ERAC (European Research Area Committee, formerly CREST) is a strategic policy advisory body whose function is to assist the European Commission and the Council of the European Union in performing the tasks incumbent on these Institutions in the sphere of research and technological development.
ERAC (formerly CREST) was set up in the early nineteen-seventies. In 1995, the basis for the Committee's work was replaced by a new Resolution from the Council.
ERAC's activities have gained increased importance because of the greater prominence of research and technological development in Europe, which is nowadays acknowledged to be an important element of Europe's competitiveness and economic growth.
In its Resolution of 7 December 2009 the Council has launched the process of redefining the mission of CREST in the context of an enhanced governance of the European Research Area. In its Resolution of 26 May 2010 , this resulted in a revised mandate for CREST. CREST was renamed as European Research Area Committee (ERAC) in order to better align its role with the new emphasis given to the ERA by the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union. The new mandate also reflects better the shared competence between the Member States and the EU and its strategic policy mission. The mandate of ERAC will be reviewed again by the end of 2012.