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EU funding opportunities 2014-2020

  • By London Councils

All objectives and funding programmes for the period of 2014-2020 follow the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy.This summary will help boroughs identify EU funding opportunities suitable for their borough priorities. Any boroughs interested in participating in an EU project or who want further information should contact Kate Mouncher. A summary of the below information can be downloaded here.

  1. Horizon 2020
  2. Connecting Europe Facility
  3. European Regional Development Fund
  4. Interreg Europe
  5. Environment and Climate Action (LIFE)

Horizon 2020

Summary: Horizon 2020 is the European Programme for research and innovation for the funding period 2014-2020. It is part of the EU’s drive to create growth and new jobs in Europe. Horizon 2020 consists of three priorities, which are implemented through specific programmes and a dedicated financial contribution.

  • Excellent science: Promoting scientific excellence and the European research systems. The budget for the programme is €25 million.
  • Industrial leadership: Increasing and supporting competitiveness and European industrial leadership. The budget for the programme is €17 million
  • Societal challenges: Responding to the major societal challenges Europe is facing by helping to bridge the gap between research and the market. The budget for the programme is €30 million.

The programme to address societal challenges particularly supports the priorities of local authority partners. The programme covers a wide range of policy areas, including providing €30million to address major concerns such as climate change, developing sustainable transport and mobility, and making renewable energy more affordable. Funding rates vary from 75-100% depending on the project activity.

Further Information:

Connecting Europe Facility

Summary: The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) supports sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks and infrastructures in the sectors of transport, telecommunications and energy. The programme objective is to contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth within three thematic areas:

  • Energy: CEF aims to close financial gaps and to reduce bottlenecks in the energy infrastructure. The thematic priorities will be smart grids, intelligent, electricity highways and cross-border CO2 cooperation.
  • Transport: CEF supports projects pursuing the integration and interconnection of transport modes, sustainable and efficient transports services, and the construction of missing links and removal of bottlenecks.
  • Telecommunications: CEF will support projects that accelerate the deployment of fast and ultrafast broadband networks and that promote the interconnection and interoperability of national public service online as well as access to such networks.

The overall budget for the programme is €50 billion with €9.1 billion dedicated to energy infrastructure, €9.2 billion for broadband infrastructure and €31.7 billion for transport infrastructure.  The co-financing rate for grants for studies is up to 50% with grants for works varying between 20-75%.

Further Information:

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Summary: The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is one of three main funds that have been set up under EU regional policy.  The ERDF aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between member states. The ERDF supports projects covering a range of policy areas, including climate change and environment, energy and transport infrastructures, health, social inclusion and sustainable urban development. Projects under the ERDF will be concentrated on four thematic priorities: innovation and research, the digital agenda, support for SME’s and the low-carbon economy.

The programme will provide funds of £3.6 billion to support local growth across England, of which at least £605 million will support the shift to a low-carbon economy (energy efficiency and renewable energies). The percentage of funds dedicated to each sector depends on the economic development of regions. The maximum EU co-financing rate for more developed regions will be 50%.

Further Information:

Interreg Europe

Summary: The Interreg Europe programme aim is to improve the drafting and implementation of regional policies and programmes. The programme identifies four thematic objectives which are addressed in two supported actions. 

Specific objectives:

  • Strengthening research, technological development and innovation
  • Enhancing the competiveness of SMEs
  • Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors
  • Protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency.

Supported Actions:

  • Projects: the programme funds interregional cooperation projects which allow partners from the different EU Member States to work together on a shared regional policy issue under the four thematic objectives supported. By adopting successful approaches from other project partners, the regions involved in these projects should improve the way their programmes and policies are implemented.
  • Platforms: the programme provides assistance to all European regions through policy learning platforms covering the four thematic objectives. These platforms will offer services such as individual advice, peer reviews, thematic seminars and recommendations on the design and implementation of Structural and Investment Funds programmes.

The total budget for the programme is €359 million. For Interregional Cooperation Projects a budget of €322 million is available. The  co-financing rate for partners in the United Kingdom will be 75%. The Policy Learning Platforms will be financed at 100% with a budget of €15.3 million available.

Further Information:

Programme manual

Environment and Climate Action (LIFE)

Summary: The LIFE Programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. To reflect the importance of climate-related action, the LIFE Programme 2014-2020 includes a dedicated sub-programme for climate action. The LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Change 2014-2020 is divided into two sub-programmes:

  1. LIFE Environment: The Environment sub-programme of LIFE 2014-2020 is the main EU funding mechanism for projects in the area of the environment. The sub-programme focuses on the priority areas of environment and resource efficiency, nature and biodiversity and environmental governance and information.The programme focuses on three priority areas:
  • Environment and Resource Efficiency
  • Nature & Biodiversity
  • Environment Governance & Information 
  1. LIFE Climate Action: Supports public authorities in implementing low-carbon and adaptation technologies and new innovative methods and approaches responding to the challenges of climate change in Europe.  The Climate Action sub-programme will provide €864 million in co-financing for climate projects. The programme focuses on three priority areas:
  • Mitigation: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in key sectors.
  • Adaptation: Increasing resilience to climate change with a particular focus on urban adaptation
  • Governance and information: Enhancing climate governance and capacity-building, increasing awareness, communication, cooperation and dissemination of information on mitigation and adaptation actions.

There is a proposed allocation of €3.4 million for the LIFE Programme over the period 2014-2020. This will be divided as follows:

  • Environment - €2.6 million
  • Climate Action - €900 million

Funding rates vary from 55-100% depending on the project activity.

Further Information:

Programme Homepage