Former and other types of Partnerships

Over the past years there has been a proliferation of instruments and initiatives oriented towards coordination, collaboration, and even alignment of national strategies and programmes in further developing the ERA. These instruments have aimed at tackling societal challenges while also strengthening European competitiveness. They span from either Member State-lead initiatives to instruments strongly supported by the European Commission (Public to Public Partnerships, P2Ps), or from partnerships among public agencies to alliances between the public and private sectors (Public-Private Partnerships, PPPs).

ERA-LEARN has a focus on Public-Public-Partnerships (P2P). Nevertheless an overview on other ERA coordination instruments is given.

Public- Public Partnerships (P2Ps) in research and innovation

Public-Public Partnerships (P2Ps) in research and innovation are networks of public organisations (Ministries, funding agencies, programme managers) from interested EU countries and beyond, that join forces to support research activities under an agreed vision or research and innovation agenda. In this way, these partnerships align national strategies, helping to overcome fragmentation of public research effort. Public-public partnerships include networks supported by the European Commission such as ERA-NETs and Art 185s as well as Member State-led initiatives, the Joint Programming Initiatives.

Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs)

Joint Programming is a structured and strategic process whereby Member States agree, on a voluntary basis and in a partnership approach, on common visions and Strategic Research Agendas (SRA) to address major societal challenges.

Art. 185 initiatives

Article 185 (former Article 169) initiatives are multiannual programmes jointly implemented by several EU Member States and Associated Countries. The European Union participates by providing a significant financial contribution through the Framework Programme.

ERA-NET Cofund

Under Horizon 2020, the ERA-NET Cofund strengthens the cooperation between national/ regional public organizations. They implement joint activities and organise one substantial joint project call with top-up funding from the Commission.

EJP Cofund

EJP Cofund, a new instrument under Horizon 2020, supports the implementation of a joint programme of activities over a period of 5 years, including research but also coordination, networking, training, etc.

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in research and innovation

Two different types of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are implemented under Horizon 2020:

Joint Undertakings (JUs) / Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs)

The Joint Undertakings (JUs) or otherwise known as Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) that are PPPs in industrial research at European level. JUs organise their own R&I agendas and award Horizon 2020 funding for projects on the basis of competitive calls.

Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPP)

The Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPP) that involve dedicated arrangements between the Commission and private associations representing the interest of industrial technologies. Funding for research is awarded by the Commission through open calls under the Horizon 2020 Work Programme.

Other partnerships, platforms and networks

Other initiatives that combine efforts in research and innovation with the support of EU Institutions include European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs), European Technology Platforms (ETPs), Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), FET flagships, EUREKA and COST.

European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs)

EIPs are challenge-driven, focusing on societal benefits and a rapid modernisation of the associated sectors and markets. EIPs act across the whole research and innovation chain, bringing together all relevant actors at EU, national and regional levels.

European Technology Platforms (ETPs)

European Technology Platforms (ETPs) are industry-led stakeholder fora recognised by the European Commission as key actors in driving innovation, knowledge transfer and European competitiveness. ETPs develop research and innovation agendas and roadmaps for action at EU and national level to be supported by both private and public funding.

EIT's Knowledge and Innovation Communities

The EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities (Innovation Communities) are partnerships that bring together businesses, research centres and universities. They allow innovative products and services to be developed, new companies to be started and a new generation of entrepreneurs to be trained.

FET flagships

FET Flagships are ambitious large-scale, science-driven, research initiatives that aim to achieve a visionary goal, tackling scientific and technological challenges across scientific disciplines. The flagships foster coordinated efforts between the EU and its Member States' national and regional programmes, and beyond.


EUREKA is a publicly-funded, intergovernmental network, involving over 40 countries. EUREKA’s aim is to enhance European competitiveness by fostering innovation-driven entrepreneurship in Europe, between small and large industry, research institutes and universities.

COST- European Cooperation in Science and Technology

COST is the longest-running European framework supporting trans-national cooperation among researchers, engineers and scholars across Europe. COST is a unique means for European researchers to jointly develop their own ideas and new initiatives across all scientific disciplines through trans-European networking of nationally funded research activities.