Article 185 initiatives

Setup, activities and purpose

Since 2003 the European Commission has supported so-called Article 185 initiatives. These initiatives are based on Article 185 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU, 2007, ex Article 169) of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC, 1992). This Treaty enables the EU to participate in research programmes undertaken jointly by several Member States. Article 185 initiatives are therefore Public-Public-Partnerships between Member States (and Associated States) and the EU. Its aim is to integrate national R&D activities across Europe, reduce fragmentation and create a critical mass in research and innovation. In the Article 185 configuration, EU funding is combined with national funds and, in some cases, co-funding by industry. The Commission supports the initiatives with funds from Horizon 2020 where these meet the criteria laid down in the Horizon 2020 proposal. Article 185 initiatives have a contractual relationship for a duration of around 10 years with 25-50% co-funding by the EU.

Article 185 Initiatives implement research, development and innovation activities that are implemented via shared-cost, transnational projects involving partners from different countries among the participating Member States. The projects address research, technological development, demonstration and dissemination activities and should demonstrate the capability to exploit the project results within a realistic time frame. To this end, Article 185 initiatives regularly issue centrally organised calls for proposals. Such calls usually fund projects which address the objectives of the running Strategic Research Agenda. The calls are targeting multi-partner and transnational projects and encourage participation of small and medium-sized enterprises and other end-users from the participating Member States (and Associate Countries). The calls include research, innovation, training and dissemination activities.

Furthermore Article 185 Initiatives entail consultation with relevant European stakeholders concerning the research priorities to be addressed and the implementation of the programme. Article 185 Initiatives will also be used to enhance the complementarity and synergy between the Framework Programmes and activities carried out under intergovernmental structures such as EUREKA and COST. Examples of activities under Article 185 Initiatives are:

  • Joint Calls with a broad variety of different grant types (for EDCTP e.g. Integrated Projects, Ethics and Regulatory projects, Networks of Excellence) Researcher Mobility Grants (EMRP), Senior Fellowships (EDCTP)
  • Bottom-up type of funding; in particular for SMEs (EUROSTARS)

Current Article 185 initiatives and initiatives in preparation

During FP7, five Article 185 Initiatives were launched and have been implemented. Four of these Initiatives continue under Horizon 2020. PRIMA is the sixth Article 185 Initiative that is prepared under Horizon2020. YES in the column FP7 means the initiative continues under H2020. YES in the column NL indicates The Netherlands is participating in this initiative. The PLATFORM-DB2_button.png-button in the DB column links to the PLATFORM database, where more information about those initiatives can be accessed.

ACRONYM FP7 DB NL ABOUT                        
AAL 2 YES   YES Quality of life of older people
EUROSTARS 2 x YES   YES SME innovation programme
EMPIR YES   YES Metrology
EDCTP 2 YES   YES HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis x
BONUS NO   NO Baltic Sea
PRIMA   PLATFORM-DB2_button.png NO Mediterrenean area