Synergies with Structural Funds



The aim of this section is to provide stakeholders and Member States Regional Authorities with an interest in the CSJU activities with some information and guidance on how to consider and make benefits of synergies with CSJU in the design of their RIS3 and Operational Programmes and in the design and implementation of their financial instruments. 


The Europe 2020 strategy towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth will make significant progress by building upon the synergy between the cohesion policy (ESIF) and the excellence objectives of Horizon 2020. The fostering of synergies between the two policy instruments aims at maximising the quantity and quality of investments, and thus ensuring a higher impact of the funds. The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) will invest approximately €100 billion in innovation and research in the period 2014-2020.

Article 20 of the Horizon 2020 Regulation and Article 37 of the H2020 Rules for Participation encourage synergies between Horizon 2020 and other European Union funds, such as ESIF and the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking (CSJU) is called by its founding Council Regulation n° 558/2014 of 6th of May 2014 to develop close interactions with ESIF to underpin smart specialization efforts in the field of activities covered by the CSJU.

To this effect, the CSJU encourages synergies with ESIF by allowing complementary activities to be proposed by the applicants to CSJU calls and by amplification of the scope, addition of parallel activities or continuation of CSJU co-funded project/activities through ESIF in synergy with the Clean Sky 2 Programme and its technology roadmap [1]. The CSJU encourages the use of ESIF also to build and enhance local capabilities and skills in the fields related to the Programme to enhance the level of European competitiveness of stakeholders in the area.

[1] The CSJU Work Plan, the CS2 “Joint Technical Programme” and the CS2 “Development Plan” should be regarded by interested Authorities and stakeholders as instrumental to identify possible areas of synergies.

The CSJU Action Plan

In view of the above, the CSJU has launched an action plan on synergies and is developing close interactions with interested Member States and Regions in Europe to discuss strategies and possible cooperation via a tailored made approach and incorporating modalities depending on the level of interest and commitment which a Region may decide to engage with. The aim of such cooperation is to strengthen the R&I innovation capacity and the European dimension of the Regions in aeronautics, to identify areas of technical cooperation which could complement the Programme and support its overall objectives; and to globally achieve a leverage effect from synergies between ESIF and the Clean Sky funding. While keeping well separate the funding processes and rules of each competent authority, the purpose is to identify and apply mechanisms for ensuring complementarity and synergies through ESIF in the most relevant research and innovation projects from a certain MS or Region in view of maximizing its impact via the JTI framework of CSJU projects.

The Regional Mapping

With the purpose of identifying potential interested actors, the CSJU is developing a mapping of MS and Regions with an interest in engaging into cooperation with the CSJU based on their Smart Specializations and other information available through other sources (such as the CSJU State Representative Group, the RIS3 platform, the European Commission (DG RTD and DG REGIO), the EACP and the EC supported AirTN Network action). Click here for more information.

The provisional mapping elaborated by the CSJU already demonstrates that many Smart Specializations (RIS3) and Operational Programmes 2014-2020 include aeronautics or areas correlated to the Clean Sky Programme (air transport, mobility, materials, composites, engines, manufactures, CO2 reduction etc.) as thematic areas/priorities for ESIF funding.  In the first phase of this ongoing action plan, it is notable that the interest raised comes not only from the more classic “aeronautics Regions” in Europe but also of Regions considering this as a potential to increase their capabilities in R&I in cross cutting areas with possible market uptake in aeronautics and European level of cooperation and competitiveness of their stakeholders.

How to Engage in Cooperation with the CSJU

After the signature of the first Memorandum of Understanding with Midi-Pyrénées Region (France) on February 25th 2015, the CSJU has established other cooperation in Spain (Andalucía and Cataluña), Romania (at national level), with others planned to be signed by the end of 2015. The CJU will develop a pilot-phase over 2015-2106 with a limited number of MS/Regions in view of launching pilot projects and identifying best practices for further MS and Regions.

Our approach is intended to be kept as simple as possible; it is based on complementarity of projects and not on co-funding of a single project; it acknowledges that the asynchronicity of the respective processes (calls, etc.) is a given – but not an obstacle.

The signature of a MoU does not constitute an essential condition for developing synergies with CSJU neither confers any sort of competitive advantage in the calls launched by the CSJU to any regional stakeholder, However the CSJU considers important and effective to take a strategic approach and discuss in advance with MS and Regional Authorities ways to stimulate synergies based on the Regional strategy /RIS3 and the applicable ESIF regional funding instruments to identify thematic objectives or align the regional funding instruments to support possible pilot projects.

The High Level Scenarios for Cooperation on Synergies

National and Regional Authorities in charge of ESIF planning and ESIF Managing Authorities are encouraged to consult the guidance available on this section providing a general overview on synergies and in particular the 4 high level scenarios for cooperation on synergies elaborated by the CSJU and identify which could fit within their regional strategy and context in terms of local capabilities and level of participation or interest of stakeholders to the Programme and its calls.

CSJU Calls For Proposals - Guidance Note: How to include in the Proposal Complementary Activities Supported By ESIF

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Synergies between Clean Sky and ESIF

Synergies elaborated by the CSJU


Additional Info and CSJU Contact

The CSJU is available to provide within the limits of its available resources additional information related to the objectives and possible implementation of these 4 scenarios, the interested Authorities may establish direct contacts with the CSJU at the following email: 


How to Engage in Cooperation with the CSJU 

Find here the list of MoUs signed by Clean Sky with Regions