Research funding is one of the major intersections where science meets politics. Over the past decades, this intersection has seen a number of concepts, instruments, programs, and actors. In Europe, as in many other industrial countries, public spending for research, development and innovation has been increased significantly since 2000. Despite many differences in national contexts, there seems to be trends towards “agencification” and “competitive funding”, meaning that “lean” agencies provide funding for (primarily) project-based research through review procedures. If these trends are assumed to ensure distributing public funding most effectively, they pose quite some organisational challenges. How to deal with dual legitimacy issues such as fairness in allocation of funding and efficiency in carrying out the decision-making process? What are thresholds of “efficiency” in terms of size of programs, instruments, agencies? What is the influence of actors such as legislatures (parliaments), scientific organisations, audit courts, as well as the agencies themselves? This panel outline proposes to continue the work started with similar panels at ECPR 2017 in Oslo and 2018 in Hamburg. In particular, it aims to bring together scholars looking at innovation systems from an organisational perspective. We invite contributions on case studies, such as semi-independent agencies tasked with carrying out the allocation of funding at national level as well as European examples. Also, we look for studies on national innovation systems, and in particular studies that take a comparative perspective.