Centres/Networks of European research and innovation

Specific Challenge

To create a network of centres in the world's most dynamic and innovative countries and regions that will connect and support European researchers and entrepreneurs globally, in order to strengthen the position of Europe as a world leader in science, technology and innovation.


To establish new centres, or networks of centres, building where possible on existing European science, technology and innovation structures located in international partner countries and regions in order to ensure economies of scale while avoiding unnecessary duplication. These centres/networks will engage in activities such as:

  • Networking services including partnering events, workshops, boot camps, venture capital pitching events, best practice exchange, visits and tours etc.;
  • Advice and support to European academic as well as industrial/private sector actors on how to internationalise by engaging in research and innovation in the international partner country/region; this may be based on studies, analysis and monitoring work, including on local conditions in the country/region, e.g. on local innovation and market framework conditions, on links between business needs, the labour market and training/education etc.;
  • Advocacy towards international partner countries/regions in favour of open and responsible research and innovation;
  • Providing work space, infrastructure and secondment opportunities to private and public European organisations that want to be represented in the partner country in an economic way while enjoying the synergies of co-location with other representatives of European organisations;
  • Design and piloting of public/private funding mechanisms aiming at increasing alternative methods of finance of the Centres/Networks based on a demand driven set of services;
  • Promotion, awareness raising and training activities, e.g. on European science, technology and innovation strengths and actors, on cooperation opportunities, on the international dimension of Horizon 2020, on opportunities offered by national programmes etc.

Proposed work shall seek to establish the centres/networks and ensure their initial operational phase. Establishment shall take place in accordance with a business model that shall aim to finance, in the medium term (at the latest by the end of the grant), part of the activities of the centre/network through service contracts with private and public clients. The services offered should be open on equal terms to all EU Member States and Associated Countries and their organisations.

Each proposal shall target one country and region that is an established or emerging science, technology or innovation leader; proposals addressing all or part of Brazil, China and the USA are strongly encouraged without excluding other countries with similar characteristics.

Consortia shall ensure adequate involvement of European stakeholders from existing structures or representations in the addressed partner countries/regions. Proposals should build on previous work of bilateral and regional international cooperation projects where appropriate.

A maximum of one proposal will be supported per international partner country or region. The Commission considers that proposals requesting an EU contribution of around EUR 3 million for a duration of 3-4 years would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Under this topic, legal entities established in the target country/region are eligible for funding from the Union.

Expected Impact

  • Reinforced cooperation between European research and innovation organisations and researchers and those of the Union's international partners;
  • Higher visibility and prestige for European research and innovation and its actors in international partner countries/regions;
  • Stronger presence of European organisations in the science and innovation environment of the partner country/region;
  • Improvements in the framework conditions for international cooperation in research and innovation;
  • Enhanced impact of results from research and innovation projects, including those under Horizon 2020, through increased access to excellence and to markets across the world.

Delegation Exception Footnote

This activity directly aimed at supporting the development and implementation of evidence base for R&I policies and supporting various groups of stakeholders. It is excluded from the delegation to Research Executive Agency and will be implemented by the Commission services.

Date de candidature
Sciences sociales