Coherence & Collaboration

Horizon Europe orients R&I partnerships towards the achievement of policy impacts with the expectation that they take a systematic and transformational approach to the achievement of objectives. This means that partnerships need to exploit synergies with other relevant R&I initiatives, including between themselves, and reflect this in their governance models and joint actions.

Taking appropriate actions to ensure coherence and engage in collaboration are therefore important functions for Partnerships. Coherence can be defined as the quality of being logical and consistent, the quality of forming a unified whole. Collaboration can be envisaged on two main levels:

  1. Exploiting synergies between European Partnerships and with other EU R&I initiatives to their mutual benefit in achievement of objectives and policy impacts
  2. Demonstrating coordinated efforts with respect to the new Commission priorities and/or the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The candidate European Partnerships have, to differing degrees, been considering how they can improve coherence and collaboration. This information is being collated by the Commission and shared through an evolving report on foreseen collaborations. Some of the lessons learned so far and examples of foreseen collaborations are summarised below.  

Transversal lessons and overall framework

Partnerships can be characterised by their potential to address particular failures in the European R&I system. They have been most often set up to address ‘systematic’ failures related to the functioning of the R&I systems (e.g. fragmentation of the European R&I landscape in specific fields) or ‘market’ failures (e.g. low private investment). Under Horizon Europe, Partnerships are expected to play a pivotal role in tackling the complex economic and societal challenges that constitute the R&I priorities of the Horizon Europe clusters. As such, the majority of candidate partnerships strive to take a step further and foster systemic transitions (addressing ‘transformational failures’) through increased directionality, demand articulation and policy coordination whilst remaining both flexible to changing situations. The main tool to guide this is a strategic research & innovation agenda (SRIA), which is mandatory for all European Partnerships under Horizon Europe.

Since many of the candidate partnership aim to address societal challenges, it is clear that national research funding organisations need to engage better with policy stakeholders at the national level (e.g. societal ministries, regional/municipal bodies) and with other relevant Commission Services. In certain cases, they might also need to reach out to industrial-orientated partnerships that can help deliver the outputs of public research to market. An obvious example where there is scope for joined-up action across the TRL scale is the potential role of ‘Innovative Health’ in helping to exploit the results of the various Co-Funded Partnerships in the health cluster. Likewise, some Article 187 and Co-Programmed Partnerships could benefit from collaboration with EIC-KICs, for example in relation to addressing underlying skills issues in the digital domains that may be inhibiting their wider application. Also, there is scope for better coordination with regional initiatives in areas such as sustainable energy and mobility ecosystems including via inter-regional programmes such as the Vanguard Initiative.

Related Files

Report: Coherence and Synergies of candidate European Partnerships under Horizon Europe

The report on coherence and synergies of candidate European Partnerships that takes into account inputs from COM services that are involved with partnerships. The a ...
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