EU Funding - International Co-operation

Contact (German)

Activity range

The Section for International Co-operation is charged with handling international subsidy programmes financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the EU Structural Funds. In addition to Vienna, other regions of both Austria and other EU Member States participate in these programmes.

Objective of programmes

The objective lies in strengthening the economic, territorial and social cohesion of regions in the European Union by implementing projects that promote cross-border, transnational and interregional co-operation, thus contributing to balanced spatial development.

Target groups of programmes

Population of Vienna, of Austria and of the partner countries

Importance for Vienna

International positioning of Vienna and the European Region CENTROPE as a competence hub for the implementation of cross-border and transnational funding initiatives within the scope of EU cohesion policy

Track record

Under the initiative "European Territorial Cooperation" or "Interreg", the EU cohesion and regional policy employs ERDF funds to promote co-operation between regions of the European Union. From 1995 to 2006, the programmes Interreg II and Interreg III enabled the implementation of more than 200 projects involving the City of Vienna.

In the 2007-2013 period, the initiative - designated "European Territorial Cooperation" - was upgraded to become the third objective of EU cohesion policy (in addition to the objectives "Convergence" and "Regional Competitiveness and Employment"). Over 120 co-operation projects involving Viennese project partners were realised in this funding period.

In 2014-2020 period, the ERDF is supporting projects in two subareas, i.e. regarding the objective "Investment in Growth and Employment" (IGE) and the objective "Interreg". On an initiative of the Commission, the name of the co-operation programmes was changed back to "Interreg".

Current funding programme - INTERREG 2014-2020

INTERREG V-A cross-border

Vienna participates in the following cross-border programmes, with Municipal Department 27 - European Affairs (MA 27) acting as the regional co-ordination point for the Federal Province of Vienna:

  • INTERREG V-A Slovakia-Austria (cross-border)
    Programme area: Vienna, Burgenland, Lower Austria, Regions of Trnava and Bratislava
  • INTERREG V-A Austria-Czech Republic (cross-border)
    Programme area: Vienna, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Regions of South Bohemia, South Moravia and Vysocina
  • INTERREG V-A Austria-Hungary (cross-border)
    Programme area: Vienna, Lower Austria, Burgenland, Styria, Counties of Györ-Moson-Sopron, Vas and Zala

The three cross-border programmes were approved by the European Commission in summer 2015.

All three programmes are funded by the EU with a total of approximately EUR 41 million for the Viennese lead partners. The implementation of cross-border projects in the following fields is subsidised to a degree of up to 85 per cent:

  • Research, technical development and innovation
  • Improving the competitiveness of SMEs
  • Environmental protection and promotion of sustainable resource use
  • Promotion of sustainability in transport and traffic
  • Education and lifelong learning
  • Improvement of institutional capacities and further development of efficient public administration systems

