A new ERA for Research and Innovation

The European Research Area (ERA) aims to increase collaboration between the national research systems and to ensure better policy coordination between the Member States and the EU. Originally launched in 2000, the ERA was renewed in 2020, starting with the adoption of the Commission’s Communication on A new ERA for Research and Innovation. The revitalised ERA’s ambition is to better address the societal, ecological and economic challenges, based on three pillars established in November 2021: new ERA governance involving the ERA Forum; adoption of a Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe; and a new ERA Policy Agenda with 20 concrete ERA actions for 2022-2024.

In this frame, the ERA Forum serves for the Commission and EU countries to co-design and coordinate the implementation of the ERA actions, prepare future updates of the policy agenda and ensure the involvement of relevant stakeholders.


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

June 2020

ERRIN's work on ERA

ERRIN has been observing ERA since before the start of the renewal process and actively contributing to its developments, including to the Commission’s Communication from 2020. ERRIN welcomed the communication, where multi-level governance and a systemic approach are key components. The network is an active stakeholder in the ERA Forum, within the Research and Technology Performing Organisations (RTPO) category. Regarding the ERA Policy Agenda 2022-2024, as an organisation, we are committed to the following ERA actions, linking to EU Missions and widening as two main network priorities for 2022-2023:

  • Action 10: sub-action on EU Missions
  • Action 11: sub-action on ERA4FutureWork
  • Action 15: Regional and national R&I ecosystems (ERA Hubs)
  • Action 16: Access to excellence

ERA action 15 and a pilot project dedicated to the ERA Hubs concept and rollout are of particular interest to ERRIN. ERA Hubs are an opportunity to create a framework for both multi-level governance and multi-stakeholder approach, whose role in addressing societal challenges is increasingly recognised. This action should also be seen as an essential foundation and point of reference for supporting more thematic ecosystem approaches such as Hydrogen Valleys or Renewable Energy Valleys.

Moreover, ERRIN aims to follow a number of other ERA actions, such as action 12: Accelerate the green/digital transition of Europe’s key industrial ecosystems.

Our network is also a partner of the Knowledge Exchange Platform, relaunched as KEP 2.0 in 2020 to support regions and cities in promoting science and research locally.

glass building


  • ERRIN organised a panel debate on innovation divide as part of the Spring Annual General Meeting, linking to discussions on widening in the ERA Forum and ERA Policy Agenda action 16
  • ERRIN’s Policy Working Group organised meetings on widening in the context of ERA Hubs; and on ERA Forum & European Innovation Agenda

  • In April, ERRIN drafted an input paper on the ERA governance
  • In October, ERRIN drafted an input paper on the ERA Hubs roll-out followed by a Policy WG meeting on the topic
  • ERRIN’s Policy Working Group organised meetings on the regional dimension of the ERA; and on shaping the ERA Hubs concept – what can we learn from regional examples?

  • In June, ERRIN drafted and input paper on the future of the ERA
  • ERRIN’s Policy Working Group organised meetings on the future of the European Research Area; and on linking the ERA, EHEA and EEA – creating a coherent European space for research, innovation and education

ERRIN's policy messages

To strengthen and make the ERA more impactful, the following points should be considered:

  • Broadening the scope of ERA by explicitly including innovation
  • Integrating a place-based research and innovation ecosystem approach
  • Applying a truly multi-level governance model where the regional and local levels are included
  • Creating a working group to further elaborate the ERA Hubs, 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.

Moreover, with regard to the ERA Forum, ERRIN recommends:

  • Improving overall organisation of the stakeholder engagement, which should be much more flexible in the ERA Forum and the specific ERA actions, including the revision of the stakeholder categories
  • Strengthening communication and involvement of stakeholders at member state level
  • Increasing ownership and engagement of the stakeholders in individual actions
  • Further focusing of the work of the Forum and limiting the number of the ERA actions that require active engagement of everyone
  • Co-creating the core set of ERA policy actions within the ERA Forum

Highlighted events

Latest Updates

  • By Ewa Chomicz

Guidance on synergies between Horizon Europe and ERDF is out

The guidance on new opportunities to maximise the synergies between Horizon Europe and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programmes was published by the European Commission on 5 July 2022. The document intends to provide a practical and user-friendly approach.

  • By Ewa Chomicz

The new European Innovation Agenda unveiled

On 5 July, the European Commission adopted the new European Innovation Agenda with the aim of positioning Europe at the forefront of the new wave of deep tech innovation and start-ups. The document, to which ERRIN submitted input in May this year, sets out 25 dedicated actions under five flagships, including on European Innovation Ecosystems.

  • By Ewa Chomicz

ERRIN messages for Horizon Europe WIDERA Work Programme 2023-2024

As the Horizon Europe Work Programming for 2023-2024 is currently underway, ERRIN is pleased to share its messages and recommendations on the Horizon Europe WIDERA Work Programme for the coming period.

  • By Astrid Hannes

ERRIN Erasmus+ 2022 Project Development Workshop: Call for project ideas

In the 2022 edition of the Erasmus+ Project Development Workshop, hosted by ERRIN and its members, we invite project proposals within the Erasmus+ centralised actions in Key Action 2 focusing on building bridges between research, innovation and education.

  • By Hilary Webb

ERRIN contribution to call for evidence for the new European Innovation Agenda

ERRIN has submitted its messages in response to the European Commission's call for evidence for the development of the new European Innovation Agenda.

  • By Anna Grimault

Call for MSCA postdoctoral fellowship - University of Angers & Nantes

The Universities of Angers and Nantes, in Western France, have each released a call for manifestation of interest for MSCA postdoctoral fellowship. The call is open to post-doc researchers of any nationality, looking for expanding their experience and boosting their career with a stay in a French research group. Both universities are among the 592 organisations that have received the HR Excellence in Research award.