What are European Partnerships?
European Partnerships bring the European Commission and private and/or public partners together to address some of Europe’s most pressing challenges through concerted research and innovation initiatives. They are a key implementation tool of Horizon Europe, and contribute significantly to achieving the EU’s political priorities.
By bringing private and public partners together, European Partnerships help to avoid the duplication of investments and contribute to reducing the fragmentation of the research and innovation landscape in the EU.
Types of partnership
The aim of European Partnerships with EU and associated countries, the private sector, foundations and other stakeholders is to deliver on global challenges and modernise industry.
Co-Programmed European Partnerships
A memorandum of understanding is the basis for the cooperation in these partnerships, as it specifies the partnership’s objectives, the commitments from both sides and the governance structure.
On , the Commission adopted Commission )4113 on the approval and signature of the memoranda of understanding for 11 Co-Programmed Partnerships. You will find the approved and signed MoU for each co-programmed partnership in the partnership’s Candidate details.
With over €8 billion from Horizon Europe, the partnerships will run from 2021 to 2030, allowing them to provide input into the last calls of Horizon Europe and wrap up their final activities afterwards.
The decision allows the Commission to work together with industry to boost investments in research and innovation and to overcome major climate and sustainability challenges, towards making Europe the first climate neutral economy and delivering on the European Green Deal.
The partnerships will also deliver on the EU’s digital ambitions for the next decade, Europe’s Digital Decade, in line with the goals of the ‘twin’ green and digital transitions.
Implementing the partnerships
Implementation runs first and foremost through the Horizon Europe work programmes and their calls for proposals. Each partnership provides the Commission with input on relevant call topics to be included in the work programmes. The grants resulting from these calls are fully funded by Horizon Europe.
The private partners also develop additional activities, which are not funded through Horizon Europe, but which are included in the partnership’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas.
Institutionalised European Partnerships
These partnerships require legislative proposals from the Commission and are based on a Council Regulation (Article 187) or a ent and Council (Article 185). They are implemented by dedicated structures created for that purpose.
Institutionalised partnerships will only be implemented where other parts of the Horizon Europe programme, including other types of partnership, would not achieve the desired objectives or expected impacts.
EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) are also institutionalised partnerships. EIT KICs aim to address skills shortages ands are already established under Horizon 2020. Key partners in EIT KICs are higher education institutions, research organisations, companies and other stakeholders.
Identifying European Partnerships is an integral part of Horizon Europe’s strategic planning process. This will ensure alignment with the programme’s priorities.
In line with the better regulation agenda, the Commission carried out impact assessments that helped identify the candidates for partnerships.
For institutionalised partnerships, the Commission has published inception impact assessments to inform citizens and stakeholders about the Commission’s plans. Inception impact assessment are preliminary ones to see at an early stage if a partnership is feasible. These can be found on the Have your say website.
An open public consultation covering all institutionalised partnerships candidates based on Articles 185 and 187 was carried out between September and November. The full impact assessments will be published at the time that the Commission adopts the legislative proposals.
Partnership candidates and contact details
The current list of candidate European Partnerships is found in Annex 7 of the Orientations towards the first Strategic Plan for Horizon Europe.
Results from the structured consultation of EU countries are summarised in the report European Partnerships under Horizon Europe: results of the structured consultation of Member States
Strategic coordinating process
The goal of the process is to support an evidence-based policy for EU research and innovation partnerships and a strategic vision of their landscape.
It will provide a consolidated view on the progress made by partnerships. By working together with EU countries, it aims to increase the visibility and impact of participation in European Partnerships at national level.
- support community building and mutual learning across partnerships
- raise visibility and strengthen stakeholder communication and consultation
- provide policy makers and partnerships with the Evidence Base
- prepare strategic discussions on key policy issues
- ensure a feedback loop from EU countries and partnerships on the portfolio evolution implementation, monitoring and evaluation
How is it implemented?
At the core is a Partnership Knowledge Hub that allows working-level interactions and meetings between the Commission, EU countries and associated countries of Horizon Europe, as well as partnership representatives and that drives the work along all the objectives of the strategic coordinating process.
A Partnership Stakeholder Forum, an annual event bringing together the whole community, provides a venue for networking, broadening engagement, sharing of experiences and discussing policy and practical dimensions related to partnerships.
Strategic discussion will take place on the future governance of the European Research Area, prepared by the Partnership Knowledge Hub.
Monitoring report and expert group
A monitoring report of EU research and innovation partnerships, published every other year, will be the most visible output of the strategic coordinating process, providing an evidence-based and transparent overview of the partnership landscape.
An independent Commission Expert Group has been set up for the duration of ent of the monitoring and reporting framework for partnerships under Horizon Europe, including supporting the drafting of the first monitoring (baseline) report.
In the second interim report (planned for early 2022), the group will focus on the biennial monitoring report of partnerships. The final report with policy recommendations is planned for mid-2022.
- Council conclusions of 2017
- Council conclusions of 2020
- Specific programme of Horizon Europe (Article 4a)
- The Commission discussion paper on how to operationalise the strategic coordinating process (presented to ERAC in )
Coherence and synergies of partnership candidates
Under Horizon Europe partnerships are expected to establish formal and regular collaboration with other relevant research and innovation initiatives. This must be reflected in their governance models and joint actions.
The following documents guide the work on coherence and synergies by laying down the overall framework and building on the lessons learned from the analysis of the draft proposals from partners.
These texts reflect the situation as of and will be used as a basis for further development of collaboration among partnerships. They do not reflect the final position of the Commission.