Research Forum

This platform is a unique space for knowledge exchange and one of only a few in Europe that allows for critical networking and deep diving into research and innovation funding practices by foundations. It offers in-person convenings around the biennial Research Forum conference (open to members and non-members) as well as one to two workshops per year bringing together foundations to tap into a sustainable broad-based network fostering transnational cooperation, collaborative research for the production of knowledge products for the broader community, as well as curated exchanges.

Assessing Research for Philanthropic Funding : Innovative Approaches


A society that fully realises the rights of children and youth, with an enhanced role of philanthropy in fostering intergenerational dialogue.

Our vision is for research-funding philanthropy to co-shape and support a pluralistic, just and resilient knowledge-driven society based on scientific evidence and to be able to leverage human-centred innovative solutions.


  • Building a fairer, more responsible and accessible research and innovation field
  • Collective impact and efficiency
  • Self-reflection


We offer a platform for independent research-funding foundations aiming at becoming more impactful in funding science, research and innovation through collaboration:

Knowledge sharing: We support a sustainable, broad-based forum of independent research-funding foundations by developing initiatives to exchange information on approaches, methodologies and tools to improve the way in which philanthropy funds research and innovation. The biannual Research Forum Conference and regular exploratory workshops resulting in knowledge or communications products are the concrete initiatives that bring the community together.

Speak as a plural voice to influence the research and innovation fields: When relevant, we come together as European foundations to jointly contribute to initiatives driven by the European institutions that shape the European or Global Research and Innovation Agenda. We consider fostering the dialogue with the European institutions as a plural voice, via Philea, in alignment with the four recommendations of the European Philanthropy Manifesto.

Collaborate towards joint action: We foster collaboration opportunities to achieve greater impact by organising, for example, joint calls and programmes based on trust-based relationships that are nourished by our common work within the Research Forum.

How to engage

Join the Steering Committee

This core group of members (maximum 12) collaboratively shapes and implements an inspiring work plan, making sure that ambitions and resources align. Two Steering Committee members co-chair the committee on a rotating basis of two years, acting as a reference point for the Philea Secretariat.

Any foundation member of Philea with an interest and expertise in funding research and innovation, along with a commitment to contribute human and financial resources, may join the Steering Committee.

Join the Community

All Full Philea members can participate in the activities organised by the Steering Committee, as well as the stakeholders from the R&I ecosystems. In some cases, any individual or organisation which is part of the R&I ecosystem may join.

Philanthropic infrastructure organisation members of Philea, Associate Members and non-members can participate in some events as participants. When organising the biannual Research Forum conference, the Steering Committee could consider liaising with the national association of the country hosting the event to explore tailored collaboration opportunities.

Steering Committee (Co-Chairs, Foundation for Polish Science and Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian)

“la Caixa” Foundation
Fondazione Cariplo
Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo
Foundation for Polish Science
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
Novo Nordisk Foundation, The
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond