The ERA-NET Scheme

The objective of the ERA-NET scheme, which was launched in 2002 under the European Commission's 6th Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP6), was to enhance coordination of national or regional research programmes in the Member States and Associated Countries. The scheme has significantly contributed to structuring the European Research Area by favouring actions jointly supported by several Member States/Associated Countries and the Commission (such as joint calls, joint programmes, etc.).

ERA-NET in Horizon 2020

The ERA-NET instrument under Horizon 2020 is designed to support public-public partnerships in their preparation, establishment of networking structures, design, implementation and coordination of joint activities as well as topping up of single joint calls and of actions of a transnational nature.

The ERA-NET under Horizon 2020 merges the former ERA-NET and ERA-NET Plus into a single instrument with the central and compulsory element of implementing one substantial call with top-up funding from the Commission.

The focus of ERA-NETs is therefore shifting from the funding of networks to the top-up funding of single joint calls for transnational research and innovation in selected areas with high European added value and relevance for Horizon 2020.

Learn more about Horizon 2020 ERA-NETs...

ERA-NET scheme under FP7

ERA-NETs were a coordination action that aimed at reducing the fragmentation of the ERA resulting from the coexistence of several national and regional public research programmes.

Under the ERA-NET scheme, national and regional authorities identified research programmes they wished to coordinate or open up mutually. Accordingly participants in these actions were 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).

ERA-NETs were – in addition to BILAT and INCO-NET projects – the main instrument used for activities in the area of International Cooperation of the Capacities programme of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development (2007-2013).

An FP7 funded ERA-NET might have included the following activities:

  • Systematic exchange of information and best practices with the aim of enhancing the communication between the project partners. 
  • Strategically targeted activities that develop an evaluation of the options and barriers for cooperation and lead to the development of complementarities and joint objectives of national and regional research projects. Implementation of joint activities (e.g. clustering of nationally and regionally financed research programmes), utilization of multinational evaluation processes, joint training measures or the mutual opening of national infrastructures. 
  • Transnational research activities, e.g. the formulation of joint strategies and work programmes or the implementation of joint calls for research funding. National funding sources of different Member States can be pooled for this.

The two types of ERA-NETs in FP7 were:

  • ERA-NETs - provided a framework for actors implementing public research programmes to coordinate their activities, e.g. by developing joint activities or by mutually supporting joint calls for transnational proposals.
  • ERA-NETs Plus – established a common funding pot with additional funding obtained from the European Commission ('top-up funding' for joint calls). These schemes were usually based on an already successfully cocluded ERA-NET.

Only a few FP7 funded ERA-NETs were horizontal, i.e. international ERA-NETS that targeted the cooperation with selected third countries, like ERA.Net RUS and ERA.Net RUS Plus.


  • Call Flyer 2019

    [PDF - 1.35 MB]

    cover page of the flyer © DLR


  • Call Flyer 2017

    [PDF - 1.89 MB]

    cover page call flyer


  • Call Flyer 2014

    [PDF - 2.02 MB]


  • ERA.Net RUS & Funded Projects 2012

    [PDF - 3.37 MB]

    This brochure showcases all projects funded under the Pilot Joint Call, which was implemented by the predecessor project ERA.Net RUS. (URL:


  • Dr Jörn Grünewald

    • Senior Scientific Officer | DLR-PT, Department 'European and International Cooperation'
    • Heinrich-Konen-Str. 1
    • 53227 Bonn | Germany
    • Telephone: +49 228 3821 1457
    • Fax: +49 228 3821 1400
    • Email Address:
  • Nina Schüle

    • Senior Administrative Officer | DLR-PT, Department 'European and International Cooperation'
    • Heinrich-Konen-Str. 1
    • 53227 Bonn | Germany
    • Telephone: +49 228 3821 1889
    • Fax: +49 228 3821 1444
    • Email Address: