Further European funding programmes

The largest and most well-known funding programme in the European Union is Horizon Europe, the framework programme for research and innovation. However, there are also numerous other European initiatives that offer attractive alternatives to Horizon Europe. They often have more streamlined structures and in some cases offer higher success rates. In certain circumstances, it is even possible and advisable to use these programmes in addition to funding under Horizon Europe. Smaller players in particular, such as SMEs or universities of applied sciences, can often stand a better chance with these funding programmes.

Alternative funding programmes: bottom-up or top-down

While Horizon Europe supports projects in almost all academic disciplines, some alternative programmes are restricted to individual subject fields. For instance, “ITEA 3” supports research and development in the field of software-intensive systems and services, and the “LIFE” funding programme relates to the fields of environment and climate action.

Overview of further European funding programmes

On the following pages, you will find an overview of these and further funding programmes and their focal areas, so that you can identify which funding instrument could potentially be most successful for you:

  • CEF2 Transport

    Connecting Europe Facility (CEF2) Transport bolsters investments in high-performance and well-connected transport infrastructures to improve trans-European transport networks (TEN-T), which are central to the competitiveness, growth, employment and prosperity of the European Union, over the period 2021-2027.

  • COST Actions

    COST provides funds for organising conferences, meetings, training schools, short scientific exchanges or other networking activities in a wide range of scientific topics.

  • ERDF – European Regional Development Fund

    The ERDF aims to reduce disparities in the level of development of the various regions of the European Union and to improve living conditions in the structurally weakest regions. Particular attention shall be paid to areas with severe or permanent natural or demographic handicaps.

  • ERA-NETs

    In ERA-NETs, national and regional funding bodies cooperate with funding organisations from other states and publish joint, transnational working programmes with calls for proposals.

  • Erasmus+

    Erasmus+ is the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.

  • ESF+

    The European Social Fund+ (ESF+) is the European Union's (EU) instrument for investing in people. With a budget of almost EUR 99.3 billion for the period 2021 – 2027, the ESF+ makes an important contribution to policies and reforms in the areas of employment, social affairs, education and skills, thereby ensuring a more socially responsible Europe, where the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) is implemented.

  • Interreg

    Interreg supports transnational cooperation between regions, towns and cities influencing everyday life for example in the fields of transport, employment and environmental protection.

  • ITEA 4

    ITEA is the EUREKA cluster programme supporting innovative, industry-driven, pre-competitive R&D projects in the area of Software-intensive Systems & Services (SiSS).

  • Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs)

    The overall aim of the Joint Programming process is to pool national research efforts in order to make better use of Europe's precious public R&D resources and to tackle common European challenges more effectively in a few key areas.

  • LIFE

    The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action.

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