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SSD - Science for a Sustainable Development - International programmes


The ERA-NET scheme is a highly innovative component of the European Union's (EU) Sixth Framework Programme. Uniquely, it provides support for the transnational networking and coordination of national
research programmes.

ERA-NET is designed to encourage the creation of close, long-term links between national research programmes with shared goals.

In the short term it will facilitate to exchange views and good practices on regional, national and European research programmes in specific fields.

In the long term, ERA-NETs are expected to lead to more sustained forms of collaboration, including the strategic planning and design of joint research programmes, the reciprocal opening of national research programmes to researchers from other member countries, and the launch of fully transnational programmes jointly funded by more than one country.

More information on ERA-NETs

In the frame of SSD the Belgian Science Policy is involved in 7 ERA-NETs:

1. European Concerted Action to foster prevention and best response to Accidental Marine Pollution (AMPERA)

The AMPERA consortium consists of 10 organisations from 8 European countries. All these organisations have initiated and manage a national strategic research programme on accidental marine pollution or have related programmes in different degrees of development.
AMPERA aims at:

  • Setting priorities in trans-disciplinary accidental marine pollution research.
  • Improved linking of accidental marine contamination research with prevention and mitigation activities, to underpin and emphasise the role of sound knowledge in decision making.
  • Improving co-ordination of national/regional research programmes on accidental marine pollution.
  • Design strategies to overcome barriers that hinder trans-national co-operation aimed at opening up of national/regional programmes.
  • Launching long-term RTD strategies, by identifying synergies and complementarities that will act as nuclei for sustainable co-operations between partners and improve the use of R & D outputs.
  • Dissemination of knowledge at different levels, underscoring the science-public interface and the importance of adopting this approach for society generally.

2. Research for the understanding of European & Overseas biodiversity (BiodivERsA)

Biodiversa is an ERA-net project where 19 European research funding agencies seek best practice as a basis for cooperation in order to strengthen European research.
This particular project aims at setting up efficient trans-national co-operation in the field of biodiversity research funding. Also contributing to the EU Biodiversity Strategy, BiodivERsA will allow the funding agencies to collate existing activities, compare future strategies and recommendations of consultative bodies and systematically explore opportunities for future collaboration.

3. Climate Impact Research Co-ordination for a Larger Europe (CIRCLE)

Climate impact analysis and adaptation response must be informed by a coherent body of research and it is CIRCLE´s prime objective to contribute to such efforts by networking and aligning national research programmes in the 19 CIRCLE partner countries. The Implementation of a European Research Area (ERA) for climate change is CIRCLE’s final goal.

4. ERA-NET Transport (ENT)

ERA-NET TRANSPORT (ENT) is a sustainable network of national transport research programmes in Europe. ENT is also a service platform for programme managers, which provides the required framework to initiate and implement trans-national cooperation. It actively provides support and knowledge about contacts, national programmes, suitable cooperation procedures and programming practices for successful transport research. At present 13 EU Member States and associated counties participate in this European initiative and more are about to enter the network.

5. European Polar Consortium (EPC)

The European Polar Consortium (EPC) is a composed of 25 Government Ministries, National Funding Agencies and National Polar RTD Authorities from 19 European Countries and of the ESF/European Polar Board.
The European Polar Consortium will lead to long-term durable partnerships within Europe and internationally and will also deepen and strengthen the interactions between countries with large Polar RTD programmes and Nations with evolving Polar Programmes in central and south-eastern Europe, encouraging exchange of experiences and the best practice on management and financing of Programmes and infrastructures. The long-term goal of the European Polar Consortium is the development of a "European Polar Entity" that will be established through dialogue on a political level beyond the EPC and will enable Europe to maximize and direct its critical mass at the global level.

6. Co-ordination of National and Regional Marine RTD Activities in Europe (MARINERA)

MarinERA is a partnership of the leading Marine RTD Funding Organisations in 13 European Member States.

The MarinERA project main objectives are to:

  • Map European marine RTD programmes and specialised infrastructures, facilitating the creation of an internal market and quantifying the existing European marine research capacity.
  • Facilitate the networking of Marine RTD funding agencies in the European Union, leading to a more cost effective and efficient use of Member State resources including scientific personnel, specialist infrastructures and planned investments.
  • Contribute to the development of a European marine research policy, by identifying future scientific challenges.
  • Provide a basis for the sharing of available resources to address priority issues which are beyond the capacities of individual Member States.
  • Progress the reciprocal opening of Member State Marine RTD Programmes.

7. Scientific Knowledge for Environmental Protection - Network of Funding Agencies (SKEP)

The SKEP ERA-NET is a partnership of 15 government ministries and agencies, from 11 European countries, responsible for funding environmental research. The project aims to improve the co-ordination of environmental research in Europe.
The objectives include:

  • delivering better value for money for our research;
  • encouraging innovation through more efficient use of research funding; and
  • the improvement of environmental protection capability by setting down foundations for co-ordinating research programmes.

8. Coordination of national environment and health research programmes - Environment and Health ERA-NET (ERA-EnvHealth)

ERA_ENVHEALTH is an era-net composed by 16 funding Agencies around a common wish to develop collaboration/coordination within E&H research transnational programmes.

The general objectives of this project are to:

  • Respond to the recognized need for enhancing coordination through cooperation in E&H research,
  • Create a network to help integrate the E&H communities and provide a platform where existing E&H communities may be potential users and/or contributors, and
  • Create a practical tool for the implementation of the European action plan 2004-2010 and to contribute to the “putting into practice” of the WHO E&H research commitments.

This will be achieved through:

  • Establishing a network of E&H programme managers to share information on research activities and expertise,
  • Defining opportunities for cooperation and coordination of research activities and identifying priority areas for multinational research, and
  • Developing coherent joint activities and implementing joint multinational calls for research projects on specific E&H issues.

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