The European Comission has recently decided to extend the project period of ERA.Net RUS Plus until October 2019. The praticipating research and innovation funding organisations wish to continue this joint initiative by launching another call round in order to sustain and extend the human scientific bridge between the EU and Russia. If and how this will come into fruition is yet to be decided.Since the conception of the ERA.Net RUS Plus in 2012/2013, EU-Russia relations have seen a dramatic change: From the vision of continuously tighter bonds and increasing integration in different areas, e.g. in science via a EU-Russia Strategic Partnership in Research and Innovation, the concept of a common space on Science, Education and Culture and a Partnership for Modernisation, in a period of 5 years, the political framework has evolved to a much more selective engagement with Russia. Against this political background, people-to-people contacts, as in the exchange of particularly young people in education, science, research and culture, are of crucial importance and have become one of the key pillars of EU-Russia relations.
During the nearly 5 years since the project’s start, the ERA.Net RUS Plus project has not only implemented one single Joint Call, which was foreseen in the original description of work, but has managed to set up a 2nd Joint Call based on the initiative of the consortium partners and additional partners. These 2 calls in 2014/2015 and 2017/2018, with a total of more than 500 proposals and 98 funded projects, have made ERA.Net RUS Plus a flagship of the ERA.NET scheme and a highlight in EU-Russia science relations. Beyond its R&I goals, the project has served to connect more than 1000 academics in Russia, the EU and countries associated to its Framework Programmes. It has also been a highly visible sign to the scientific communities of the continuing will to keep up the cooperation.
The participating research and innovation funding organisations wish to continue this joint initiative by launching another call round in 2019 in order to sustain and extend the human scientific bridge between the EU and Russia as well as their neighbouring countries.