European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds)
The development and implementation of research infrastructures (RIs) involves large-budget national and regional research centres, which often cross borders.
To maximise the impact of public funding, synergies are needed between national funding, Horizon 2020 and other EU funding such as ESI Funds.
The European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds, include five separate EU funds: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
About €450 billion of EU funding over the 2014-2020 programme period is allocated to Member States and implemented through nationally co-financed programmes.
The programme focuses on 11 objectives, one of which is research and innovation. The support is mainly delivered in the form of grants or through financial instruments (loans, guarantees and equity investments).
In 2014, the Commission approved an investment of €111 million from ERDF to build the third pillar of the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), in Hungary.
In 2015, the Commission awarded a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund grant of almost €4 million to Euro-Argo ERIC, the European research infrastructure for observing the oceans, to deploy 150 Argo floats over the next two years.