KLON: Minimum conditions for participation in Horizon 2020

Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) and Innovation Actions (IA) require the participation of at least three legal entities which are independent of each other and are based in different EU Member States or countries associated to Horizon 2020.

The term “legal entity” is deemed to include both legal persons and natural persons (e.g. sole proprietors).

Project participants, or beneficiaries, are regarded as independent of each other where “neither is under the direct or indirect control of the other or under the same direct or indirect control as the other.” For details see the Rules for Participation, Article 8.

Additional partners may participate in the project. These additional partners are not subject to the criteria of independence and domicile in different EU Member States/associated countries.
More detailed information about participation and eligibility of partners from third countries can be found at Horizon 2020 – International Cooperation.


Specific conditions for participation apply to specific project types such as ERC projects, the SME Instrument or Fast Track to Innovation.

The work programme may specify additional conditions for individual calls (e.g. concerning the number of participants, type of participants and domicile), which can be seen from the relevant call documents.

Please note that the minimum conditions for participation must continue to be fulfilled when partners drop out of the project during the project period!

Beneficiaries not receiving EU funding (art. 9 GA)

These are organisations, which …

  • either are not eligible for funding (as they are not from an EU Member State/associated country/third country listed in Annex A to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 or as they were not granted EU funding by the European Commission)
  • or voluntarily do not request any funding.

Their estimated costs need to be indicated in the project budget (Annex 2), but will not be reimbursed and will not be taken into account for the calculation of the grant amount.

Please note: If such beneficiaries become eligible for funding during the action, they may in principle request funding as from their eligibility (via an Amendment). As this does not increase the maximum grant amount, the other beneficiaries need to reshuffle the estimated budget in order to free funding for them.

For these beneficiaries not all of the obligations under the Grant Agreement (GA) apply (e.g. the financial obligations and some IPR obligations do not apply for them).


More detailed information can be found ...

  • in the Guide of the European Commission "Guidance note - Funding of applicants from non-EU countries & international organisations"
  • in the information document of BILAT USA 4.0 "4 ways for US researchers to collaborate in Horizon 2020"
  • in the FAQ document of the European Commission about the cooperation with the United States


Mag. Martin Baumgartner
Mag. Martin Baumgartner
National Contact Point: Legal and financial matters
T +43 5 7755 4008
Mag. Tamara-Katharina Mitiska
Mag. Tamara-Katharina Mitiska
Expert: Legal and financial matters
T +43 5 7755 4009
Robert Worel
Robert Worel
T +43 5 7755 4611