Thinking of having a US research partner on a Horizon project in 2017? Important development: The US-EU Implementing Arrangement

What is it?

The EU and the US signed an arrangement on the 17th of October 2016, with the aim of enabling productive collaboration between US research institutes and Horizon 2020 participants. The agreement makes it easier for researchers on both sides of the Atlantic to work together to address common challenges.

  • Under the arrangement the US occupies a new status of ‘research partner.’
  • This arrangement addresses many of the major concerns with Horizon 2020 that U.S. institutions had raised with the US Government.

Other paths for cooperation include:

  • Taking part in Horizon as a funded participant, with a grant agreement
  • Twinning of individual projects
  • Coordinated calls and Joint calls
  • Fellowship and grant for Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions and ERC.

How it works:

  • Two pillared approach and gives power to research institutions to determine the appropriate framework for cooperation. US partners are considered equal partners with, but not in, Horizon consortia.
  • There is no limit on the US partners contributions to the project, the EU partners can describe in as much or little detail as they like the contribution, but must mention that the US partner will not sign the grant agreement.
  • The US partner does not need to register on the participant portal either, or provide their financial information to the Commission.
  • The US participants are not required to sign a grant agreement with the consortium.
  • The partners only have to fill out the bureaucratic requirements of their respective programmes, so extra administration is not envisaged.

Recognition for contributions to research:

  • This is to be decided by the research partners themselves, in accordance with the applicable policies, rules and regulations of the respective funding programmes. This is the same for authorship of any papers as well.
  • The cost shares and services provided by the US research partner will be shown in the grant itself.
  • Common understanding in respect of intellectual property, data access/ dissemination and other matters essential to collaboration governance.
  • Funding of collaborative activities by either side does not depend on a successful application on the other side. The partners are entirely outside the consortium and do not affect each other’s application, besides the fact they need to be mentioned.
  • This is unless there are essential gaps in what the proposal describes, for example a facility or novel process that can only be done by a partner in the U.S. with specific resources or expertise.
  • Those can be filled by the non-funded U.S. research partner, and will be taken into account in the assessment of the proposal.


  • Your potential American partner should inform youas soon as possible that they intend to collaborateunder the auspices of the agreement, in order to work out the terms under which their contribution to the project can take place.
  • Be flexible with your collaborators, maintaining cordial communications is the best guarantor of success.
  • Areas of interest to US research institutes in the context of this arrangement, specifically mentioned by Catherine A. Novelli, Under Secretary of State, are Ocean Research, particle physics (CERN), artificial intelligence, Big Data, Internet of things, nanotechnology. Although the agreement is by no means limited to these.
  • A specific call in 2017(unclear which funding stream) will provide European and North American researchers, industry and policymakers with a platform to enhance and deepen transatlantic dialogue on environmental issues related to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

Context of EU-US Science and Technology Cooperation:

  • Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, which entered into force in 1998, valid until 14 October 2018.
  • 2014 Joint statement to “expand cooperation in research, innovation and new emerging technologies, and protection of intellectual property rights as strong drivers for increased trade and future economic growth.”
  • EU-US S& T cooperation takes place under the Joint Consultative Group, the EU-US Space Dialogue, the Transatlantic Ocean Research Alliance, the Energy Council and the Transatlantic Economic Council.

Credit for the information contained in this briefing goes to Cole Donavan at the state department’s Research and Innovation Office and Kia Henry in the press office.

For more information please visit the Roadmap document by the European Commission

DOWNLOAD this article as a PDF Document