What are European Partnerships?
European Partnerships are initiatives where the EU commits to jointly support the development and implementation of a programme of research and innovation activities together with private and/or public partners. Some of these activities include the coordination of funding calls.
The Horizon Europe Partnerships have been strategically established only where it is seen they can achieve the programme’s objectives more effectively than via other R&I activities. They aim to reduce duplication of effort and address largescale global challenges such as climate change, the global technology leadership race, threats to biodiversity, and the ageing population.
Who is involved?
Partners can represent industry, universities, research organisations and public service bodies at a local, regional, national or international level. Partners also typically include civil society organisations, including foundations and NGOs.
What are the different types of Partnership?
There are three main types of partnership, which have slightly different remits – these are outlined below:
These are the largest and most formal style of partnership, which also require legislative proposal and implementation (via Article 185 and/or 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Leading players in different sectors come together with the Commission to fund and write calls focused on a specific research area (e.g. Europe’s rail system). The Commission then manages all submissions which means proposals are submitted and assessed in the same way as standard calls.
EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) are also institutionalised partnerships. EIT KICs were established under Horizon 2020 with the aim of addressing skills shortages in particular areas. Key partners in EIT KICs are higher education institutions, research organisations and companies.
Co-funded partnerships build on past ERA-NETs, bringing together national funding bodies (e.g. UKRI, Department of Transport) with the Commission to create specified calls to fund transnational collaborative projects. Participants apply to (and are funded by) their national funding body in the partnership call. An institution is therefore only eligible to apply if a national funder has committed to the network. (NB: UK’s participation currently TBC)
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These types of partnership are collaborations between the European Commission and private/public partners, with the aim of driving forward the Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA) of selected fields. They are often consulted in the development of work programmes, and therefore membership provides an invaluable opportunity to be involved in setting the agenda for future calls.
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