Research & Innovation - Participant Portal H2020 Online Manual

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International cooperation "Open to the world"

Horizon 2020 is Open to the World. This means that participants from all over the world, regardless of their place of establishment or residence, can participate in most of the calls of Horizon 2020. Furthermore, in many cases, the EU will fund at least partly the participation of the international partners (see below).

Encouraging international cooperation

In addition to this general openness of most Horizon 2020 calls to non-EU researchers, many calls particularly encourage cooperation with non-EU partners. All calls are published in bi-annual "Work Programmes" and can be found in the International cooperation topic page.

Horizon 2020 offers opportunities for

  • Collaborative research & innovation projects: carried out by consortia of organisations working together on specific research & innovation areas. A consortium must include at least 3 participants from 3 different EU Member States or Associated countries. In addition to these three partners, any legal entity from anywhere in the world can be included in the consortium.
  • Individual researcher projects: The European Research Council and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions offer unparalleled funding opportunities for individual researchers who want to work in Europe.

Eligibility for funding

Researchers throughout the world can participate in Horizon 2020 projects - though they are not always eligible for H2020 funding.
Regarding funding, we can distinguish between countries that are automatically eligible for funding and those that are not.

Automatically eligible for funding

  • Associated countries - they participate in Horizon 2020 under the same conditions as EU Member States. There are, as of 29 April 2016, fifteen countries associated to Horizon 2020.
    For the Euratom programme, associated countries are as follows:
    • Switzerland (Please check more information on the status of Switzerland in Horizon 2020 and Euratom)
    • Ukraine (while Ukraine is considered as an associated country in proposals, the Commission cannot sign a grant agreement with any Ukrainian entities until the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Euratom and Ukraine – signed on 27 June 2016 – enters into force. This is expected to be a few months after that date. Please check more information on the association of Ukraine to the Euratom programme.)
  • Developing countries - Research organisations in some 130 developing countries are automatically eligible for funding. The full list of these countries is provided in Annex A of the Horizon 2020 Work Programmes. Please note that this rule does not apply to the Euratom programme.
    Not automatically eligible for funding
  • Industrialised countries and emerging economies - participants from these countries have themselves to determine the sources of funding and find the resources for their part of the action. Several countries have created mechanisms to co-fund their participants in Horizon 2020 actions selected for EU funding (you can find more information on available local support from non-EU countries for Horizon 2020 country by country below).
    In exceptional circumstances, industrialised and emerging economies can receive EU funding if:
  • there is a bilateral agreement between that country and the EU. For instance, researchers in the United States are eligible for EU funding when participating in the health programme on the basis of a reciprocal EU - US/NIH arrangement
  • the country is explicitly identified in the relevant work programme and call for proposal as being eligible for funding
  • their participation is deemed by the European Commission to be essential for carrying out the action.

Individual researchers from any country in the world seeking the opportunity to work in Europe for a certain period of their career can apply for funding through the European Research Council and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.

Available local support for H2020 participants from non-EU countries

Reference documents