An innovative idea, funded under Horizon 2020 and launched on the market with the help of employees who have been trained with funds from the European Social Fund (ESF) – this is the sort of success story that the EU and the national funding bodies would like to hear more often. The EU hopes that they can achieve a more efficient deployment of funds, a better exploitation of research results and more sustainable projects by combining various funding instruments. However, a concept that sounds good in theory may be problematic for applicants in practice.
What is the ESF – European Social Fund?
The European Social Fund (ESF) is a funding instrument of the European Union with the aim of strengthening the employment market in Europe and improving the career prospects of European citizens. Together with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the ESF is one of the structural funds of the EU. There are also numerous links to the areas of research and innovation, because EUR 1.8 billion of the total ESFbudget are dedicated to the qualification of research, development and innovation personnel.