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EU publications

Current and historical documentation and publications on the European Commission’s Space Policy at

Practical guide to EU funding opportunities for research and innovation

• Are you a researcher with an idea for a research or innovation project?
• Do you need to upgrade the skills or the capacity of your research organisation?
• Are you an entrepreneur who would like to undertake research and innovation activities?
• Are you already engaged in commercial innovation activities whether or not arising from
research and development?
• Are you a cluster manager who seeks to internationalise a cluster and make it more
• Are you a regional innovation policy-maker, information officer or research programme
manager and want to exchange good practices with your peers from other EU Member
There may well be funding opportunities available at EU level that can help you implement your plans. The objective of this guide is to explain how to get to relevant information on funding opportunities (“getting through the maze”) and make the best use of the possibilities offered by individual instruments or their combination.


Council Resolution Taking forward the European Space Policy
Brussels, 26 September 2008



Following the adoption of the Space Council Resolution in May 2007, this Report provides an overview on the main progress achieved in the first year of the implementation of the European Space Policy (ESP), as elaborated jointly by the European Commission and the Director General of the European Space Agency (COM212). The need to establish a European Space Policy has also been endorsed by EU Heads of State and Government. The Member States of the EU and ESA highlighted that the further implementation of the GALILEO and GMES programmes, the development of a Strategy on International Relations in Space and the need to develop adequate instruments and funding schemes for Community actions in the space domain should be first priorities, followed by improved coordination and synergies between defence and civilian space programmes and technologies, in a user-driven approach. This report describes both the important steps forward made since May 2007 and the further actions which are priorities in the coming period.


EU-ESA Framework agreement

COUNCIL DECISION of on the signing of the Framework Agreement between the European Community and the European Space Agency



‘‘In the middle of the 20th century, we saw our planet from space for the first time. Historians may eventually find that this vision had a greater impact on thought than did the Copernican revolution of the 16th century, which upset the human self-image by revealing that the Earth is not the centre of the Universe. From Space, we see a small and fragile ball dominated not by human activity and edifice but by a pattern of clouds, oceans, greenery and soils’‘. Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, UN 1987


EU Research for the Environment 2007-2013

This brochure summaries environmental research funded by the European Union and is divided in two parts. The first provides the context of environmental research – the historical roots and the political framework as well as an introduction to environmental research in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), under the theme “Environment (including climate change)”, an ambitious research programme. The second part gives an overview of the ten research priorities within the “Environment (including climate change)” research theme, and highlights some of the most successful projects in environmental research.

PDF [6.9 Mb]

The Role of Science and Technology in GEOSS

This document describes the role of science and technology in advancing the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) through the Group on Earth Observations’ (GEO) 2007-2009 Work Plan. The Science and Technology Committee is working to strengthen this role by encouraging the wider scientific and technology community to participate as contributors to and benefactors of a sustained GEOSS.

PDF [1.4 Mb]

SMEs keep local -go international. Opportunities for transnational research

The first source of funding for transnational research projects is offered through the Community Seventh Framework Programme for research (FP7). New additional opportunities are now being developed through the coordination of national and regional funding programmes, with the support of FP7 funding. This will mutually reinforce these Programmes and help SMEs to access transnational research via their established national and regional partner agencies. Some of the most important initiatives are presented in this publication.


Research for SMEs and Research for SME Associations at a glance

These are two dedicated initiatives to strengthen the innovation capacities of SMEs by providing the support they need to outsource research critical to their core business. This brochure conveniently spells out how these initiatives are designed and explains in plain terms how the funding model works in practice. If you are an SME, this publication will aid you in your proposal preparation as you submit your application for funding. In addition to this guide, the European Commission’s SME TechWeb hosts a user friendly spreadsheet that instantly calculates the EC’s estimated contribution to your project.


SMEs in FP7: A Hands-on Guide

FP7 provides financial support for transnational research for and by SMEs wishing to innovate and improve their competitiveness, by enhancing their investment in research activities to acquire new knowledge for growth in Europe’s knowledge-based economy. Four specific Programmes comprise the major building blocks of FP7, three of which have direct relevance for SMEs. These are: the Cooperation Programme which will promote collaborative research; the People Programme which will develop human potential; and the Capacities Programme which will strengthen research capacity. This publication is designed as a step-by-step guide showing SMEs exactly where and how they can obtain funding to help their businesses grow.


Supporting SME – Participation in Research Framework Programmes

While the architects of the EU´s Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) were firmly committed to large-scale research collaboration as the means to achieve breakthrough results, they also retained a strong awareness of the need to support the involvement of SMEs. As well as allocating substantial funds for SME-specific measures, the European Commission made a considerable effort to encourage across-the-board participation of the smaller enterprises that are seen as dynamic drivers of competitiveness and job creation in Europe. Despite this, some problems still remained unresolved. These were addressed by special actions introduced during the lifetime of FP6, resulting in an increase in SME requests for funding. The experience gained offered some useful lessons, which have been applied to good effect in making FP7 even more SME friendly.


Special FP7 edition

Special feature under Enterprise on SMEs in European funded projects see “Right on track” and “Oceans: the final frontier”


SineQuaNet project

The SineQuaNet project, through the combined efforts of ESA (European Space Agency) and the European Commission, specifically addresses often prohibitive factors that discourage SMEs’ full participation in the space sector. It connects engineering firms with the necessary experts who can help them succeed in tapping the potential of the space sector.


Research for SMEs scheme

FP7 provides financial support to innovative SMEs investing in the acquisition of new knowledge from RTD providers to improve their competitiveness.