The EU-US partnership is arguably the world's most important bilateral relationship, indispensable for security and prosperity in the transatlantic region and a leading force of the existing world order anchored in democracy, the rule of law, and multilateralism. The EU and the US account for nearly 50% of global research and innovation funding.
The EU and the US share common research values such as openness, transparency, fairness, inclusiveness, academic freedom and ethics, and are natural partners in science, technology and innovation.
The EU-US Summit of June 2021 recognised the central role of research and innovation in transatlantic cooperation to address global challenges related to health, climate, and the environment. EU-US research and innovation cooperation is a key element of the Commission Communication on the Global Approach for Research and Innovation adopted on 18 May 2021.
Working with the US science policy and funding agencies at federal level contributes to EU capacity to succeed on the green and digital transitions and to strengthen resilience to global health threats and other global challenges.
Scientific and technological agreement
The Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and the Government of the United States of America provides the legal and administrative framework for cooperation in Science and Technology between the EU and the US.
The first agreement entered into force in 1998 and it has been renewed every 5 years, most recently with a Council Decision of 25 September 2023.
The agreement is intended to encourage, develop, and facilitate cooperative activities in areas of common interest and is based on the principles of mutual benefit, timely exchange of information, reciprocal access to activities undertaken by each party and appropriate protection of intellectual property rights.
The implementation of the agreement is steered by the EU-US Joint Consultative Group (JCG) whichdefines the priority areas for initiating or deepening cooperation and reviews the progress made.
The most recent JCG meeting took place in Brussels on 12 October 2022 and confirmed the intention to launch new or reinforced initiatives across a wide spectrum of thematic areas, including notably, cancer, climate impact on human health, climate neutrality in aviation, modelling for carbon-neutral transition pathways, transport research, science in society, mobility of researchers, Earth observation, and the circular economy.
Other cooperation arrangements
In 2019 the US National Science Foundation signed an implementing arrangement with the European Commission to enable US Scientists and engineers with an active NSF award to pursue research collaboration with research teams led by European Research Council (ERC) grant holders.
Bilateral cooperation agreement on fusion energy research: signed in 2001 between the US and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). Both the US and Euratom are members of the ITER project.
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
The European Union’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has also a close collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) focusing on climate change risks, disaster modelling, space weather impacts and fisheries. The JRC-NOAA Implementing Arrangement has been extended in 2022 for another 5 years.
A new Implementing Arrangement was also signed in 2021 with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The JRC also cooperates with the US in the field of nuclear safety, nuclear safeguards, non-proliferation and security.
Cooperation and funding opportunities
The US has had the highest level of participation in EU research and innovation programmes of all non-EU and non-associated countries for many years and US researchers and innovators are welcome to team up as Associated Partners.
For collaborative research projects, US researchers bring their own funding to the project. In exceptional cases US entities may be entitled to funding when this possibility is mentioned in the relevant calls for proposals or in cases where the US partner is essential to the project. This is typically the case in calls related to health research.
In addition, US entities are eligible for EU financial through the European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions.
European Research Council
The European Research Council offers grants to researchers in all research domains for frontier research. US researchers are welcome to apply and if selected are eligible for funding to establish a research group in Europe. Grants are available for researchers starting or consolidating their independent career and for advanced researchers.
Synergy grants are also available, where a group of 2-4 Principal Investigators (PIs) may include one PI outside the EU or countries associated to Horizon Europe, to tackle together an ambitious research problem, with all funded by the ERC.
The European Commission also has an Implementing Arrangement with the National Science Foundation to enable NSF funded researchers to spend some time in an European Research Council funded group in Europe.
Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions
Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions offer fellowships for post-doctoral researchers from US (and other countries) to spend up to 2 years in a European group – or for European researchers to spend up to 2 years in a US lab. Also offers opportunities for US institutions to participate in Doctoral Networks and Research and Innovation Staff Exchange consortia (US institutions are self-funded in Doctoral Networks and Staff Exchange).
In March 2023, the first EU Innovation Agora took place in Silicon Valley, presenting the future of European innovation, and how to get involved through the opportunities offered by the New European Innovation Agenda.
Opportunities for EU-US cooperation are also offered by multilateral fora such as
- Mission Innovation to make clean energy affordable, attractive and accessible for all
- All Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance to advance the shared vision of an Atlantic Ocean that is healthy, resilient, clean, safe, transparent, predictable, productive, understood and treasured so as to promote the well-being, prosperity and security of present and future generations
- Global Alliance on Chronic Disease to coordinate and supports research activities that address the prevention and treatment of NCDs or chronic non-communicable diseases, on a global scale
Projects and results
Research project database
You can also visit the Horizon Dashboard, which is a one-stop shop for data and statistics on the EU Research and Innovation Programmes – from FP1 to Horizon Europe.
- 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.
- Email: RTD-F-DIR-ASSISTec [dot] europa [dot] eu (DG Research and Innovation International Cooperation Directorate)
- National Contact Points (NCPs) in EU Member States and in countries associated to Horizon Europe provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in Horizon Europe. For the US National Contact Points please consult the Funding & Tenders Portal.
- Euraxess North America provides access to a complete range of information and support services for researchers in the US and Canada wishing to pursue a research career in Europe or looking for collaboration opportunities through Horizon Europe.
The European Union (EU) and the United States of America (US) enjoy a long-standing and strong alliance in the field of research and innovation. With a further five-year extension of the EU-US Science and Technology agreement approved by the Council in September 2023, this partnership is poised to continue its success.
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The meeting discussed nuclear fusion research cooperation and modelling for energy transition pathways