Research infrastructures play an increasingly important role for the advancement of knowledge and technology in Europe and worldwide. The term research infrastructure refers to facilities, services and resources that are used by the scientific community to conduct top-level research. Research infrastructures bring together the suitable conditions and critical mass to enable cutting edge, large-scale research. Compared to projects or networks, which often last a few months or years only, the power of research infrastructures lies, amongst others, in their longevity allowing for long-term, strategic planning.
EMBRC is embedded in a network of 48 European research infrastructures covering all research areas from biology to social sciences to physics, which have been selected by the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) based on their pan-European interest and ability to answer the long term needs of European research communities. Until today, ESFRI has published three roadmaps, in 2006, 2008 and 2010. EMBRC was added onto the ESFRI roadmap in 2008. The next roadmap update is due September 2016. Research infrastructures are a crucial element in developing the European Research Area (ERA).