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Banknote research and development

The European Central Bank, like all central banks, has a duty to safeguard the integrity and security of its euro banknotes. To make sure that euro banknotes remain accessible and inclusive, we develop innovative security features that everyone can easily recognise and trust. To stay ahead of counterfeiters, we continuously work to improve these features and to develop new ones for future banknotes. We also strive for technologically sustainable solutions that can help reduce the environmental footprint of our euro banknotes and processes.

This is why we coordinate and fund a wide range of research and development projects.

Fields of research

Funded research projects can range from short-term analyses and feasibility studies to longer-term development projects and even printing trials for new banknote features.

The following are some of the fields we look to foster and from which we benefit.

  • Banknote security features
  • Banknote production processing and handling technology
  • Technologies that improve the environmental footprint of the cash cycle
  • The science of perception and cognition

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. You do not need to be based in the EU to apply.

How to contact us about your project proposal

If you have a product or concept that you think may be of interest to the ECB for use in euro banknotes, please complete the following form in English and submit it to Please ensure that the completed form is no more than three A4 pages in length.

To protect your communications with us, you can also use PGP encryption by downloading our public key for the project submission. We do our best to reply to submissions within one month.

If your proposal is of interest to us, we will draft and ask you to sign a non-disclosure agreement to ensure confidentiality before sharing further details. We will then send you further instructions and templates for the formal submission of your proposal. These are standard for all ECB-funded projects.

Examples of previous projects

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