International Cooperation



10 January 2020

The 5th EU-Korea research and innovation day

On 30 October, the 5th EU-Korea research and innovation day successfully took place at the Millennium Hilton Seoul Hotel in Seoul, Korea, with more than 350 participants. The event was co-organised by the EU Delegation to the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) with a full one-day programme. Supported by the embassies of the Member States to Korea, the event intensively showed Europe's excellence in science, its capacity and opportunities.

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Policy Dialogue

Cooperation with Korea is a particular priority for the EU as the potential to work for mutual benefit in a wide range of areas is especially strong. Therefore, Korean participation is welcomed in all Calls for Proposals under Horizon 2020.

The latest Joint Science & Technology Cooperation Committee emphasised the need to deepen, scale up and open cooperation in selected thematic areas of mutual benefit.

These areas include both long-standing common priority areas (5G, IoT, Cloud and AI; nanoelectronics; nanosafety; clean energy innovation; infectious diseases; epigenome research; satellite navigation etc.) and new areas of mutual benefit (antimicrobial resistance; automated driving systems, disaster-resilient and security, polar research etc.), as well as cooperation under schemes for researchers' mobility (ERC, MSCA). Last update: July 2020


Funding opportunities

Horizon 2020 is fully open to participation of entities from across the world in all parts of the programme, and many topics are flagged as being specifically relevant for cooperation with partners outside Europe.

Korean researchers, universities, research organisations and enterprises are able to team up with their European partners to participate in projects under Horizon 2020 and make the best use of Europe’s excellent opportunities in research and innovation. Through participation in Horizon 2020, beneficiaries can gain great benefits from access to excellent talent, knowledge, data and infrastructures and connection to world-leading teams, networks and value chains.

EU-Korea Co-funding Mechanism for Research and Innovation Projects

Korean participants are not automatically eligible for funding through Horizon 2020. Korean participants have themselves to determine the sources of funding and find the resources for their part of the project. These may be own funds, as well as funds received from Korean ministries, foundations and other organisations that fund research and innovation activities in Korea. Contributions can also be made in kind.

To support Korean participants, the Korean government, Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), regularly launches public calls for proposals to co-fund Koreans in Horizon 2020 projects selected for European Union funding, covering all thematic areas. Korean partners should consult these websites in view of submitting applications:

  • MSIT- National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) for basic and fundamental research
  • MOTIE – Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) for applied and industrial research

Available local programmes open to European researchers and innovators

Most of national research and innovation programmes in Korea are financially open to participation of Korean organisations legally based in Korean peninsula. Only few programmes are eligible to fund international partners indirectly through Korean project coordinators.

To promote international research cooperation, Korean government initially sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU), or joint declaration, or agreement with partner countries at government level, followed by preparation on annual budget to support Korean research beneficiaries. Therefore, the foreign counterparts should secure their own budget through their government, etc. Though Korea has limited domestic programmes internationally open, the Korean government has encouraged Korean researchers to be engaged in various global research initiatives and bi/multilateral programmes. Besides excellent capacity of research and innovation society and productive research environment, Korea has a relatively good and speedy funding mechanism for those who are willing to take part in international cooperation for research and innovation. Associating with Korean partners is expected to enhance overall research outcomes.


Local National Contact Points and other assistance services

To find the contact details of the Korean Horizon 2020 National Contact Points or those of your potential partner's country, you can search for NCPs by country, thematic areas and/or function.

Also see:

  • KIC-Europe, Korea Research & Innovation Centre - Europe
  • GT, Global Technology Korea



Framework documents

Background documents


European Commission
DG Research and Innovation
Efthymios Sakellariou
Policy Officer - R&I Relations with Korea
Unit RTD Η2 - International Cooperation ii (Asia, Africa, Middle East & External Relations)
Tel. (+32) 229 67877
Efthymios Sakellariou
Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea
Ju Young Kim (S&T)
16th Floor, S-Tower, 116 Shinmoonro 1-ka, Chongro-ku, Seoul, Korea
Telephone (Direct): (+82) 2 3704 1755
Telephone (Central): (+82) 2 3704 1700
Fax: (+82) 2 3735 1211
Ju Young Kim (S&T)

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