European Research Area- The Wider Policy Context for
Brian Ditcham
Senior Policy Advisor, International Knowledge and Innovation
European Research Area
• Aim of ERA is “single market for research”
• Launched in 2000 - based on five “axes”
• Joint Programming- getting national funding programmes
to work more closely together in tackling major
• Researcher careers and mobility- making research an
attractive career for the best and brightest.
• Research Infrastructures- new legal framework for
European infrastructures adopted.
• Intellectual Property rights- current focus on role of IP
rights in knowledge transfer from universities.
• Policy framework for International S&T collaborationworking together in relations with the wider world.
ERA progress
• Heads of Government called for ERA to be
completed by 2014
• New ERA provisions in the Lisbon treaty
• UK ahead of the game (open recruitment, career
development, focus on excellence)?
• Consultation followed by Commission’s ERA
Communication published July 2012
• Non-legislative approach but if insufficient
progress legislation might be an option in future.
The ERA Communication
• Five key priorities:
More effective national research systems
Optimal transnational co-operation and competition
An open labour market for researchers
Gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research
Open access to scientific knowledge and data.
• Sets out actions needed by MS, Commission and
research stakeholders
• ERA Monitoring System being developed to assess
ERA Axis on Researcher Careers and
Mobility- “European Partnership on
• Structured round four themes• Open and transparent recruitment procedures
and grant portability
• Meeting social security and supplementary
pensions needs of mobile researchers
• Attractive employment and working conditions
• Enhancing the training, skills and experience of
European researchers
UK Position
• UK has a good story to tell on this agenda
• Already have a very open research base- as Manchester
University’s recent Nobel Laureates show
• The UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of
Researchers – and the support mechanisms which
underpin it- have set a benchmark for Europe in
promoting career development, skills training and
professionalism for researchers
• This good environment recognised by the success of UK
universities in obtaining the “Human Resources
Excellence in Research” logo- some 67 to date
• The EURAXESS portal and its national portals
play a major role in delivering the European
• Jobs advertising element particularly important to
Commission at the moment
• Act as source of information and advice for
mobile researchers
• Role in spreading information on
researcher rights
• BIS sees a high level of UK participation in
EURAXESS at all levels as a crucial means to
promote the UK as an attractive destination for the
best researchers
• We provide funding to the British Council in their
excellent work on managing the UK EURAXESS
• Would also encourage universities to consider
becoming EURAXESS services centres as a good
way of making established commitments to
researchers even more visible

European Research Area- The Wider Policy