Call for proposals 2020 - One new EIBURS sponsorships under the EIB Knowledge Programme - 2020 EIRBUS - 2020 Closed!


EIBURS provides grants to university departments or research centres associated with universities in the EU, candidate or potential candidate countries working on research topics of major interest to the Bank. EIBURS sponsorships – of up to EUR 100 000 per year for a period of three years – are awarded through a competitive process to interested university departments or research centres with recognised expertise in the selected area. Successful proposals entail the delivery of a variety of outputs that will be the subject of a contractual agreement with the European Investment Bank.

For the academic year 2020/2021, the EIBURS programme is seeking proposals on a new research theme: ‘Firm competitiveness, growth and digitalisation’


The EIB is seeking a comprehensive research proposal to analyse these topics by using firm level data and the EIBIS, in coordination and cooperation with the EIB Economics Department, where the EIBIS data are located. The research project will include several analyses and papers, focusing on the EU or specific EU members, dealing with:

  • The importance of intangible assets in increasing firm productivity and growth. Intangible assets are difficult to measure and quantify and therefore attributing productivity gains to their use remains a difficult, but important, task. It makes it possible to understand how intangible assets are acquired and maintained, the motivation of businesses to invest in intangible capital, the difference in the returns on these assets and tangible capital, and the intrinsic uncertainty of investing in them.
  • Difficulties in quantifying and valuing intangible assets reduce access to external finance in a financial system that is dominated by banks. They underline the importance of further studying corporate finance needs and structure in times of a growing share of intangible assets.
  • Empirical and theoretical work on the importance of regulation and institutions for firm growth and competitiveness.
  • Empirical and theoretical work on the importance of regulation and institutions for the diffusion of knowledge, innovation and technologies.
  • The role of climate change mitigation policies and efforts in boosting innovation and, ultimately, the competitiveness of European firms.
  • European companies, especially in the services sector, lag behind global peers in digitalisation. Is digitalisation investment different from general investment? How do market size, financing, project management expertise and the availability of skilled labour determine the speed and degree of digitalisation of businesses in an economy?
  • Disentangle the nexus of digitalisation and productivity – drivers and causality relationships. How is digitalisation important for productivity?
  • Due to the inherent nearly costless scalability of digitalised businesses, digitalisation often results in increased market concentration and market power. Does market power in digitalised markets have the harmful effects that are observed in traditional industries? What is the role of regulators?

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the call for proposals is:

  • 0,10 Million EUR (Global Budget)

All the important deadlines

  • 30 September 2020 - 11 months ago (Deadline for the presentation of proposals)

Further information about the call

Official webpage of the call

Useful documents

  • Call for proposals 2020 - One new EIBURS sponsorships under the EIB Knowledge Programme - 2020 (Legal base)

Organisations eligible to participate

Opened to the following bodies or institutes with legal status established in the covered areas:

  • Any legal organisation

Covered areas

Bodies or institutes must have their registered legal seat in one of the countries taking part in the Programme which are:

  • European Union (EU)

Directorate-Generale responsible


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