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Welcome to the CORNET web site

Boosting Collective Research for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Europe

Are you an association and do your SME members have a common R&D problem that needs to be solved by research-centres or universities?
If so, you may benefit from the transnational funding opportunities CORNET can offer.

CORNET stands for COllective Research NETworking. It is a network for information exchange and collaboration between national and regional programmes and schemes for collective research worldwide. The objective is to promote close cooperation between the responsible national/regional ministries and agencies and to create opportunities to set up transnational collective research with national/regional funding. This means that CORNET partners in the participating countries and regions are working together to align programme conditions and procedures.

The CORNET coordination activities are financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Previously supported within the Sixth and Seventh Research Framework Programme of the European Commission, the CORNET initiative successfully evolved into an independent self-sustaining network.


CORNET is a network of ministries and funding agencies in Europe which are owners or managers of national and regional funding programmes for collective research between Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), their associations and Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) across Europe. Against the background of growing competition in global markets, CORNET supports SMEs in their transnational innovation activities, helps them to acquire technological know-how, extend their networks across Europe and bridge the gap between research and innovation.

What does CORNET for you?

Twice a year CORNET issues calls for proposals for transnational cooperation projects in the field of collective research and technological development for the benefit of SMEs. The calls follow a bottom-up approach, i.e. research topics are not pre-defined and can be decided by applicants themselves. Funding is made available through national and regional programmes according to the ERA-NET principle. CORNET enables consortia of SMEs, SME associations and research organisations from at least 2 European countries to work together in transnational projects. Thus the CORNET calls for proposals are in an intermediate position between SME support at national / regional and European level.

Why work in a CORNET project?

Participation in a CORNET project allows SMEs, SME associations and RTOs to build a European network, to benefit from know-how and resources that might not be available in their country or region and to get an insight into the state-of-art of research and market in other countries. CORNET features high success rates and short time to contract as compared to other European funding programmes. The CORNET funding agencies support applicants in finding partners in Europe for their project ideas. Due to the low threshold for European collaboration, CORNET can also be a starting point for other European activities.

Unbureaucratic Support

As familiar national and regional funding programmes form the basis of support, collaboration with European partners in CORNET projects is unbureaucratic. Personal contact between applicants and funding agencies facilitates advice for proposal submission and flexible solutions to problems that might arise during a project.

Application and Evaluation

The partners in a project file one common proposal form in English language. The proposal describes the whole transnational project, which is made up of two or more national sub-projects. The whole proposal is evaluated in a synchronised procedure by the involved funding agencies. After a project is approved for funding, each partner receives budget from his national or regional funding agency.