ERA-NET (ERA-NET Plus and ERA-NET Cofund)
The aims of ERA-NET projects is to support networking, coordination and cooperation between national R&D programmes of different EU Member States, including their mutual opening and the development and implementation of joint activities to overcome the fragmented nature of the European Research Area.
Authorities identify research programmes which they wish to coordinate or open up mutually. The participants in these actions are therefore 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).
The ERA-NET scheme was launched in 2002 under the Sixth Framework Programme and slightly changed its format since then.
ERA-NETs under FP6
Under the 6th Framework Programme ERA-NETs aim at (1) facilitating exchange of good practices, (2) identifying common strategic issues and (3) planning and implementing joint research programmes and activities, in particular joint calls between national R&D programmes. FP6 prided programme owners and managers 100% reimbursement rate for coordination and management costs.
In FP6, a total of 71 ERA-NETs were funded corresponding to different thematic areas: energy, environment, fundamental sciences, industrial technologies and SMEs, international cooperation, life sciences, social sciences and humanities, ICT, health, infrastructures, security, KBBE (Knowledge Based Bio-Economy), transport and horizontal areas targeting the cooperation with selected third countries, i.e. international ERA-NETS. In the Danube Region, the most important horizontal ERA-NET was SEE-ERA.NET with a focus on the Western Balkan countries.
ERA-NETs under FP7
The scheme continued in FP7, with a large increase to around 120 ERA-NETs (83 ERA-NETs and 23 ERA-NET Plus actions) with a total public funding commitment of about €1.4 billion.
FP7 introduced a new module, called ERA-NET Plus. According to the ERA-NET Plus scheme, the Commission supported the organisation of joint calls between national research programmes by “topping-up” joint trans-national funding with Community funding. Top-up funding is conditional on the demonstration of added value of the action at Union level and on prior indicative financial commitments in cash or in kind of the participating entities to the joint calls and actions. ERA-NET PLUS provided 33% reimbursement rate for the costs of funding the projects.
ERA-NETs under Horizon 2020
The ERA-NET scheme under Horizon 2020 merged ERA-NET and ERA-NET Plus into ERA-NET Cofund, thus simplifying the procedure. A programme Cofund action refers to an action funded through a grant the main purpose of which is supplementing individual calls or programmes funded by entities, other than Union funding bodies, managing research and innovation programmes.
ERA-NET Cofund is supporting public to public partnerships (P2Ps) in their preparation, establishment of networking structures, design, implementation and coordination of joint activities as well as Union topping up of no more than one substantial call per Grant Agreement and of actions of a transnational nature. The focus is shifting from the funding of networks to the top-up funding of individual joint calls.
For more information on ERA-NET Cofund please follow this link.