The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIOIR) has been awarded a €355,219 grant from the European Commission as part of a three-year project titled ERA-LEARN 2020 which aims to provide an integrated framework to make public-to-public partnerships between national and regional funding organisations more efficient.
The Institute has won the funding as part of a €3.1m consortium led by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) involving 10 partners across the continent, all of whom are government-run agencies apart from MIOIR which has been deliberately chosen to provide independent analysis and policy advice. MIOIR will also monitor and assess the impact of joint programming activities set up by EU member states.
MIOIR principal investigator and research associate Dr Effie Amanatidou said as more EU member states create joint programmes, so the need for such knowledge platforms becomes greater. The project is funded by Horizon 2020 initiative, the €80bn EU Research and Innovation programme.
Amanatidou said the ERA-LEARN 2020 will be supporting existing and new joint actions that are built around assisting with research into the EU’s so-called ‘grand challenges’ such as tackling climate change, energy resource issues and dealing with an ageing population.
“The whole ERA initiative is gaining more and more national importance. Member states have realised that they can only solve these huge issues by working ever closer together, and this new programme is about how you manage those projects, evaluate them and then identify areas of common interest and increase alignment of the national programmes.”
She added that the web-based platform to be created under ERA-LEARN 2020 will specifically give people the opportunity to record information and data efficiently, while facilitating the exchange of ideas and experiences. “It will be both a portal and a platform for knowledge exchange. One of the major contributions of this project is to give member states the added value of carrying out their research as part of a wider network, rather than just alone. In this era of continued austerity governments are also keen to explore how research funding can be spent more efficiently. It is about creating a critical mass and exploiting the mutual benefits of knowledge exchange.”