The European Research Area (ERA) is a key driver of research and innovation (R&I) in Europe, but there are significant disparities in R&I capacities across EU countries. Widening countries, including Poland, Croatia, and Malta, face particular challenges due to inadequate R&I ecosystems, weaker international and cross-sectoral collaboration, and human capacity shortages. These factors hinder their ability to contribute to the ERA’s growth potential in terms of research performance, limiting their ability to compete globally.

The ERA SHUTTLE project aims to address these challenges by fostering R&I capacities in the ERA, with a focus on benefiting the participating Widening countries. The project aims to establish stronger connections between R&I actors, tackle uneven development of regions, and unlock and advance existing R&I infrastructure and talent resources. By improving the overall R&I ecosystem, ERA SHUTTLE aims to enhance research excellence, knowledge valorisation, and cross-sectoral collaboration, all contributing to the ERA’s growth potential. 

Key goals: 

  • Identify obstacles and strong points of involved research institutions and improve accessibility, integration, and exploitation of existing research equipment and know-how
  • Attract and retain talents in Widening countries through improvement of research conditions, employability and career prospects of R&I talents
  • Define and overcome barriers for intersectoral staff exchange through development of an experimentation framework for sharing talent and knowledge valorisation in Widening countries
  • Implement R&I talent mobilities between academic and non-academic sectors and identify best practices of cross-sectoral talent circulation 
  • Strengthen research profile and knowledge base in Widening universities and reduce networking gaps between low performing member states
  • Contribute to the development of a European Framework for Research Careers and setting-up of ERA Talent Platform focused on promoting the talent circulation between sectors and across the EU 
  • Support the European Industrial Strategy and the European Skills Agenda by enhancing R&I talents from Widening countries in deepening their capacity and widening their skill set

By achieving these goals, ERA SHUTTLE aims to make a significant contribution to the ERA’s growth potential, enhance the research excellence of participating Widening universities, and improve their research management capacities. The project intends to maximise its impact through effective dissemination and communication strategies, ensuring that its results are made available to stakeholders, policymakers and the general public.