Other European Funding

In addition to the mainstream Structural Fund Programmes, the European Commission presents many more funding opportunities for the voluntary sector. Calls for tenders, proposals and expressions of interest are announced thematically through each department or Directorates-General and are updated frequently. It is therefore recommended that you consult the following links.

The link below will direct you to the European Union’s Grants and Loans site, detailing a list of Directorates-General which operate funding programmes, a useful thematic index, individual programme overviews and further links. 
European Commission

The following link will allow you to view the latest news and updates from each Directorates-General of the European Commission.

Useful Documents

Funding Guide

Framework 7
The structural funds are not the only source of European money available to the voluntary and community sector. Whilst not directly supporting areas where the sector is traditionally strong the Framework Programme (FP) is the European Union's offers us some possibilities. FP is the main instrument for funding research and technological development (RTD). In line with the structural funds, the latest Framework Programme (FP7) will take over from the current programme (FP6) on 1 January 2007 and will run for seven years running from 2007 to 2013.

Briefly, FP7 will be based around the following four main programmes:


Collaborative transnational research activities
The objective of the specific programme on Cooperation is to support the whole range of research activities carried out in transnational cooperation, from collaborative projects and networks to the coordination of research programmes. International cooperation between the EUi and third countries is also included . It is designed for Europe to gain leadership in key scientific and technological areas. To this end, it will support cooperation between universities, industry, research centres and public authorities throughout the EU and beyond.

With a budget of over EUR 44 billion, the Cooperation programme will support research cooperation in nine research themes, (see later) each of which will be operationally autonomous. However, the coherence and consistence of all measures across the thematic areas will be maintained. Joint approaches to research areas of common interest, with participation from two or more of the thematic areas, will also be possible.


Basic research implemented though the European Research Council
The objective of the 'Ideas' programme proposed for FP7 is to enhance the dynamism, creativity and excellence of European research at the frontier of knowledge. This is to be done by supporting 'investigator-driven' research projects carried out across all fields or research by individual teams in competition at the European level. Projects will be funded on the basis of proposals presented by researchers on subjects of their choice and evaluated on the sole criterion of scientific excellence as judged by peer review. The Ideas programme will thus become a trans-European mechanism to support creative scientific research designed to generate completely new knowledge opening up new venues for technological progress and new solutions for social and environmental problems.


Human potential and science careers
Highly trained, qualified researchers are needed to advance science and underpin innovation, and to attract and sustain public and private investment in research. With growing global competition, the development of an open European labour market for researchers and the diversification of skills and career paths of researchers are crucial, and mobility, both transnational and inter-sectoral, is a key component of the European Research Area.

Europe already has a very high level of human resources in R&D, but continued supportive action is necessary in order to maintain this competitive advantage. FP7’s Specific Programme on 'People' aims to improve the quality of the human potential in the European R&D and technology sector while at the same time increasing the number of researchers and other people working in the RTD sector.


Development of research infrastructures and support to regional clusters, SMEs and international cooperation
The Capacities programme proposed for FP7 aims to enhance research and innovation capacities throughout Europe and to ensure their optimal use. Within the strategic approach of the Capacities programme, support will be available for new research infrastructures as well as for measures intended to ensure the optimal use of existing research infrastructures. The Capacities programme will operate in six broad areas:

  • Research infrastructures
  • Research for the benefit of SMEs
  • Regions of knowledge and support for regional research-driven clusters
  • Research potential of Convergence Regions
  • Science in society
  • International co-operation

This specific programme also aims to support the coherent development of policies, complementing the Co-operation programme, and contributing to Community policies and initiatives to improve the coherence and impact of Member States policies. Synergies with regional and cohesion policies, the Structural Fundsi, education and training programmes and the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme will also be sought. Activities carried out in this context include:

  • Monitoring and analysis of research related public policies and industrial strategies
  • Coordination of research policies, including trans-national cooperation initiatives

FP7 Thematic Areas
The FP7 programme is likely to include the following thematic areas which could be of interest to voluntary and community sector organisations:

Health covers the following areas:

  • Biotechnology, generic tools and technologies for human health
  • Translating research for human health
  • Optimising the delivery of healthcare to European citizens

Information and Communication Technologies
The ICTi thematic area will seek to improve the competitiveness of European industry and enable Europe to master and shape the future developments of ICTs so that the demands of its society and economy are met. This thematic area is likely to be structured around:

  • ICT Technology Pillars
  • Integration of Technologies
  • Applications Research
  • Future and Emerging Technologies

Socio-Economic Sciences and the Humanities
Socio-Economic Sciences and the Humanities covers the following areas:

  • Growth, employment and competitiveness in a knowledge society
  • Combining economic, social and environmental objectives in a European perspective
  • Major trends in society and their implications
  • Europe in the world
  • The citizen in the European Union
  • Socio-economic and scientific indicators
  • Foresight activities

Financial Contributions
The European Community financial contribution could be a maximum of 50% of eligible costs minus receipts for both research and demonstration activities (the current rate for FP6 is 35%). For SME’s, public bodies, secondary and higher education institutions and non-profit research organisations there would be a top up of a maximum of 25% for research activities.

Frontier research actions funded through the European Research Council would be reimbursed at 100% for all bodies. All other activities, including those relating to co-ordination and support actions, and actions for the training and career development of researchers, can be reimbursed at up to 100%.For more information please go to:

European Research Council