Horizon 2020 will support the achievement and functioning of the European Research Area (ERA), as set out in the Communication on a Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth (2012).
As a key part of this approach, the aim is to support a number of Public-Public Partnerships under Horizon 2020 in the form of Art. 185 initiatives and ERA-NETs while paying particular attention to Joint Programming Initiatives. The Commission has responded to proposals for joint programmes made by Member States and launched the ordinary legislative procedure for successor programmes of extended scope under Article 185: The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP 2), Eurostars 2 (see above), the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR), Ambient and Assisted Living (AAL 2). In this process, these new partnerships have been assessed against the criteria set out in Horizon 2020 and aligned on the basis of measurable objectives with Horizon 2020 priorities.
Other approaches will be taken to support joint actions with and between Member States. The new ERA-NET Cofund actions are introduced to support joint calls and actions. Support is given, where appropriate, to enable Member States to align their funding to implement Joint Programming Initiatives.
ERA-NET Cofund under Horizon 2020 is designed to support public-public partnerships, including joint programming initiatives between Member States, in their preparation, establishment of networking structures, design, implementation and coordination of joint activities as well as Union topping-up of a trans-national call for proposals. It is based on the merger of the former ERA-NET and ERA-NET Plus actions and is implemented by using ‘programme co-fund actions'. It allows for programme collaboration in any part of the entire research-innovation cycle.
The main and compulsory activity of the ERA-NET Cofund under Horizon 2020 is the implementation of the co-funded joint call for proposals that leads to the funding of trans-national research and/or innovation projects (one co-funded call per Grant Agreement).