BILAT USA 4.0 aims to facilitate research and innovation cooperation between researchers and companies with various networking and partnering activities. Additionally, main research and innovation programmes as well as reciprocal funding opportunities between EU and USA will be announced on this portal.

Check BILAT Wiki for finding the EU-US terminologies and guidance for researchers.



I- Horizon 2020

  1. General Information
  2. 3rd Country Participation (Non EU Member State and/or Associated Country)
  3. 2016-2017 Work programme-Call topics relevant for US
  4. 2018-2020 Work Programme- Call topics relevant forUS


II- European Funding Platforms-ERA Transnational Initiatives on Public-Public Partnerships

  1. ERA-NET/ERA-NET Cofund
  2. Joint Programming Initiatives
  3. Article 185 Initiatives


III- S&T Implementing Arrangements between U.S. Government Entities and the European Commission


IV- S&T Agreements between EU and Member States/Associated Countries and U.S.





I- H2020

General Information

Horizon 2020 is the new EU Framework programme for funding research and innovation, which will run from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of €80 billion. It is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, the Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness and driving to create new growth and jobs in the area. It is designed to bring more good ideas to the market.

H2020 Pillars:

Excellent science: a dedicated budget of € 24 598 million aiming to provide a boost to top-level research in Europe, including an increase in funding of 77% for the very successful European Research Council (ERC).

Industrial leadership: providing € 17 938 million committed to major investment in key technologies, greater access to capital and support for SMEs.

Societal challenges: € 31 748 million targeting to help address major concerns shared by all Europeans including climate change, developing sustainable transport and mobility, making renewable energy more affordable, ensuring food safety and security, or coping with the challenge of an ageing population.


H2020 Programme (General)


3rd Country Participation in H2020

Open to the World is one of the 3 strategic priorities of the ECs, so called “3 Os” (Open Science, Open Innovation, Open to the World) and therefore a crucial element of the Horizon 2020, especially within the 3rd pillar focusing on societal challenges.

Horizon 2020 is fully open to international participation. Also, there are targeted actions with key partner countries and regions on the priority topics indicated in the ERA Road Map for International Cooperation where funding for 3rd country participation is foreseen.  

Regarding priority areas the U.S. participation in the following topics is automatically eligible for funding due to the bilateral agreement between the EC and the National Institute of Health is the USA:

  • Health
  • Demographic Change
  • Wellbeing

For the same ground, European researchers are also eligible for automatic funding for NIH programmes.

Unless otherwise is stated in the call texts, funding for US participation in other areas of H2020 is not automatically granted and subject to evaluation of a clear added value to the project.



H2020 Work Programmes- Call topics relevant for US

There are various paths to gather this information from H2020 web portal.

For the most recent calls following links can be used to find out open calls targeting international cooperation including USA:

Topics for open to the world

Topics for International Cooperation

Overview of the US specific H2020 Calls in 2016-2017 Work programme (dated 30.11.2015)

Overview of the US specific H2020 Calls in 2018-2020 Work Programme


II- European Funding Platforms-ERA Transnational Initiatives on Public-Public Partnerships

According to the Article 26 of H2020 Regulation, Horizon 2020 shall contribute to the strengthening of public-public partnerships, as and when appropriate, where actions at regional, national or international level are jointly implemented within the Union.

The following public-public partnerships will be promoted in the USA funding bodies/agencies and establishment of cooperation will be encouraged:

1- ERA-NET/ERA-Net Cofund

Era-Net instrument uses grants to support public-public partnerships in their preparation, establishment of networking structures, design, implementation and coordination of joint activities, as well as Union topping-up of no more than one joint call a year, and of actions of a transnational nature considering the demonstration of the added value at the European level.

One of the objectives of the ERA-NET instrument may, where possible, be to harmonise rules and implementation modalities of the joint calls and actions.

The objective of the ERA-NET Cofund instrument is to support coordination and joint calls for research and innovation proposals of national and regional funding programmes in priority areas of European research.

In an ERA-NET, research funding organisations and programme managers from EU-Member States and Associated Countries combine financial and human resources in order to implement joint activities. The goal is to deepen the European Research Area (ERA) and to boost the efficiency of European research and research funding.

Horizon 2020 ERA-NET Cofund combines the two former FP7 schemes ERA-NET and ERA-NET+. In Horizon 2020, ERA-NET is used to provide financial support to the implementation of transnational calls for proposals with a common thematic focus. The programme's main emphasis is laid on funding R&D. A precondition for joint calls is that they create a European added value. In some caeses, ERA-NETs can be used to facilitate the establishment of a Joint Programme under Art. 185 TFEU or to support a Joint Programming Initiative.

Eligible Participants

The ERA-NET funding scheme is addressed to programme owners (e.g. ministries) and programme managers (funding bodies and agencies) that manage and implement national and regional research and innovation programmes.

Researchers, research organisations, universities and enterprises can apply to the ERA-NETs' joint calls. Potential applicants should contact the national funding organisation implementing the ERA-NET.


ERA-NET project consortia have to comprise three participants from at least three different EU Member States or to Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. In justified cases they can additionally include other legal entities (e.g. NGOs) which manage research and innovation programmes.

