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EIP - European Innovation Partnerships


ETPs European Technology Platforms

FP7 - Framework programmes


ICT - Information and Communication Technologies

JPI - Joint Programming Initiative

JTI - Joint Technology Initiative

NoEs - Network of Excellence

SICAs - Specific International Cooperation Actions

SPIRE - Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency

SRA's- Strategic Research Agendas 



EIP - European Innovation Partnerships

European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) are a new approach to EU research and innovation. 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. Rather than taking the above steps independently, as is currently the case, the aim of the EIPs is to design and implement them in parallel to cut lead times. EIPs streamline, simplify and better coordinate existing instruments and initiatives and complement them with new actions where necessary. This should make it easier for partners to co-operate and achieve better and faster results compared to what exists already. Therefore, they build upon relevant existing tools and actions and, where this makes sense, they integrate them into a single coherent policy framework. Flexibility is important; there is not a 'one-size-fits-all' framework. 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.



An ERA-NET project is a network of national ministries or agencies that run national programmes in different areas of science and technology (S&T). This scheme was designed to promote the coordination of such national programmes in European countries in order to support the development of the European Research Area. The European Research Area is a political concept endorsed by the European Parliament and Council, which aims to bring coherence to Europe's efforts in research and innovation.

The ERA-NET scheme is mostly addressed at national bodies; that is, programme owners, programme funders or organisations acting on their behalf. The particular objectives of an ERA-NET are: To provide for information exchange between the entities involved; and to define, prepare, implement, fund and support joint research activities. Through joint calls devised and agreed upon by the partners of a given ERA-NET, researchers from the partners' countries may submit proposals on selected topics. All the coordination processes undertaken in the definition of these calls-evaluation procedures, decision-making on the selected projects, and follow-up-are decided upon within the structures of the ERA-NET consortium.

It is important to note that the funding of the selected projects is provided by the national agencies themselves, which previously define their financial commitments. The FP7 funding for ERA-NET projects is purely for the running of the network. In other words, if national agencies wish to launch a call for transnational research projects, they have to draw upon their own budgets.


ETPs European Technology Platforms

In March 2003, the European Council called for a strengthening of the European research and innovation area by ‘... creating European technology platforms bringing together technological know-how, industry, regulators and financial institutions to develop a strategic agenda for leading technologies'.

European technology platforms (ETPs) were set up as industry-led stakeholder forums with the aim of defining medium to long-term research and technological objectives and developing roadmaps to achieve them. Their aim was to contribute to increasing synergies between different research actors, ultimately enhancing European competitiveness.

The European Commission has supported the development of ETPs and has carried out a facilitation role. ETPs are bottom-up, industry-led initiatives; the Commission participates in their events as an observer and is committed to a structured dialogue on research priorities. All ETPs have brought together stakeholders, reached consensus on a common vision and established (and in some cases already revised) a strategic research agenda (SRA). Some of them have also developed an implementation plan detailing the actions required to implement the SRA.

The European Commission is committed to its structured dialogue on research policy and priorities with European technology platforms. This website, the ETP newsletter and the regular ETP leaders' seminars ensure communication about policy developments and the timely exchange of best practices.



FP7 - Framework programmes -

'Framework programmes' (FPs) have been the main financial tools through which the European Union supports research and development activities covering almost all scientific disciplines. FPs are proposed by the European Commission and adopted by Council and the European Parliament following a co-decision procedure.

FPs have been implemented since 1984 and cover a period of five years with the last year of one FP and the first year of the following FP overlapping. The current FP is FP6, which runs up to the end of 2006. 

It has been proposed for FP7, however, to run for seven years. It will be fully operational as of 1 January 2007 and will expire in 2013. It is designed to build on the achievements of its predecessor towards the creation of the European Research Area, and carry it further towards the development of the knowledge economy and society in Europe.




Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union2, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with an €80 billion budget, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe. Horizon 2020 provides major simplification through a single set of rules. It will combine all research and innovation funding currently provided through the Framework Programmes for Research and Technical Development4, the innovation related activities of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP5) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT6)  


ICT - Information and Communication Technologies

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are critical to improve the competitiveness of European industry and to meet the demands of its society and economy. ICTs have a catalytic impact in three key areas: productivity and innovation, by facilitating creativity and management; modernisation of public services, such as health, education and transport; advances in science and technology, by supporting cooperation and access to information.

