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European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the ERIC legal framework only appropriate for new research infrastructures?

ERIC can be used for establishing new research infrastructures or for operating existing research infrastructures when members consider it useful to change their legal structures to become an ERIC. The assets and activities of the existing entity can be transferred to the ERIC, following appropriate (e. g. national) procedures.

Can research organisations be members of an ERIC?

Only Member States, associated countries, third countries other than associated countries and intergovernmental organisations can be members of an ERIC. However, a State may decide to be represented by one or more public entities or private entities with a public-service mission, e.g. research organisations or research councils, to exercise specified rights or fulfil specified obligations on its behalf.

How long is the procedure to set up an ERIC?

Stakeholders of future ERICs are encouraged to work together from the very beginning of the preparation for the ERIC and involve their national authorities when designing the ERIC and preparing the required documents.

The estimated duration of the procedure is:

  • step 1: three months starting from the submission of the application;
  • step 2: six months starting from the submission of the formal request to the European Commission.

The European Commission will assist potential applicants at all stages of the preparation of an ERIC.

What is the status of the staff working for an ERIC?

In national sites of distributed ERICs, staff employed by the members may be involved in the ERIC activities without any change in their employment status. Staff may also be seconded by the members to the ERIC. An ERIC may also recruit its own staff. The employment contracts will generally be governed by the law of the country in which staff is undertaking its activities.

What are the commitments from the ERIC members?

The statutes must include the commitments of each member (i.e. at ministerial level) to make a contribution to the ERIC. Part of the contributions may be in kind, however there must be sufficient financial contributions to ensure that the ERIC is able to meet the objectives set out in the statutes.

The statutes must include a provisional budget with the corresponding commitments from the members for the first 3-5 years depending on the nature of the activities of the ERIC.

Can an ERIC apply as a beneficiary in Horizon 2020 calls?

An ERIC can be considered as a participant and the ERIC contributing members can be identified in the grant agreement as linked third parties. Being the beneficiary, the ERIC will be responsible for the linked third parties obligations.