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Banknote research and development – cooperation opportunities with the ECB

Keeping euro banknotes secure

The ECB, like all central banks, has a duty to safeguard the integrity of its banknote security. Euro banknotes must therefore incorporate effective security features that are easily recognisable to the public. Further, the ECB must remain technologically ahead of counterfeiters by continuously improving these features for use in both current and future euro banknotes. Accordingly, the ECB manages, coordinates and funds a wide variety of research projects being conducted in the public and private sectors.

Fields of funded research

The ECB seeks to foster and benefit from research and development in the following fields:

  • security features that can be applied to banknotes
  • banknote production technology
  • banknote processing/handling technology

Funded research projects can cover a wide range of technologies and have varying durations and budgets. They may range from market analyses and short-term feasibility studies, to longer-term development projects and industrial printing trials for new banknote security features.

Who is eligible for funding?

The ECB invites commercial companies, research institutes and other professional parties that are competent in the technological areas of interest to submit project proposals. Residence in the EU is not a precondition.

How to contact us about your R&D project proposal

If you have a product or concept that you think may be of interest to the ECB for use in euro banknotes, send a short description (maximum three A4 pages) of your project proposal in English using this form to To protect any communications, you can also use our PGP encryption. Please download the public key for the project submission. You will generally receive a reply within one month.

If your proposal is of interest to the ECB, we will, in order to safeguard confidentiality, enter into a non-disclosure agreement and send you a request for further details. These are to be provided following a standard submission template and guidelines, as used for all ECB-funded projects.

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