It is crucial that our research is connected to international cooperation networks. Developments in the EU’s research and innovation policies have a major impact on Finnish research activities and the infrastructure for research in Finland.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry represents Finland in several international research forums. The Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) coordinates agricultural research across the EU. Another key EU expert group is the Knowledge Based Bio-Economy Network (KBBE-NET). Global perspectives on agro-food research are addressed through the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the European Initiative on Agricultural Research for Development (EIARD).
Joint Programming Initiatives (JPI) are a new kind of research instrument recently introduced by the European Commission. The idea behind this scheme is to encourage member states to define, develop and implement common strategic research agendas based on a common vision of how to address major societal challenges. One of the first Joint Programming Initiatives to be launched concerns Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE JPI).
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is also involved in several European ERA-NET networks. The EU’s ERA-NET scheme is a research network model that operates under the EU’s 7th Framework Programme aiming to enhance the coordination of national and regional research programmes through two specific actions:
- ERA-NET actions provide a framework for actors implementing public research programmes to coordinate their activities e.g. by developing joint activities or by mutually supporting joint calls for transnational proposals.
- ERA-NET Plus actions may in some cases with wider benefits around Europe gain additional EU financial support to facilitate joint calls for proposals between national and/or regional programmes.
The ERA-NET scheme allows national and regional authorities to identify research programmes they wish to coordinate or open up on a mutual basis. The participants in these actions are therefore the research programmes’ “owners” (typically the ministries or regional authorities who have defined them) or “managers” (such as research councils or other research funding agencies).
Synergies and added value have been obtained through research cooperation involving the Nordic Countries and the Baltic Countries, as well as through bilateral projects and activities.