Synergies with the Cohesion Policy Funds

Synergies between the Framework Programme for Research and Cohesion Policy Funds have been a key topic since the preparation of Horizon 2020 based on the need to convey European funds in a strategic way with the objective of strengthening the social and economic impact of R&I results.

The European Court of Auditors on November 2022 published a report: “Special report 23/2022: Synergies between Horizon 2020 and European Structural and Investment Funds - Not yet used to full potential” assessing the degree of implementation of four types of synergies, and concluded that it varied by type. In particular, while measures to create upstream synergies (e.g., support for research centres) were well implemented, measures to create downstream synergies (e.g. funding the exploitation of research results) were hardly implemented.

The dialogue on synergies has received a boost thanks to the publication, on July 2022, of the COMMISSION NOTICE Synergies between Horizon Europe and ERDF programs, which provides an indication on how to implement synergies. This important achievement will pave the way to go beyond the regulatory barriers identified as one of the main obstacle to the implementation of successful synergies.

ERA-LEARN wants to help to bring about the conditions for more synergistic use of the Cohesion Policy Funds in order to support national participation in the European Partnerships. In particular, we intend to support all relevant stakeholders, especially Managing Authorities, in taking advantage of the participation in the European Partnerships aligning their policies and resources by providing advice and concrete tools for improving the communication between two different settings: the instrument of the European Partnership and the enabling conditions and operating rules of the Cohesion Policy Funds.

An open dialogue among all the stakeholders involved may be beneficial for creating a synergistic funding landscape for European Partnerships by bringing on the surface the needs of stakeholders to the Managing authorities and stimulate the creation of funding measures that enable synergies and R&D policy alignment for increasing the impact of R&D results.

In the past year, ERA LEARN put in place some concrete actions such the workshop organized within the Partnership Stakeholder Forum 2022 (recordings are available here), other actions are already in pipeline for the future, in order to provide the different communities involved the common understanding and the possible solutions to overcome the identified bottlnecks and to exploit the full potential of synergies.

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