Cross-linking the European Research Area

The ERA-NET Cofund instrument under Horizon 2020 is an amalgamation of the ERA-NET instruments in the European Union’s Sixth and Seventh Research Framework Programmes. It aims to promote the coordination and cooperation of national and regional research and innovation programmes. Under Horizon 2020, the new European Joint Programme Cofund (EJP) instrument was also created in order to pool large national research programmes, resources and capacities.  Both instruments are aimed at national and regional grant funding institutions in the European Research Area.

ERA-NET Cofund allows participating funding agencies to launch joint calls for proposals for transnational research and innovation projects, with the European Commission contributing up to 33% of the national funding amount. The funding agencies can also launch other joint calls for projects which do not receive this top-up funding from the European Commission. One of the participating funding organisations  ̶  from either an EU member state or associated country  ̶  is responsible for coordinating the ERA-NET Cofund project.

Around 80 ERA-NET Cofund projects are being funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020.

European Joint Programme Cofund (EJP) initiatives allow implementation of a joint programme of activities ranging from research and innovation projects to coordination and network activities, as well as training activities, demonstration and dissemination activities and support to third parties based on joint calls for proposals. There is a flexible reimbursement rate of up to 70% of the total eligible costs of the measures. In addition to the direct costs of financial support to third parties, other expenditure such as the personnel costs of EJP partners or subcontracting costs are also eligible, in contrast to ERA-NET Cofund.

Six EJP Cofund initiatives are being funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 and the Euratom programme.

Swiss participation

In Switzerland, various public institutions (Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF, Innosuisse, federal departments and offices) are responsible for decisions (also on co-funding) about ERA-NET and EJP project participation and their joint calls. These bodies inform SERI as early as possible about planned participation, and no later than when a project proposal is submitted.

Numerous Swiss organisations (SNSF, Innosuisse, federal departments and offices) are involved in 35 ERA-NET Cofund and 5 EJP initiatives. Swiss contact persons for each ERA-NET and EJP project can be found in the Horizon 2020 ERA-NET Cofund project list and the Horizon 2020 EJP Cofund project list.

The role of SERI

Within Switzerland, the Stat Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is responsible for analysing the ERA-NET and EJP instruments, promoting Swiss research and innovation with the involvement of relevant bodies, keeping an up-to-date overview of the Swiss ERA-NET and EJP participations, and enabling contacts between organisations interested in new projects.

Further information is published on the ERA-Learn website. For support on submitting a new proposal, you can contact Euresearch.


SERI, Astrid Vassella
Scientific Advisor
Unit International Research and Innovation Programmes
T +41 58 462 88 87