The ERA is a vision within the EU of a strong research Europe, that is open to the world around it and where researchers, scientific knowledge and technology can move about freely. The ERA does not have a research budget in itself, but the framework programme for research and innovation includes calls to support certain activities within the ERA.
The vision of the ERA is realised through three-year action programmes, which are known as the ERA’s political agendas.
How the Swedish Research Council supports the implementation of the ERA
The European Commission recommends open access to scientific publications and open access to research data. The Swedish Research Council is the National Point of Reference (NPR) in relation to open access to scientific publications and open access to research data. This means that we function as the Commission’s contact in Sweden. The Swedish Research Council coordinates the national work on the Open European Science Cloud.
Joint guidelines and principles for assessing research
The Swedish Research Council has joined the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (COARA). The agreement includes undertakings that lay out a joint direction for developing criteria and processes for expert review of research, with respect for each organisation’s autonomy. The over-arching purpose is to maximise the quality of research. The Swedish Research Council has taken active part in the introductory work at European level on formulating the over-arching principles and undertakings relating to assessment of research that are included in the agreement.
Career, competence and mobility
The Swedish Research Council issues calls for different types of career support, which includes mobility. We also carry out analyses of careers, competences and mobility in the Swedish research system.
Gender equality and participation
On issues relating to gender equality, we participate in the large network GENDER-NET funded by the European Commission. We also participate in a work group advising the Commission on gender equality issues and contribute statistics to the Commission’s report “She Figures”, on gender equality statistics in Europe. Swedish Research Council employees who have worked with gender equality observations in conjunction with the assessment of applications for research grants have also advised other European research councils.
By participating in the European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructure (ESFRI), the Swedish Research Council contributes to the joint development of European research infrastructures.
The Swedish Research Council maintains international collaborations, both bilateral and multilateral, to support the Government’s international agreements through what is known as ‘science diplomacy’. Coordination with other Swedish actors also occurs via the Platform for Internationalisation (PLINT), and through the funding bodies’ coordination body for internationalisation (INTSAM).
Research and innovation assignments and partnerships
The Swedish Research Council participates in several partnerships. The European partnerships exist in different formats, but generally they are linked to societal challenges or important industrial technology areas.
In Horizon Europe, there is also a new instrument, “assignments for research and innovation”, (“missions”), which are a partly new way of addressing societal challenges with concrete goals and by engaging the general public. The Swedish Research Council is responsible for the missions relating to cancer and climate adaptation.
Science and citizens
The Swedish Research Council is responsible for coordinating communication about research and research results in Sweden. As part of this work, we are developing a national platform to increase access to research and research results. The platform will offer the functions that are currently found on the websites forskning.se and Expertsvar, together with further content and new services. Making knowledge about research more accessible to the general public is part of the global development towards open science, contributes to promoting trust in facts and counteracting resistance to knowledge, strengthens people’s scientific capital and supports media that report on science. We collaborate both nationally and internationally with actors within the field of science communication.
Science Europe consists of around 40 research funding bodies and research-producing organisations from 30 European countries. From Sweden, in addition to the Swedish Research Council, which is responsible for national collaboration, the research councils Formas and Forte also participate.
The purpose of Science Europe is to contribute to realising the European Research Area (ERA). Science Europe monitors and drives research policy issues of importance to the member organisations. These may, for example, relate to the design of the EU’s framework programme or recommendations on issues relating to research ethics, gender equality and open access to scientific publications and to research data.