CORNET and IraSME: Differences and similarities

CORNET and its partner network IraSME are jointly hosting several Partnering Events per year and have very similar call cycles. But what are the main differences between both international funding networks, and what are the similarities?

In the following, you will find some distinctive main differences and similarities between both networks.


Differences between CORNET and IraSME:

The nature of the research topic

IraSME supports the development of rapidly marketable innovative products, processes and services.

CORNET, on the other hand, is funding Collective Research projects that solve common problems of several small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) of a branch. The research deals with pre-competitive topics, which includes broad publication after a project is completed.

The target group: SMEs with concrete product improvement needs vs. SMEs with common problems to be solved through Collective Research

In IraSME, SMEs need to solve either a research and development problem that carries significant technical risks or to improve existing products, processes or technical services. The clearly describable project outcome has to show real market opportunities.

CORNET’s target group are SMEs with no or limited own research capacities that need to solve general problems also other SMEs of the same or similar branch are struggling with. Collective Research helps them to fully develop their innovation potential bringing SMEs together within one project before they go back on the market again as competitors.

Individual SMEs vs. Groups of SMEs

IraSME funds individual SMEs that can apply as a single entity or as a consortium.

CORNET provides funding for research activities supervised by an international consortium of SMEs of a branch (at least 5 per country/region, depending on national rules) that all have a problem in common and therefore join forces. The research work is performed by research organisations involved in the project.


Things CORNET and IraSME have in common:

ERA-NET funding principle

Both initiatives follow the ERA-NET principle that every participant receives funding from his own national or regional programme. No money crosses borders.

Bottom-up approach

Both initiatives allow submission of proposals that follow a bottom-up approach, e.g. research topics are not pre-defined and can be decided by applicants themselves.

Partnering Events

Twice a year CORNET and IraSME are organising joint Partnering Events in changing locations in order to facilitate the search for partners to implement international projects. For more information, you might want to subscribe to the CORNET Newsletter or check out our Event section.


Both networks open and close their calls twice a year. The calls always close on the last Wednesday in March and September. Proposal applications have to be submitted by the stated deadline. For more information about CORNET calls, check out the section Calls for Proposals.


Results from CORNET projects may also lead to IraSME projects as CORNET might be a possible preliminary stage for IraSME projects. If you like to take the results of your CORNET project to the next level, the market-oriented funding network IraSME might be the right tool for you.

Both networks are supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).


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