International Cooperation



18 February 2019

Partners in Science: The EU at AAAS

Discover the scope of EU and US cooperation and the role of EU in science in a podcast with Jean-Eric Paquet, recorded in the margins of the annual meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC, last week.

Europe and the United States are two major powerhouses when it comes to research and innovation.

Discover the scope of our cooperation and the role of the EU in science in this podcast conversation between Jean-Eric Paquet, Director-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, and Senior Communications Officer Martin Caudron.

This episode was recorded in the margins of the annual meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, DC (14-17 February 2019).

The AAAS annual meeting is among the world's largest and most prestigious general scientific events, gathering thousands of international scientists, policy makers and science journalists. The programme typically includes keynote speeches, scientific symposia, an exhibition, and press briefings on recent scientific discoveries.

This year's event focused on "Science without boundaries", and the European Commission was organising a number of scientific symposia and a career development workshop.

More information
27 October 2017

EU-U.S. Joint Consultative Group Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation

Participants to the EU-U.S. Joint Consultative Group Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation

On October 23, 2017, in Washington, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Judith G. Garber and E.U. Director-General for Research and Innovation Robert-Jan Smits, convened the United States-European Union Joint Consultative Group Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation (JCG). The JCG provides an opportunity to exchange views on some of the most important transatlantic science and technology endeavours and to align American and European research and innovation efforts for mutual benefit. Both sides recognized the role of research and innovation as key drivers of jobs and economic growth, and that transatlantic research cooperation has been a primary source of new technologies and scientific discoveries for over a century. The Department of State also thanked the European Commission for the valuable assistance provided by the Copernicus satellite program during the recent hurricanes.

Efforts to further facilitate transatlantic cooperation between scientists under Horizon 2020, the European Union’s $80 billion research program (and its successor), and American research programs were featured prominently. Both sides discussed achievements and potential future strategic areas of cooperation and program alignment including: the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, which extends into the Arctic region; Mission Innovation; other advanced energy research cooperation; and major health initiatives, such as brain research. Both sides agreed to continue and expand cooperation, building on the ongoing success of program alignment and to work together to renew the U.S.-EU Science and Technology Agreement for an additional five years.

The JCG brought together representatives of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation with representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Departments of State, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Interior, the National Science Foundation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The United States and European Union look forward to strengthening our cooperation and the EU’s 2018-2020 Work Programme for Horizon 2020, launched on October 27, 2017.

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Policy background

USA as a partner of the European Union

The United States of America (US) are a long standing partner of the European Union (EU).

Today the negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which started in 2013 are the key initiative for economic dialogue and are expected to lead to an EU-US trade agreement.

Historically the relations between the US and the EU were formalised in 1990 with the adoption of the "Transatlantic Declaration" PDF icon. In 2007 following the US-EU Summit, a Declaration on Enhancing Transatlantic Economic Integration and Growth laid the foundation for a "growth driven agenda of dialogue". And until 2013 the Transatlantic Economic Council was the primary forum for economic dialogue between the EU and the US.

For research and innovation, the cooperation between the EU and the US is governed by the "Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation". It was originally signed in 1998, renewed four times for 5 years each time and is now valid until October 2018. In June 2013, the Commission published an independent review of the current agreement.

Moreover a bilateral cooperation Agreement on fusion energy research was signed in 2001 between the US and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). Both the US and Euratom are members of the ITER project.

For fission energy research, the US and Euratom signed two "Technical Exchange and Cooperation Arrangements", one on Nuclear related Technology research and one on Nuclear safety research. Both Euratom and the US are members of the "Generation IV International Forum".

