Why the EU supports industrial research and innovation

EU industry

  • provides 1 out of 5 jobs 
  • two thirds of private sector research and development investment
  • generates 80% of EU exports

The Commission supports research and innovation in this area to accelerate industry's digital transformation, reach climate neutrality by 2050 and secure the EU's strategic autonomy in key enabling technologies.

This investment is about system change for the economic, environmental and socials transitions: it does not address individual sectors.

Objectives include

  • securing leadership in key enabling and technologies
  • bringing research results from lab to market by deploying research and innovation solutions that bring together end-users, scientists, innovators, businesses, educators, and civil society
  • leveraging private investment through public funding 
  • reskilling and upskilling the existing workforce 

The Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEIT) part of Horizon 2020 is an investment which strengthens Europe’s global industrial leadership in manufacturing and environmental sustainability. It enables a vast array of applications in key enabling technologies and facilitates innovators in bringing their disruptive ideas to the market.

More about the EU's key enabling technologies policy.

Funding opportunities

  • Horizon 2020

    Calls for proposal in industrial research are represented by the Key Enabling Technologies section in Horizon 2020


    The EU Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) will run from 2014 to 2020


    An intergovernmental organisation for market-driven industrial research and development aiming to boost the productivity and competitiveness of European industries

  • European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)

    European regional development fund, European social fund, Cohesion fund, European agricultural fund for rural development, European maritime and fisheries fund

  • Access to risk finance

    Gain easier access, via financial instruments, to loans, guarantees, counter-guarantees and hybrid, mezzanine and equity finance

  • Metrology Research

    European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR)

  • Research Fund for Coal and Steel

    Programme managed by the Commission, supporting research in the coal and steel sectors in Europe.

Collaboration and jobs

Projects and results

Scientific publications, tools and databases

  • Transitions Performance Index

    A scoreboard that monitors and ranks countries based on their 4 transitions to fair and prosperous sustainability

  • EU Open Data Portal

    Single point of access to open data produced by the EU institutions - all data free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes

  • OpenAIRE

    You can access all scientific publications from Horizon 2020 via OpenAIRE

Related events


  • Research enquiry service

    You can contact the research enquiry service to find out more about research in Europe, the EU's research and innovation funding programmes as well as calls for proposals and project funding.  

  • National contact points

    The national contact points (NCP) network gives guidance and information on participating in Horizon 2020. NCPs are established in all EU countries and many non-EU countries.

Related Commission departments