Organisation & Funding

ECRIN is a distributed research infrastructure (RI) – a distinct organisation that connects research facilities at multiple sites in countries across Europe and provides services for top-level clinical research. 

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 RIs 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, and was listed as a Landmark Infrastructure in the ESFRI Roadmap 2016.

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 13 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.

Members and Observers

To date, ECRIN has nine member countries (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, 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 (EuCos) based in each member or observer Country, and the national scientific partners (usually a network of clinical research units, CTUs), as shown in the image below. 

EuCos oversee the implementation of ECRIN’s work in their respective countries, managing the trial portfolio and coordinating with the national scientific partner and other relevant stakeholders. The core team, based in Paris, develops ECRIN’s strategy, common tools and procedures, and contributes to infrastructure development projects. The national scientific partners manage trials in-country and host the EuCos. In coordination with the EuCo, they identify the clinical trial units (CTUs) or clinical research centres (CRCs) that will provide trial management tasks in a given trial.

Funding

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.