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ABIS GlobalResources & PublicationsOverview of EU Funds for research and innovation

Overview of EU Funds for research and innovation

Friday, March 11, 2016


European funds for research and innovation activities are distributed between several interlinked EU programmes. For the current period (2014-20), the main programme, Horizon 2020 (the eighth framework programme for research and innovation) is fully dedicated to funding such activities across all policy fields. Sectoral programmes also fund research and innovation activities in the fields of space research (Copernicus, Galileo); nuclear energy (Euratom Research and Training Programme, International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor); and coal and steel production. The European Structural and Investment Funds, implemented at regional level, can be used to support the development of research and innovation capacities at local levels.

These programmes will provide a global estimated budget of more than €120 billion in EU funds to support research and innovation activities in the period 2014-20.

Five other programmes are connected to, or impact on, research and innovation activities: COSME, Erasmus+, the Health programme, the Life programme and the Connecting Europe Facility. 


Relevant Programmes for ABIS Projects


Horizon 2020

With a current budget of over  € 70 billion, Horizon 2020, the eighth framework programme for research and innovation, is the largest EU programme that specifically supports research and innovation activities. The programme is structured around three main pillars – Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership, and Societal Challenges – and provides funding through a large range of instruments and actions, for example:

  • Grants to individual researchers for research projects or to support their mobility;

  • Funding for cooperative research projects;

  • Support and funding for public-public and for public-private partnerships;

  • Specific instruments supporting research and innovation in SMEs.


Covering a large range of disciplines, Horizon 2020 is managed by nine different Commission Directorates-General (DGs), which structure the work programmes for its various components. However, the programme implementation is mainly carried out by other EU bodies: Commission executive agencies, public partnerships between the EU and Member States, public-private partnership with industry, the European Investment Bank, and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). 





The 7-year Erasmus+ programme, which has a total budget of over  14 billion encourages Europeans to relocate in pursuit of education, higher education, and training opportunities. Connections exist with research activities, such as support for doctoral researchers to gain international experience in the early years of their career. Erasmus+ also funds the Jean Monnet programme, which aims to promote teaching and research activities on European integration worldwide.



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