Research and Development in IT - EU subsidies


What is R&D research in IT?

In many sectors of the economy, R&D activities are relatively easy to classify. However, in the computer technology industry, projects often do not have tangible results in the form of tangible products. As a result, it is sometimes difficult to determine unequivocally the degree of innovation and creativity of a project and, therefore, whether it qualifies for the R&D module.

In order to qualify an IT project as a candidate for R&D funding, the applicant must conduct research or development work in a given field. His or her project, furthermore, should be characterised by the qualities required in any R&D activity as listed above.

An activity in the field of computer technology considered as research and development work may be, for example:

  • development of a new programming language,
  • creating operating systems offering innovative solutions,
  • designing non-standard applications and programs,
  • creating new or more efficient algorithms based on pioneering technology,
  • design and implementation of a new internet search engine using proprietary technology,
  • development of new proprietary encryption or security technology.


The innovativeness of the project may also concern, for example, the use of unconventional or new IT activities, or the application of acquired knowledge in order to improve previously existing processes by, for example, introducing significant improvements to existing products.


Examples of projects from the IT industry that received EU funding due to their research and development nature²:


However, many IT activities do not qualify for the R&D module. These are, for example:

  • all standard, routine activities,
  • activities carried out using common, known tools and not introducing innovations to the market,
  • adding marginal functionalities to already available programs.

Due to the fact that small changes determine the eligibility of the project when determining the subsidy for the R&D module in the IT sector, before submitting the application, an in-depth analysis of the activities carried out must be carried out, and sometimes changes must be made to the project in order to be able to count on receiving EU funding.


What does the process of obtaining funding and implementing EU projects look like in a nutshell?


Selection of relevant EU competitions

Verification of which European fund programmes will be best for obtaining funding


Preparation and submission of an EU application

Preparation of all documents in the application and ongoing contact with the institutions managing EU funds


Signing of the EU grant contract

Evaluation of the contract, and start of disbursement of funds


Accounting and project management

Accounting for European funding received