Implementation of the fp7 Energy Theme (2007-2013)

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Participation and project characteristics

Unless specified otherwise, data for the following project-related analysis only includes projects financed solely by the Energy Theme’s budget, i.e. excluding projects funded under joint calls8.

In the various calls of the FP7 Energy Theme9, a total of 284 topics were opened resulting in 362 funded projects (399 including projects funded under joint calls). A large part of these topics were opened in the 2007 calls while the following years focussed the programme on the SET-Plan priorities as requested by the Parliament and Council. As a consequence, the number of topics in the annual work programmes was reduced drastically leading to a lower number of proposals and applicants. This resulted in higher success rates. The “focussing-trend” was most visible for demonstration projects.

In line with the concentration efforts in the context of the SET-Plan, the EU contribution per project and per participant has increased significantly since the start of FP7, especially for demonstration projects. The number of participants per project remained however rather stable (with the exception of the 2011 and 2013 calls) – around 11 participants for collaborative projects.

"Demonstration projects" are projects managed by DG ENER, "research projects" are projects managed by DG RTD.

"Demonstration projects" are projects managed by DG ENER, "research projects" are projects managed by DG RTD.

"Demonstration projects" are projects managed by DG ENER, "research projects" are projects managed by DG RTD.

Almost 60% of the individual unique organisations participating in the FP7 Energy Theme have been industrial organisations while universities accounted for 16% and research centres for 13% (public bodies: 8%; other: 4%). However, in general, research centres seem to have been stronger involved in the programme since each unique research organisation has been participating on average in 3.5 projects while statistically a single university participated in 2.7 projects and each individual industry participant in only 1.4 projects. Half of the top 50 unique participants (in terms of participations) were research centres while university participants accounted for around one third and industry participants for around one fifth of the top 50 participants.

In terms of EU contribution, half of the FP7 Energy budget has been benefitting industrial participants, while both research centres and universities received around ¼ of the total budget. Industrial participants have also been receiving the highest average EU contribution per participation. However, at the level of unique participating organisations, the individual research centres and universities have received on average a higher EU contribution than individual industrial participants because they participated in more projects. SME participants received on average 391.436 € per participation, significantly less than non-SME industrial participants, and each unique SME participated on average in 1.2 projects.


unique participants


EU contributions

participations per unique participant

EU contribution per unique participant

EU contribution per participation




€ 350.739.039


€ 968.892

€ 360.102




€ 47.947.126


€ 521.164

€ 335.295




€ 929.697.110


€ 704.316

€ 493.994

Public bodies



€ 115.437.119


€ 659.641

€ 447.431

Research centres



€ 418.912.441


€ 1.396.375

€ 404.356

Grand Total / Average







Most unique participants have participated in the area of energy efficiency/Smart Cities and Communities, smartgrids, bioenergy and fossil fuels. The highest number of participations per unique participant was in the area of fossil fuels (1.9 participations per unique participant), smartgrids (1.8), wind (1.61) and PV (1.49).

The highest industry participation has been occurring in the areas of bioenergy (65%), CSP (60%), smartgrids (57%), wind and ocean energy (both above 50%), while socio-economics, CCS/Clean Coal, FET/Materials and PV attracted the highest share of research centres. Universities were most active in the areas of FET/Materials and socio-economics.

The participation of SMEs in the Energy Theme was among the highest within the FP7 Cooperation Programme: 18.9% of the EU contribution was to the direct benefit of SMEs which accounted for 19.1% of the participants (656 participations)10. SME participation increased during the course of programme – between 2011-2013 it reached even 21.4%. Between 2007-2013, there have been 260 projects with SME participation (this corresponds to some 70% of all energy projects). On average, 1.8 SMEs participated in a single energy project.

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