Horizon 2020 Spotlight: Third country participation – Who can receive funding?

Horizon 2020 is open to participation from across the world, meaning that researchers from EU Member States and Associated Countries to work together with partners from third countries on any topic of their choice. This does, however, not automatically imply that entities from third countries are eligible for funding. In addition, in all of the relevant parts of Horizon 2020, topics have been flagged as being particularly suitable for international cooperation and consortia are encouraged to include third country partners.

EU’s  strategy differentiates between three country groupings:

• Industrialised and emerging economies (which will only receive funding under specific conditions);

• Enlargement and neighbourhood countries (eligible for automatic funding);

• Developing countries (eligible for automatic funding).

Many third countries neither being EU Member States nor Associated Countries, such as countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Mediterranean Partner Countries and Western Balkan Countries, are also automatically funded from the Horizon 2020 budget. A list of these countries can be found in the documents accompanying the application.

Under Horizon 2020, other than under FP7, not only industrialised countries (such as the United States, Canada or Japan), but also the BRICS countries (except for South Africa) and Mexico will no longer be funded from the EU budget. These countries are invited to participate in EU-projects with their own funding.

For exceptions to this rule, please refer to the rules for participation and the individual “topics” within the work programmes.

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