EU to collaborate with Japan on research?

EU to collaborate with Japan on research?

By Ingemar Pongratz

Nacka view by Ingemar Pongratz

Nacka view by Ingemar Pongratz

International collaboration is and will remain a cornerstone of the Horizon 2020 and the follow up research and innovation scheme Horizon Europe. The Horizon 2020 scheme will end in 2020 and the follow up scheme Horizon Europe will start in 2021.

The EU has established several different approaches to collaborate with non-EU countries such as Norway, Switzerland, Canada, South Korea and several other countries. Norway and Switzerland can participate in all areas of Horizon 2020 as associated states. In addition, partners from these countries are also eligible to receive financial support. Also the US can join Horizon 2020 and receive support from the EU Health programme.

The rule of thumb is however is that developed Third Countries may participate in Horizon 2020 projects but they need to secure their own funding. There are however areas where for example South Korean partners may receive funding such as the Eureka Eurostars scheme.

Earlier in 2019, the EU and Japan signed a Free Trade agreement. Additional discussions between the EU and Japan suggest that there is  interest to expand collaboration into the area of research.

Are we observing a push for the EU to collaborate with Japan on research?

There is a joint interest between the block to collaborate in specific areas such as Artificial Intelligence. In fact, there are bilateral discussion currently ongoing between Japan and Germany and between Japan and France.


Recently, Japanese official expressed the view that Japan and the EU might collaborate around the Missions. The Missions  will be launched in the context of Horizon Europe. A similar proposal is currently being developed in Japan (The Moonshot programme). Both the EU and Japan state that there are similarities between these approaches.


Obviously, there are still a lot of details that need to be solved between the EU and Japan before this collaboration is settled. But the possibility is there.

Other countries that are currently discussion with the EU regarding research collaboration include Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, the US and other.

It will be interesting to follow the future developments around Horizon Europé


Ingemar Pongratz is founder of Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting. We help enterprises and universities to apply for public support including from the European Horizon 2020 programme. Please contact us by email or through the online contact form if you wish to understand the services that we offer

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Botkyrka view by Ingemar Pongratz

Botkyrka view by Ingemar Pongratz

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