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At the Lisbon Summit in 2000, the European Union (EU) Heads of States confirmed that knowledge and innovation are vital to Europe's growth and agreed to make the EU the most competitive knowledge-driven economy. The EU's ability to facilitate innovation by strengthening its research capacities is central to achieving this goal. Some of the practical initiatives under this innovation policy determined at the Lisbon Summit integrate research capacities already existing in individual states through pan-European participation in collaborative projects in science and technology. The EU is financing a number of formal pre-competitive networking programmes aiming at a better deployment of existing national research capacities via their inclusion in joint research initiatives. Although there is a general consensus that increasing levels of collaboration amongst researchers produce better results, the issue of research networking and of related research outcomes continues to generate debate with a wide variety of views on what roles such programmes play and their general implications for research and scientific performance. This paper explores whether such formal networking programmes contribute to facilitating innovation in the European Research Area (ERA) by enabling Science & Technology (S&T) participants to achieve anticipated research outcomes from their involvement in such programmes.