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New EU funding opportunities for the ICT and publishing sectors

The EU-funded network TISP (Technologies and Innovation for Smart Publishing) aims to connect the publishing and technology sectors, and it encourages its members to apply for EU funding  

The European Commission also understands the importance of closer cooperation between the tech sector and the creative industries. The new EU funding programmes are set to run from 2014 – 2020, and they explicitly acknowledge the need for innovation and cooperation. A range of  funding schemes is available that can be accessed by actors from the worlds of ICT and publishing. “We encourage publishing houses to apply for EU support programmes,” says Anne Bergman-Tahon of the Federation of European Publishers (FEP). John Higgins, CEO of Digital Europe, says: “The interface between ICT and publishing needs to be strengthened, and EU funding can help in doing so.”

Piero Attanasio of the Italian Publishers Association (AIE) explains the role of TISP: “For those with little experience of EU funding, the TISP network is a platform on which different companies from the two sectors can meet and find information about the programmes.” There are several EU support programmes that could be of interest to ICT and publishing actors alike. The first calls for proposals were published by the European Commission last week, with the first deadlines for applications in early spring 2014. All EU programmes now promise a simplified application process intended to reduce the time it takes to issue grants for projects. There are also simpler methods for calculating the EU co-funding rates, which range from 50 to 100 per cent of projects’ budgets, depending on the type of projects and programmes.

The first programme to mention is Horizon2020, which supports research and innovation in many sectors. Horizon2020 has an overall budget of around €80 billion for the period of 2014 to 2020. As well as research institutions, it also targets small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them meet their innovation needs. Horizon2020 is designed to support small and simple research projects which are close to the market and which focus primarily on innovation. The section of the overall programme intended to foster collaboration between European creative industries goes under the title ICT – Content technologies and information management. This represents the most interesting potential source of support for partnerships between ICT and publishers.

Reference documents for Horizon2020 are available at the following link:

Next is the Creative Europe programme. With an available a budget of €1.46 billion for the period 2014 to 2020, this is aimed squarely at the creative industries. Its objective is to stimulate the mobility of cultural professionals as well as the cross-border circulation of works of culture. The programme supports the competitiveness of the sector by providing training and encouraging knowledge transfer. The first calls for proposals for Creative Europe have already been published on the European Commission’s website:

Thirdly, the EU is now running a new programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises – otherwise known asCOSME. The purpose of this is to ease access to credit for SMEs, improving access to markets inside and outside Europe and creating a favourable environment for the work of SMEs. COSME will provide the following kind of support:
– Loan guarantees for SMEs, which otherwise find it difficult to obtain loans through the banking system
– Provision of capital for risk-capital funds that bolster investments by SMEs during their growth stage
– Provision of practical information and other services, free of charge,  to companies looking for partners, funding, or information on new markets, EU programmes and legislation
– Benchmarking activities and the completion of studies to improve the level of understanding and the standard of monitoring of industrial sectors in European or at the global level, or of SME-related policies in Europe.

The expected total budget for the seven-year period of COSME (2014-2020) is €2.3 billion.
More information on COSME can be found at or at the Enterprise Europe Network:
The TISP network: Technologies and Innovation for Smart Publishing

The TISP network is a European project, funded by the European Commission. It promotes interactions between European publishing and technology (ICT) companies, with the aim of stimulating new partnerships and business models, while also encouraging policy innovation at national and European levels. The project is managed jointly by Digital Europe (DE) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) – the European umbrella organisations for ICT and publishing, respectively – and will run from 2013 to 2015. TISP is coordinated by the Italian Publishers Association (AIE).  It consists of 25 members from 12 countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom). The TISP network supplies information on EU funding options for those involved in publishing and ICT, and it supports further networking activities.

Contact the TISP network:
Maria Loi, Italian Publishers Association (AIE):
Enrico Turrin, Federation of European Publishers (FEP):
Patrice Chazerand, Digital Europe (DE):

Background information: potentially interesting EU support programmes and projects (a selection)

    • ICT work programme – Objective ICT13, Web Entrepreneurship (opens: 11 December 2013, deadline: 23 April 2014). Total budget: €10 million
    • ICT work programme – Objective ICT17, Cracking the language barrier (opens: 11 December 2013, deadline: 23 April 2014). Total budget: €15 million
    • ICT work programme – Objective ICT19, Technologies for creative industries, social media and convergence (opens: July 2014, deadline: January 2015). Total budget: €39 million
    • ICT work programme – Objective ICT20, Technologies for better human learning and teaching (opens: July 2014, deadline: January 2015). Total budget: €52 million

More information can be found at:
Creative Europe
In general, the Creative Europe programme is aimed at institutions (non-profit) as well as commercial enterprises active in the cultural and creative fields – in other words the fine arts, performing arts, cinema, media and publishing, videogames etc. It is divided into three areas: Culture, Media and Cross-sectoral. In the “Culture” section – probably the most relevant for publishing – there are four different kinds of funding opportunities. These are listed below. The Media section is also worth checking out, although we do not include it here. Information about all the programmes can be found at

    • Cooperation programmes:  These include small programmes (at least three partners from three countries) and larger programmes (at least six partners from six countries). The call for proposals will take place annually with around 100 cooperation programmes receiving support each year (examples from the past include PETRA and Literature Across Frontiers). Funding amounts are possible up to €200,000 (small projects) and €2 million (larger projects); EU co-financing share up to 50% (large projects) and 60% (small projects).
    • Networks:  Networks are intended to have an impact primarily in B2B areas, boosting the competitiveness of the sector through exchanges and knowledge transfer. There will be two calls for proposals for network projects between 2014 and 2020, the first of which has just been published on 10 December. Funding amount: up to €250,000 per year; co-financing by the EU: 80%.
    • Platforms: Platforms are intended to produce results on a B2C level – i.e. to reach an audience for creative works and to support emerging artists – and to encourage the inclusion of non-national works in a company’s programme (i.e. support the proliferation of cultural works across borders). There will be three calls for proposals between 2014 and 2020, the first of which was published on 10 December. Funding amount: up to €500,000 per year; co-financing by the EU: 80 %.