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Coordination of Research Activities

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About Coordination

The ERA-NET Scheme

The objective of the ERA-NET scheme is to develop and strengthen the coordination of national and regional research programmes through two specific actions:

  • 'ERA-NET actions' - providing a framework for actors implementing public research programmes to coordinate their activities e.g. by developing joint activities or by mutually supporting joint calls for trans-national proposals.
  • 'ERA-NET Plus actions'- providing, in a limited number of cases with high European added value, additional EU financial support to facilitate joint calls for proposals between national and/or regional programmes.

Under the ERA-NET scheme, national and regional authorities identify research programmes 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 community

As a result of the ERA-NET scheme, progress has been made in reducing fragmentation across the European Research Area (ERA) during Framework Programme 6. More than 1000 programme owners and managers participate in the 71 ERA-NET actions funded through Coordination Actions, involving hundreds of national research programmes [For a full list of projects, see ].

In 2006, a series of focused workshops gathered representatives of ongoing ERA-NET actions and other stakeholders. Their reports were instrumental in drawing up this section of the Work Programme (read more … workshop reports …). A group of high-level expert published the main findings and recommendations of these reports in a report published in December 2006 (read the ERA-NET Review Report )


Framework Programme 7 will start from the running ERA-NETs and will aim to structure the European Research Area in coherence with the objectives of the Framework Programme :

  • New ERA-NET actions will be supported;
  • Existing ERA-NET actions may re-apply to receive Commission support to extend and/or reinforce their integration e.g. by broadening their partnership or increasing the type of collaborations.
  • In a new module, called "ERA-NET Plus", the Commission will support the organisation of joint calls between national research programmes by “topping-up” joint trans-national funding with Community funding.

In contrast to Framework Programme 6, the ERA-NET scheme is no longer a 'stand-alone' action in Framework Programme 7. It is an implementation tool, which will be used mainly in the context of the Cooperation specific programme, but also in the Parts of the Capacities Programme.

Every year, workprogrammes will indicate which topics are open for submission of new ERA-NETs or extension of running ones.

In addition, where the actions are of a horizontal nature or are not directly linked to the Cooperation themes, they can be submitted under a specific, bottom-up, topic and will be supported jointly across all of the themes.

Last updated on: 2010-07-30