European Commission Funding at a Glance
Numerous funding programmes, initiatives and support measures are available through the European Commission and are carried out in support of knowledge. A few of these programmes, especially those related to research, development and cooperation between higher education institutions are outlined below. Faculty/Researchers are encouraged to spend some time exploring and familiarising themselves with these funding programmes.
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research & Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.
Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. Seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.
Horizon 2020 is open to everyone, with a simple structure that reduces red tape and time so participants can focus on what is really important. This approach makes sure new projects get off the ground quickly – and achieve results faster.
The Erasmus+ programme aims to boost skills and employability, as well as modernising Education, Training, and Youth work. The seven year programme will have a budget of €14.7 billion; a 40% increase compared to current spending levels, reflecting the EU’s commitment to investing in these areas. Erasmus+ will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain work experience and volunteer abroad.
Erasmus+ will support transnational partnerships among Education, Training, and Youth institutions and organisations to foster cooperation and bridge the worlds of Education and work in order to tackle the skills gaps we are facing in Europe. It will also support national efforts to modernise Education, Training, and Youth systems. In the field of Sport, there will be support for grassroots projects and cross-border challenges such as combating match-fixing, doping, violence and racism.
Erasmus+ brings together seven existing EU programmes in the fields of Education, Training, and Youth; it will for the first time provide support for Sport. As an integrated programme, Erasmus+ offers more opportunities for cooperation across the Education, Training, Youth, and Sport sectors and is easier to access than its predecessors, with simplified funding rules.
COST is an inter-governmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, allowing the coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level. COST has a very specific mission and goal. It contributes to reducing the fragmentation in European research investments and opening the European Research Area to cooperation worldwide. It anticipates and complements the activities of the EU Framework Programmes, constituting a “bridge” towards the scientific communities of emerging countries. It also increases the mobility of researchers across Europe and fosters the establishment of scientific excellence in the nine key domains:
- Biomedicine and Molecular Biosciences
- Food and Agriculture
- Forests, their Products and Services
- Materials, Physics and Nanosciences
- Chemistry and Molecular Sciences and Technologies
- Earth System Science and Environmental Management
- Information and Communication Technologies
- Transport and Urban Development
- Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health
European Science Foundation
The ESF is Europe’s main instrument for supporting jobs, helping people get better jobs and ensuring fairer job opportunities for all EU citizens. It works by investing in Europe’s human capital – its workers, its young people and all those seeking a job. ESF financing of EUR 10 billion a year is improving job prospects for millions of Europeans, in particular those who find it difficult to get work.
The European Union is committed to creating more and better jobs and a socially inclusive society. These goals are at the core of the Europe 2020 strategy for generating smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the EU. The current economic crisis is making this an even more demanding challenge. The ESF is playing an important role in meeting Europe’s goals, and in mitigating the consequences of the economic crisis – especially the rise in unemployment and poverty levels.
The ESF is not an employment agency – it does not advertise jobs. Rather, it is funding tens of thousands of local, regional and national employment-related projects throughout Europe: from small projects run by neighbourhood charities to help local disabled people find suitable work, to nationwide projects that promote vocational training among the whole population. There is a great variety in the nature, size and aims of ESF projects, and they address a wide variety of target groups. There are projects aimed at education systems, teachers and schoolchildren; at young and older job-seekers; and at potential entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. People are the focus of the ESF.