Exploring Synergies between EU Cohesion Policy and Horizon 2020 Funding across European Regions

Publication article | | DOUSSINEAU Mathieu; BACHTROGLER Julia

An analysis of regional funding concentration on Key Enabling Technologies and societal grand challenges


Over the course of the 2014-2020 period, the European Union has invested more than €125bn into support to research and innovation through two main channels: the excellence-based Horizon 2020 programme and its cohesion policy implemented through the European Structural and investment funds (ESIF) and in particular the European Regional Development fund (ERDF). While projects funded by ESIF are selected in the context of place-based operational programmes and smart specialisation strategies (S3), Horizon 2020 grants are assigned based on the quality of the project proposals and consortia without any geographical criteria. A concentration of R&I funding from both funding schemes in the same technological or policy area could point to the creation of a synergy between EU funding as suggested by the concept of smart specialisation and encouraged by the European Commission. This report uses project data to analyse the regional distribution of Horizon 2020 and ESIF funding among key enabling technologies and societal grand challenges and to map potential synergies between different EU funding policies.

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