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Host and partner institutions

All REIs allow HEIs as host institutions of REI-funded projects, but only about half allow PRIs as hosts. A host institution is the institution responsible for filing the application, and it is generally also where the centres are physically located. Hosting a centre comes with special responsibilities, e.g. to provide infrastructure and co-funding, to administer the centre’s resources, or to employ its researchers when REI funding ends. The desk research on REI programme descriptions found that many REIs make a synergetic relationship between an REI-funded centre and its host institutions a precondition of funding. Table 2.3 lists the status of HEIs and PRIs as host and partner in different REIs. REIs in which neither HEIs nor PRIs are allowed as partners appear in the column “neither”.

In a number of REIs, PRIs and firms are also eligible as partners. In fact, in the Irish CSET and the funding line K2 of the Austrian COMET, collaboration between academic and industrial partners is mandatory. The same is true for the Norwegian CRI, which aims to encourage companies to innovate through a greater focus on long-term research; in this scheme, private companies may also host centres. Even when the rules of application do not provide for co-applications, inter-institutional co-operation is encouraged or required in virtually all REIs. Eligibility for co-application is thus more of an administrative issue, although the possibility of writing co-applications indicates that collaboration is encouraged.

Table 2.3. Eligible hosts and partners in REI applications

As partner

Only higher education institution (HEI)

Only public research institution (PRI)



As host

Only HEI

  • Sweden, Berzelii Centres
  • Sweden, Linnaeus Grants
  • Germany, Excellence Initiative
  • Germany-Saxony- Anhalt, Networks of Scientific Excellence
  • Australia, ARC Centres of Excellence
  • Ireland, PRTLI
  • New Zealand, CoRE
  • Poland - KNOW
  • Sweden, SRA
  • Denmark, UNIK
  • Japan, Global COE
  • Korea, BK 21
  • Korea, WCU
  • Russian Federation, NRU
  • Slovenia, CoE

Only PRI






  • Austria, COMET
  • Estonia, Development of Centres of Excellence
  • Finland, CoE1
  • Germany-Hesse, LOEWE
  • Germany-Thuringia, ProExcellence
  • Ireland, CSET
  • Netherlands, BIS
  • Norway, CoE
  • Norway, CRI
  • Norway, CEER
  • Portugal, Multi-Year Funding Programme
  • United States, STC

• Japan, WPI

Note: 1. In the Finnish CoE scheme, researchers apply on behalf of their host institution.

Source: OECD/RIHR questionnaire to government ministries. Q4.3: Who is eligible to apply for REI funding? (multiple responses possible).

Both host and partner institutions may be required to contribute financially to the REI centres. The survey revealed that among respondents to the questionnaire, 17 REIs require host institutions to contribute, and 11 REIs require partner institutions to do so. In ten cases, the requirement for the host institution to provide co-payments entailed a similar requirement for partner(s); in seven cases, it did not. Nine REIs had no cofinancing requirements for host or partner institutions. The amount of co-funding required varies from 5% (Estonia, Development of Centres of Excellence) to 25% (Germany- Saxony-Anhalt, Networks of Scientific Excellence; Sweden, Berzelii Centres), and up to 50% (Russia Federation, NRU; Sweden, Linnaeus Grants). In many cases, no definite limits are set, and host institutions are expected to make part of their infrastructure available to the centres as a sort of in-kind contribution. Co-funding from partners is required in all schemes involving industrial research and development (R&D).

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