Who can apply?
Any natural or legal persons (e.g. any company, big or small, research organisations, universities, non-governmental organisations, etc.) regardless of their place of establishment or residence. They must possess the operational and financial viability to carry out the research tasks that they propose.
What is in it for you?
To see exactly whether you are eligible for funding, check the specific work programme or call for proposal/tender.
Multi-participant or mono-participant actions
Most of the H2020 themes support collaborative research projects where at least three organisations from different countries form a consortium. However, there are a number of opportunities also for mono-participant actions:
- European Research Council (ERC) research grants – support frontier research by individual researchers and teams.
- Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions – support researcher mobility. Besides research funding, scientists have the possibility to gain experience abroad and in the private sector, and to complete their training with competences useful for their careers.
- SME instrument – supports both individual SMEs and SME groups that have international ambitions, determined to turn strong, innovative business ideas into winners on the market.
Which countries are eligible for funding?
Legal entities established in the following countries are eligible to receive funding in Horizon 2020:
- Member States of the European Union, including their overseas departments and outermost regions.
For British applicants: Please note that until the UK leaves the EU, EU law continues to apply to and within the UK, when it comes to rights and obligations; this includes the eligibility of UK legal entities to fully participate and receive funding in Horizon 2020 actions. Please be aware however that the eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, you will cease to be eligible to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project on the basis of Article 50 of the grant agreement.
Associated Countries - the following countries have stated their intention to become associated to Horizon 2020 by the time the first grant agreements are being signed.
These are Albania, Bosnia and Herzigovina, Faroe Islands, North Macedonia, Iceland, Israel, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.
Check the List of H2020 Associated Countries.
For the Euratom programme, associated countries are as follows:
More information on the status of Switzerland in Horizon 2020 and Euratom programmes
More information on the association of Ukraine to the Euratom programme
- Third Countries – see the 'Annex A - List of countries, and applicable rules for funding' for the list of third countries that are eligible for funding. In Horizon 2020 there are more opportunities for cooperation with and participation by researchers from non-EU countries.
- International European interest organisations are also eligible to receive funding
Legal entities established in countries not listed above or international organisations will be eligible for funding when it is explicitly stated in the relevant work programme and call. In addition, they may be eligible for funding under a bilateral scientific and technological agreement or any other arrangement between the Union and an international organisation or a third country.
For third country participation see also the H2020 Online Manual section for International Cooperation.
How to find partners for your project ideas?
To find partners for your project ideas, you can:
- Use the Partner Search function of the Funding & Tenders Portal. The function allows to:
- look for organisations which received funding in the past
- create and check partner search requests by call/topic
- Use Partner Search tools and services of third parties. Several thematic NCP Networks and other entities provide partner search facilities with quality checks and a close follow-up of your request or offer.
- Participate in conferences, brokerage events organised by the different networks like the National Contact Points or the EEN.
- If you want to find experienced partners, who already have ongoing projects, or if you want to browse in the database of registered organisations, visit the Partner Search page of the Funding & Tenders Portal. You can search by keyword/geographical area/funding type, etc. Search results include complete organisation profiles with lists of funded projects and the possibility to contact representatives.
- If you have selected your area of interest via the Topic search, you may publish your offer/interest for one or more of the open/forthcoming topics of a call on the Funding & Tenders Portal. All your published offers/interests will be visible on your organisation's page too.
Idealist Partner Search
Developed by the ICT National Contact Points (NCP) network, but the partner profiles are not limited to ICT. The service includes advice on creating an organisation profile by your local NCP and there is quality control on all the published data.
Fit for Health
Developed by the Fit for Health network in close cooperation with the Health-NCPs. The quality checked database contains expert profiles of researchers and SMEs acting in the Health / Life sciences sector. The service includes partner search activities advice on all aspects related to a research project, starting with help in first orientation and strategy development to proposal preparation, implementation, exploitation and promotion.
Partner search for H2020 'Smart, Green and Integrated Transport' calls for proposals
The partner search tool is dedicated to the project proposals to be submitted under the H2020 'Smart, Green and Integrated Transport" calls (Societal Challenge 4). The tool is developed by the H2020 National Contact Points network for Transport - ETNA Plus. The quality of published partner searches is guaranteed through a two-step verification process.
C-Energy 2020 network - the European Energy NCP network under H2020
The C-Energy2020 Partner Search Tool has been created as part of the C-Energy2020 network and is linked from the Network website. The purpose is to offer a comprehensive and easy to use web-based tool that supports the building of consortia for promising proposals that are targeted at the open calls under the Horizon2020 Energy Work Programme. The service includes a quality check by the NCPs.
NCPs CaRE: Partner search for Societal Challenge 5 “Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials”
Within the NCPs CaRE network project for NCPs in SC5, the partnering tool supports potential applicants for the Horizon 2020 Work programme of the Societal Challenge 5 “Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials” in finding partners and building a consortium for a project proposal. The service includes a quality check by the NCPs and participation in specific brokerage events.
Enterprise Europe Network Cooperation Opportunities Database
The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) publishes an extensive number of innovation and technology profiles from international companies and research organisations to help identify suitable partners for bilateral business, innovation and technology cooperation. The EEN database is updated with new profiles on a weekly basis. All profiles are published anonymously. Express your interest in collaboration by filling in and sending the Expression of Interest form to your local EEN office, who will establish the contact.
P2P Partner Search
The ERA-LEARN 2020, a support platform for the Public-Public-Partnerships (P2P), provides the P2P Partner Search to find stakeholders engaged or willing to engage in large networks for the coordination and cooperation of national and/or regional research programmes.