The Seal of Excellence (SoE) initiative is a joint effort from the European Commission’s Directorates for Research, Science and Innovation and for Regional Policy. The seal is designed to maximise synergies between EU funds available for innovative companies, including under Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation funding programme and the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). The SoE certificate is awarded to the applicants of excellent Horizon 2020 proposals that could not be funded under the available call budget. The seal identifies promising project proposals that merit funding from alternative sources (private or public regional, national, European, international).

A holder of the certificate can reach out to other investors and present the certificate as a label of a high-quality project proposal. The SoE offers an opportunity for regions and Member States (and any other interested actor) to fully exploit the high-quality Horizon 2020 evaluation process: it makes it possible to easily identify and possibly support high-impact research and innovation proposals coming from promising innovative companies, with an ambition to grow and compete internationally. It thus provides a strong encouragement to develop clear synergies between funding sources (European, National, regional and private).

Policy Learning Platform experts have identified good practices of how regions have capitalised on the Seal to increase the funding opportunities for their projects and attract investors.

Download the Policy Brief.

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Image credit: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay