The original objective of the ERA-NET scheme was to develop and strengthen the coordination of national and regional research programmes through two specific actions:
– ERA-NET actions – which provide a framework for actors implementing public research programmes to coordinate their activities. This includes support for new ERA-NETs as well as for the broadening and deepening of the scope of existing ERA-NETs, e.g. by extending their partnership, as well as mutually opening their programmes;
– ERA-NET Plus actions– In a limited number of cases, additional EU financial support was provided to facilitate joint calls for proposals between national and/or regional programmes.
Under the ERA-NET scheme, national and regional authorities identified research programmes they wished 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).
ERA-NET under Horizon 2020
The focus of ERA-NET has shifted from funding networks to ‘topping-up’ funding of single joint-calls for transnational research and innovation. This is done in selected areas with high European added-value and Horizon 2020 relevance.
ERA-NET under Horizon 2020 merges the former ERA-NET and ERA-NET Plus into a single financial instrument with the central compulsory element of implementing one substantial call with top-up funding from the Commission.
This aims to increase substantially the share of funding that Member States dedicate jointly to challenge-driven research and innovation agendas.