European Union funding: Grants and subsidies for entrepreneurs

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Your company may be eligible for EU funding. The European Union (EU) offers grants or subsidies in several fields. Some are distributed by the government, some by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, some by the EU itself.

What are EU grants and subsidies?

The EU supports projects, initiatives, and sectors that work towards the same goals as those of the EU itself. It does so by awarding subsidies to stimulate regional development, innovation, research, environmental protection, and more.

Examples of different types of EU funding:

  • Horizon Europe: Do you want to research an innovative topic? Or possibly test this in a pilot? Horizon Europe has several sub-programmes, so you can work specifically around 1 theme.
  • INTERREG: Within INTERREG you can go for pilot studies and demonstration projects. is involved in the INTERREG programmes for North-West Europe, North Sea Region and Europe.
  • LIFE: This is the European programme for improving nature, climate and the environment. You can apply for subsidies for pilots and demonstrations of innovative environmental technologies. Collaboration with European partners is not mandatory, although it can of course enrich the project.
  • CEF Transport: This programme is part of the European Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grant programme. CEF focuses on the development of high-performing, sustainable and efficient European networks in the fields of transport (CEF Transport), energy (CEF Energy) and telecommunications (CEF Telecom). In the Netherlands, CEF Transport is carried out by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO. Within this programme, you can carry out large-scale infrastructure projects, as well as launch studies with pilot activities in preparation for large-scale implementation projects.
  • Digital Europe: The Digital Europe Programme (DIGITAL) is a EU funding programme focused on bringing digital technology to businesses, citizens and public administrations.
  • Eurostars: This is an international collaboration project for innovative development.

More information is available on the website of the European Commission.

Where do I find the EU funds?

There are several websites on which you can find information on EU subsidies and how to apply for them:

How do I apply for an EU subsidy?

When an EU grant opens, a call for proposals is issued online. This call determines the period in which you can apply. It also contains the conditions you must meet to apply. You usually have to submit a plan. Click here for an example of a Horizon Europe Framework Programme call.

Who can help me?

If you want to apply for a subsidy, but are not sure how to go about it, you can ask for help. The information on the specific subsidy will also mention who to turn to for assistance: sometimes the municipality, sometimes a Regional Development Agency (ROM), sometimes the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. Be sure to read the information provided carefully.

Regional Development Agencies (ROMs)

Regional Development Agencies are dedicated to stimulating the economy in their respective regions. There are 9 ROMs in the Netherlands, which collaborate under the ROM Nederland platform.

ROMs can help you if you are looking to establish or expand your business in a specific region of the Netherlands. They can provide valuable resources, connections, and financial support.

ROMs receive an annual budget, which they primarily invest in supporting innovative, rapidly-growing regional businesses.

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