ESPON finances and monitors applied research projects, which are carried out by transnational scientific consortia (Transnational Project Groups), contracted by the programme Managing Authority through a competitive process.

The projects launched under the ESPON programme follow an integrated approach and have a clear territorial dimension. These applied research projects (36 have been launched) cover a wide range of spatial issues and are of different nature, regarding their goals and methods employed.

The following fields of research can be differed:

  • Thematic projects (projects under Priority 1) on the territorial effects of major spatial developments on the background of typologies of regions, and the situation of cities on the base of broad empirical data
  • Policy impact projects (projects under Priority 2) on the spatial impact of Community sector policies, Member States’ spatial development policy on types of regions with a focus on the institutional inter-linkages between the governmental levels and instrumental dimension of policies on the base of broad empirical data
  • Co-ordinating cross-thematic projects (projects under Priority 3) as a key component. Evaluation of the results of the other studies towards integrated results such as indicator systems and data, typologies of territories, spatial development scenarios and conclusions for the territorial development.
  • Scientific briefing and networking (projects under Priority 4) in order to explore the synergies between the national and EU sources for research and research capacities.
  • Studies and scientific support projects serve mainly the purpose of deepening results already achieved by current ESPON projects. More particularly, the ESPON Studies will further deepen and explore the results already achieved in a targeted way, in response to demands from the policy community. The ESPON Scientific Support Projects will address issues of a more technical and/or scientific nature, to be presented in a “state-of-the-art” documents. They will as well to some extent serve as a preparatory work for a possible continuation of ESPON activities after 2006.

As ESPON project progress they deliver Interim Reports, as a general rule 3 Interim Reports for the applied research projects. These Interim Reports are being commented by members of the Monitoring Committee and the ECP network. The ESPON CU provides a response on each Interim Report received. In addition, within the framework of the ECP Transnational Activities, the ECP network produced a report compiling the ECP's comments on 10 ESPON Final Reports - Compiling 1.

© ESPON, 2006. Permission is given to use the ESPON information, such as maps, graphs, data and findings under the condition that the requirements included in the legal notice of this website are satisfied.