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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency


Synergies between parts of H2020/Horizon Europe and the CEF Programme

Part of CINEA's mission is to foster synergies and natural links between Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe and the Connecting Europe Facility. CEF focuses on building modern EU infrastructure (transport, energy and telecom) - deploying innovative solutions on a large scale. H2020/Horizon Europe projects funded by CINEA support research – developing and testing new clean energy and transport technologies. If your H2020/Horizon Europe Energy or Transport funded project obtained significant results, you might be ready to apply for CEF Energy, CEF Transport and CEF Telecom funding. Likewise, if you are building modern infrastructure, you might be interested in the latest research results in the energy and transport fields supported by the EU.

How can I find opportunities for synergies?

Opportunities for synergies can emerge at any stage of an H2020/Horizon Europe or CEF project lifetime. Active participation in thematic events attended by both the CEF and H2020/Horizon Europe communities is a valuable occasion for project promoters to find opportunities for synergies. Considering other funding and support instruments made available by the European Commission and other EU institutions is another key action to tap into the potential of synergies.

CINEA regularly participates in thematic events, such as the Transport Research Arena, the ITS European Congress or the TEN-T Days, which bring together H2020/Horizon Europe and CEF stakeholders. The Agency aims to raise awareness and showcase project examples with mature technology that can potentially be deployed within the CEF programme or developed at research level as a specific response to a market need. CINEA keeps its H2020/Horizon Europe beneficiaries informed about upcoming CEF funding opportunities as a possible exploitation instrument for their research results.

The Agency reports to the European Commission about the status and progress of its portfolio, in particular for sectors common to the CEF and H2020/Horizon Europe programmes, with a view to promoting continuity at programme level. The cross-references in the CEF and H2020/Horizon Europe work programmes testify to the work carried out by the Agency and the expectation to receive proposals linking the two programmes. Several new H2020/Horizon Europe projects are indeed now developing work on the TEN-T corridors or with reference to the CEF programme such as the Infra4Dfuture project.

H2020 and CEF: creating synergies

The projects can develop synergies either as a progression from one programme to the other, or they can mutually reinforce each other whilst working in the same thematic area.

From Research to Deployment: EU-funded research projects develop and test innovative technologies that could be deployed later in infrastructure and/or innovation projects.

Technologies and Infrastructure develop in parallel: Some CEF and H2020/Horizon europe projects work in the same thematic area, while tackling issues from different perspectives. The results can complement each other and advance overall technology and related infrastructure.

Additional synergies

Both H2020/Horizon Europe and CEF develop synergies with other programmes too. For example, in the promotion of Hydrogen as an alternative fuel. The MEHRLIN project in northern Italy, for instance, has integrated different funding sources, namely CEF, H2020 and LIFE. It will finance (through CEF) the construction of H2 stations for buses, whilst the LIFE programme is financing the deployment of a fleet of 28 hydrogen fuel-cell cars (Zero Emission LIFE IP). Through the H2020 JIVE project, 27 fuel-cell buses for the same location will also be supported. More information is available here.

There are additional examples of synergies between CEF and H2020 projects in CINEA's thematic publications on Intelligent Transport Systems and Safe and Green Aviation.

You can also browse other examples of H2020/Horizon Europe and CEF Transport projects in the TRIMIS database.