A new ERA for research and innovation

Launched in 2000 by Commissioner Busquin, the European Research Area (ERA) sets out to better organise research in Europe and to address the fragmentation of national research systems and the lack of policy coordination between Member States and the EU.

Building on almost 20 years of work of the ERA, the European Council asked the Commission to relaunch the ERA in 2020 with updated policy priorities, governance and monitoring at national and EU level.

ERRIN welcomes the European Commission communication A new ERA for Research and Innovation, where multi-level governance and a systemic approach are key components in creating research, innovation, and knowledge that will provide solutions for the environmental, social, and economic transformations needed to tackle our societal challenges. To do so, the innovation dimension needs to be further embedded in the ERA. 

Read our recommendations in full below. 


ERRIN's recommendations on the future of the European Research Area

June 2020

ERA governance taking shape

In February 2021, the European Commission launched the ERA Forum for Transition to prepare the governance framework of the new ERA together with Member States. Tied to the Forum is an informal expert group, which will provide recommendations on the ERA governance framework, develop the first ERA policy agenda and provide input on a new annual ERA scoreboard to monitor progress.

As a first action, the Forum adopted a Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe with the objective to reinforce the commitment to shared policies and principles as well as making the ERA governance process more effective and impactful. The Pact sets the direction for national and EU research and innovation policy for the next decade.

ERRIN has taken an active role in the Stakeholder Group of the ERA Forum for Transition. In this context, we highlight three key principles that would strengthen and make the ERA more impactful: broadening the scope by explicitly including innovation; integrating a place-based research and innovation ecosystem approach; and applying a truly multi-level governance model where the regional and local levels are included. Learn more in this input paper from May 2021. 

glass building

ERA Hubs

ERRIN has been particularly interested in a policy action and a pilot project dedicated to the ERA Hubs concept and roll out. Together with the Committee of the Regions, we are calling for a working group to further elaborate the ERA Hubs concept. The ERA Hub proposal provides an opportunity to bring the ecosystem perspective to the ERA to map existing initiatives, structures and networks; create a better understanding of the local and regional research and innovation ecosystems; and identify gaps and areas where further support should be provided to ecosystems. Read our input paper on the ERA Hubs roll-out from October 2021. 

ERA Policy Agenda 2022-2024

In late 2021, the Council of the EU adopted a set of conclusions regarding the overhaul of the ERA in the coming years. The Council Conclusions highlight several priority goals, in addition to developing the new governance model, in the new ERA:

  • Better link research and innovation with relevant policy areas
  • Co-create and jointly implement a new ERA
  • Continued openness to international collaboration
  • Closer research and innovation coordination.

These and other specific ERA actions, such as the conceptualisation, piloting and launch of ERA Hubs, defined by the Council are included in the ERA Policy Agenda for 2022 - 2024, available here

ERA Policy Agenda

Highlighted events

Latest Updates

  • By Hilary Webb

ERRIN Chair to speak at Knowledge Exchange Platform on role of regions in ERA & Horizon Europe

On Tuesday 22 June from 09:00 CEST, ERRIN Chair Sarah English (Scotland Europa) will highlight the importance of ecosystem thinking within the renewed ERA during the Committee of the Regions and European Commission's Knowledge Exchange Platform.

  • By Anonymous

Call for MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships at Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) is looking for top-class researchers of any nationality to work under the supervision of a senior professor. The contract would be in the framework of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (MSCA-PF).

  • By Anna Tranberg

Call for input – ERRIN response to the consultation on the Pact for R&I in Europe

Provide your input to develop ERRIN's response to the European Commission's call for feedback on the Pact for R&I in Europe.

  • By Anna Tranberg

ERA governance taking shape – developing a Pact for research and innovation in Europe

The governance of the new ERA is taking shape with the first action being the adoption of the Pact for research and innovation in Europe. On 20 April, ERRIN participated in a workshop together with the Commission, Member States, and other stakeholder organisations to provide input on the first draft agreement of the Pact.

  • By Hilary Webb

ERA Forum for Transition launch announced at CoR plenary

In a debate at the Committee of the Regions plenary, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel announced the launch of the ERA Forum for Transition.

  • By Hilary Webb

CoR, JRC & DG R&I share Joint Action Plan

Innovation, research, culture and education are at the centre of a new action plan launched by the Committee of the Regions, DG R&I and the JRC. The plan contains 26 concrete actions under four priority areas.