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31 Oct 2014

EC publishes report on ERA-NET scheme

The European Commission's DG Research has recently published a report on "The ERA-NET Scheme from FP6 to Horizon 2020". The report analyses ERA-NETs, their calls and their experiences under FP6, FP7 and Horizon 2020 so far.

The report observes that the ERA-NET scheme was strongly used by member states and their research funders from 2002 to 2014, and that all EU Member States, as well as many associated countries and third countries have participated in ERA-NETs; however, the level of participation varies between different countries. More than 350 calls have been or are being implemented, with more than 3,400 projects funded between 2004 and 2014. The annual volume of coordinated research amounts to nearly euro 400 million, and a substantial leverage effect on research coordination has been observed, with continuity of the networks as a key success factor. The ERA-NET Plus instrument results in substantially more countries participating and in larger average call budgets, thus supporting the achievement of critical mass. It also establishes international peer review as an evaluation standard, as well as successfully increasing financial integration to ensure proposal selection exclusively based on excellence. Several publicity measures have helped to prepare the research funders community well for the new ERA-NET Cofund under Horizon 2020, and a total of 11 ERA-NET Cofund proposals have already been submitted in 2014.

A critical issue pointed out by the report is the fact that the financial commitments to calls vary widely between different member states and are often not in line with the research capacities and/or programme volumes of the countries in question. The report also sees an overall need to collect more evidence on the impact of ERA-NETs on the European Research Area, and in particular on national research policies. Both these issues will be more systematically addressed under Horizon 2020, with a common approach and compulsory activities on monitoring and impact assessment of individual ERA-NETs.

For further details and the report for downloading see:

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