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Horizon 2020 is Open to the World

Horizon 2020 is Open to the World. This means that participants from all over the world - regardless of their place of establishment or residence - can participate in most of the calls of Horizon 2020. In many cases, the EU funds at least partly the participation of the international partners (see below).


In addition to this general openness of most Horizon 2020 calls to non-EU researchers, many calls particularly encourage cooperation with non-EU partners. All calls are published in “Work Programmes” and can be found in the

International Cooperation topic page on the Participant Portal.


Eligibility for funding


Therefore, researchers and innovators throughout the world can participate in Horizon 2020 projects - though they are not always eligible for H2020 funding. Regarding funding, we can distinguish between countries that are automatically eligible for funding and those that are not.


Note: Individual researchers from any country in the world seeking the opportunity to work in Europe for a certain period of their career can apply for funding through the European Research Council and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.


Countries automatically eligible for funding


•EU Member States


• Associated countries- they participate in Horizon 2020 under the same conditions as EU Member States. There are sixteen countries associated to Horizon 2020: Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Israel, Moldova, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Ukraine, Tunisia, Georgia, Armenia.

For the Euratom programme, associated countries are Switzerland and Ukraine.


• Developing countries– Researchers and innovators in some 130 developing countries are automatically eligible for funding. The full list of these countries is provided in Annex A of the Horizon 2020 Work Programmes. This rule does not apply to the Euratom programme.


Countries not automatically eligible for funding


•Industrialised countries and emerging economies- participants from these countries have themselves to determine the sources of funding and find the resources for their part of the action.

Applicants from industrialised and emerging economies can receive EU funding if:


- There is a bilateral scientific/technological agreement or similar arrangement between the EU and the country where the applicant is based, which explicitly provides for such funding.

- The call for proposals clearly states that applicants based in such countries are eligible for funding.




- Their participation is considered essential for carrying out the action on the grounds that participation by the applicant has clear benefits for the consortium, such as: outstanding competence/expertise, access to research infrastructure, access to particular geographical environments, access to data.


A number of these countries have made specific provisions for making national funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects:

  • Countries with jointly agreed co-funding mechanism covering most or all thematic areas: China, Hong Kong & Macao, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan
  • Countries with jointly agreed co-funding mechanism covering selected thematic areas: Australia, India, Japan
  • Countries with co-funding by a region: Brazil, Canada
  • Countries without jointly agreed co-funding mechanism: New Zealand, USA