Exploiting synergies with other programmes

There is also a need to consider how to better achieve the objectives and maximise impacts through engagement with other initiatives and parties. Many partnerships aim at demonstration and scale up, but this is generally not possible (at least not in a large scale) without synergies and joint programming with other programmes/funding instruments. At the EU level there are a number of R&I initiatives beyond the Framework Programme that offer wider synergies especially in relation to digital, transport and energy areas. Those that are mentioned most frequently are:

Other EU-level funding sources that are being considered by partnerships include InvestEU, the European Investment Bank and the Programme for Environment & Climate Action (LIFE) as well as sectoral-specific funds such as the Common Agricultural Policy and the Circular Bioeconomy Thematic Investment Platform.

There are also opportunities for partnerships to exploit synergies with national, regional & local initiatives and complementary investments. For example:

  • Most of the candidate Article 187 initiatives and Co-Programmed Partnerships are proposing to include Member State advisory bodies within their governance structures to create links with the national R&I activities. This could lead to complementary joint calls using national funding or even hybrid Co-Programmed/Co-Funded calls.
  • European regions are increasingly prioritising particular industrial and technology sectors that offer economic growth opportunities through smart specialisation and this has relevance for some partnerships. For example, the Photonics Partnership is proposing to develop a formal ‘alliance of European regional clusters’ that have distinctive industrial and/or scientific strengths in photonics.
  • European cities are clearly the main focus for the ‘driving urban transitions’ partnership and other partnerships that can make a contribution to the ‘climate-neutral and smart cities’ Mission by aligning and mobilising national programmes and funds.

Regional actors, in particular, should be receptive to collaboration with European Partnerships in the next ESIF programming period as ‘international collaboration’ is included as a fulfilment criterion enabling good governance of national and regional smart specialisation strategies. This has previously been fostered through the various ‘Interreg’ programmes but there is scope to develop complementary links and joint activities.

Last, but not least, is the potential for collaboration (and in some cases European leadership) at the global level in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This has already been demonstrated by the predecessor of the EU-Africa Global Health Partnership, involvement of European P2P partnerships in the Belmont Forum (international partnership of research funders on environmental change research) and the Article 185 on Metrology. For example, the JPI on neurodegenerative disease (JPND) recently hosted a symposium to showcase the results of its portfolio of research projects and key global stakeholders such as the Gates Foundation and the World Dementia Council were involved.

The proposed ‘Forum for European R&I Partnerships’ could provide an overarching framework to monitor and encourage partnerships at the implementation stage to engage and collaborate with their relevant peers and other initiatives. This could also be encouraged by the strategic use of the Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) instrument.

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