Global Goals, but can also present great potential in optimising your project’s implementation and reaching a wider audience through your communication, dissemination and exploitation means. Fostering exchange between different EU-funded projects is also highly valued by the European Commission and will ensure positive feedback from your Project Officer.

Are you open to collaboration?

On our Twitter page, we have posted a series of Tweets showing which SDGs are leveraged by each of our ongoing projects. If you are currently involved in an EU-funded project we would be happy to explore possible synergies and collaborations. Perhaps our Tweets or the project descriptions will give you an idea – because achieving the SDGs by 2030 will surely be a team effort!

Denise Diggelmann

Denise Diggelmann
Project Manager Marketing & Communications

Patrick Schneier
Research & Innovation Project Associate