New EU research partnerships promote cooperation in the fields of photonics, data technology, circular economy, health and more

Kuvakollaasi Tampereen yliopsiton tutkimusaloista
Image: Jonne Renvall / Tampere University
Tampere University is involved in more than a dozen new European partnerships. Through Horizon Europe partnerships, the University strengthens its researchers’ integration into European research networks and increases its long-term influence on European research policy.

The European Commission is renewing research and innovation partnerships which are at the heart of its research policy collaboration and part of the Horizon Europe programme. The Commission has identified 49 themed partnerships with different backgrounds and activities. Collaborations are being built between Member States, funding agencies, research organisations, businesses, and other communities with the aim of creating synergies between diverse EU policies and programmes. Some of these partnerships are currently in a strong development phase, while others will begin during the next work programme in 2023–2024.

Tampere University is currently involved in 13 partnership networks. The University has already been involved in the activities of some industry and research networks that that are in the key role in building the new partnership models.

“The University has been active in a few influencer organisations, but the activities have often been sporadic, and the potential of partnerships has not been fully exploited,” says Pauli Kuosmanen, Director of Tampere University’s Innovation and Partnership Services.

As partnerships are being renewed, now is a good time to look at the internal organisation and information flow between the different research groups involved in the partnerships at the University.

“The aim is to connect researchers, who are active in different partnerships, to discuss European research policy more broadly and to share experiences on the implementation phase of the partnerships,” says International Relations Manager Ilkka Virtanen who coordinates the EU partnership involvement at the University.

Multidisciplinary expertise is needed in the partnerships because many research areas are aiming for broad societal change. For example, the transport partnership Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM) is addressing the societal challenges of transport system changes as well as technological solutions.

Networking brings valuable knowledge and visibility to research

Professor Mircea Guina has been involved in partnership networks in the field of photonics for more than a decade. He has played various roles in the European Technology Platform (ETP) Photonics21. Over the years, Professor Guina has contributed to several working groups, written position papers and given inputs to the contents of work programmes.

“The main benefit of being involved is getting to understand upcoming programme priorities at an early phase. Working in high profile ETP networks also highlights the high-tech European industry positioning and the topics where EU is committed to invest in the long term to accelerate the societal impact of research,” says Professor Guina, a member of the Board of Stakeholders of Photonics21.

Professor Guina also emphasises the importance of increasing the University’s visibility and the opportunity to promote research agendas in key competence areas as the technology platform includes major corporate and research players in the field.

“When you are contributing to ETP activities, you are sharing your expertise, which others will associate with the Tampere photonics cluster,” Professor Guina points out and adds: “With photonics being defined as a key enabling technology, a big challenge ahead for our community is to build more interfaces to the other technology platforms. To this end, connecting different partnerships and combining our visibility at the University level is a timely action.”

Photonics21 is working with the European Commission to prepare a new Photonics Partnership to make European research in the field world-leading. Photonics also plays an important cross-cutting role in different application areas, such as health technologies and security. The platform currently encompasses more than 3,000 members, a significant number of which are SMEs and research organisations.

Tampere University makes a difference through partnerships

Tampere University participates in several partnerships by being a member of the coordinating body. A key activity is to be involved in the preparation of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas (SRIA), which guide research priorities not only in the partnership but also in the preparation of new Horizon Europe work programmes.

Partnerships have an impact on the topics of funding calls as the themes and priorities emerge from the strategic research agendas developed by the collaborative work within the partnerships. They influence not just the funding allocated by the Commission, but also the content of calls for proposals that are launched jointly by national research funding agencies. The partnerships also promote networking between researchers and R&D-oriented companies.

Read more about Horizon Europe partnerships on the European Commission website.

Tampere University is currently involved in the following bodies that are preparing new EU partnerships:

Further infromation

Pauli Kuosmanen
+358 50 304 5934

pauli.kuosmanen [at]

Ilkka Virtanen
+358 40 849 0232

ilkka.virtanen [at]

Edited Nov 4, 2021: EOSC added to the list of EU partnerships.

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