HORIZON-CL2-2023-HERITAGE-01-06: A world leading European video game innovation system

  • Action type: Research and Innovation Actions
  • Opening date: 14 December 2022
  • Closing time: 14 March 2023 17:00 (Europe/Brussels)
  • Budget per project: € 4 000 000 of total € 12 000 000
  • Estimated number of projects funded: 3

Scope

The video game industry has shown exceptional growth and a fast paced evolution since its inception in the 1970’s. In 2019, the size of the European Union video game market was over EUR 20 billion, a growth of 55% compared to 2014. 51% of the Union’s population played video games in 2019. Most forecasts predict continued rapid growth both in usage, turnover and added value for the foreseeable future.

The video game industry is in many ways a pioneer when it comes to harnessing the digital transition to create attractive products and rewarding experiences for its users. Also, the video game industry drives the development of new methods and technologies which have proven valuable in other industries, such as the automotive and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in the public sector.

Thus, the video game industry is not only a key channel of increasing importance for the expression of culture and creativity in Europe, but also a major economic sector in itself, and a vital driver of innovation in other economic sectors. Yet, the potential contributions to European economic growth, well-being, sustainability and social cohesion, and how to mobilise this potential, has not been thoroughly researched.

Research should address these gaps in knowledge, and develop recommendations for how to support sustained innovation, growth and competitiveness in the European video games sector, as well as for how to encourage the uptake of know-how and new technologies in other economic sectors.

The European cultural heritage and arts are diverse and uniquely renowned, and the European creative tradition strong. Such factors can constitute an important source of competitiveness for the sector.

Parts of Europe are often considered examples of success in the video game industry, such as Sweden, France or Finland, where some leading companies are headquartered and where the sector produce sizeable contributions to gross domestic product (GDP) and export revenues. Other parts of Europe, however, punch below their weight. Proposals should therefore involve different Member States/Associated Countries, in order to develop recommendations that are valid on a European scale.

The value chain – or ecosystem – of the video game industry is complex, diverse and rapidly evolving, as is generally the case in creative industries. Key roles are played by established companies with well-known brands, small independent development companies and freelancers, as well as by distribution platforms of various kinds.

Proposals do not have to cover the entire ecosystem in all its complexity, but may chose a more limited focus to allow a stronger impact. Research should, however, properly take into account all parts of the ecosystem which are key in accordance with the chosen focus and scope. Proposals should therefore provide for engagement with a wide set of stakeholders, including relevant policymakers, to ensure that solutions/methodologies developed are effective and economically, culturally and politically feasible at a European level.

Remarks

Expected Outcome: Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
• Well founded and prioritised recommendations for European policy, including R&I policy, to support sustained innovation and growth in the European video game industry.
• Methodology(ies), supported by evidence, to increment the use of video game know-how and technology to drive innovation in other economic sectors.
• Significant contributions towards a thriving European video game industry that contributes decisively to economic growth, job creation, physical and mental well-being as well as to social and cultural cohesion.

Proposals should build on existing knowledge, activities and networks, notably the ones funded by the European Union. Furthermore, funded proposals should establish links and seek synergies with closely related actions, such as relevant R&I actions funded by Horizon Europe or Horizon 2020.

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