Under Horizon Europe, European Partnerships are initiatives in which the European Commission and public/and-or private partners jointly support the development and implementation of a research and innovation programme.
There are three types of partnership with currently 49 partnership candidates across 5 areas.
EUFORE supports the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research Strategic Working Group on Forests and Forestry Research and Innovation – SCAR FOREST – which is developing a European Partnership on Forests and Forestry for a 7-year period, launched during the 2nd Strategic Plan of Horizon Europe in 2025-2028.
What do European Partnerships aim to do?
European Partnerships are key implementation tools of Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation programme (2021-2027) and contribute significantly to achieving the EU’s political priorities.
Partnerships aim to improve and accelerate the development and uptake of new innovative solutions across different sectors, by mobilising public and private resources. 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.
Partnerships are open to a wide range of public and private partners, such as industry, universities, research organisations, bodies with a public service mission at local, regional, national or international level, and civil society organisations, including foundations and NGOs.
Are European Partnerships a new idea?
European Partnerships are not a new concept, but an evolution of previous initiatives and programmes. This includes:
The ERA-NET instrument, which allowed coordination and cooperation of national and regional research programmes (public-to-public partnerships). This launched under the 6th Framework Programme (FP6), became ERA-NET Plus in the 7th Framework Programme (FP7), and ERA-NET Cofund under Horizon 2020. If you are involved in the forest-based sector, you will recognise names such as WoodWisdom-Net (which became WoodWisdom-Net Plus), SUMFOREST, FORESTERRA and most recently ForestValue (a collaboration of WoodWisdom-Net, SUMFOREST and FORESTERRA) which continues as ForestValue2 until the end of 2027.
The participants in these actions were either programme ‘owners’ (typically ministries or regional authorities defining research programmes) or programme ‘managers’ (such as research councils or other research funding agencies managing research programmes). The ERA-NETs provided funding for transnational research projects and networks via open calls, accessible to research organisations and SMEs.
Public-private partnerships have been developed since FP6. Actors involved in the forest-based sector will recognise names such as the Forest-based Sector Technology Platform (FTP, one of EUFORE’s partner organisations), and the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) which in 2021 became the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU).