Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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International Cooperation

International Cooperation is vital if research is to fully tap its potential. Active and more strategic international cooperation will also contribute to achieving the EU's wider policy objectives.

Research and innovation are increasingly interlinked internationally, in a landscape that has been changing rapidly. Alongside industrialised countries, emerging economies have been strengthening their research and innovation systems. The new International Cooperation strategy focuses on research and innovation, in areas of common interest and mutual benefit. The strategy is baed in the following 3 objectives.

  • Extend the frontiers of scientific knowledge

The European Union is a world leader in research and innovation, responsible for 24% of world expenditure on research, 32% of high impact publications, and 32% of patent applications, while representing only 7% of the population. Excellent science is at the foundation of economic prosperity and wellbeing. Therefore, Horizon 2020 continues to fund the very best science, rewarding top researchers from Europe and beyond, funding also the establishment of world-class research infrastructures. Researcher training, mobility and career development will continue to be encouraged.

  • Tackle global challenges

Global challenges are important drivers of research and innovation. Our planet has finite resources which need to be cared for sustainably: climate change and infectious diseases do not stop at national borders, food safety needs to be ensured across the globe. For global challenges, worldwide answers are needed and collaboration with developing countries will emphasise joint solutions to specific difficulties, whether it be water management, energy security, agricultural development or particular health issues.

  • Invest in competitive industries

Make industry, and notably SMEs, more competitive by linking research firmly to innovation, leading to better products and services across the globe. Horizon 2020 will build industrial leadership by supporting business R&I and bringing together the public and private sectors from all over the world. Efforts will concentrate on key enabling technologies - such as advanced manufacturing, microelectronics, nanotechnology and biotechnology – that underpin innovation across many industries and sectors.


What's in it for China?

Chinese researchers, enterprises and institutions will be able to team up with their European partners to participate in projects under Horizon 2020 and make best use of Europe’s excellent opportunities in research and innovation. In addition, a number of specific calls are targeting cooperation with China.

Search for funding opportunities related to international cooperation in the Participant Portal.



This short video animation will guide you through the first steps you will need to take to apply to Horizon 2020. Read more


Find out more about Horizon 2020 in this three minute animation clip which will give you a general overview of the programme specifics. Read more


Coralie Chanvillard is an early stage researcher undertaking a PhD in Berlin, under the ITN Grant of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme. This grant gave her the opportunity to gain plenty of scientific experience and to do part of her research in other European Union Member States. She is researching her PhD in Immunology in Berlin at the Hospital Charité. Her research is on multiple sclerosis. Read more

Project stories


Connecting experts with their counterparts in different regions of the world and making the latest research results freely available to all is likely to represent a great boost for the scientific inquiry. The EUAsiaGrid project helped establish an Asian e-Science Grid Infrastructure that fosters access to scientific data and facilitates the creation of collaborative partnerships Read more


Australia is about as far away from Europe as one can get. This vast distance had historically made it challenging to build concrete long term relationships and undertake joint scientific projects with European researchers. Read more


Although home to 18% of the global population – around 1.15 billion people – India only has around 4% of the world’s fresh water resources. With climate change and urbanisation increasing the pressure on a scarce resource, an EU-funded project’s improvement of natural water treatment systems couldn’t come at a better time. Read more

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