Other European initiatives

The role of the CSIC in the articulation of the European Research Area is expressed not only through participation in regular calls for Horizon 2020, but also through participation in other community calls, financed through the Framework Program or other Programs, which due to their strategic relevance to the CSIC deserve special mention.

With these initiatives, the European Commission pursues diverse objectives such as: aligning the scientific policies and strategic agendas of the countries; achieve a level of innovation comparable to international powers; create an inter-sectorial scientific research space, in which the industry is especially involved; and cover or emphasize topics not included in H2020 Work Programs.

CSICs researchers intervening in these opportunities at European level strengthen their transnational collaborations and achieve a greater impact and interdisciplinarity of their work. They lead and contribute in projects that, from the origins of the European Union, have been financed to implement key European policies at the industrial, environmental, regional and cohesion.

Cooperación y recursos internacionales


The Future and Emerging Technologies Flagships (FET Flagships) are initiatives that address scientific and technological challenges of an interdisciplinary nature on a large scale.

CSIC participates, to different degrees, in the two emblematic initiatives that have been running since 2013: Graphene and Human Brain Project (HBP). It is also participating in the definition of the new initiative that will begin in 2019, Quantum Flagship.


The KICs (Knowledge and Innovation Communities) are the instrument of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT, European Institute of Innovation & Technology), created by the European Commission to encourage the development of innovative projects. They are formed as public-private consortiums of European research centers, companies and universities with the aim of transforming ideas and knowledge into new products and services with economic and social impact.

The CSIC is currently part of the KIC FOOD and KIC Raw Materials as a full member and can enjoy access to unlimited funding.




The main objective of this consortium is to develop pioneering initiatives of innovation and education to promote the construction of sustainable food supply chains in which the consumer will have a leading role.




The objective of this consortium is to promote the competitiveness, growth and attractiveness of the metal and mineral raw materials sector in Europe through energetic support for innovation and entrepreneurship.

CSIC through its participation in KICs projects tries to accelerate innovation and help create environments where innovation is more likely to prosper and generate progress. From idea to product and service, from student and researcher to entrepreneur, from laboratory to market, which causes a change towards a more innovative and entrepreneurial mentality in Europe.


Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) defined in Article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, are public-private partnerships involving the industry, the scientific community and public authorities to pursue ambitious common research objectives.

JTIs are led by the industry and group interested entities in a specific sector that contribute to the definition of a Strategic Research Agenda on specific priority issues of great social relevance.

Thanks to its participation in these initiatives CSIC addresses strategic technologies that support growth and employment in sectors in which the European Union is competitive on a global scale.

Currently CSIC participates in:

  • Bio-Based Industries: Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology
  • IMI 2: innovative medicines
  • ECSEL: embedded computer systems and nanotechnology
  • Clean Sky 2: aeronautics and air transport
  • Sesar 2: European air traffic management
  • FCH 2: hydrogen and fuel cells



Through the COST Program, acronym for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, collaborative networks are established and funded among researchers dedicated to strengthening scientific and technical research in Europe

The organization of scientific meetings, workshops and seminars, scientific missions of short duration, training courses, scientific conferences and dissemination activities around a theme make up the so-called COST Actions.

These networks are formed with a minimum of seven participants from different countries at the initiative of the researchers themselves, without the existence of previously defined thematic priorities that last for four years. Spain is one of the most active countries in COST, occupying third place in the ranking of countries with the highest number of participation.

Numerous CSIC researchers together with researchers from other organizations, universities, technology centers and companies, through these actions are getting to make more effective use of the knowledge produced, scientific equipment, identifying new frontiers of knowledge and preparing the next generations of European scientists.


The Research Fund for Coal & Steel (RFCS) is the program that finances innovative collaborative R&D&I projects based on improving the safety, efficiency and competitiveness of the European coal and steel industries.

It was created in 2002 to support the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in order to improve the economic growth of Member States, while promoting synergy and complementarity between the various European initiatives and financial instruments for research and innovation.

This program is managed by the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the EC, with the assistance of the Coal and Steel Committee (COSCO), the Coal Advisory Group (CAG), the Steel Advisory Group (SAG) and the groups Coal and Steel Technicians (TG). Due to its importance, it is considered one of the Key Enabling Technologies (KET) of the European Commission and is currently complementary to Horizon 2020.

RFCS activities focus on the coal and steel sectors, covering production processes; application, utilization and conversion of resources; new products and applications, quality control; safety at work; environmental protection by reducing CO2 emissions and steel production.

CSIC has extensive participation in this program, cooperating in international consortiums with universities, research centers and companies to develop innovative projects in this field.


ERA-NETs are European networks of public bodies dedicated to financing R&D at the national and regional level, which have the support of the European Commission.

In the framework of the ERA-NET plan, national and regional authorities identify the research programs they wish to coordinate among themselves. The participants in these actions are the ministries or regional authorities that define research programs or program managers such as research councils and other research funding bodies that manage R&D programs.

