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Research and innovation

Seal of Excellence

What the Seal of Excellence is, how to receive and use it, funding opportunities, information for funding bodies and latest news.

What is the Seal of Excellence?

The Seal of Excellence is a quality label first introduced during Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme (2014-2020). It has gradually become a key instrument to create synergies.

The Seal of Excellence is awarded to project proposals submitted under a Horizon Europe call for proposals and ranked above a predefined quality thresholds but were not funded by Horizon Europe due to budgetary constraints.

With this label the Commission recognise the value of project proposals and encourage other funding organisations to take advantage of the high-quality Horizon Europe evaluation process.

The Seal of Excellence certificate indicates basic information on the proposal, the call and the applicant(s). It is unique and safe. It is digitally sealed against fraud, as is the project proposal and evaluation summary report.

Under Horizon Europe (2021-2027), improvements regarding quality and support to implementation of the Seal of Excellence are foreseen . The uptake of the Seal of Excellence in Structural Funds programmes is further promoted in the context of reinforcing synergies between the research and innovation framework programmes and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). For example, with the guidance document ‘Notice on synergies between ERDF programmes and Horizon Europe’, as well as through enhancing information flow on the Seal of Excellence project proposals.

Seal of Excellence banner

Seal of Excellence is currently awarded to proposals that apply under:

How to receive and use the Seal of Excellence

Receiving the Seal of Excellence

How seal holders can use the Seal of Excellence

How funding bodies can use the Seal of Excellence

Funding opportunities

National/regional funding opportunities for EIC Seal of Excellence

National/regional funding opportunities for MSCA Seal of Excellence

Useful links for funding bodies

Useful links for Seal of Excellence holders