ERA-LEARN Report on Inclusiveness in European R&I Partnership Programmes has been released.
This report presents the results of an ERA-LEARN survey on inclusiveness targeted at H2020 ERA-NET Cofund and EJP Cofund Programme coordinators.
The goal of the survey was to collect information on measures introduced by H2020 ERA-NET Cofund and EJP Cofund Programmes, in order to enhance the participation of the ‘Widening Countries’. The joint calls organised by ERA-NET Cofund and EJP Cofund Programmes aim to support excellent transnational research projects with high European added value. In order to attain this goal, it is crucial to build networks of funding organisations, representing research communities across Europe, who can mobilise diverse research expertise and approaches represented by geographically balanced research consortia. However, according to the data obtained by ERALEARN, participation of funding organisations from Widening Countries is half that of organisations from EU141 countries. At the same time, the number of funded projects including organisations from Widening Countries is almost four and a half times smaller than the number of projects with EU14 participation. In order to address the Widening issue, inclusiveness measures have been adopted in individual Programmes. Nevertheless, there is a lack of a systematic approach towards enhancing participation of Widening Countries in the Programmes.
The survey results demonstrate that participation of Widening Countries in EU Partnerships is limited and actions are needed to strengthen it. However, only by introducing a systematic portfolio of Widening measures throughout the entire Programme cycle can we obtain the expected outcome, namely a larger number of funded projects including organisations from Widening Countries.
At the same time, it must be recognised, that the ‘widening’ approach is not only beneficial for Widening Countries but also for certain nonWidening Countries that are less-represented in EU Partnerships. This approach helps strengthen the European Research Area by mobilising diverse research expertise and approaches that aim to respond to great research challenges, while at the same time trying to bring convergence of countries’ performance in research and innovation. This message is especially important on the eve of Horizon Europe. The ‘Openness and Transparency principle’, introduced in Framework Programme 9 promotes an inclusive approach in the design and governance of the partnership. Involving Widening and less performing countries in the entire life cycle of the initiative is particularly important and regarded as an essential component of future partnerships.