Collaborative research is the biggest part and the core of EU research funding. The goal is to build excellent networks and work on projects in the main fields of scientific progress, which attract researches and investments from all over Europe and the whole world and thus foster the industrial and technological principles of the EU and its policy.
Collaborative Projects are executed by consortia consisting of members from different countries. Participants may be universities, research institutions and enterprises, a special focus is laid on the participation of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Size, subject area and internal organisation of the consortia may vary according to the field of research. The Work Programme may indicate the funding schemes for the specific topics. The project consortia may also include participants from third countries and partner countries of the EU. Furthermore, projects may also address specific target groups, e.g. SMEs.
In Horizon 2020, there are two types of Collaborative Projects:
"Research and Innovation Actions" work on basic research and development.
"Innovation Actions" are aimed at the development of a product. For this, prototypes, demonstration actions and pilots are designed, the product is tested and brought to market.