Ongoing co-operation projects with Viennese projekt coordination

Research, technical development and innovation

  • Age-friendly Region (AT-HU): The project develops new approaches to enable elderly persons to remain in their accustomed environment while enjoying the highest possible quality of life and independence and at the same time relieving the burden on family members. A joint model of case and care management is formulated on the basis of a mutual exchange of experience and know-how.
  • AMOR (AT-CZ): This project develops an affordable macro-modelling platform for high-frequency systems and devices (for example IoT, e-health, wearable devices, sensor networks, Industry 4.0, home automation, smart meters, radio identification, etc.). The modelling platform on the one hand permits measuring key high-frequency parameters at a price that is affordable for start-ups and on the other hand allows for the preparation of mathematical models that can be used in the development process via simulation software.
  • CAPSID (SK-AT): The focus of the project is on the creation of scientific capacities in biomedical research and on the development of research services. The innovation potential of the region as well as its attractiveness for highly qualified, internationally trained scientists are thus to be increased.
  • CEPI (AT-HU): This cross-border co-operation between universities in Austria and Hungary examines the influence of feeding on the health and resilience of poultry species. At the same time, the project aims to analyse the effects of the feeding mode on product quality and food safety.
  • DREAM SK-AT (SK-AT), SEDDON II (AT-HU) und SEDECO (AT-CZ): Together with the IWB-funded project "RRMC Hydraulic Engineering Lab", these are subprojects of the main project DREAM (Danube River Research and Management), which is financed across several programmes. DREAM is considered a flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. Its key element is the construction of a hydraulic engineering lab near the Brigittenauer Sporn site on the river. The differential head at this location can result in a freely-flowing flume discharge of up to 10 cubic metres per second. This discharge volume in an experimental flume (without the need for pumps) is unique in Europe. The hydraulic engineering lab will thus serve as an innovative research facility for international research co-operation. This will be complemented by research in the context of the above cross-border projects (water management, sediment management, integrated river management.
  • INPOMED (AT-HU): The objective of this project lies in learning about the respective regional conditions governing poultry keeping and poultry medicine and in fostering more intensive scientific co-operation between research institutions and veterinarians specialising in poultry. Moreover, the research infrastructure in both project sites is to be identified and a plan for its optimised joint use is to be developed. Another important aspect of this project lies in research work on the intestinal health of poultry.
  • InterOP (AT-CZ): The InterOP project is dedicated to the interoperability (which means the improved usability) of heterogenous radio systems from an operative angle. Measurements and analyses are carried out to understand and model interference effects for various wireless scenarios. Innovative tools for planning and testing new radio systems while taking account of typical interferences are developed and made available to regional enterprises and multipliers.
  • IMPROVE! (AT-HU): The IMPROVE! project is to promote both the co-operation between enterprises engaging with digital change and the cross-border interactions between organisations.
  • Competence Center for Mechanobiology (AT-CZ): This project pursues the strategy of supporting the body's self-healing powers in order to restore dysfunctional cells and tissues with relatively inexpensive methods, thus reducing therapy costs. Another key objective lies in drawing on shared methods and technologies to ensure the efficient utilisation of very expensive large-scale equipment situated in different locations.
  • Nutriaging (SK-AT): This project is devoted to strengthening the nutritional and health awareness of elderly persons. The objective lies in achieving improved quality of life in old age by increasing the number of healthy life years. The project involves both elderly persons and the "elderly-to-be" as well as healthcare workers and workers in geriatric care. Joint project results include e.g. nutrition guidelines, events and a new tertiary training module.
  • RIAT-CZ (AT-CZ): It is the aim of this project to increase the research and innovation potential in the Austrian-Czech border region. The provision of technical equipment of importance for research projects in the life sciences and the bio/nanotech sector is to be increasingly organised on a cross-border basis. This will give researchers and companies access to a wider range of technologies, and research infrastructure operators will be able to make better use of synergies.
  • SAFERBRIDGE (AT-CZ): The core objective of this project lies in the creation of holistic evaluation methods for bridge systems to identify damage and problems relating to bridge structures at an early date. This is to enhance the efficient and targeted use of limited budgets for bridge maintenance. These evaluation methods are made accessible to engineering firms and infrastructure operators in the region.
  • StruBioMol (SK-AT): In the context of this project, modern equipment for the disciplines of structural biology, biomedicine and biotechnology is purchased to enable the project partners to conduct research and education activities corresponding to a much higher standard. At the same time, this equipment is also to be made accessible to students, researchers and external scientists. The objective lies in creating a centre of excellence for tertiary education based on scientific research in the field of structural biology in the Austrian-Slovak border region.

