The umcs are prospecting far beyond the Dutch borders. They participate in European research and innovation projects, and often act as the coordinator of international research consortia.

European research policy

Horizon2020 was the framework programme (2014-2020) within which the umcs worked with European partners on research and innovation. The umcs paid attention to the annual setting of priorities for the work programmes. In the Societal Challenge Health of Horizon2020, the Netherlands was in third place (after the UK and Germany) for successfully obtaining European subsidies. In 2021 this programme is being succeeded by Horizon Europe. In preparation for the change, the umcs are actively imagining the design, conditions and content of the new programme. Horizon Europe has three main themes:

  1. Excellent Science. Goal: getting the science in Europe to the top level and keeping it there. 

  2. Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness. Goal: address the major challenges that the EU and the world are struggling with, like those named in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  3. Innovative Europe. Goal: strengthen the competitiveness of the EU.


Together with its knowledge partners, the NFU is also participating in Neth-ER (Netherlands house for Education and Research). This association was founded to inform the Dutch field of knowledge about the European policy developments in the field of research, innovation and education. It accomplishes this through a range of diverse events and publications. With a joint team in Brussels, Neth-ER is trying in various ways to actively influence European policy, such as the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and the European Research Area.