New ERA Forum sub-group on ‘Access to excellence’ and funding synergies kicked off

New ERA Forum sub-group on ‘Access to excellence’ and funding synergies kicked off

On 7 June 2023, the first meeting of the ERA Forum sub-group ‘Access to excellence’ – ‘R&I and Cohesion Managing Authorities’ Network (RIMA) was held, to kick off the implementation of ERA Action 16 “Improve EU-wide access to excellence”.

The sub-group aims to help improve access to excellence and address the innovation divide by tackling issues and challenges linked to the implementation of R&I policies at national and regional levels – key topics for ERRIN from the perspective of widening as one of the network’s priority areas. The sub-group should enhance dialogue and coordination between the Commission and Member State bodies responsible for R&I and cohesion policy to improve the frameworks to manage the innovation gap, ensure synergies across all relevant funding sources, and boost scientific and innovation excellence throughout Europe.

ERRIN is represented in the sub-group by Bogdan Chelariu, North-East Romania Regional Development Agency, Vice-Chair and Joanna Kubiak, Wielkopolska Region, Management Board member (alternate). The first meeting focused mostly on key novelties and different types of synergies between R&I and cohesion funding, referring to the Commission Notice on Synergies between Horizon Europe and ERDF programmes from November 2022, with concrete cases by Member States. As the discussions on this topic have been gaining momentum in recent years, the expectations are high that RIMA will be able to tackle the practical aspects of the synergies’ implementation.

A day after the RIMA meeting, on 8 June, ERRIN Policy Working Group in cooperation with the Driving Urban Transitions (DUT) Partnership organised a public workshop, also dedicated to “Funding synergies – from theory to practice”. The hybrid event was joined by representatives of the European Commission's DG REGIO and DG R&I, as well as of two European Partnerships – CETP and DUT – offering practical insights and exchanges on operationalising funding synergies and ways to overcome related challenges. You may find the agenda, speaker slides and recording of the workshop here.