Successful research makes Europe a better place to live by improving healthcare, developing sustainable agriculture methods and creating innovative products and services.
Every year the EU supports more than 200,000 businesses through business loans, microfinance, guarantees and venture capital.
Accessing funding is an issue all small and medium businesses (SMEs) face during their development. Europe’s programme for SMEs, COSME, is designed to make it easier to access finance in all phases of business development, from creation to expansion.
Innovative Irish companies can also apply for EU funding and support for breakthrough projects with a market-creating potential under the EIC Accelerator (previously called the SME Instrument).
The EIC Accelerator allows Europe's brightest and boldest entrepreneurs to step forward and request funding for breakthrough ideas with the potential to create new markets or revolutionise existing ones.
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has a dedicated SME window offering up to a total of €5.5 billion of either funding resources or guarantee capacity.
Financing tools and advisory services for innovators are also provided by InnovFin, a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB) and EIF in cooperation with the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation.
Research funding plays a key role in innovating to achieve the European Commission's sustainability goals outlined in the Green Deal and the EU's digital transition.
Horizon 2020 is the main financial instrument that puts research investment at the heart of the EU’s drive for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs. Over 2,100 Irish organisations have been involved in Horizon 2020 projects, receiving over €880 million in EU funding. Irish SMEs have been granted over €215 million of this total.
The next EU research and innovation investment programme, Horizon Europe, should have a budget of around €100 billion.
As well as funding business-based research, the EU supports researchers at all stages of their careers and academic training. The Science Foundation Ireland is the national contact point for EU research funding and can help with the application processes.
Funding opportunities and guidelines
Information on the types of funding available, an overview of the main funding programmes and how EU funding is managed.
Useful information on eligibility, and the application and selection procedures for EU funding.
Find out who receives European Commission funding every year in Ireland and across the EU, including the amounts, purposes and locations of the recipients.
Find information on funding and tendering opportunities and find out how to participate.