The objective of the ERA-NET scheme, which was launched in 2002 under the European Commission's 6th Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP6), is to enhance coordination of national or regional research programmes in the Member States and Associated Countries. The scheme has significantly contributed to structuring the European Research Area by favouring actions jointly supported by several Member States/Associated Countries and the Commission (such as joint calls, joint programmes, etc.).
ERA-NET scheme under FP7
ERA-NETs are a coordination action that aim at reducing the fragmentation of the ERA resulting from the coexistence of several national and regional public research programmes.
Under the ERA-NET scheme, national and regional authorities identify research programmes they wish to coordinate or open up mutually. Accordingly participants in these actions are programme owners (typically ministries or regional authorities defining research programmes) or programme managers (such as research councils or other research funding agencies managing research programmes).
ERA-NETs were – in addition to BILAT and INCO-NET projects – the main instrument used for activities in the area of International Cooperation of the Capacities programme of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development (2007-2013).
An FP7 funded ERA-NET can include the following activities:
The two types of ERA-NETs in FP7 were:
Only a few FP7 funded ERA-NETs are horizontal, i.e. international ERA-NETS that target the cooperation with selected third countries, like ERA.Net RUS and ERA.Net RUS Plus.
ERA-NET in Horizon 2020
The ERA-NET instrument under Horizon 2020 is designed to support public-public partnerships in their preparation, establishment of networking structures, design, implementation and coordination of joint activities as well as topping up of single joint calls and of actions of a transnational nature.
The ERA-NET under Horizon 2020 merges the former ERA-NET and ERA-NET Plus into a single instrument with the central and compulsory element of implementing one substantial call with top-up funding from the Commission.
The focus of ERA-NETs is therefore shifting from the funding of networks to the top-up funding of single joint calls for transnational research and innovation in selected areas with high European added value and relevance for Horizon 2020.
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(updated April 2016) (URL: http://www.bmbf.de/_media/ERANet_RUS_Plus_Flyer_for_web_Aug_2016.pdf)
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Brochure on the ERA.Net RUS project, incl. all projects funded as a result of the Pilot Joint Calls (URL: http://www.bmbf.de/_media/ERANet-RUS_2012_final_web.pdf)