As one of the few multinational and multicultural research centres in Europe, the JRC collaborates with many external organisations. Collaboration and networking with the international research community, national authorities and industry are crucial to carry out JRC's work programme. We encourage such partnerships as a means of sharing competencies, acquiring new knowledge and maintaining high scientific quality through objective benchmarking.
At the same time, our independence from national and commercial interests, our proximity to EU policy-makers and our breadth of expertise enable us to deliver highly valuable contributions to a wide range of joint research activities and make JRC a desirable partner.
The JRC works with some 1000 partners world-wide, a large majority of which are located in the EU Member States.
Collaboration with these partners takes different forms, for example: joint research projects, networks with national enforcement laboratories & agencies, knowledge transfer, opening up access to JRC large scale facilities and databases, participation in workshops & seminars, mobility & training schemes for young scientists, a targeted approach to integrate new Member States, candidate countries and neighbouring countries.
Besides the various formal aspects of collaboration, some cooperation is of a more informal nature. This depends of the wide range of contacts individual staff members have built up during their professional careers or through their participation in international seminars and working groups.
The JRC has over 200 operational cooperation agreements and is an active player in the global arena, gathering partners working on a diverse range of scientific fields worldwide. These agreements allow sharing of infrastructure, laboratory equipment, data materials as well as transferring knowledge. It is through cooperation that the JRC can fully play its role as the European Commission's science and knowledge service. The majority of these agreements are bilateral agreements with public and private research organisations, universities and national and international bodies.
Some agreements have a more political profile, for example agreements signed with regional authorities to foster cooperation between the JRC and local organisations, universities and companies. In this respect, JRC has signed agreements for cooperation with the regional authorities of some its sites' locations: Regione Lombardia, Baden-Württemberg, and Andalusia.
At a more international level, the JRC and the US reinforced their cooperation through several cooperation agreements to facilitate the way towards compatible standards across both sides of the Atlantic. The JRC also built transatlantic scientific bridges on eco-industries (sectors such as air pollution management and control, waste collection and treatment) and explored which role the EU and the US could play in the development of Smart Grids, intelligent electricity systems, and Smart Cities, efficiently organised cities based on integrated management, active citizen participation and integration of ICT systems.
Another example is the JRC's support to the Danube Strategy, which seeks to improve the economic development across the region and boost growth and jobs through better policy making and funding. The JRC has undertaken several steps within the context of its scientific cooperation initiative. Together with representatives from science academies, universities, research and technology organisations, the JRC defined concrete cooperation activities and possible synergies to be undertaken in the framework of water, land, soil, air and bio-energy while supporting innovation.