A new ERA for Research and Innovation – a spotlight on the relevance for European Partnerships

This article summarizes the Communication on a new European Research Area for Research and Innovation, adopted by the European Commission on 30 September 2020, with a view to European Partnerships.

Key findings with a view to European Partnerships

The New ERA Communication sets out a collaborative framework for the Commission, Member States and R&I stakeholders to achieve four key strategic objectives:

  1. prioritising investments in R&I to successfully accomplish the green and digital transformation,
  2. improving access to excellence,
  3. translating R&I results into the economy and
  4. deepening policies that promote the free circulation of knowledge.

European R&I partnerships, with Member States and industry, in key policy areas1 are seen to be essential for prioritizing investments and reforms in research and innovation towards the green and digital transition and to support Europe’s economic recovery. Therefore, a target of spending 5% of national public funding to joint research and development programmes and European partnerships, by 2030 has been set.

The ‘Widening participation and strengthening ERA’ package shall support less performing Member States, to valorise and connect existing ecosystems. It will support collaborations with more experienced counterparts in order to enhance access to excellence.

For speeding up the transfer of research results into the economy, the Commission will guide the development of common technology roadmaps. These roadmaps shall be part of the Strategic Innovation Agendas agreed with Member States and industry, under the Horizon Europe R&I Partnerships.

For achieving greater societal impact and increased trust in science, high emphasis shall be put on the engagement of citizens, local communities and civil society for the new ERA. The communication calls Member States, research organisations and industry to involve citizens in technology choices and to agree on principles, recommendations and good practices for incentivising and rewarding citizen participation.

For the governance of the ERA, a European Pact for Research and Innovation will set out commonly agreed values and principles and indicating the areas where Member States will jointly develop priority actions. A transparent monitoring system will be accomplished through the publication of a yearly ERA Scoreboard which will address the progress at EU and national level. ERAC will continue to provide strategic advice on priority setting, monitoring and assessment, to deliver on the new ERA vision.


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