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Multinational Agreements: International Frameworks in Europe for R&D and Innovation Cooperation

EU Framework Programs for Research and Innovation

The Framework Programs for Research and Innovation of the European Union are the world's largest platform for international R&D cooperation between entities from the realms of commerce, industry, academic research and public entities. These programs are renewed every few years. The current program “Horizon 2020” began in 2014 and will end in 2020. The multi-year budget of “Horizon 2020” stands at approximately 77 billion Euros, of which Israel will contribute about 1 billion Euros over the seven years of program operation. It provides direct funding for the establishment of a consortium between several partners for R&D and innovation activities in industry, academia, research institutes, public and private organizations, and others. In addition, the program operates two subprograms designed for a single applicant: ERC (European Research Council) for outstanding scientists in groundbreaking research; and SME Instrument for small and medium-size companies.

ISERD is the Israeli R&D Directorate responsible for the integration of Israel in the European Research Area (ERA). ISERD promotes Israeli participation in the European Framework Programs and supports the creation of partnerships between Israeli and European entities.

Goal of the incentive program:
To provide Israeli entities with an opportunity for strategic integration in R&D, innovation and marketing frameworks in Europe. The program expands the areas of activity of the participating entities and contributes to their positioning at the forefront of global technology.

Who is the program for?
Any company or legal entity that would benefit from cooperation in European research and development. The program is suitable for companies, startups, corporations, academic and research institutions, government agencies, hospitals, municipalities, non-profit organizations and more.

What do you get?

  • A grant to carry out the project, without giving up the rights to its intellectual property.
  • A possibility to realize large scale and costly projects.
  • Administrative support through the entire application process.
  • Exemption from paying royalties as repayment for grant funds.
  • Access to subsidized loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
  • Access to knowledge generated by the project.
  • Involvement in setting international standards.
  • Dialogue with European R&D policy makers.
  • Exposure to innovative technologies.
  • Establishment and deepening of cooperation with EU research groups.
  • Creation of a business network that extends access to European markets.
  • Deepening of knowledge and business intelligence on customers, suppliers and competitors.
  • Designated support program for small and medium-size enterprises.

How to apply?

  1. The application for participation in this program is carried out according to the requirements detailed in the calls for proposals published on the ISERD website. In most cases, submitting a proposal to finance research requires the establishment of a consortium.
  2. Application may be submitted following a publication of a call for proposals and until its closing date via an online application system of the European Union.
  3. After submitting the application, the proposals are examined by an international committee of experts in the field in question, appointed by the EU Commission.
  4. At the end of the evaluation process, a grant agreement is signed between all the members of the consortium and the EU Commission.

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Programs Jointly Funded by “Horizon 2020” and the Authority

ECSEL: The Electronics Components and Systems for European Leadership program offers a partial financing of R&D activities in the fields of health, energy, transport, environment, manufacturing, cyber, and society, as well as systems in the fields of electronics components, nano-electronics, embedded systems, smart devices and more. The program incorporates joint funding from industry, the European Union (as part of the “Horizon 2020” program), national funds and supplementary funding of the applicants. Public funding is provided for research and innovation projects or the establishment of a manufacturing pilot as a consortium (of at least three countries), based on an accepted research proposal in the call for proposals that is published on a yearly basis. The consortiums in this program are relatively large (six partners and more) and the application is relatively complex, because two budgets are to be submitted (for the EU and for the National Funding) as part of the proposal for the EU.

EUREKA: This program is one of the largest industrial R&D cooperation programs in Europe, incorporating 40 member countries, including Israel and the European Union itself. The program promotes joint R&D and innovation projects with the assistance of national programs supporting R&D in the participating countries. As a result, the program offers access to all types of government funding in Europe that support industrial R&D, and serves as a platform for business exposure in the European market. The Authority is working to expand Israel's participation in the various frameworks of the program, which is intended for all entities entitled to the Authority’s funding.

The program aims to build international synergies and to promote international cooperation, to enable production in Israel or in the partnering country, and to allow entrepreneurs to penetrate target markets.

Eurostars: The Eurostars program offers financing for bi-national and multinational projects operated by the EUREKA network. The participating countries annually allocate funding for requests made under this program. The program focuses on SMEs: the main applicant must be a small or medium-sized company, and at least 50% of the budget request must be allocated for this company. Eurostars has two deadlines a year, usually in February-March and September. The examination of applications is carried out by a committee in Brussels, and the selected proposals are brought to the national financial authorities of the relevant countries.


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