European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERICs)

An ERIC is a European legal entity that facilitates the operation of transnational European Research Infrastructures. The ERIC should represent some form of added value for the European Research Area and significant improvement in the relevant scientific/technological fields.

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NWO’s role in ERICs

Only countries can take the initiative to set up an ERIC. On behalf of the Netherlands, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science signs requests to set up an ERIC. The role of the national representative can be carried out by a specialist ministerial department. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science can also delegate this representation to NWO, KNAW or a national institute, for example.

A country will usually designate two representatives to the decision-making body in an ERIC: a scientific representative of the national research community and a political representative.

NWO has developed a policy framework to define the Nexus role for requests from the research community for support in setting up and managing an ERIC. One precondition for support is alignment with NWO’s ambitions in the strategy (Nexus, Infrastructure). First, a request for advice on the matter will be issued to the Permanent Committee for infrastructures on the national roadmap or the relevant domain advisory body for initiatives that are not (yet) on the roadmap. The advisory bodies will look at organisational and content-related criteria in line with the national roadmap, such as the national level of the organisation, the infrastructural character, the access policy, the national use of international facilities and the international impact of the field. Following a positive assessment, an NWO contact person will be designated to the research community. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science may also subsequently ask NWO to designate a representative from the Netherlands to sit in ERIC’s general assembly.

NWO can thus fulfil the Nexus role in three ways:

  1. Provide support during the preparatory process for the setup;
  2. Appoint a national representative for the council;
  3. Act as a point of contact if NWO does not provide a national representative.

Funding the membership

The scientific field must provide funding for the membership contribution and facilities itself, for example by making it part of a request in the regular set of instruments.

Contact

Dr. ir. Marijn Goes Dr. ir. Marijn Goes +31 (0)70 3440982 m.goes@nwo.nl