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Within Horizon 2020, Collaborative Projects are, by far, the largest programme area, with a total budget of 50 billion euros in the period 2014-2020. There are three kinds of Collaborative Projects and each of them is designed for a different purpose. They are Research and Innovation Actions (RIA), Innovation Actions (IA), and Coordination and Support Actions (CSA).

Horizon 2020’s Collaborative Projects have the aim of helping entities to develop and commercialize their new products and services together with European partners, while also allowing participants to link up with the leading knowledge networks in their industries.

  • Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) provide funding for research projects that tackle clearly defined challenges, which can lead to the development of new knowledge or a new technology.
  • In Innovation Actions (IA), funding is more focused on closer-to-the-market activities, such as prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, scaling-up… if they aim at producing new or improved products or services.
  • Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) offer accompanying measures to support Research and Innovation (no research is involved). Activities may involve standardisation, dissemination, awareness-raising and communication, networking, coordination or support services, policy dialogues and mutual learning exercises and studies.

Minimum requirements to apply for these types of funding include two main considerations:

  • The applicant must be a Consortium made up of, at least, three independent legal entities from three different EU Member States or Horizon 2020 associated countries.
  • Proposals have to provide a competitive solution to the specific challenges stated on the topics compiled in the Work Programme.

But, what is a Work Programme and how do I fit my project in it? Work Programmes are prepared by the European Commission within the framework of Horizon 2020, where funding opportunities are stated according to strategic programming processes integrating EU policy objectives. (You can check the 2018-2020 Work Programmes here)

Work Programmes are divided by Calls (such as Sustainable Food Security -SFS-  or Blue Growth -BG-) and into Topics. Each topic states the type of action (IA, RIA, CSA) and the specific requirements (“Conditions for the call”) needed to apply.

In terms of funding, non-profit entities will get a funding rate of 100% in both, RIAs and IAs, while for-profit entities will receive 100% in RIAs and 70% in IAs. In CSAs, funding rates are 100% for all entities.

If you have an idea for a collaborative project, it is time to take a look at the last chances of getting it funded under Horizon 2020, which you can find in 2020’s Work Programme.

If you want to check the guidelines for proposal preparation you can click here for RIAs and IAs and here, for CSAs, to download the latest templates.


In Innovarum, we are experts in industrial innovation and Horizon 2020 programmes. If you are thinking of preparing a collaborative project proposal and you need a team that will help you through the process, do not hesitate to contact us!



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