Commission profiles new ERA-NET projects

December 22, 2004

Brussels, 21 Dec 2004

The European Commission has published synopses of a selection of ERA-NET projects receiving funding under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The brochure is the second in a series from the Commission.

The ERA (European Research Area) -NET scheme is aimed at national and regional programme funders and managers. It is designed to encourage the creation of close, long term links between national research programmes with shared goals.

Ultimately, ERA-NETs are expected to lead to collaborations of major significance. The Commission is hoping that Member States and regions will strategically plan and design joint research projects, open up their national research programmes to scientists from other countries, and launch fully transnational programmes funded by more than one country.

The 23 ERA-NETs profiled in the brochure address a wide range of issues, from climate change to transplant research, solar energy, catalysis, space, food and flood management.

The EU requires information on a Europe-wide scale if it is to formulate a policy to mitigate the effects of the changing climate. The CIRCLE ERA-NET is gathering information on all national programmes. Due to the geographical diversity inherent within the EU's Member States, the research being carried out is varied - some projects are analyzing the effect of rising sea levels, while others are looking at the likely impacts of melting glaciers. An overall picture of national research programmes will enable countries to learn from one another and help to prevent the duplication of work.

The EUROTRANS-BIO ERA-NET is focusing on the problems that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) within the biotechnology industry have as 'small players in a big game'. The partners are developing a transnational research programme to exchange information, establish networks and develop good practice.

Several EU Member States are investigating solutions to current problems in meeting growing demands for organ transplants. So far there has been little coordination between national programmes, but that is set to change with ALLIANCE-O. The seven Member States involved will seek to harmonise practices and regulations with the aim of facilitating organ donation and circulation. This will have the effect of minimising shortages and reducing incentives for trafficking. ALLIANCE-O is the first ever attempt to coordinate donation and transplant research activities across such a large number of countries. To access the brochure, please visit:

For further information on ERA-NETs, please visit:
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