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Research and innovation

Policy background

The European Union’s (EU) and Iceland’s political relations centre around the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). Norway and Liechtenstein are also part of the EEA. The agreement involves close cooperation in several areas, including research, environment and enterprise. Association of Iceland to the EU’s research and innovation framework programmes takes place through an amendment to Protocol 31 of the EEA agreement. Iceland has been associated to the EU research and innovation programmes since 1994 together with Norway it was the first non-EU country to become associated to Horizon 2020 in 2014. 

Iceland and Norway also became the first countries to be associated to Horizon Europe in September 2021, with an effect from the start of the programme. These countries see association as a gateway to an excellent international cooperation in science, research and innovation, focusing on common priorities: the twin green and digital transitions, public health and Europe’s competitiveness in the global landscape. Joint efforts will aim to address environmental problems in the Arctic, develop hydrogen and carbon capture technologies, boost data-driven innovation, and more.

Horizon 2020 key figures

Funding opportunities

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion available over 7 years (2021 to 2027).

Horizon Europe website

Projects and results

Research project database (CORDIS)

The Commission's primary portal for results of EU-funded research projects. Here you can find International cooperation projects related to Iceland.

EU funded projects

Project success stories

Stories of particularly successful EU-funded research projects involving Iceland.

Examples of international cooperation projects

  • Nunataryuk (2017-2022) is analyzing the consequences of thawing Arctic permafrost, the subsurface layer of soil found in Arctic regions, to help policy makers and local communities develop adaptation and mitigation strategies. The researcher team focuses on three main areas: organic matter released from thawing permafrost, the risks of thawing to local communities and to their health. Nunataryuk, together with seven other H2020 projects, is part of the EU Arctic Research Cluster coordinated by EU PolarNet. The objective is to create synergies among projects and to increase their impacts.
  • microMole (2015-2019) has the main objective to design, develop and test an autarkic sensor system, which will track down the production of illicit substances by being installed in the sewage systems. The device tracks traces of chemical waste produced during the synthesis of amphetamines and communicates the results to law enforcement agencies in real time, helping them to locate and eliminate the illegal production.
  • PrimeFish (2015-2019) analyses the European seafood market in general as well as specific seafood supply-chains with the overall aim to enhance the economic sustainability and competitiveness of European fisheries and aquaculture sectors. The government-owned, non-profit research company Matís from Iceland coordinated the project.


National Contact Points

The National Contact Points (NCPs) provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in Horizon Europe.

European Commission

Katarzyna Zelichowska
Policy Officer
DG Research and Innovation, Unit 04 Horizon Europe Association

Telephone: +32 229 61998 | email:


20 DECEMBER 2021
Agreement associating Iceland to Horizon Europe
(729.9 KB - PDF)