Thematic Research and education 2018-06-13T12:48:00+00:00


Vaccines are essential for providing immunity to many life-threatening diseases. Around 6% of the world population suffers from Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HCV). No vaccine exists for Hepatitis C while the vaccine for Hepatitis B is both expensive to develop and fails in almost 10% of vaccinated adults. A team of researchers from Romania and Norway looked at the issue from an innovative angle: Could the answer be in your garden?
Led by the Institute of Biochemistry of the Romanian Academy in Romania, the team explored plants as a new cheap and effective source for vaccines. With EEA Grants funding provided in the 2009-2014 period, they have successfully cloned, characterised and produced a series of nine new HBV and HCV antigens in mammalian cells, tobacco plants and lettuce. This provided a cheaper and edible option for vaccine development in the future.
This GreenVac project was an excellent example of researchers coming together with complementary knowledge, leading to joint expertise; the team at the Institute of Biochemistry of the Romanian Academy shared their know-how in HBV/HCV fundamental virology, vaccine development and immunology, while the Norwegians from Bioforsk brought knowledge of plant science to the table.
“This has been a true win-win,” said Dr Clarke, adding that the team plans to continue working together on the topic. Two applications for European funding have already been submitted to the Era-Net programme under Horizon 2020.
Find out more about the project.
Building education across countries
Our partnerships in education strive to strengthen institutions, support talent, share knowledge and find common solutions. In Hungary, universities, schools and other educational institutions have collaborated with partners from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in diverse areas, ranging from textiles to astronomy.
Interested in this programme? Read more here.


Investment in high quality research and education is crucial for building a knowledge-based economy, driving sustainable productivity and boosting global competitiveness. Europe is on the right track1, but challenges remain.

1.European Commission, 2017


With €185 million from the EEA and Norway Grants devoted to research and education in the 2009-2014 funding period, we have strengthened European research competence, increased the quality of education and built strong partnerships between the donor and beneficiary countries.
See our Data and Results Portal for detailed breakdown of funding across countries.
Read about what will be supported in the research and education sector in the 2014-2021 funding period.