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Scientific and technological cooperation with the United States

The Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the United States and the European Community (EC) aims at encouraging, developing and facilitating activities of scientific and technological cooperation between the two parties to the Agreement. In particular it enables American and European scientists to participate under the same conditions in activities developed by either of the parties.


Council Decision 98/591/EC of 13 October 1998 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and the Government of the United States of America.

Council Decision 2009/306/EC of 30 March 2009 concerning the extension and amendment of the Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and the Government of the United States of America.


Decision 2009/306/EC aims to extend the Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation concluded between the European Community (EC) and the United States on 5 December 1997 in Washington for a period of five years.

Its objective is to reinforce cooperation between the two parties in common priority areas in which they carry out scientific and technological research and development activities. Areas of cooperative activities are as follows:

  • environment,
  • biomedicine and health,
  • agriculture,
  • fisheries science,
  • engineering research,
  • non-nuclear energy,
  • natural resources,
  • materials sciences (including nanotechnology) and metrology,
  • information and communication technologies (ICTs),
  • telematics,
  • biotechnology,
  • marine sciences and technologies,
  • social sciences research,
  • transportation,
  • security research,
  • space research,
  • science and technology policy, management, training and mobility of scientists.

The Agreement allows American legal entities * to participate in the European Community Framework Programme. Reciprocally, legal entities from Member States can participate in American programmes on themes that are equivalent to those of the EC Framework Programme. Actions carried out concern the implementation of research programmes, technological development and demonstration by promoting cooperation with and between enterprises, research centres, universities, third countries and international organisations. They also aim to encourage the training and mobility of scientists, as well as the dissemination and optimisation of the results of research activities, whilst complying with the provisions for intellectual property.

The two parties will facilitate the free circulation of scientists and equipment used for activities covered by this Agreement. Funding may be granted to an American legal entity participating in a Community action.

Coordination will be carried out by a Joint Consultative Group (JCG) who will meet once a year. This group is composed of a limited and equal number of representatives from each party. It is responsible for evaluating and monitoring the implementation of the Agreement. Its remit also includes determining the sectors where cooperation could be reinforced and to define research priorities.


The Agreement between the European Community and the United States of America establishes an official cooperation framework with regard to scientific and technological research. It was concluded on 5 December 1997 for an initial period of five years. It can be extended with possible amendments for additional periods of five years.

Key terms of the Act
  • Legal entity: a natural or legal person created in accordance with national law in the place of its establishment or with Community or international law, with a legal personality and being able to hold rights and obligations of any nature in its own name.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Decision 98/591/EC



OJ L 284 of 22.10.1998

Decision 2009/306/EC



OJ L 90 of 2.4.2009

Last updated: 15.02.2011
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