Proposals should aim at coordinating the research efforts of the participating Member States, Associated Countries and Regions in the areas and challenges targeted in the Renewable Energy Technologies, Decarbonising Fossil Fuels and Socio-Economics sections of the Competitive Low-Carbon Energy (LCE) call.
Individual topics suitable for ERA-NETs will be identified and discussed in close collaboration with Member States'/Associated Countries' representatives through the SET Plan governance bodies and with representatives of the Energy configuration of the H2020 Programme Committee.
Proposals will have to pay particular attention to tackling the following challenges:
- Focusing on demonstration projects and on bringing innovative low carbon energy solutions closer to commercial deployment.
- Encouraging industrial participation to leverage private sector investment.
- Strengthening the European industrial technology base, thereby creating economic growth and jobs in Europe.
- Reducing the environmental impact of the energy system.
Proposals should pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing a joint call for proposals resulting in grants to third parties with EU co-funding in this area. Proposers are encouraged to implement other joint activities, including additional joint calls without EU co-funding.
Participation of legal entities from international partner countries is encouraged in the joint call as well as in additional joint activities, on the basis of common interest and mutual benefit. Participants from countries which are not automatically eligible for funding[[http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/docs/h2020-funding-guide/cross-cutting-issues/international-cooperation_en.htm]] may nonetheless request an EU contribution to cover the coordination costs of additional activities on the basis of the ERA-NET unit cost.
The EU needs to accelerate the transformation of its energy system by bridging the gap between research and the market with innovative solutions to obstacles in the development of low carbon technologies.
Bridging this gap often requires substantial volumes of investment which cannot be allocated by individual countries or by the European Commission on their own. European Union funding is only a limited part of the total funding available across Europe. In such cases, mobilising the necessary investment can only be achieved by pooling together financial resources from multiple countries, the Commission, and the private sector. This is a challenge because the funding landscape is complex.
One of the objectives of the SET Plan is to create funding synergies on such a big scale by organising joint programming actions between the entities responsible for public funding programmes and the Commission. ERA-NETs are the main instrument for joint programming actions within the SET Plan, and they also contribute to achieving the objectives of the European Research Area (ERA). In addition, they can play a key role in achieving the goal of the Energy Union of moving away from a fragmented system characterised by uncoordinated national policies and towards a new European R&I approach which accelerates the transformation of the energy system. It is therefore politically important to support ERA-NETs and to facilitate their existence as much as possible.
It is expected that this action will help to:
- Establish long-lasting joint programming research efforts between Member States/Associated Countries in areas of common interest.
- Accelerate the time to market of affordable, cost-effective and resource-efficient technology solutions which decarbonise the energy system in a sustainable way.
- Encourage industrial participation and leverage private sector investment.
- Strengthen the European industrial technology base, thereby creating economic growth and jobs in Europe.
- Reduce the environmental impact of the energy system.
- Make a measurable contribution to the political objectives of the Energy Union, the SET Plan, and the European Research Area.