Recently, following the EU-US Summit in March 2014, EU and US leaders underlined the commitment "to expand cooperation in research, innovation and new emerging technologies, and protection of intellectual property rights as strong drivers for increased trade and future economic growth". Moreover, they also referred to:

  • space cooperation
  • the Transatlantic Ocean Research Alliance
  • the GPS/Galileo agreement
  • the Transatlantic Economic Council which “will continue its work to improve cooperation in emerging sectors, specifically e-mobility, e-health and new activities under the Innovation Action Partnership”
  • Climate change: where the EU and the US “demonstrate leadership and are intensifying their cooperation in promoting sustainable energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy”
  • Energy: including “joint research priorities” under the EU-US Energy Council, where the partners “remain committed to close cooperation on energy research and innovation in areas including energy efficiency, smart and resilient energy grids and storage, advanced materials including critical materials for safe and sustainable energy supply, nuclear energy and interoperability of standards for electric vehicle and smart grid technologies”, as well as “knowledge-sharing on carbon capture and storage, and on the sustainable development of unconventional energy resources”
  • Digital economy and cyber security: where it was “decided to launch a comprehensive EU-US cyber dialogue to strengthen and further our cooperation including on various cyber-related foreign policy issues”

FP7 statistics (2007-2013)

US applications for FP7 grants:

6 269 US applicants, 5 649 eligible proposals, total requested EU contribution approx. €368.89 million; Among the Third Countries, the US ranks 1st in terms of number of applicants and 2nd in terms of requested EC contribution.

US - United States - most active FP7 research priority areas by number of applications for the research projects
FP7 priority area Nr. of
EC contribution
by applicants
(M euro)
Nr. of
Success Rate
EC contribution
by mainlisted
(M euro)
Success Rate
EC contribution)
Marie-Curie Actions 3,826 n/a 944 24.67 % n/a n/a
Information and Communication Technologies 546 64.42 121 22.16 % 13.76 21.36 %
Health 453 145.90 151 33.33 % 50.86 34.86 %
European Research Council 253 43.19 24 9.49 % 2.46 5.69 %
Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology 232 28.76 62 26.72 % 5.19 18.05 %
Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies - NMP 166 4.98 50 30.12 % 0.55 11.02 %

Signed Grant Agreements/ projects with US participation:

514 US participants in 410 signed grant agreements, with a total EU contribution of 81.96 million euros . Among the Third Countries in all FP7 signed grant agreements, the United States rank 2nd in number of participations and 1st in budget share.

H2020 statistics (from 2014 to spring 2015)

US applications for H2020 grants:

  1. 977 applicants, 911 eligible proposals, with a total requested EU contribution of about 143.96 million euros. The US does not take up the role of coordinator in any EU-funded H2020 projects
  2. Top 3 priority areas in terms of participations of United States :
    1. Excellent Science - 765 applications; 103.39 million Euros of requested EU contribution
    2. Societal Challenges - 161 applications; 35.28 million Euros of requested EU contribution
    3. Industrial Leadership - 37 applications; 2.38 million Euros of requested EU contribution
      Information and Communication Technologies: 17 applications; 0.85 million of requested EU contribution
      Space: 11 applications; 0.72 million of requested EU contribution
  3. Top 3 action types in terms of applications of United States are:
    1. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) - - 716 applications; 98.36 million Euros of requested EU contribution
    2. Research and Innovation action (RIA) - 206 applications; 39.95 million Euros of requested EU contribution
    3. Coordination and Support Action (CSA - ) - 24 applications; 2.04 million Euros of requested EU contribution

Projects supporting cooperation and policy dialogue


is a bilateral coordination activity to enhance and develop science, technology and innovation (STI) partnerships between the European Union and the United States of America. It has three main goals:
  1. support the policy dialogue within the framework of the EU-US STI cooperation agreement
  2. enhance the cooperation between research and innovation actors on both sides and spread information on funding possibilities through workshops and events
  3. analyse the state-of-the-art and the progress of transatlantic science and technology cooperation. In March 2013, the EU-US Joint STI Committee Meeting determined four research areas as priorities for transatlantic cooperation: Marine & Arctic Research, NMP, Health and Transport


EURAXESS-Links US (2007)

Promotes networking activities among European and US researchers.

Framework documents

Background documents


European Commission
DG Research and Innovation
Diego Sammaritano
Policy Officer

Unit RTD C2 – North America, Latin America and the Caribbean

Telephone: (+32) 229 90023

Diego Sammaritano
Delegation of the European Union to the USA
Mary Kavanagh
R&I Counsellor for U.S.A.
2175 K Street
NW Washington DC 20037, USA

Mary Kavanagh