Glossary General Informationen

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

The following definitions apply to the Technology Readiness Level (TRL):

  • TRL 1 – basic principles observed
  • TRL 2 – technology concept formulated
  • TRL 3 – experimental proof of concept
  • TRL 4 – technology validated in lab
  • TRL 5 – technology validated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
  • TRL 6 – technology demonstrated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
  • TRL 7 – system prototype demonstration in operational environment
  • TRL 8 – system complete and qualified
  • TRL 9 – actual system proven in operational environment (competitive manufacturing in the case of key enabling technologies; or in space)
Certifying Authority

The Certifying Authority is the body responsible for checking project expenditure, applying for funding from the European Commission and disbursing project funds.

De minimis aid

De minimis aid is aid granted by an EU Member State to a company. Under certain conditions, such aid is not subject to the notification procedure to the European Commission, as due to the amount limit it is assumed that neither competition nor trade between Member States is affected.

EU Login

EU Login is the European Commission's user authentication service. It allows authorised users to access a range of European Commission web services. Registration is a prerequisite for submitting applications and managing projects in most funding programmes.

European Green Deal

The European Green Deal is the plan to make the EU economy sustainably carbon neutral by 2050. The plan describes the required investments and the available financing instruments. The Green Deal bundles all the measures and research programmes that will be implemented to achieve this goal.

FAIR data

FAIR data stands for discoverable, accessible, interoperable and reusable data with the aim of making science more open. The EU strongly encourages the production of FAIR data. It is advisable that data produced in EU-funded projects are discoverable with metadata, identifiable and findable through a standard identifier.


A grant is a direct financial contribution from the EU budget, awarded according to specific rules and procedures, to fund activities that are in line with EU policies, e.g. research and innovation, regional and urban development, employment and social inclusion, etc. There are different forms of grants:

  • Actual cost grant: A grant based on actual costs incurred, but may also include other forms of funding, such as unit costs, lump sums, flat rates or funding not linked to costs (budget-based mixed actual cost grant).
  • Lump sum grant: A lump sum that covers all costs of the projects. The payment of the grant is linked to the successful completion of the respective work packages.  
  • Unit-based grant: A grant based on unit rates (fixed amount per unit) set by the European Commission.
Joint Research Centre (JRC)

The JRC is the EU's research institution and part of the EU Commission. The Centre provides independent scientific and technical advice to the EU Commission and EU Member States, carries out research activities (direct actions) and participates as a beneficiary in EU grants (indirect actions).

Managing Authorities

Each EU-funded programme has a Managing Authority, which has operational responsibility for the programme. The authority ensures that projects are approved, implemented and monitored according to agreed criteria.

Monitoring Committee

The Monitoring Committee is the central body of a programme. Its task is to ensure the quality and effectiveness of programme implementation. Project applications are approved or rejected by the SC.

Normally, each country involved in a programme is represented by one person on the committee and decisions are made by consensus.

Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)

The MFF is the multi-annual EU budget that sets the priorities and parameters for EU spending for successive 5-7 year periods. The MFF sets binding annual ceilings for both overall EU spending and major policy areas. The current framework covers the period 2021-2027.

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)

RRI is a strategy framework that aims to interpret and manage the relationships between science, technology and society from both a theoretical and operational perspective. In particular, the RRI approach aims to incorporate a reflexive, critical and meta-scientific dimension into scientific research and technological development in order to highlight the moments when the needs of science and society may conflict, or when simply research and innovation can potentially bring important transformative effects and impacts on society.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The SDGs, or Global Goals, are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals that aim to be a "blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all". The SDGs were set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 and are to be achieved by 2030.

The 17 SDGs are:  (1) Zero Poverty, (2) Zero Hunger, (3) Good Health and Wellbeing, (4) Quality Education, (5) Gender Equality, (6) Clean Water and Sanitation, (7) Affordable and Clean Energy, (8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, (9) Industry, innovation and infrastructure, (10) Reducing inequality, (11) Sustainable cities and communities, (12) Responsible consumption and production, (13) Climate action, (14) Life under water, (15) Life on land, (16) Peace, justice and strong institutions, (17) Partnerships for the goals.

Work programme

Based on legal foundations (regulations) for the establishment of funding programmes, each programme is obliged to draw up work programmes. In addition to general and specific objectives, these work programmes also contain specifications on the contents and budgets of planned calls for project submissions and their deadlines. The work programmes can be annual or multi-annual.