European Research Area and Innovation Committee (ERAC)
The European Research Area and Innovation Committee (ERAC) is an advisory body for the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the Member States on issues surrounding European research policies.
ERAC advises the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the Member States on European research policies.
Every EU Member State sends two members to sit on ERAC, which meets four times a year. The committee is co-chaired by the European Commission (at the level of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation) and an elected representative from a Member State (a co-chair elected to a three-year term). Austria has held the co-chair position in ERAC since 2017. Both co-chairs also head up the ERAC Steering Board. The Steering Board prepares the annual work programme and the agendas for ERAC meetings. Along with the two co-chairs, it is made up of the chairs of the ERA groups, representatives from the current and next Presidencies of the Council of the EU as well as two representatives from two Member States (elected by ERAC).
The main mission of ERAC is to provide the Council, the Commission and the Member States with timely strategic input on any research and innovation issues relevant to the development of the European Research Area (ERA). ERAC can also set up ad hoc working groups on specific issues, which report to the ERAC plenary meeting. In addition, ERAC is responsible for the strategic interaction and coherence with other policy areas on international, European and national level with regard to the development of the European Research Area (ERA). ERAC is likewise in charge of monitoring activities in the ERA development process and consults with the other ERA groups (High Level Group for Joint Programming (GPC), European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), Standing Working Group on Human Resources and Mobility (SWG HRM), Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation (SWG GRI), Standing Working Group on Open Science and Innovation (SWG OSI), Strategic Forum for International Science and Technology Cooperation (SFIC)). The goal is to achieve a European Research Area.