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FRONTEX RESEARCH GRANTS PROGRAMME - Call for Proposals on Novel Technologies for Border Management (Open Theme)


Research Field
Formal sciences
Natural sciences
Professions and applied sciences
Funding Type
Career Stage


The Programme

In December 2022, Frontex launched the Frontex Research Grants Programme, a collaborative funding programme that intends to increase the impact of technological research in border management by supporting small-scale research projects of non-profit research organisations and academic institutions operating in EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries.

This initiative is part of Frontex Research and Innovation commitment to continuously seek engagement with cross- sectorial research partners who play an important role in developing novel technological solutions for the advancement of border security.

It is a step towards encouraging and facilitating a direct dialogue with research organisations and academia which play an essential role in developing technologies that serve the interest of society, helping them to bring their most promising ideas from the lab to real applications in border security.


The Call

The first Call for Proposals for granting funds under the Frontex Research Grants Programme has been published in December 2022 and is dedicated to Novel Technologies for Border Management, with open research theme, to foster and support EU’s technological research and innovation on a broad range of technologies of high relevance for the European Border and Coast Guard.


General Objectives of the Call

  • Support European non-profit research and academic communities in bringing forward innovation by inviting them to propose small-scale research projects aimed at developing future-oriented technological concepts, proof-of-concepts or prototypes in support of specific and concrete border security needs, and providing a streamlined and simplified funding mechanism to these projects.
  • Advance scientific knowledge of the European Border and Coast Guard by exploring the potential use of the outcomes of such research projects in the operational environments.


Specific Objectives

  • Scouting - Discover R&I on cutting-edge technologies available in the EU’s non-profit academic and research organisations’ ecosystem with a potential to address current border management operational challenges and respond to emerging threats.
  • Guidance - Develop innovative technological solutions by encouraging non-profit EU R&I actors to shape their small-scale technological research products in a way capable to satisfy the operational requirements of the EBCG community.
  • Scale-up - Support the transition of small-scale R&I in fields of relevance for border security to higher technology readiness levels (TRLs), incentivising the realisation of experimental proof-of-concepts and prototypes, as well as validations and demonstrations in relevant environments.


Open Research Theme

This is a Call for Proposals with “open theme”, tackling any technology with a high innovation potential and addressing a broad range of operational tasks relevant to border management. Therefore, applicants have no restrictions on the theme of the research project they want to propose.



Project proposals in response to this Call must be aimed at research activities that meet four priorities.

  • Priority 1 - Focus on applied research: Target the realisation of a new or improved technological solution (component or system) which has already passed the fundamental research stage (TRL 1) at the date of submission of the application, with the ambition to bring it to a maturity level not exceeding the stage of a system prototype demonstration (TRL 7) by the end of the project.
  • Priority 2 - Present innovation potential: Focus on a technological solution that has an ambitious innovation target and goes beyond the state-of-the art.
  • Priority 3 - Realise a viable technological solution: Conduct to a technological solution which is feasible, cost-effective and suitable to be operationalised.
  • Priority 4 - Contribute to the Thematic Categories: Contribute to at least one of the seven Thematic Categories representative of the typical mission-relevant technologies distinctive for the European Border and Coast Guard:

                - Technologies for Border Checks

                - Technologies for Border Surveillance and Situational Awareness

                - Technologies for Information and Communication Management and Data Analytics

                - Simulation Tools

                - Technologies for Standing Corps and Logistic Support

                - Advanced Technologies for Environmentally Sustainable Systems and Operations

                - Disruptive, Emerging and Key Enabling Technologies


Expected outputs

Project proposals shall result in the development of novel technological concepts, proof-of-concepts or prototypes to be formulated, realised, validated or demonstrated in the course of the project implementation.

The outcomes of a funded research project shall be clearly illustrated by the beneficiaries in a Research Report.


Who can apply

Public, private or public-private non-profit Research Organisations and Academic Institutions established in one or more Member States of the European Union or Schengen Associated Countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland):

  • Research Organisations: Entities which carry out scientific research and/or technological development as one of their main objectives. Examples are research institutes, research and technology organisations, RTD-performing foundations, research incubators, innovation hubs/districts and law enforcement or EBCG national authorities conducting research on border management technologies.
  • Academic Institutions: Higher education establishments dedicated to education and scientific/technological research which are recognised as such by their national education system. Examples are Universities, Polytechnic Institutes, Institutes of Technology, Colleges, Campuses, Graduate Schools and Police or Military Academies.

Applications are welcome from either single applicants or consortia of (maximum 4) independent co-applicants.


A simplified funding scheme for small-scale research projects

Form of the grant: Reimbursement of up to 90% of the eligible costs of the research projects, declared by the beneficiaries on the basis of a lump sum calculated in accordance with their usual cost accounting practices.

Eligible costs: Limited to the direct costs of the project, including costs of personnel, travel and related subsistence, equipment, consumables and supplies, costs arising directly from requirements imposed by the Grant Agreement, duties, taxes and charges paid by the beneficiaries.

Budget available for the Call: 250,000 EUR

Grant ceiling: Frontex contribution of up to 60,000 EUR per project.

Duration of research projects: From 6 to 12 months

Minimum administrative workloadfor the beneficiaries: The use of lump sum costs will provide the grants’ beneficiaries with predictability of costs, simplified reporting and reimbursement procedures, facilitated checks or audits, thus significantly reducing the administrative burden at the application and payment stages.


How to apply

For a quick overview, we encourage perspective applicants to read the attached Call for Proposals Factsheet.

The Call for Proposals and all its Annexes (including the application forms) are available for downloading on the Frontex webpage:  

Applicants are encouraged to read carefully these documents before submitting an application as they contain precise information on the conditions of the Call, on how to apply for the grant and the issues that applicants should address in their proposals.

Applications must be submitted by email to:  not later than 5 March 2023 12:00 CET.

Applicants are recommended not to leave the submission process to the last minute.


More Information

Requests for clarifications regarding this Call for Proposals, indicating its reference number (2022/CFP/RIU/01), can be sent by email to  until 27 February 2023 12:00 CET. Frontex will reply as soon as possible by sending a message directly to the email address from which the inquiry was sent.

If relevant to other applicants, the questions and answers will be anonymously published by 2 March 2023 12:00 CET on the Frontex webpage:  under the section dedicated to this Call for Proposals, where a file named “Frequently asked questions – FAQs” will be made available containing all such questions (if received) and answers.


The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.