Environmental protection and promotion of sustainable resource use

  • Agrinatur (AT-HU): This project focuses on increasing biodiversity in nature reserves through anthropogenic use. Special attention is paid to plant and animal habitats as well as to habitats and recognised species protected under the (Wild Birds) Directive. Innovative landscape conservation measures are developed by combining traditional species conservation with new agricultural techniques. Interactions are communicated and made to come alive for visitors, for example in the Viennese section of the Danube Floodplains National Park.
  • Bluehlinge (SK-AT): The central objective pursued by the project lies in creating awareness of the importance of biodiversity, with a focus on butterflies as lead insects. Special attention is paid to measures promoting biodiversity as well as to the communication of knowledge (garden design, mowing techniques, butterfly app et cetera). Finally, interactive "junctions" with adventure paths and informative displays are created, for example in the area around Vienna's former Northern Railway Station, an urban development zone.
  • CEWA (AT-CZ): The central objective of the CEWA project lies in identifying an optimised process to minimise waste and maximise waste recycling by following the principles of a closed-cycle economy, with a focus on applicability in the Czech-Austrian border region.
  • City Nature (SK-AT): This project concentrates on nature in the city, which means on the importance of the management of cultivated land and meadows for biodiversity in green spaces of Vienna and Bratislava. The key goal lies in the development of methods and communication tools for the preservation and stabilisation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • INTEKO (AT-CZ): The project aims to develop innovative technologies to ensure consistent compost quality. This technology is to improve the reclaiming of organic substances, phosphorus and nitrogen from organic waste.
  • PlasticFreeDanube (SK-AT): This project focuses on macroplastics pollution in and along the Danube. Core objectives include the establishment of a solid knowledge base and joint standardised methods to evaluate pollution sources, quantities, transport behaviour and environmental hazards. A joint action plan is being developed to reduce the quantity of plastics polluting the Danube in the long run. Moreover, pilot measures for waste avoidance are currently being tested on Vienna's Danube Island.
  • SYM:BIO (AT-CZ): The project aims to network those players in the field of biodiversity-promoting and aridity-adapted green space design and management as well as bioeconomics that have an effect on the community as a whole. These players include above all public administrative and self-governing organisations, municipal services, training institutions, nongovernmental nonprofit organisations working with the general public and with young people, and - last but not least - local action groups concerned with preparing municipal planning and strategic plans for the development of administrative areas.

Education and lifelong learning

  • BIG (AT-HU, AT-CZ, SK-AT): Multilingual education is no longer to be offered by schools in isolated fashion or as an optional programme, but rather integrated into the educational learning environment of kindergartens and schools. Towards this aim, a new overall concept of comprehensive language education (comprising teaching methods and curricula) is being developed and tested at selected kindergartens and pilot schools.
  • BIG-inn (AT-HU): This cross-border co-operation aims to strengthen the linguistic, scientific, technical and digital skills of schoolchildren. The innovative approach pursued lies in drawing on regional potentials (for example museums, enterprises, nature reserves, energy generation) as places of learning and using them as resources for the cross-border learning space to promote the development of educational competences.
  • CODES (AT-HU): The project focuses on the strengthening of European key competences among schoolchildren aged 6 to 10 years to prepare them as best possible for future skill requirements in the European labour market. For this purpose, a cross-border education network is being established in order to implement a long-term overall package of measures and, in this context, to develop teaching materials and on-the-job training measures.
  • DigiUp4.0 (AT-HU): It is the overarching objective of this project to improve the awareness of young people aged 12 to 24 years in choosing an apprenticeship, to prepare them for the labour market by means of upskilling, to strengthen the image of apprenticeships, to identify occupations where a shortage of qualified personnel is to be expected in the near future and to enable cross-border exchange. Through career guidance and training measures, young people are to be familiarised with the industrial sector and provided with the necessary digital skills.
  • DigiMe (AT-CZ): It is the overarching objective of this project to improve digital education in Austria and the Czech Republic (schools in the project regions of South Moravia, Vysočina and Vienna) in the long term and to prepare young people to cope with the demands of the digital labour market.
  • EDLRIS (AT-HU): This project is dedicated to the development and implementation of a professional, standardised and internationally recognised training and certification system for robotics and artificial intelligence. The target group comprises trainers (for example teachers or mentors of clubs or associations) and trainees (for example schoolchildren or young people). The basic concept resembles that of the well-established European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL).
  • EDUGARD (AT-CZ): This project serves to develop an education framework for horticultural pedagogy, with a special focus on the practical use of school-owned lots, areas and gardens for horticultural pedagogy. The project involves schoolchildren, teachers and student teachers.
  • EduSTEM (AT-CZ): EduSTEM promotes education and networking at various levels in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
  • RoboCoop (SK-AT): The project is dedicated to the exploitation of the multidisciplinary potential of robotics and to the establishment of cross-border educational activities to stimulate interest in MINT subjects (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology).

