Why international cooperation is needed

Accelerating the development of clean energy solutions to match the urgency of tackling climate change requires sustained public and private investment into clean energy research and innovation. It also relies on having collaborative networks and partnerships across the globe to boost the impact of these investments.

International cooperation in energy research contributes to mitigating climate change, reducing emissions and advancing global commitments under the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

International cooperation in energy is part of the EU's broader strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation.

Mission Innovation

Mission Innovation is a global intergovernmental initiative working to accelerate clean energy innovation. 25 members across five continents (with the European Commission representing the EU) are working to accelerate the pace of innovation, and make clean energy more widely affordable.

Members have pledged to double investment in clean energy research and innovation by 2020/21, while encouraging greater levels of private sector investment in transformative clean energy technologies.

The EU's commitment to double its research and innovation spending is delivered through Horizon 2020. Mission Innovation is also an important part of the EU's goal of making research and innovation Open to the World.

Innovation challenges

Mission Innovation members identified eight global calls to action or Innovation Challenges in technology areas where increased international collaboration would make a significant impact in our fight against climate change.

The eight Innovation Challenges are

  1. Smart grids
  2. Off-grid access to electricity
  3. Carbon capture
  4. Sustainable biofuels
  5. Converting sunlight into storable fuel
  6. Clean energy materials
  7. Affordable heating and cooling of buildings
  8. Renewable and clean hydrogen

The European Commission collaborates with its international partners in all eight challenges, and co-leads challenges 5, 7 and 8.

Partnerships and collaboration

To accelerate the pace of innovation, catalyse more investment in low-carbon technology and bring new technologies into the market, Mission Innovation works in collaboration with global partners

Mission Innovation beyond 2020

The second phase of Mission Innovation will accelerate the pace of innovation for the energy transition.

It was unanimously endorsed at the 5th Mission Innovation ministerial meeting

Read the joint statement

MI2.0 is taking a mission-oriented approach by

  • building new public-private innovation alliances (Missions) around ambitious and inspirational goals. Missions are backed by commitments that can lead to tipping points in the cost and scale of clean energy solutions. Missions on power, hydrogen, shipping, cities, industry and bioeconomy are under discussion.
  • an enhanced innovation platform to strengthen the global clean energy innovation ecosystem and accelerate learning
  • continuing its successful voluntary model: members work independently but in full transparency and with a cooperative spirit to determine their priorities, processes and plans for research, design and development funding  

MI2.0 will launch at the 6th Ministerial meeting in Chile in 2021, supported by high level events at Davos and COP26.

Keep up to date with Mission Innovation activities.

Mission Innovation Champions Programme : Championing the clean energy revolution

This programme recognises and supports the next wave of energy technology leaders who are accelerating the clean energy revolution.

On  12 June,  Mission Innovation unveiled the 2nd cohort of Mission Innovation Champions. The 21 Champions work in a variety of energy-related fields and industries. They have a track record of creative ideas that can drive the pace and scale of the clean energy revolution, inventing the products and services of the future.

More information

Cooperation agreements

Bilateral cooperation agreements

The EU has bilateral cooperation agreements with research partners in large developed economies as well as emerging countries.

Read about countries with bilateral agreements

Benefits of international cooperation and bilateral agreements are

  • facilitating the development of clean technologies
  • pooling financial resources, sharing risks and setting common standards for large or relatively risky research and development projects
  • supporting a more diverse global portfolio of energy technologies and reducing the costs of key technologies
  • networking to identify possibilities for collaborative efforts
  • supporting technology deployment in and technology transfer to developing and emerging countries

Multilateral agreements

The EU also cooperates with non-EU countries in technology platforms of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and other multilateral initiatives.


DownloadPDF - 1011.3 KB