Partnerships meet to discuss how to increase synergies and collaboration

The first "Thematic partnership workshop: Towards Horizon Europe" on the rationalisation and reform of the partnership landscape was held in Brussels, 15 - 16 May 2019. The workshop was the first one of a series of thematic workshops to be organised by ERA-LEARN. The aims of the particular one were to:

  • validate the discussion papers on the thematic coverage of current partnershisp in relation to the Clusters under Horizon Europe, prepared by ERA-LEARN and presented in the parallel sessions of the workshop
  • prepare existing partnerships for Horizon Europe (e.g. contribution of partnerships to the clusters' intervention areas; rationalisation, restructuring and reform of partnerships)
  • connect networks thematically (e.g. visibility of partnerships in main research areas; improve synergies of partnerships)
  • foster cooperation between all types of partnerships (P2P, PPP, EIT-KICs, FET-Flagships); define useful activities with relevant stakeholders

The target group included partnership representatives of P2Ps, PPPs plus EIT-KICs and FET Flagships. One hundred participants registered leading to a representation of around 60% of the existing networks/ partnerships.

The main results can be summarised as follows:

There was unanimous agreement that the reports on the Positioning of current Partnerships in relation to the Horizon Europe Clusters were a good start of representing the status quo but were missing information about already existing collaborative links among partnerships. Partnerships were invited to send relevant information to be considered for the revised versions of these reports.

The audience was interested in the purpose of the reports especially in the middle of the running consultation launched by the EC about the new 44 new partnerships suggested for Horizon Europe. It was clarified that this workshop should be seen as an opportunity to discuss with other networks in order to formulate concrete steps to organize/advance their collaborations and provide feedback to their Ministries in view of responding to the consultation.

This would also allow to draw lessons for the future generation of European Partnerships under Horizon Europe, where coherence and collaboration among partnerships, and with the activities of Horizon Europe will be key.

In this regard the presence of P2Ps as well as non-P2P networks (PPPs, EIT-KICs and FET Flagships) coming together for the first time was very much appreciated. Overall, the opportunity to meet and establish contacts with other networks was highlighted by the majority of the networks who admitted they indeed made new contacts that they intended to follow-up and build upon for future collaboration.

Participants raised several concerns about the sustainability of existing partnerships and the risk to waste significant efforts and investments, in view of the currently discussed candidates of partnerships under Horizon Europe. Yet, the need for a shift from an instrument driven approach to a more purpose driven approach was acknowledged. Furthermore the possibility to receive support for existing or new networks under the ERA part of Horizon Europe was seen as a good opportunity to continue and expand activities. Several networks formulated concrete proposals for extending/strengthening collaboration with others including those outside the P2P community. A number of concrete ideas were recorded in this regard. In addition, participants agreed that such ‘spaces’ for discussion need to be established to help partnerships reach across sectors, clusters and areas (cross-sectoral, cross-ministerial, cross-disciplinary) and contribute to the reform of the partnership landscape in an inclusive way.

Download workshop report

The agenda of the workshop, the presentations and initial discussion papers can be found here

The revised reports on the positioning of current partnerships in relation to the Horizon Europe clusters can be found here

Published : 05/06/2019