EU research funding as a new opportunity for civil society

So far, Austrian non-profit organisations have rarely used European research funding. Accordingly, their share of research expenditure is still small.

The IGO wants to change this in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency – FFG.

  • Because practical research strengthens and improves the work of non-profit organizations.
  • And because science benefits from civil society participation through greater effectiveness, more sustainable results and social and ecological innovation.


The background to the new research framework programme is climate change, digital transformation and significant social upheavals. The European Commission’s Green Deal also stipulates that Europe will become the “first climate-neutral continent” by 2050.

From now until 2027, 95.5 billion euros will be available for this purpose.

From the point of view of IGO, the second “pillar” of the programme entitled GLOBAL CHALLENGES AND INDUSTRIAL COMPETITIVENESS OF EUROPE with the following topics (clusters) is particularly relevant for non-profit organizations:

  • Cluster 1: Health
  • Cluster 2: Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society
  • Cluster 3: Civil Security for Society
  • Cluster 4: Digitalization, Industry & Space
  • Cluster 5: Climate, Energy and Mobility
  • Cluster 6: Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment

Civil society and European research – a win-win situation

Civil society organisations are working on solutions to the social and environmental challenges of the present. Many of these topics are now the focal points of the major European research framework programme Horizon Europe.

Intersections HorizonCluster and Nonprofit

In the coming months, therefore, IGO will support non-profit organisations in networking with scientific institutions and participating more in European research funding than before.

How can non-profit organisations participate in Horizon Europe?

Only projects in which several institutions from different Member States cooperate are eligible. In most cases, scientific institutions will cooperate with one or more non-profit organizations. The organisation that has the most experience with these programmes acts as a lead to the EU and coordinates cooperation between the partners.

The impetus for a project and the central research interest can come from civil society. Because the more directly a project starts with the reality of life and the needs of those affected, the more likely a sustainable project success will be achieved.

Why should non-profit organisations participate in Horizon Europe?

  • Because the interaction of non-profit practice and scientific work can be helpful for both sides.
  • Because evidence-based knowledge about one’s own area of work is increasing.
  • Because non-profit organizations can provide impetus for the collection of relevant data.
  • Because non-profit organizations in cooperation with scientific institutions or with their own research departments can promote the answering of their own questions.
  • Because organizations can benefit from the knowledge of others in projects.

The role of IGO

The IGO wants to help close the gap that still exists between non-profit organizations and the research community. In this way, the opportunities offered by the new European Research Programme for non-profit organisations are to be better exploited.

We invite interested persons from non-profit organizations:

  • to participate in an online conference where we inform them about the opportunities that Horizon Europe offers them and what it takes to participate in the programme;
  • to disclose their contact details in an online cooperation exchange in order to get in touch more easily with other interested persons and institutions or to be contacted themselves.

If you want to know more about it, please send us a message to or call us on 0664 7995766.

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