EUROPEAN Funding Programmes

Over the last 10 years Waterford Institute of Technology has successfully attracted over €135m in research funding from various sources. Researchers at WIT have obtained funding from the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) cycles 3, 4 and 5; Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Frontiers Programme and Principal Investigator Programme, and various European funding programmes including eTEN and InterReg. WIT has also been successful in the European Framework Programme (FP), having obtained funding in FP4, FP5, FP6, FP7 and most recently Horizon 2020.

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 provides grants to research and innovation projects through open and competitive calls for proposals. Horizon 2020 employs different forms of funding – some of them targeted specifically for companies, researchers, research organisations, public sector or funding bodies; whereas others specifically call for a multidisciplinary approach of multi-stakeholders

The programme consists of three main research areas that are called “pillars”: The first pillar, “Excellent Science”, focuses on basic science. The second pillar is “Industrial Leadership”. The third pillar funds potential solutions to social and economic problems, “Societal challenges”.

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 Research Funding Instruments

Research and Innovation Actions (RIA):Funding available for collaborative research projects tackling clearly defined challenges which can lead to the development of new knowledge or new technology.

  • Consortia of partners from different countries, industry and academia. Min. 3 legal entities established in 3 Member States or Associated Countries.

Innovation Actions (IA): Funding available for closer-to-the-market activities including prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, scaling-up etc. for new or improved products, processes or services.

  • Consortia of partners from different countries, industry and academia. Min. 3 legal entities established in 3 Member States or Associated Countries.

Coordination and Support Action (CSA): Funding available for actions consisting primarily of accompanying measures, such as the coordination and networking of research and innovation projects, programmes and policies (e.g. training, dissemination, exploitation, standardization, policy dialogues, etc.). Funding for research and innovation per se not covered.

  • Single entities or consortia of partners from different countries, industry and academia. Min. 1 legal entity established in 1 Member State or Associated Country.

Frontier Research Grants – European Research Council (ERC): Funding available for projects in any field of research, carried out by a single national or multinational research team led by a Principal Investigator (PI). Sole evaluation criterion is scientific excellence.

  • Excellent young, early-career researchers, already independent researchers and senior research leaders, of any nationality. 1 legal entity established in 1 Member State or Associated Country.

Training and career development – Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA): Funding available for research training and career development, international and intersectoral mobility, partnerships between academic and non-academic organisations, doctoral programmes, staff exchanges and outreach activities.

  • Early stage or experienced researchers of any nationality, technical staff, national/regional research mobility programmes. Depending on the action, different eligibility rules apply.

Fast Track to Innovation (FTI): Continuously open, innovator-driven calls will target innovation projects addressing any technology or societal challenge field.

  • Industry, including SMEs, with a minimum of three and maximum of five partners and a maximum EU contribution of € 3 million per project.

SME Instrument: This instrument is aimed at highly innovative SMEs with the ambition to develop their growth potential. It offers lump sums for feasibility studies, grants for an innovation project’s main phase (demonstration, prototyping, testing, application development…); lastly, the commercialisation phase is supported indirectly through facilitated access to debt and equity financial instruments.

  • Only SMEs can participate. Either a single SME or a consortium of SMEs established in an EU or Associated Country.

H2020 resources


InterregEuropean Territorial Cooperation (ETC), better known as Interreg,  consists of a suite of funding programmes for the implementation of joint actions and policy exchanges between national, regional and local actors from different Member States. Interreg is a series of five programmes to stimulate cooperation between regions in the European Union, funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Interreg is built around three strands of cooperation: cross-border (Interreg A), transnational (Interreg B) and interregional (Interreg C).

The Interreg initiative is designed to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion throughout the European Union, by fostering the balanced development of the continent through cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation.

While each specific geographic Interreg programme has specific priorities, in general terms typical projects usually involve a consortia of multidisciplinary partners developing projects related to regional innovation, climate, natural resources and enterprise development

INTERREG resources

Interreg Ireland Wales

Interreg NEW:

Atlantic area

COST Actions

COST Actions are a flexible, fast, effective and efficient networking instrument for researchers, engineers and scholars to cooperate and coordinate nationally funded research activities. COST Actions allow European researchers to jointly develop their own ideas in any science and technology field.

COSTCOST Actions are bottom-up science and technology networks, open to researchers and stakeholders with a duration of four years. They are active through a range of networking tools, such as workshops, conferences, training schools, short-term scientific missions (STSMs), and dissemination activities. COST does not fund research itself. COST Actions can also pave the way to or establish synergies with EU-funded research projects. Moreover, collaboration within research projects can also lead to new Actions, thus enhancing the networking potential of such consortia.

COST resources