The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level. It supports the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services. CEF investments fill the missing links in Europe's energy, transport and digital backbone.

CEF is complementary to the Horizon Europe  framework programme for research and innovation.  While CEF focuses on building modern infrastructure (transport, energy and digital networks), EU funded Horizon Europe projects develop and test new clean energy, transport and digital technologies that can be used in the next generation of modern infrastructure.

The CEF is divided into three sectors:

  • CEF Transport that supports the construction and upgrade of sustainable transport infrastructure projects, for the development and modernisation of the Trans-European Transport network;
  • CEF Energy that supports the construction and upgrade of sustainable energy infrastructure projects, including cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy;
  • CEF Digital that supports the deployment of digital networks, i.e. sustainable and high capacity projects such as 5G coverage of trans-European corridors and submarine cables.

One of the key priorities of CEF is enabling and strengthening the synergies between the three sectors. Actions across sectors may enable costs or results to be optimised through the pooling of financial, technical or human resources.

For whom?

For various types of organisations (public services, government institutions, public and private companies), including universities and university hospitals.

Duration and budget

The duration of projects varies between 12 and 36 months. The call text usually mentions an indicative project duration.

The budget varies depending on the call.

The EU contribution covers in principle only a part of the eligible costs (usually no more than 75%).

Interested researchers should timely contact the Grants Office of Research, Innovation & Valorisation Antwerp (RIVA) to discuss co-funding arrangements and to get clearance.

Application procedure

Proposals are submitted through the EU Funding and Tenders Portal. More information about the CEF programme and an overview of the calls can be found on the website of CINEA and on the EU Funding and Tenders Portal.