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Research and innovation

International cooperation: Why and How?

International cooperation is a driver of world class research and innovation. The European Union’s Strategy for international cooperation is set out in the Global Approach to Research and Innovation Communication. Horizon Europe, the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation, is one of the main tools to implement this strategy.

Horizon Europe offers opportunities to researchers and innovators from all over the world, albeit with the possibility of restrictions where necessary. Under Pillar I researchers can apply for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships to come to work in European research groups or for European Research Council grants to establish a research group in Europe. They can be included as partners in research consortia submitting collaborative research proposals under Pillar II, and if they plan to establish a start-up or Small or Medium sized Enterprise in Europe, they can apply for funding from the European Innovation Council under Pillar III. 

Guide to why and how to participate as an international researcher in Horizon Europe

The EU engages in bilateral cooperation, through Science and Technology Agreements with countries around the world, as well as in Regional Dialogues to strengthen partnerships. Association to the framework programme enables countries outside the EU to pay into the Horizon Europe budget allowing their researchers to participate under similar conditions as EU Member State researchers. 

Balancing the openness of Horizon Europe with safeguarding European Interests, we are working towards a common understanding and implementation of the fundamental principles and values underlying international research and innovation cooperation through a multi-lateral dialogue, and we are engaged in science diplomacy to address global challenges and promote understanding. Closely aligned with the European economic security strategy, safeguarding measures are being taken to enhance research security across the EU.

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The Commission Communication on the Global Approach to Research and Innovation sets out the European Union’s strategy for international cooperation in a changing world.

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The multilateral dialogue on principles and values for international research is one of the key elements of Europe’s new strategy on international cooperation in research and innovation.

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Association by a non-EU country to Horizon Europe facilitates participation of their researchers in programme actions. 17 countries are currently associated.


DG Research and Innovation Directorate F: Global approach and international cooperation in research and innovation.

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

Find out more about research in Europe, the EU's research and innovation funding programmes as well as calls for proposals and project funding.



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