Synergies between Horizon 2020 and European Structural and Investment Funds: Not yet used to full potential

Author (Corporate)
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Series Details 23/2022, Number 23
Publication Date November 2022
ISBN 978-92-847-8937-5
ISSN 1977-5679
EC QJ-AB-22-021-EN-N
Content Type


According to the 2014-2020 legal frameworks of the main EU programmes supporting research and innovation (Horizon 2020 and the European Structural and Investments Funds), the Commission and national authorities are legally required to establish synergies between them.

We assessed the degree of implementation of four types of synergies and concluded that it varied by type. In particular, while measures to create upstream synergies (e.g. support for research centres) were well implemented, measures to create downstream synergies (e.g. funding the exploitation of research results) were hardly implemented.

Differences in the legal frameworks, limited cooperation between the programmes’ research and innovation stakeholders and the absence of interoperability between their projects’ databases limited the scope for creating synergies. We make recommendations to address these issues to increase the use of synergies.

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European Court of Auditors (ECA): Special report 23/2022: Synergies between Horizon 2020 and European Structural and Investment Funds - Not yet used to full potential

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