In line with the Europe 2020 vision, there is an increasing need for adequate analytical tools to monitor progress towards the European Research Area (ERA). The Framework Programme (FP) is the main instrument of EU research policy. With 17.5 billion euros devoted to FP6 (rising to 51billion euros in FP7), it funds a substantial proportion of collaborative research activity in the EU and is, by far, the most prominent funding mechanism for transnational research globally. Therefore, the analysis of the structure of European networks of collaboration in the FPs, from FP1 to FP6, is a valuable tool in understanding the contribution of European policies in transforming the fabric of research within the ERA, as well as in identifying a possible backbone of research actors in the ERA. Within this context, the projects "Network analysis study on participations in Framework Programmes" conducted by ARC sys (now Austrian Institute of Technology)and "Centrality Analysis in Research Networks" carried out by the Knowledge for Growth Unit of the Institute for Prospective and Technological Studies (IPTS), Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission, respond to the on-going need for data and analysis on the characteristics and evolution of the ERA. This report presents findings of the above-mentioned studies and discusses them in a policy context. In addition, it applies novel methodological tools for analysing data on FP participations and improving our understanding of transnational networks of collaborative research.