Written by Vincent Reillon
European funding for research activities was envisaged in the first Community Treaties, related to coal and steel and nuclear energy, and was extended in the early 1980s with the establishment of a European framework programme for research. Research policy was subsequently progressively integrated in the Treaties, to become a shared competence between the European Union (EU) and its Member States.
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.
Read this Briefing on Overview of EU Funds for research and innovation in PDF