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:


    COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020 with a planned budget of €2.3bn. COSME will support SMEs in better access to finance; access to markets; entrepreneurship; and more favourable conditions for business creation and growth.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Combining funding instruments: Horizon 2020 and the ERDF

    The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is a central structural fund of the EU. BayFOR can provide both strategic advice and active support in terms of linking Horizon 2020 and ERDF projects.

  • Combining funding instruments: Horizon 2020 and the ESF

    The European Social Fund (ESF) is an EU funding instrument with the aim of strengthening the employment market in Europe and improving the career prospects of European citizens. BayFOR can provide both strategic advice and active support in terms of linking Horizon 2020 and ESF projects.

Competent Support for Excellent Research in Bavaria, Europe and the World

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Competent Support for Excellent Research in Bavaria, Europe and the World

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