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Luiss Guido Carli

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Funding opportunities

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Research funds are a fundamental expenditure for Italian universities. In a system of shared governance, coordination between European, national and regional activities, guaranteed by MIUR, creates the conditions to transform knowledge into human and social capital.

National funding

In Italy, resources allocated to universities, research institutions and businesses come from the ministries or the regions.

National funding for scientific and technological research are provided mainly by the Ministry of Universities and Research (MIUR), by the Italian National Research Council (CNR), by public bodies and by other ministries (of productive activities, of Economics and Finance, and of Health).

National policies to support research and development are implemented through the following types of funds:

  • Regional: Regions have the right to allocate their own funds and participate in the management of the so-called Structural Funds, using the Regional Innovation Strategies (in Italian).
  • National: awarded by the ministries, to support projects and activities that fall within the framework of national policies for research; these are implemented with various operational tools, and divided into programs.

The main ones are:

European and international funding

The European Union offers several funding opportunties for scientific research. The Framework Programmes for Research and Development are the main source of funding and are managed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research.  

Research activities financed by the European Union must have a clear “European added value”. One fundamental aspect of European added value is the transnational character of many of these activities: research projects must be conducted by consortia made up of participantes that come from different countries, both within and outside of Europe, while individual research grants require mobility beyond national borders.

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the new programme of the integrated funding system destined for the research activities of the European Commission, a task that fell within the VII Framework Programme, the Framework Programme for Competitiveness and Innovation (CIP) and the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT). The programme was established by Regulation 1291/2013.

The programme, active from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2020, will support the EU in its global challenges, providing researchers and innovators with the necessary tools for the realization of their projects and ideas.

Horizon 2020 is made up of three pillars and four transversal programmes (table). 

The three pillars:

  1. Excellence Science

    • European Research Council
      Frontier research by the best individual teams (ERA)
    • Future and Emerging Technologies
      Collaborative research to open new fields of innovation
    • Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions
      Opportunities for training and career development
    • Research Infrastructures (Including e-infrastructure)
      Ensuring access to world-class facilities
  2. Competitive Industries

    • Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies
      • ICT
      • Nanotechnologies materials, biotechnologies, manifacturing
      • Space
    • Access to risk finance
      Leveraging private finance and venture capital for research and innovation
    • Innovation in SMEs
      Fostering all forms of innovation all types of SMEs
  3. Societal Challenge

    • Health, demographic change and wellbeing
    • Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research, and the bio-economy
    • Secure, clean and efficient energy
    • Smart, green and integrated transport
    • Climate Action, resource efficiency and raw materials
    • Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative, reflective societies
    • Secure Societies

The five programmes:

Other programs, promoted by other European Institutions and Directorates General of the Commission (DG Environment; DG Enterprise and Industry; DG for Health & Consumers, etc.) contribute to broadening the spectrum of possibilities for scientific research in specific sectors.

Examples in the field of the social sciences include:

Useful project documents