Policy background

Australia and the EU have a long history of productive research collaboration: the first treaty-level science and technology agreement signed by the EU with an industrialised country was with Australia in 1994. Australia has more collaboration with the EU than any single country in the world, averaging over 13,000 co-publications per year over the period 2011-15. Australia was the EU’s fifth highest non-EU collaborator over the same period.

Bilateral research collaboration priorities are set and cooperation is monitored at Australia-EU Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC) meetings. The next joint meeting is planned for 2021 in Brussels.

Australia's Global Innovation Strategy (GIS) is the framework guiding Australia’s international industry, innovation and science cooperation. The EU and its member countries are priority economies for collaboration. All EU countries are eligible to apply with an Australian partner for the GIS Global Innovation Linkages programme and the Global Connections Fund.

There are also many areas of cooperation between Australia and the EU through the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and with other government research organisations.

Australia plays a significant role in the international radio telescope Square Kilometre Array and is a Strategic Partner of the European Southern Observatory

Funding opportunities

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). It is open to the world, which means that participants from all over the world can participate in most calls. In many cases, the EU will fund at least partly the participation of the international partners.

International cooperation in Horizon 2020

Agreements and arrangements

Projects and results

Research project database (CORDIS)

EU-funded research projects involving Australia

For previous framework programmes, please contact the Research enquiry service.

Examples of cooperation projects

  • MESOPP (2016-2019) collaborative network and e-infrastructures (marine ecosystem information system) between European and Australian research teams/institutes sharing similar interests in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, its marine ecosystem functioning and the rapid changes occurring with the climate warming and the exploitation of marine resources.
  • CAESIE (2012-2015) stands for Connecting Australian-European Science and Innovation Excellence. It enhances cooperation between Europe and Australia by identifying and facilitating opportunities for researchers and SMEs in research and innovation programmes.

More stories of particularly successful EU-funded research projects involving Australia.


National Contact Points

The National Contact Points (NCPs) provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in Horizon 2020.

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.

European Commission

DG Research and Innovation unit H.2: International cooperation



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