ERAC Working Group on Partnerships released reports on "efficiency" and on "rationalising"

The Council Conclusions of 1 December 2017 called on the Commission and the Member States to jointly consider ways to rationalise the R&I partnership landscape, and to establish a long-term strategic coordination process for R&I partnerships. It welcomed the setting up of the European Research Area & Innovation Committee (ERAC) ad hoc Working Group on R&I partnerships to prepare this strategic coordination process. The first goal this Working Group was tasked with, was to propose criteria for selecting EU research & innovation partnerships. The second goal was to sketch out a long-term strategic coordinating process for the selection, implementation, monitoring and phasing out of partnerships. The last two goals were set on 1) formulating recommendations for rationalising the EU R&I partnership landscape and optimising its coherence and 2) formulating recommendations on increasing the efficiency of implementation of partnerships. The reports on the last two goals have been adopted and released by ERAC in September 2018.

The report on "Efficiency” offers advice on improving efficiency of R&I partnership implementation and reducing the administrative burden. It addresses the appropriate level of centralization - or harmonization - and investigates existing barriers for public-private partnerships (PPP) as well as public-to-public partnerships (P2P). The WG examined approaches for ‘openness’ of R&I partnerships in detail and at the project level, and discusses possibilities for integrating project data into a more harmonized system (e.g. some information is available through CORDIS, other through eCORDA, while data on EIT/KIC is not available in these systems. The results of the ERA-LEARN survey, held to collect information for this report, underlined among all (public) core stakeholders the willingness to establish a central information hub for the collection and analysis of project/activity related data stemming from R&I partnerships.

The report on “Rationalising” is oriented towards a future perspective on partnerships. Through investigation of the current landscape, an overview of the key issues that led to its complexity is sketched and a number of rationalisation strategies for simplification are described. The rationalisation of the overall European R&I partnership landscape serves to ensure optimal coherence and coordination among the R&I partnerships and between R&I partnerships and the EU R&I policy framework, notably the Framework Programmes, as well as national policies and priorities. The WG proposes rationalisation entailing three levels: the overall EU R&I policy framework; the level of partnership approaches; and the level of thematic priority/intervention area. It calls on the Commission to ensure clear intervention logics for partnership initiatives under FP9, on the basis of three proposed forms of partnerships (co-programmed, cofunded and institutional), and to ensure that all future partnerships under the Framework Programme are based on clear objectives and significant impacts for agreed Union policies. In addition, it calls upon a mapping of running partnerships at the start of FP9, in order to make informed decisions on current and future partnerships.

A combined report is expected in December 2018.

Final report of the ERAC ad-hoc Working Group on Partnerships on "efficiency"
Final report of the ERAC ad-hoc Working Group on Partnerships on "rationalising"
Final report of the ERAC ad-hoc Working Group on Partnerships on "process"
Final report of the ERAC ad-hoc Working Group on Partnerships on "criteria"

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