The international collaborations of Formas are undertaken primarily at European level. EU collaborations are prioritised by the Swedish Government contributing specific funding to the European programmes. Collaborations are carried out partly through the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020) and partly as collaborations between EU Member States and associated countries.
Horizon 2020 is the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation and is targeted towards many different stakeholders, such as research scientists, commerce, the public sector and other interest groups. The programme is subdivided into three main funding areas:
The societal challenges that have been identified are:
Formas is Sweden's expert agency for two of the societal challenges and works at a strategic level to structure funding initiatives and prioritise within the respective challenges. To be able to contribute the most important Swedish perspectives, Formas has established two reference panels comprised of research scientists, representatives from commerce and the public sector, as well as other stakeholders.
The members of the two reference panels are listed below.
Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research, and the bioeconomy
Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials
The Research Partner Programme is a collective name for research programmes that are jointly funded by the EU Commission and national funding agencies such as Formas. The purpose is to fund research projects where researchers from several different countries participate. There are often requirements for the research to be communicated to users and to be of benefit to society.
ERA-Net is used to increase cooperation between national funding agencies and their research programmes. The EU Commission contributes with funding for coordination and research.
Formas participates in the following ERA-Net and ERA-Net Cofund initiatives:
The Article 185 Programme is a long-term research programme that receives half of its funding from the EU Commission and half from the EU Member States. Formas participates in one Article 185 Programme – BONUS – Science for a better future of the Baltic Sea region, which examines the unique and sensitive Baltic Sea ecosystem and the development potential in the region.
Joint Programming or collaborative programme planning is a long-term process focussed om major societal challenges that no country alone can resolve (such as climate change, sustainable food production and long-term availability of water). The objective is to enable countries to work together to reach agreement on a common research agenda and to work jointly to resolve the challenges. For example, the ERA-Net instrument can be used to fund joint research projects. Formas participates in seven Joint Programming initiatives:
Science Europe is an organisation based in Brussels that consists of European research funders and researchers. The mandate of Science Europe is to monitor and drive research policy issues that are important for EU Member States. Among other things, Science Europe has an impact on the structuring of the EU Framework Programme and makes recommendations on issues concerning research ethics, equality and open access to data and publications. In addition to Formas, the Swedish Research Council and Forte are also members of Science Europe.