Policy background

Research and innovation cooperation is governed by the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation. It was signed in 1998 and is renewed every 5 years.

A bilateral cooperation agreement on fusion energy research was signed in 2001 between the US and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). Both the US and Euratom are members of the ITER project.

In fission energy research, the US and Euratom signed two Technical Exchange and Cooperation Arrangements, one on nuclear-related technology research and one on nuclear safety research. Both Euratom and the US are members of the Generation IV International Forum.

In 2014, EU and US leaders underlined the commitment "to expand cooperation in research, innovation and new emerging technologies, and protection of intellectual property rights as strong drivers for increased trade and future economic growth". Other priorities were

  • space cooperation
  • Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance
  • the GPS/Galileo agreement
  • the Transatlantic Economic Council which “will continue its work to improve cooperation in emerging sectors, specifically e-mobility, e-health and new activities under the Innovation Action Partnership”
  • climate change: where the EU and the US “demonstrate leadership and are intensifying their cooperation in promoting sustainable energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy”
  • energy: including joint research priorities under the EU-US Energy Council, where the partners “remain committed to close cooperation on energy research and innovation in areas including energy efficiency, smart and resilient energy grids and storage, advanced materials including critical materials for safe and sustainable energy supply, nuclear energy and interoperability of standards for electric vehicle and smart grid technologies”, as well as “knowledge-sharing on carbon capture and storage, and on the sustainable development of unconventional energy resources”
  • digital economy and cyber security: where it was “decided to launch a comprehensive EU-US cyber dialogue to strengthen and further our cooperation including on various cyber-related foreign policy issues”

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

EU-US science and technology cooperation agreement

Projects and results

Research project database

EU-funded research projects involving the United States

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

Examples of research cooperation projects

  • BILAT USA 4.0 (2016-2019) set strategic priorities, optimal framework conditions, enhanced policy coordination and synergies for EU-US cooperation.
  • ENRICH in USA established three centres in the USA to help EU research and innovation actors to immerse themselves in the top US ecosystems

More stories of particularly successful EU-funded research projects involving the United States of America


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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