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Beyond H2020: Less known EU funding opportunities for innovative project ideas

30th January 2018 at 11:27 am

The EU invests substantial financial resources, non-repayable grants, into fostering research and innovation activities. Not all funds are reserved for Horizon 2020. Other programmes include public-private partnerships jointly financed by the EU and industry, and European Research Area Networks (ERA-NETs), activities co-funded by the European Commission and the EU Member States. Though the funding for Horizon 2020 calls might look more alluring, the alternatives often have a higher success rate and represent an excellent opportunity to get your innovation project funded and to extend your network. In this blogpost we will be detailing some of the lesser known European funding programmes alongside a non-exhaustive list for every area of activity.

ERA-NETs: More than 60 funding opportunities in a great variety of research fields

With the aim of developing joint activities and supporting joint calls for proposals, ERA-NET actions comprise more than 60 calls in a great variety of subjects from ICT to Nanomedicine, including forestry, culture and marine technologies. Each ERA-NET action is an orchestration of all the national funding agencies of the participating countries. This implies that there are different rules and different amounts of funding available for each country.

A few examples include the CHIST-ERA, an ERA-NET that fosters European coordinated research on long-term ICT and ICT-based scientific challenges. Support to European nanomedicine projects is provided by EuroNanoMed III and M.ERA.NET 2 provides funding for materials research and innovation. Within this framework, accelopment AG has contributed to preparing the successful PCInano grant application, a EuroNanoMed project related to cancer treatment. You can find an exhaustive list of ERA-NETs on the ERA-LEARN 2020 website.

EU and national funding for SMEs and assisted living

The actions covered by the Art. 185 Initiative include Eurostars-2 and Active and Assisted Living 2 (AAL 2). Eurostars-2 promotes innovative SMEs by funding any type of product-driven and market-oriented project idea. Even though funding is usually lower than in its Horizon 2020 counterparts, Eurostars’ success rates are much higher (about 30% vs. 5% for the SMEInst under H2020). NoCaTS, OPTO-BRAIN and MAXCOAT are examples of Eurostars projects that we have successfully supported. With the goal of promoting ICT-based products for an improved quality of life for older people at work or at home, AAL 2 is another interesting alternative to some Horizon 2020 calls. Contrary to its Horizon 2020 counterparts, AAL 2 isn’t limited to a specific scope and targets any application areas within the AAL domain.

Public-private partnerships: Fostering Europe’s competitiveness

Known as Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI), public-private partnerships strive to enhance European competitiveness in specific areas. They include the Innovative Medicines Initiatives (IMI2), Clean Sky (Aeronautics) 2 (CS2), Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 (FCH2), Bio-based Industries (BBI), Electronic components & systems (ECSEL), Shift2Rail, Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) and Fusion for Energy (F4E). accelopment AG currently supports the project management and dissemination of SOSLeM, a FCH project aiming to reduce the manufacturing costs and environmental impact of fuel cell stacks. Within the frame of Shift2Rail, we provide the same services to the project Mat4Rail, that helps design the railway of the future and develop fire resistant composite materials.

Other EU funding programmes and public procurement opportunities

Other EU-level funding opportunities are present in other programmes (COST – funding for R&I networking, European Institute of Innovation and Technology EIT, Connecting Europe Facility CEF, EUREKA, etc.) as well as in the form of tenders. Through its Strategic Grant Planning service, accelopment AG is eager to help you identify the funding opportunity that suits you best in terms of content, workload and deadlines.

Non-exhaustive list of other EU-funding programmes by industry/research area