Culture and tourism

  • ANIMATION NOW (AT-CZ): The project engages in intensive cross-border co-operation to generate ideas for innovative, modern and creative media work for children and young people. Exchange visits are to enable the personnel of the two participating organisations to obtain an understanding of the work processes of the respective other organisation and to develop novel ideas and impulses for pedagogical work with children and young people, for workshop methods and contents and for the fundamental concepts embodied by the two participating studios.
  • Bilateral Design Networks (AT-CZ): The project "Bilateral Design Networks. Design Innovations from the Modern Age around 1900 to the Digital Modern Age" aims at the preservation, protection and widespread dissemination of Central European Modernism. Core activities include inter alia new and extended exhibitions in Brno and Brtnice and an exhibition cycle at the Vienna Museum of Applied Arts. These activities are complemented by workshops and other events focusing on arts, crafts and innovations in the field of design, in this way also involving the creative sector.
  • Border(hi)stories (AT-HU): It is the overarching objective of this project to improve the level of knowledge regarding historical facts relating to the border region and to establish, intensify and reliably safeguard co-operation between organisations communicating this knowledge. This will result first of all in a digital inventory of sites of memory, where all documents, specialist literature and visual materials are rendered publicly accessible and retrievable.
  • Design and Innovation (SK-AT): It is the aim of the project to establish a research co-operation venture between Vienna and Bratislava, with the ultimate goal of becoming thematic leaders in design and innovation research. This serves to develop novel design strategies and to communicate them to a broad audience.

INTERREG programme CENTRAL EUROPE 2014-2020 (transnational)

On 16 December 2014, INTERREG CENTRAL EUROPE was the first programme to be approved by the European Commission. In all, the lead partners may draw on 247 million Euros of EU funds. MA 27 acts as the administrative authority for the overall programme.

The programme area covers regions in the nine Member States Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

This co-operation programme is to support the following priority axes with funding rates of 80 per cent (in Austria, Germany, Italy) to 85 per cent (in the other Member States of the programme area):

  • Priority axis 1: "Cooperating on innovation to make CENTRAL EUROPE more competitive"
  • Priority axis 2: "Cooperating on low-carbon strategies in CENTRAL EUROPE"
  • Priority axis 3: "Cooperating on natural and cultural resources for sustainable growth in CENTRAL EUROPE"
  • Priority axis 4: "Cooperating on transport to better connect CENTRAL EUROPE"

Ongoing CENTRAL EUROPE projects with Viennese projekt coordiantion

By August 2018, 6 of the currently 85 CENTRAL EUROPE projects receiving funding had a lead partner based in Vienna:

  • CERIecon: This project pursues the focus of entrepreneurship education and aims at the promotion of sustainability-oriented entrepreneurial spirit. A special role is assigned to the "Playparks" implemented in each project region, where mostly young people with sustainable business ideas receive professional support.
  • PROLINE-CE: Here, the focus is on the development of a cross-border manual for efficient practices of drinking water resources protection and non-structural flood mitigation by means of optimised measures of land use and land management.
  • GeoPlasma-CE: The project addresses modern planning and management approaches for the exploitation of geothermal energy in Central European regions. In Austria, the focus is on the use of geothermal energy in urban spaces, including the Aspern area of Vienna.
  • SHAREPLACE: This project deals with the fact that current Central European transport systems often present a lack of integration between different transport modes. Thus it is the goal of the project to develop an innovative approach to improve the networking of local, regional and transnational mobility systems.
  • STREFOWA: The project develops strategies to reduce and manage food waste. The results of the project contribute to improving the level of knowledge about food waste, both for producers and consumers. Ultimately, optimised waste management is also to contribute to minimising negative environmental impacts.
  • SUSTREE: Against the backdrop of climate change, which is increasingly jeopardising the diversity of Central European forests, the project is concerned with identifying forest-genetic diversity and developing seed paths and transboundary seed transfers.
  • IN SITU: This project promotes the labour market integration of unskilled young and older (over 50 years of age) unemployed persons.
Contact for this page:
City of Vienna | European Affairs (Eva Gsteu-Kirschbaum)
Contact form