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European Research Network on Philanthropy

European Foundations for Research and Innovation Study (EUFORI Study)

Funder: European Commission


In 2009, the European Foundation Centre (EFC) finished the FOREMAP project. The Foundations Research and Mapping project was the first attempt to systematically document foundations’ contribution to research and innovation in Europe. Four countries were selected to pilot a mapping methodology, which has been designed for application across the EU. Germany, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden, characterized by a diverse background in foundations and research, formed the first pilot group. The results showed a diverse and nuanced picture of foundations supporting research in the respective countries and immediately ignited a wish to expand the study to all countries of the EU. The findings from the FOREMAP project highlighted the benefits of expanding such a mapping to all EU Member States in order to get a comprehensive picture of research- and /or innovation-funding foundations. A better understanding of the sector would allow policy-makers to give fuller consideration to the role and important contribution of foundations when developing research and innovation policies. As regards European research- and/or innovation-funding foundations, it would help develop their activities by increasing their knowledge and understanding of their European peers and by identifying new approaches and practices that they could implement. A team of national experts in the EU 27 (and Norway and Switzerland), led by VU University Amsterdam, has therefore been commissioned by the European Commission to study foundations’ contribution to research and innovation in the EU under the name EUFORI.

Aim of the study

The aim of the EUFORI study is to quantify and assess foundations’ financial support and policies for research and innovation in the EU, make a comparative analysis between 29 European countries, and identify trends and the potential for future developments in this sector. The basis for the work will be the collection of data on the characteristics and activities of research-funding foundations in each EU Member State.   

More information about the study can be found at