The European Research Area (ERA) was launched in 2000, in the context of the Lisbon Strategy, with the purpose of addressing the problem of fragmentation of European Research & Innovation (R&I) systems. The ERA thus intends to constitute a unified area for research, promoting the free movement of researchers, scientific knowledge and technology within the European Union, and also contributing to the competitiveness of European industry, through talent-oriented science and innovation based on excellence, competitiveness and openness.
Launched in 2020, the new ERA aims to improve Europe's R&I landscape, accelerate the EU's transition to climate neutrality and digital leadership, support its recovery from the social and economic impact of the coronavirus crisis, and strengthen its resilience against future crises. Four main objectives of the new ERA are defined:
- Prioritize R&I investments and reforms to facilitate the green and digital transition, support Europe's recovery and increase its competitiveness.
- Improve researchers' access to excellent facilities and infrastructures across the EU.
- Transferring the results to the economy, to boost business investment and market uptake of research results, and to promote EU competitiveness and leadership in the global technology context.
- Enhancing the mobility of researchers and the free flow of knowledge and technology through greater cooperation between Member States to ensure that everyone benefits from research and its results.