Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

You are here: Home / Alignment / Current approaches

Current approaches

Building on the Typology of Alignment (Task 4.1), this Task examines in greater depth selected actions and instruments that promote greater alignment amongst EU Member-States’ national research programmes and activities.

A set of case studies are selected among existing P2P networks, research alliances and JPIs. These consist in a mix of actions and instruments undertaken at different stages in the research programming cycle and relying on different cooperation modes and actors, hence representing different facets of alignment. The analysis relies on a review of existing literature and targeted interviews with managers and beneficiaries/participants of these alignment modalities.

The case studies focus on:

  • Key features of the case at hand (mission, governance, approximate time and resources needed for set up and implementation)
  • Principal outputs to date
  • Overall strengths, incl. key achievements
  • Overall limitations, incl. difficulties encountered during implementation
  • Suitability and key factors of success  

In synthesizing the results of the selected case studies, a comparative analysis will be conducted in view of developing a roadmap/ toolbox for further aligning different P2Ps.

A summary of all case studies is available for download here.


For you information:

Results of the “MLE on Alignment and Interoperability of Research Programmes” are available here.


Case study no. 1- MACSUR Knowledge Hub (download pdf)

The Knowledge Hub for Modelling European Agriculture with Climate Change for Food Security (MACSUR) was launched by the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI). It is a network of 300 European researchers from 18 European countries who aim to advance the science of modelling and assessment of the impacts of climate variability and change on regional farming systems and food production in Europe. Besides networking amongst researchers, the MACSUR Knowledge Hub also allows for capacity building and the conduct of new research coordinated at trans-national level.

Case study no. 2- EMRP Article 185 Initiative (download pdf)

The European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP), which was launched under the Article 185 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, is a strategic, multi-annual joint research programme that was established amongst the 23 members of the European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET). The Programme promotes alignment amongst European metrology institutes through the submission of joint research project proposals and associated grant schemes for researchers.

Case study no. 3 - Infravation (ERA-NET Plus) (download pdf)

The ERA-NET Plus (European Research Area Network) Infravation is a transnational joint call for research proposals in the field of road infrastructure that relies on a “real common pot” funding mechanism. It brings together 11 National Road Authorities, including from Israel (FP7 Associated country) and the USA, and benefits from co-funding from the European Commission. This ERA-NET’s funding mechanism promotes greater financial alignment by allowing to pool financial resources from participating countries and optimally use the latter to fund selected transnational research projects, irrespective of applicants’ nationalities. It has also enabled participating countries to identify common research priorities and to promote alignment at the operational level through the delegation of funding, coordination and management responsibilities to a single entity.

 Case study no. 4 - The network for Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) (download pdf)

HERA is a transnational network of 25 national research funding organisations in the field of humanities, which has been established thanks to the ERA-NET scheme (European Research Area Networks), that is co-funded by the EC and facilitates the launch of joint calls for project proposals. This 15 year old network has provided an effective framework for trust-building and mutual learning amongst partners, coordination of national research funding strategies and pooling of resources at the European level in order to fund new research activities.

Case study no. 5 - JPI Oceans’ Shared Research Vessel (download pdf)

The Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans) has launched a three-year pilot research action "Ecological Aspects of Deep-Sea Mining" in order to assess the ecological impacts that could arise from commercial mining of deep-sea minerals called polymetallic nodules. This transnational research project, which brings together 11 European countries, was initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which offered to share the use of its newly built research vessel RV SONNE during 118 days to support this project. The joint use of national research infrastructure has promoted cost-effectiveness, contributed to trust-building amongst researchers, and allowed the integration of national research activities around a common scientific objective. At an operational level, it has facilitated standardised data collection, coordination of research methods and open access to research data. It has also allowed for more effective collective European contributions to international policy-making.

Case study no. 6 - FACCE JPI Joint Mapping Meetings (download pdf)

Members of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE JPI) jointly conducted a mapping of existing and planned national research initiatives in the FACCE JPI remit, as an essential step in the Joint Programming Process. The mapping methodology used relied on Mapping Meetings that brought together delegated national policy, funding and research representatives who exchanged information and views, identified joint programming opportunities and developed a common vision regarding future transnational research priorities. Joint mapping is a pre-requisite for fostering cross-border alignment at strategic/policy level, as well as for assessing the potential for financial and operational alignment.

Case study no. 7 - The Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe (OpenAIRE) (download pdf)

OpenAIRE is a support platform that promotes Open Access (OA) to research outputs across 33 countries from Europe and beyond. It provides a technical infrastructure that includes an online platform and associated services in order to centralise, harmonise, disseminate and interlink open research data. The initiative also facilitates the coordination of national and transnational OA activities through a network of national experts in order to promote open access, disseminate related best practices and support countries and research institutes in developing and aligning OA policies and infrastructures. OpenAIRE has enhanced transparency and awareness of past and current research activities and related outputs and outcomes at the level of researchers, end-users and policy-makers. This has contributed to avoiding unnecessary duplication of research efforts, fostering re-use of research data by scientists, increasing return on investment and supporting efficient progress of research.

Case study no. 8 - The Network of Centres of Excellence in Neurodegeneration (CoEN) (download pdf)

CoEN is an alliance that facilitates institutional cooperation amongst national Centres of Excellence (research performing organisations) by enabling the launch of transnational calls for project proposals in the field of degenerative diseases. It brings together organisations from nine European and non-European countries, including large nationally mandated Centres of Excellence that have call funding resources as well as national funding organisations that provide funding to recognised Centres of Excellence if the latter have no funding capabilities. By enhancing collaboration and alignment between some of the most influential national research centres working in neurodegeneration across Europe and beyond and by focusing on high risk/high impact research, CoEN has facilitated the implementation of high quality transnational research with strong added value and complementarities with existing research programmes and networks.

Case study no. 9 - JPI Climate’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) (download pdf)

Members of the Joint Programming Initiative “Connecting Climate Knowledge for Europe” (JPI Climate) have recently updated JPI Climate’s former Strategic Research Agenda and as such adopted a new Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for the timeframe 2016-2025. The process relied on an inclusive and collaborative approach that aimed to foster high involvement and leadership of JPI member countries and strong ownership of the developed SRIA. The latter consists in a visionary and stakeholder-oriented document that outlines common and integrated strategic research and innovation priorities by relying on a cross-disciplinary and challenge-driven approach.


Last update: July 2017