Other ERA relevant Partnership Initiatives

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 in order to: (i) step up research and development efforts; (ii) coordinate investments in demonstration and pilots; (iii) anticipate and fast-track any necessary regulation and standards; and (iv) mobilise ‘demand’ in particular through better coordinated public procurement to ensure that any breakthroughs are quickly brought to market.

EIPs streamline, simplify and better coordinate existing instruments and initiatives and complement them with new actions where necessary. EIPs are launched only in areas, and consist only of activities, in which government intervention is clearly justified and where combining EU, national and regional efforts in R&D and demand-side measures will achieve the target quicker and more efficiently.

State of Play

Currently there are five EIPs.

More information on EIPs

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.

They mobilise stakeholders to deliver on agreed priorities and share information across the EU. By working effectively together, they also help deliver solutions to major challenges of key concern to citizens such as the ageing society, the environment and food and energy security.

ETPs are independent and self-financing entities. The Commission’s involvement is primarily a facilitating role by providing a central contact point of coordination (DG RTD), dedicated contact points for individual ETPs in the relevant DGs, providing advice on implementation aspects of Horizon 2020 and organising cross-ETP workshops.

ETPs have a strategy, mobilisation and dissemination function. In order to fulfil their role, their main activities encompass:

  • developing industry-focused strategic research and innovation agendas including technology roadmaps and implementation plans;
  • encouraging industry participation in Horizon 2020, the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation, and cooperating with networks in Member States;
  • fostering networking opportunities with other ETPs and other partners along the value chain to address cross-sectoral challenges and promote the move towards more open models of innovation;
  • identifying opportunities for international cooperation;
  • acting as one of the channels of external advice for the programming and implementation of Horizon 2020; notably, ETPs have been a key driving force behind the launch of high profile public-private partnerships under the programme.

State of play

Information about individual ETPs is available here.

EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities (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
  • a new generation of entrepreneurs to be trained

EIT Innovation Communities are dynamic and creative partnerships that harness European innovation and entrepreneurship to find solutions to major societal challenges in areas with high innovation potential – and create quality jobs and growth.

The Innovation Communities carry out activities that cover the entire innovation chain: training and education programmes, reinforcing the journey from research to the market, innovation projects, as well as business incubators and accelerators. The EIT’s role is to guide the process and set the strategies, but it’s up to the KICs to put these into practice and provide results.

State of play

There are currently six Innovation Communities and each focuses on a different societal challenge:

  • EIT Climate-KIC: addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • EIT Digital: addressing Information and Communication Technologies
  • EIT Food: putting Europe at the centre of a global revolution in food innovation and production
  • EIT Health: addressing healthy living and active ageing
  • EIT InnoEnergy: addressing sustainable energy
  • EIT Raw Materials: addressing sustainable exploration, extraction, processing, recycling and substitution

For more information on the EIT Innovation Communities click here.

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. They are highly ambitious and rely on cooperation among a range of disciplines, communities and programmes, requiring sustained support of up to 10 years. They are financed by the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation and by the Member States.

In Horizon 2020 FET flagships are managed as part of the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme under the Excellence pillar. To develop further national support mechanisms an ERA-NET FLAG-ERA was set up, which was continued by FLAG-ERA Cofund call in H2020 (2016).

State of play

There are currently three funded FET-Flagships:

  • The Graphene Flagship aims at taking graphene and related two-dimensional materials from academic laboratories to European society.
  • The Human Brain Project Flagship aims at a better understanding of the brain, its diseases and its capabilities by providing researchers worldwide with digital tools and platforms for sharing and analysing large brain data sets.
  • The Quantum Flagship (in preparation) seeks to unlock the full potential of quantum technologies and accelerate their development and take-up into commercial products in Europe.

As next steps, three major areas were also identified as promising grand science and technology challenges that could be addressed by FET Flagships:

  • ICT for connected society;
  • health and life science;
  • environment, climate and energy.

For more information on FET Flagships and related activities click here.


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.

EUREKA is constantly proving its value through a wealth of success stories – innovative products, processes and services that have been launched onto the market over the last 30 years, creating additional turnover and jobs for European companies, small and large – and by supporting the internationalization of businesses with innovative ideas.

EUREKA is a leading open platform for international cooperation in innovation and remains to this day the only initiative of its kind committed to the ‘bottom-up’ principle - ensuring that any R&D project with a good business plan receives the support it deserves, independent of its technological nature, or the type of organisations involved.

EUREKA’s central decision-making body is the High-Level Group (HLG) which consists of representatives (usually from the ministries responsible for EUREKA in each member country). EUREKA has a central service unit in Brussels jointly financed by all members - the EUREKA Secretariat. The initiative is coordinated by the EUREKA Chairmanship which rotates among EUREKA's member countries on an annual basis. Next to the Head of the Secretariat, the Chair also represents EUREKA externally.

EUREKA instruments

For more information on EUREKA click here

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.

COST key features are:

  • building capacity by connecting high-quality scientific communities throughout Europe and worldwide;
  • providing networking opportunities for early career investigators;
  • increasing the impact of research on policy makers, regulatory bodies and national decision makers as well as the private sector.

Through its inclusiveness COST supports the integration of research communities, leverages national research investments and addresses issues of global relevance.

COST is a building block of the European Research Area, instrumental for successful innovation strategies and global cooperation.

COST Actions are a flexible, fast, effective and efficient networking instrument for researchers, engineers and scholars to cooperate and coordinate nationally funded research activities. COST Actions allow European researchers to jointly develop their own ideas in any science and technology field. Past and running COST Actions can be found here.