CORNET (short for Collective Research Networking) is a transnational funding network that supports the implementation of international research projects in favour of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The pre-competitive character enables a large number of SMEs benefitting from one project as the research results are widely published.

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often confronted with challenges such as new security or environmental norms, new materials, or the need to innovate their production processes. Most SMEs lack financial and personnel resources to perform research activities that would be necessary to tackle these issues. Collective Research offers the solution: several enterprises of the same branch (or even across sectors) with a common pre-competitive problem join forces within a project consortium. Usually supported by an SME organisation, the project consortium receives funding for assigning a research organisation with the task of solving their problem. After the completion of such a research project, the results are widely distributed.

Beneficiaries are small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with no or limited research capacity who will get access to the research results which are published after finishing a project. Research institutes are the ones who carry out the research and receive funding in order to do so. Companies do not perform research activities in CORNET projects and therefore do not receive funding.

Funding agencies or ministries from all around the globe can join CORNET and become partner as the network combines existing national and regional funding programmes to realise international Collective Research projects.

No, CORNET partners are funding bodies such as ministries and funding agencies providing and managing public funds for research projects. Research centres act as participants in research projects; they usually receive funding from the funding bodies mentioned above.

No problem. We are always open to involve new countries and regions. The only requirement is that a certain budget for pre-competitive Collective Research needs to be provided as funding of the international projects is always covered on national level. Usually, the source for financing projects is public funds provided by organisations such as ministries and funding agencies.

If your country or region isn’t partner in CORNET yet, we might ask for your help to identify the appropriate funding organisation:

  1. We suggest you look for a relevant funding agency or ministry in your country – the resident researchers in your project team are usually the experts for existing funding sources. Think of the funding mechanisms you would usually use for your pre-competitive projects on national or regional level (no international programme required!): Which organisation would you ask for funding? Where would you apply with your project idea? They might be the right supporters for a CORNET project as well.
  2. Please get in touch with them and tell them about your planned project, and that you would like to do it within the CORNET framework.
  3. Please get back to us with the contact details of the person in charge from the respective funding organisation you talked about financing your planned project. We will discuss with them the cooperation details in CORNET on agency/ministry level to ensure that project funding can be aligned.

International collaboration within CORNET can also be tested out by initiating pilot projects.

With your help, we will try to make a collaboration with your country happen!

CORNET itself as network does not provide any funding. Funding of international CORNET projects is provided country-by-country, combining financial resources from two (or more) countries/regions into one project budget. No money crosses borders. Usually, the source for financing projects is public funds provided by funding organisations such as ministries and agencies in the respective countries.

The funding rate depends on the respective national or regional funding instrument used in your country for CORNET projects. An overview of currently available funding instruments can be found here.

At least 2 countries or 2 regions from different countries have to be involved in a CORNET project.

No. The project must always be implemented across countries. There may be 2 regions from one country involved in one project, but then there must be another country on board.

Per participating country, the project consortium must (at least) consist of one SME association (representing the needs of SMEs of a branch), one research institute (performing the research) and a minimum number of 5 SMEs (guiding the research and ensuring the pre-competitive character; the required number might differ depending on national/regional rules).

At least 5 SMEs per country/region are necessary. The required number might differ depending on national/regional rules.

A CORNET project shouldn’t run longer than 24 months.

In general, there are no thematic boundaries – all areas of research with technological focus and high innovation potential are welcome! There only might be restrictions on national/regional level according to the funding source.

There are several possibilities to find suitable project partners and complementary knowhow. Please have a look at our section Find a project partner and check out upcoming Partnering Events.

That depends on national rules and structures. SME organisations, clusters and ad-hoc-groups are entitled to apply for funding. In some cases, research institutes are also eligible to apply. Please contact your national or regional funding organisation for more details.

Please have a look at the section Application process where you will find detailed information, both on the common international proposal as well as the national application.

Once the call has opened, you will find all necessary documents for the joint international application in the section Guidelines and Templates. For national documents, please contact your local funding organisation.

Applying is worthwhile: as a well-established international funding network, CORNET accomplishes an average success rate of about 66 %.

That depends on the underlying national/regional funding mechanisms. For more information, please contact your local funding organisation.

During the opening of calls, the page Participating Funding Agencies is being displayed informing about programmes and budgets of countries and regions that participate in the current call. Despite of that, general information about national/regional programmes can also be found on the partner pages and in the section service.

CORNET issues two calls per year. The calls usually close on the last Wednesday in March and on the last Wednesday in September. We are informing about call openings and deadlines on our website and in our bi-monthly online newsletter.

Please make sure you don´t submit your proposal in the last minute to enable possible corrections after the formal check by the Coordination Office. There will be no extension of time to replace or complete your proposal after the deadline.

In general: yes. In some cases, national documents need to be handed in earlier. The national/regional application has to be submitted latest until the date of the CORNET deadline even if national/regional rules allow later submissions. Please contact your local funding organisation for details.

No. Please submit your application only online via the Submission tool on the CORNET website. The Submission tool closes at the same time as the deadline says.

No. Please make sure that all application documents are correct before submitting them.

No. We can only process applications that are complete and submitted before the deadline. Incomplete project proposals will be rejected.

Yes, please use the English language without exception even if all participants speak another language.

One resubmission within one year is possible.

Following the submission of the proposal and its possible determination as eligible, it will be evaluated by international experts. Funding of CORNET projects starts about 8 to 9 months after the call deadline. A detailed timeline for current calls can be found here.

Please also have a look at the dos and don’ts that have to be considered when applying for funding.