Timeline | EMBRC


EMBRC was integrated into the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap in 2008 and was granted a Preparatory Phase contract under the 7th European Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7) conducted between 1/2/2011 and 31/1/2014, during which it developed a blueprint of the RI including a plan for EMBRC activities and services, governance structure and business plan (2013). 
A Memorandum of Understanding to establish a legal structure to operate EMBRC-ERIC (EMBRC MoU) entered into force in December 2013,  signed by seven EU member states (Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and UK) and two associated countries (Israel and Norway). France was selected to host the EMBRC-ERIC, with Headquarters in Paris, managed by an Executive Director and supported by its Secretariat since September 2015. Since then, EMBRC benefits from a substantial Host Premium contribution, accompanied by the Member’s financial support to the EMBRC Implementation Phase (2016-17). This phase was further supported by a second Preparatory Phase contract, under the 8th European Framework Programme for Research and Development (H2020), which has delivered important elements of our business plan (Nardello et al., 2017) and the first-step application to ERIC status.

EMBRC has submitted its final ERIC application in February 2017. The Implementing Decision on the establishment of the EMBRC-ERIC was adopted by the EU Commission on the 20th of February 2018. Formal operations will start in the summer of 2018. Thanks to a well resourced Implementation Phase, EMBRC-ERIC will transition smoothly into the Operational Phase, with an established Secretariat and most services already active and accessible, through the EMBRC Access Portal

OPERATION (2018-2040)

EMBRC has become operational in 2018 and is projected to serve its users for approximately 25 years. The long-term partnerships of EMBRC-ERIC will enable advanced integration of marine biological research infrastructure in Europe as well as forefront joint development activities at the European scale.


Until the Operational Phase begins in 2017, EMBRC aims at establishing a legal structure in the form of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). It was also an important period for establishing the EMBRC-ERIC Headquarters in Paris, with an Executive Director guiding the ERIC-application process and heading the establishment of the EMBRC-ERIC Secretariat. International collaborations were initiated and reinforced in this period, also with the development and public offer of the EMBRC-ERIC services. The European Marine Training Portal, which started to be developed in the preparatory phase, was already available since the onset of this phase, while a full access system went on line in April 2017.

PREPARATION (2011-2014) 

EMBRC emerged from the EU project ASSEMBLE, based on nine marine research stations, funded under the EU 7th Framework Research  Programme, between May 2009 and October 2014. ASSEMBLE focused on the provision of transnational access for researchers and also initiated some joint research and networking activities among project partners. The preparatory phase of EMBRC (ppEMBRC) was funded under the EU 7th Framework Programme between February 2011 and February 2014. In the preparatory phase, EMBRC had 13 partners in eight countries and seven associate partners in seven countries. In the three years of preparation, the foundation of EMBRC was laid by developing a business plan, governance structure, and blueprint for the future operation of the infrastructure. In total, 190 persons (88 women, 102 men) were actively involved in the preparatory phase, among them Work Package coordinators and officers, assistants, and members of the Steering Committee and General Assembly. About 70 persons were fully or partially employed on the ppEMBRC budget. In addition to the active members, there were eight members in the International Advisory Board and eleven members in the Reference User Group.

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