Two phases come into play in the scheme of the ERA-NETs:

1. Transnational phase. The proposal will be sent in compliance with the national requirements established in the applicant's guides through the web page of the ERANET in particular. Once the list of projects to be financed has been published, the following phase will take place.

2. National phase. Funding will be requested from the national Financing Agency in question. Among them are the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, the Instituto de Salud Carlos III or other regional entities.

CSIC has an active participation in the ERANETs, in a wide variety of research lines: agriculture, energy, materials, health, biology, among others. This translates into the formation of European consortiums of high quality and success, which leads to establishing strong collaborative links for future European research projects.


EURATOM is the energy research programme of the European Union, which has its origin in the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (1957).

EURATOM promotes, with the support of the Joint Research Center, nuclear research, innovation and market incorporation actions linked to the fundamental priorities identified in the Energy Union Strategy.

It is a complementary program to Horizon 2020, whose main objective is to carry out research and nuclear training activities, with emphasis on the continuous improvement of nuclear safety and radiological protection.

Another of its peculiarities is that it is especially aimed at increasing the well-being of EU citizens, contributing to the development of a safe, efficient and low-carbon energy system, as well as addressing other useful applications of nuclear research in the medical and industrial sectors.

Since the Fifth Framework Program (FP5) CSIC researchers actively participate in this initiative, addressing the strategic priorities of European energy policies, through close collaboration with government, research and industry entities, in international consortiums of a multidisciplinary nature.


The European Territorial Cooperation, better known as the INTERREG program, provides the framework for the implementation of joint actions and exchange of policies between national, regional and local actors of the different Member States, in line with the objectives of cohesion policies of the European Union.

The Program is constituted by cross-border cooperation (Interreg A), transnational (Interreg B) and interregional (Interreg C), whose main objective is to promote economic, social and territorial development.

With more than twenty-five years of experience, the program has evolved and gained weight progressively until becoming a key to achieving a more innovative, sustainable and inclusive European territory.

INTERREG projects are carried out around eleven thematic objectives that include the strengthening of research, technological development and innovation; support for the transition towards a low-carbon economy, the promotion of adaptation to climate change, risk management and prevention; and the preservation and protection of the environment and the promotion of the efficiency of resources.

CSIC´s contribution to these priorities is growing and gaining relevance in the last periods of funding of the INTERREG program. CSIC researchers have led and participated in some fifty projects since 2007. Today it is one of the most popular programs.

The role of CSIC is especially noteworthy in POCTEP, focused on cooperation between Spain and Portugal; SUDOE, dedicated to Southwest Europe; MED, between the countries of the north coast of the Mediterranean; POCTEFA, for collaboration between regions around the Pyrenees and ATLÁNTICO Space for European regions bathed by the Atlantic.



LIFE program is the only financial instrument of the European Union dedicated exclusively to the environment. It started in 1992 and to date more than four thousand different types of actions related to nature conservation, sustainable development and climate change have been approved.

The European Commission manages the program through the General Directorate for Environment, Climate and the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME), through annual calls open to the participation of public bodies, private entities and NGOs.

Traditional LIFE projects face, from the point of view of pilot activities, demonstration, good practices and information, awareness and dissemination, the thematic priorities defined around the Environment and efficiency in the use of resources, Nature and Biodiversity, Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change and Governance and Information.

Problems of water management, land use, air quality, waste treatment, environmental pollution impact or energy efficiency of industrial processes, among others, are addressed by numerous CSIC research groups in the tasks undertaken with LIFE projects. More than fifty projects in the last ten years, around 25% of them coordinated, with which it is achieving a great media impact and recognition, including being awarded the prize of the best projects of the program.

CSIC researchers, together with industrial and primary sector collaborators, form high quality and successful consortiums of multidisciplinary entities, carrying out projects of between three and four years, which have helped to position Spain as the leading country in the program in number of projects and reception of funds several years.


Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area is the most ambitious joint programme to be undertaken in the frame of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.

PRIMA consists of European Union Member States, Horizon 2020 Associated Countries and Mediterranean Partner Countries on an equal footing basis (co-ownership, co-management and co-funding) with the Participation of the European Commission, under the framework of an art.185 TFEU.

The partnership will be financed through a combination of funding from PRIMA Participating States (currently €274 million), and a €220 million contribution from the EU through Horizon 2020, its research and innovation funding programme (2014 – 2020)



CSIC partcipate in other European R&D&I programs in a more minority way in terms of number of participations, but relevance due to its subject matter and objectives. These initiatives are promoted by the different Directorates General of the European Commission, such as the Environment Department (ENVIR) or the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), or by specific European Institutions, such as the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) or Executive Agency for Education, Audiovisual and Culture (EACEA).

Programs as varied as the ERASMUS+, the European Civil Protection Mechanism or the Mediterranean Sea Basin Program (ENPI) are part of the opportunities that CSIC staff uses to develop their lines of work, encourage collaborative and interdisciplinary work, participate in training scientific education of young people and complement their activities from different approaches.