Finding EU funding: tips & tricks

Finding EU funding: tips & tricks

Posted 9 months ago

The European funding landscape is complex. You quickly get lost among the different grant programmes and funding mechanisms. To find your way in this broad landscape of possibilities is often hard, laborious, and time-consuming. Therefore, we have compiled a few handy tips & tricks to hack your way through the jungle of EU funds, programmes and projects so you can get started with the application of your project proposal.

Pointers for reading and understanding the grant programme

Selecting the most suitable call for proposal of your project and carefully analysing the text are the first steps towards a competitive EU project, but they are often the most underestimated. Here are the main components of a call and a couple of tips for reading it:

Grant amount

Is the grant amount sufficient for your project and does it meet your expectations and that of your partners?

Funding rate

corresponds to the proportion of approved project costs that is covered by the European funds. Many programmes require companies to contribute to the costs of the project. It is essential for you and your partners to have the necessary money and resources for the project.

Duration (= time frame of the project)

Is the duration of the project realistic and achievable?

Scope, objectives, expected outcome

Make sure that your project proposal matches all the requirements of the call. It’s of utmost importance to read all the documentation of the call for proposals to understand its objectives and themes and to make sure that your project idea is in line with what the call aims to achieve. 

Consortium criteria

These are the criteria related to the minimum number of partners and countries. Can you find the right partners with the necessary skills and expertise to build a consortium and does the group fit the consortium criteria in terms of company size and national diversity?

TRL (Technology Readiness Level)

A type of measurement system to indicate the maturity level of a particular technology. TRLs are based on a scale from 1 to 9, with 9 being the most mature technology.
It is crucial that your technology is at the minimum level as requested in the call.


Indication of the day and time by which the project proposal must be submitted. The deadline gives you an idea how much time you have for the preparation of your EU project. Think of an adequate buffer to ensure that there is enough time for partner discussions on tasks and budgets.

Find the right partner

Define the expertise and the capabilities your organisation want to offer to a consortium as partner or explain the type of project you want to build as coordinator.

You can find possible partners by:

  • Using your existing network
  • Letting your network know early on that you are interested
  • Using The Enterprise Europe Network
  • Attending EU events
  • Using GrantApp

Keep the European logic & point of view in mind

The European Commission awards money in the form of grants or contracts to implement projects and activities in the context of the European Unions’ policies. The EU funds help achieving global targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the European Green Deal. The projects which receive financial support, range broadly from education and environmental protection to human rights, competitiveness, research and innovation.

It is very important to get familiar with how the European Union’s budget is distributed, which grant programmes exist, to which purpose and which objectives and challenges they contain. Whenever you are identifying a relevant funding programme, you can increase your success chances by keeping the European point of view in mind and highlight that your proposed project:

  • will solve a problem and fill policy gaps
  • has European added value and impact
  • represents excellence and a high quality of implementation
  • includes collaboration across disciplines and/or across the value-chain
  • achieves economic and sustainable impact

Good luck!