JPI - Joint Programming Initiative -

The joint programming concept was introduced by the European Commission in July 2008 to support implementation of the European Research Area. The objective of joint programming is to ‘increase the value of relevant national and EU R&D funding by concerted and joint planning, implementation and evaluation of national research programmes'.

The overall aim of Joint Programming is to pool national research efforts in order to make better use of Europe's precious public R&D resources and to tackle common European challenges more effectively in a few key areas.

It will follow a structured strategic process whereby Member States agree common visions and strategic research agendas to address major societal challenges.


JTI Joint Technology Initiative -

Joint Technology Initiatives are a specific new mechanism, envisaged to be introduced under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), which will enable coherent, large-scale structures to be set up in order to support the implementation of all or part of the Strategic Research Agendas defined by a limited number of technology platforms which are of such an ambitious scale that they will require the mobilisation of very high public and private investments, as well as huge material and human research resources.


NoEs - Network of Excellence -

New type of FP6 project to foster co-operation between centres of excellence in universities, research centres, enterprises, including SMEs, and science and technology organisations. The activities concerned will be generally targeted towards long-term, multidisciplinary objectives, rather than predefined results in terms of products, processes or services.

an NoE contract is intended to fund the restructuring of a whole research sector, so that the sector works more efficiently, shares resources and eliminates duplication of activities, and it is intended it should do this on a permanentbasis.

An NoE project should not strictly be considered as a research project, since its aim is not to conduct research, but rather to contribute to the clarification of the concepts in the covered field.

Medium-sized research projects co-funded by the European Commission in FP6 and FP7.

Network of Excellence are expected to induce and to manage processes of change: to remove mental, financial, technical and legal barriers to integration; to durably "institutionalise" the links between the institutions involved, which will imply the restructuring of the research portfolios and of the existing organizational structures. The JPA must show the serious commitment of all partners to organizational change.

For more information see

SICAs - Specific International Cooperation Actions -

Specific International Cooperation Actions dedicated to third countries which are listed as International Cooperation Partner Countries (ICPCs). SICAs aim at reinforcing the research capacity in non-associated candidate countries and neighbourhood countries and at addressing the needs of developing and emerging economices by means of dedicated cooperative research in given thematic areas. Specific participation criteria apply to 'Collaborative Projects' for SICA topics (participation of a minimum of two Member States or Associated Countries plus two targeted countries).


SPIRE - Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency

What is SPIRE? A proposal for a European Private Public Partnership (PPP) dedicated to innovation in resource and energy efficiency in and enabled by the process industries. The objective is to develop the enabling technologies and solutions along the value chain, required to reach long term sustainability for Europe in terms of global competitiveness, ecology and employment. A.SPIRE aisbl is an international non-profit association formed to represent the private sector as a partner in the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to be launched as part of the Horizon2020 framework programme. This new association represents more than 50 industrial and research process industry stakeholders from over a dozen countries spread throughout Europe. A.SPIRE was established at a signing ceremony in Brussels on 18 July 2012, through the joint efforts of 8 industry sectors: chemical, steel, engineering, minerals, non-ferrous metals, cement, ceramics and water The mission of A.SPIRE is to ensure the development of enabling technologies and best practices along all the stages of large scale existing value chain productions that will contribute to a resource efficient process industry. Through purposeful cooperation across all sectors and regions, A.SPIRE has developed a multi-year, strategic and dynamic roadmap that will address research, development and innovation activities as well as policy matters towards the realisation of its 2030 targets. The ultimate goal is to promote the deployment of innovative technologies and solutions required to reach long term sustainability for Europe and its process industries in terms of global competitiveness, ecology and employment.”

SRAs - Strategic Research Agendas

Strategic Research Agendas are the key deliverables of European Technology Platforms. An SRA is a document setting out research and technological development priorities for the medium to long term, including measures for enhancing networking and clustering of the RTD capacity and resources in Europe.