Organisation & Funding

ECRIN is a distributed research infrastructure – a distinct organisation that connects research facilities at multiple sites in countries across Europe and provides services for top-level clinical research. This infrastructure creates added value through greater access to expertise and patients, increasing the reach, diversity, and quality of results of clinical trials.

Based in Paris, we work with European Correspondents across Europe, national networks of clinical trial units (CTUs), as well as numerous European and international stakeholders involved in clinical research. Learn how we work with our Member and Observer Countries below.

On November 29th, 2013, ECRIN was officially awarded the status of European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) by the European Commission. This is a legal status recognised in all EU member states, designed to facilitate the establishment and operation of research infrastructures of European interest.

ECRIN Statutes and Internal Rules of Procedure

A European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) Biological and Medical Sciences Research Infrastructure (BMS RI)

In 2006, ECRIN was listed on the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap. ESFRI is a strategic instrument developed by the European Commission to focus on optimal use and development of research infrastructures through strategic policymaking and multilateral initiatives. ECRIN is one of 12 ESFRI Biological and Medical Sciences Research Infrastructures (BMS RIs).

The BMS RIs have signed a memorandum of understanding to enable coordination of their activities and the development of common strategies. To support this, a BMS-RI strategy board has been established, with Jacques Demotes of ECRIN as the current chair.
The BMS RIs are currently collaborating on the Horizon 2020-funded CORBEL project, for example, to establish shared services for the biomedical research community.
In addition to ECRIN, the BMS RIs are the following:
  • EATRIS (translational research)
  • EuroBioImaging (cellular and medical imaging)
  • ELIXIR (bioinformatics)
  • BBMRI (biobanks)
  • INSTRUCT (structural biology)
  • INFRAFRONTIER (mouse models)
  • ISBE (systems biology)
  • ERINHA (high-security laboratories)
  • MIRRI (microbial collections)
  • EMBRC (marine biology)
  • EU-OPENSCREEN (chemical libraries and screening)

Members and Observers

To date, ECRIN has eight full Member Countries (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Spain) and two Observer Countries (Switzerland and Slovakia). Member Countries have access to the full range of ECRIN services and collaboration opportunities. Observer status, which lasts for a maximum of three years, grants similar support. 

Collaboration with countries is achieved through ECRIN's unique organisation involving the Paris-based Core Team, the European Correspondents based in each Member or Observer Country, and the national Scientific Partners (usually a network of clinical research units, CTUs). Click below to find out about specific roles and responsibilities.

The European Correspondents, typically seconded to ECRIN by their local institutions, act as the link between the ECRIN Core Team, national Scientific Partners, Member or Observer Countries, and other relevant stakeholders. Supported by the Core Team, they oversee the implementation of ECRIN’s work in their respective countries, managing the trial portfolio and coordinating with partners.
The ECRIN Core Team – in addition to supporting the European Correspondents by coordinating their work with each other and partners as needed – develops ECRIN’s strategy as well as common tools and procedures for ECRIN-supported trials, and contributes to other capacity building projects.
The national Scientific Partners manage trials in-country and host the European Correspondents. In coordination with the European Correspondent, they identify the clinical trial units (CTUs) or clinical research centres (CRCs) that will provide trial management tasks in a given trial.

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ECRIN is funded by the contributions of its Member and Observer Countries. These funds are primarily dedicated to supporting the organisation and developing its core competencies to enable the provision of operational support to multinational trials. 

Country funding does not cover costs incurred by specific projects aimed at developing new tools and procedures, or multinational clinical trials where ECRIN provides trial management services. These projects are funded by grants from European funding bodies (e.g., Horizon 2020, Innovative Medicines Initiative 2) and services provided to industry sponsors, for example.