The European Research Area initiative has led to a number of different activities and has been translated into specific action in several ways:
- Activities which build on the conclusions of the Lisbon European Council, most of them based on Commission Communications or staff working papers, are underway in relation to:
- Contact fora and structures covering private and public research players have been set up, most often linked to EU activities and programmes, in order to improve the coordination of national activities and policies in several areas: transport (ACARE for aeronautical research, ERRAC for railway research); the environment (European Platform on Biodiversity Research Strategy - EPBRS); energy: "High-Level Group for Research on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells", in the framework of the global "Civilisation H²" project and in conjunction with the future Commission Communication on clean technologies;
- A new Community Framework Programme for research has been adopted (Seventh Framework programme) which has been specifically designed and formulated to help achieve the European Research Area.
- The Joint Research Centre (JRC) has stepped up activities related to the networking of national research capabilities which it carries out to provide the scientific references necessary for EU policies, in particular in the fields of nuclear safeguards and safety, chemical metrology, environmental hazards, and the detection and analysis of GMOs;
- Initiatives undertaken independently of EU activities but defined in the spirit of the European Research Area have been launched or studied spontaneously by the scientific community and by industry. Increasingly, reference is made in national research bodies' programmes to the European Research Area (e.g. the CEA (nuclear research) and INSERM (medical research) programmes in France and the programme of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
- Bilateral and multilateral links between the main national research organisations (CNRS in France, CSIC in Spain, CNR in Italy, the Max Planck Gesellschaft in Germany, the Research Councils in the UK, TNO in the Netherlands, FNRS in Belgium, TEKES in Finland, etc) are intensifying. These are developing in particular through the creation of "Associated European Laboratories" (laboratories "without walls" combining teams from several different countries).
- New collaboration schemes are also emerging, such as the exchange programme for researchers between the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Royal Society, and the fellowship scheme for young researchers developed in the framework of the EUROHORCS association.
Last updated on: 2008-04-18