Public-public partnerships in research: The joint programming process

21-10-2016

The objective of coordinating national research policies to create a pan-European research system has been at the heart of European research policy since 1974. In 2000, the launch of the European Research Area (ERA) concept aimed to address fragmentation at research programming level. The ERANET scheme and Article 185 initiatives were developed to promote coordination between the national research funding organisations. This resulted in networking activities and the launch of transnational joint calls for research projects. However, these instruments faced difficulties in coordinating transnational research activities resulting from legal, financial and administrative barriers at the national level. To push the coordination process further, the Commission proposed the concept of joint programming in 2008. This was to be a high-level strategic process led by the Member States and designed to better coordinate national research activities at the EU level. Joint programming also aimed to pool national resources to address European or global challenges such as climate change. Ten Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) were set up between 2009 and 2011 to implement this concept. The JPIs developed joint strategic research agendas (SRA) in their respective areas and started to issue joint calls. However, evaluation of this initiative revealed a lack of political and financial commitment from the Member States and the persistence of administrative and legal barriers. In order to fully implement joint programming, Member States are expected to modify their research systems to align their national programmes, priorities or activities with the adopted SRAs.

The objective of coordinating national research policies to create a pan-European research system has been at the heart of European research policy since 1974. In 2000, the launch of the European Research Area (ERA) concept aimed to address fragmentation at research programming level. The ERANET scheme and Article 185 initiatives were developed to promote coordination between the national research funding organisations. This resulted in networking activities and the launch of transnational joint calls for research projects. However, these instruments faced difficulties in coordinating transnational research activities resulting from legal, financial and administrative barriers at the national level. To push the coordination process further, the Commission proposed the concept of joint programming in 2008. This was to be a high-level strategic process led by the Member States and designed to better coordinate national research activities at the EU level. Joint programming also aimed to pool national resources to address European or global challenges such as climate change. Ten Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) were set up between 2009 and 2011 to implement this concept. The JPIs developed joint strategic research agendas (SRA) in their respective areas and started to issue joint calls. However, evaluation of this initiative revealed a lack of political and financial commitment from the Member States and the persistence of administrative and legal barriers. In order to fully implement joint programming, Member States are expected to modify their research systems to align their national programmes, priorities or activities with the adopted SRAs.