On 5 November 2013, the ARC was delighted to welcome Dr Octavi Quintana Trias, Director for the "European Research Area", within the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, to our offices during the European Union Delegation visit for the Third EU–Australia Workshop on Research Infrastructure.

The European Commission represents the interests of the European Union (EU) as a whole. It proposes new legislation to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, and it ensures that EU law is correctly applied by member countries. 

The European Commission is divided into several departments and services. The departments are known as Directorates-General (DGs). The European Research Area falls within the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and is composed of all research and development activities, programmes and policies in Europe which involve a transnational perspective. Together, they enable researchers, research institutions and businesses to increasingly circulate, compete and co-operate across borders. The aim is to give them access to a Europe-wide open space for knowledge and technologies in which transnational synergies and complementarities are fully exploited.

In 2014 the ARC is funding approximately 2791 new and ongoing research projects that involve collaboration with European Union member states and associated countries, under twelve different funding schemes. This figure accounts for approximately 43% of all international collaboration on ARC-funded projects.

For further information on the European Commission and the European Research Area please visit the European Commission website and the European Research Area website.