In July 2013, the National Science Foundation (USA) and the ERA-CAPS Consortium (represented by the ERA-CAPS coordinator BBSRC, UK) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate funding activities in the field of plant science.
Under the terms of the MoU, the NSF participation as an Observer in the first ERA-CAPS joint call was formalised.
The NSF participates with the Plant Genome Research Program and organised a Program Solicitation in parallel with the ERA-CAPS joint call for proposals. Hence, US partners were enabled to set up or join transnational research consortia applying to the first ERA-CAPS call. Subsequently, a total of 16 proposals including US partners were submitted. The proposals are currently under joint review and results are expected in September 2013. The MoU can be considered an interesting pilot case and paves the way for strengthening transatlantic research coordination in the framework of an ERA-Net. A further MoU is in preparation that will enable NSF to join the second ERA-CAPS call as a full partner.