Sole legal entities might be eligible for participation if all general conditions are fulfilled and if the entity comprises different members.

All projects funded via the co-funded joint call for proposals have to be transnational (at least two participants from at least two different countries). Evaluation has to be carried out first on national, and then on international level by a peer-review. The ERA-NET project consortium has to identify joint evaluation criteria (excellence, impact, quality and efficiency of implementation).


All ERA-NET projects in Horizon 2020 include an obligatory joint call for proposals for transnational research and innovation projects. The beneficiaries award grants to third parties such as universities or private entities; however the funding organisations and programme owners may also implement research projects or parts of projects themselves.

Besides implementing a co-funded call for proposals, the ERA-NET consortia can carry out further activities by using other sources of funding or own resources.


Calls for the establishment of ERA-NETs are launched top-down within the Horizon 2020 pillars Societal Challenges and Industrial Leadership.

An ERA-NET can be funded by the European Commission for up to five years.

In order to launch an ERA-NET, all partners have to commit a financial contribution to a joint call. The sum provided for the call is "topped-up" by a Commission payment amounting to 33% of the national funding. ERA-NETs are implemented via "programme Cofund actions". Costs arising from the organisation and preparation of the "topped-up" joint call or costs occurred after the call are not eligible for further funding.

Eligible costs are STI costs incurred by the project which arises from the joint call. For each ERA-NET-Grant Agreement, only one joint call will be co-financed by the European Commission. Costs of coordinating further joint activities of the ERA-NET, such as additional joint calls without EU-top-up-funding, are also eligible. These costs will be reimbursed via unit costs. Beneficiaries which in the context of an ERA-NET implement transnational projects themselves, instead of awarding grants to other organisations via a call for proposal, cannot claim coordination costs for additional joint activities.

The Commission does not define the exact budget to be allocated to an ERA-NET. However, the thematic Work-Programmes set out the approximate amounts of the contributions.


European Research Area – Coordination of Research Programmes


2- Joint Programming Initiatives

Joint Programming Initiatives, on the other hand, were established with the aim to tackle grand societal challenges through more efficient use of resources, by the alignment of funding at national level and through decreasing fragmentation in the European Research Area.

Joint Programming Initiatives as well as Era-Nets have strong links to the EU-U.S. priority themes. Some of them work on programme level with their own joint research funding; others are geared towards coordination of existing efforts. They have in common that they use multi-disciplinary approaches, often combined with innovation aspects, addressing a specific thematic challenge for today’s science.

Along the thematic priorities identified within WP2 and WP3 but also in horizontal issues, BILAT USA 4.0 will seek to include the relevant initiatives in its actions, particularly those who already opened up towards cooperation beyond the ERA and with the USA.


Joint Programming, in its specific meaning of the Joint Programming Process launched in 2008 by a Communication of the Commission and subsequent Conclusions of the Council, is a research and innovation policy concept driven by societal challenges. Its aim is to tackle grand societal challenges through more efficient use of resources, by the alignment of funding at national level and through decreasing fragmentation in the European Research Area (ERA). It is a structured and strategic process whereby Member States agree, on a voluntary basis and in a partnership approach, on common visions and Strategic Research Agendas (SRA). On a variable geometry basis, Member States commit to Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) where they implement joint Strategic Research Agendas together. Ten Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) have been launched to date. They have established their own governance structures and have elaborated their SRAs, or are in the final stages of their preparation. The current challenge for the JPIs is the effective implementation of the SRAs through joint activities, and the alignment of funding at national and European level.


Joint Programming is one of the instruments for the implementation of the European Research Area (ERA). Member states cooperate on a voluntary basis in variable geometry and pool their resources in order to boost the efficiency of European research and lessen fragmentation.

The aim of Joint Programming is to develop transnational Strategic Research Agendas (SRA), deepen coordination between existing national programmes and to establish new joint funding programmes.

The Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) which are proposed by the EU Member States deal with European and international Grand Societal Challenges.


The High Level Group for Joint Programming (GPC) is a configuration of ERAC (European Research Area Committee) and acts as an advisory body to the Competitiveness Council. The GPC has identified the themes for the JPIs and develops Voluntary Guidelines on Framework Conditions, a set of non-binding common rules for all JPIs. The European Commission publishes its Recommendations for the JPIs and supports their establishment. The final launch of every JPI is decided on by the Competitiveness Council.

The budget for each JPI is primarily allocated by the participating member states. The European Commission supports the establishment of organizational structures of some JPIs by a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) in FP7.

The 10 Joint Programming Initiatives:


European Research Area – Coordination of Research Programmes

3- Article 185 Initiatives

A Article 185 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) [ex Article 169 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC)] enables the EU to participate in research programmes undertaken jointly by several Member States, including participation in the structures created for the execution of national programmes.

The actions supported may cover subjects not directly linked to the themes of the Framework Programme (FP), as far as they have a sufficient EU added value. They will also be used to enhance the complementarity and synergy between the FP and activities carried out under intergovernmental structures such as EUREKA and COST.

Article 185 Initiatives are:



III- S&T Implementing Arrangements between U.S. Government Entities and the European Commission


IV- S&T Agreements between EU and Member States/Associated Countries and U.S.