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Funding instruments

FP7 foresees a range of funding schemes:


  • Collaborative projects
    Collaborative projects are focused research projects with clearly defined scientific and technological objectives and specific expected results (such as developing new knowledge or technology to improve European competitiveness). They are carried out by consortia made up of participants from different countries, and from industry and academia.


  • Networks of Excellence
    The Networks of Excellence are designed for research institutions willing to combine and functionally integrate a substantial part of their activities and capacities in a given field, in order to create a European “virtual research centre” in this field. This is achieved through a “Joint Programme of Activities” based on the integrated and complementary use of resources from entire research units, departments, laboratories or large teams.


  • Co-ordination/support actions
    These are actions that cover not the research itself, but the coordination and networking of projects, programmes and policies. This includes, for example:
    • coordination and networking activities, dissemination and use of knowledge
    • studies or expert groups assisting the implementation of the Framework Programme
    • support for transnational access to major research infrastructures
    • actions to stimulate the participation of SMEs, civil society and their networks


  • Support for training and career development of researchers
    Training and career development for researchers from across the European Union and its research partners, through a range of support actions named after Marie Curie (People Programme: Marie Curie Actions).


  • Research for the benefit of specific groups - in particular SMEs
    Research and technological development projects where the bulk of the research is carried out by actors such as universities, research centres or other legal entities, for the benefit of specific groups, in particular SMEs, or for civil society organisations and their networks.


  • Individual projects
    Projects carried out by individual national or multinational research teams, led by a “principal investigator”, funded by the European Research Council (ERC).


  • Articles 169 and 171 of the EC Treaty
    For the coordination of EU, national and private funds to finance large scale initiatives and reduce fragmentation of research. They cannot be used by individual researchers but only on national or ministry level.