Research Infrastructures

European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC)

The community legal framework for a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) is a specific legal form to facilitate the establishment and operation of research infrastructures with European interest. The Commission provides practical guidelines to help potential applicants.

The principal task of ERIC is to establish and operate new or existing research infrastructures on a non-economic basis.

The ERIC becomes a legal entity from the date the Commission decision setting up the ERIC takes effect.

An ERIC can carry out some limited economic activities related to this task.

The ERIC legal framework provides:

  • a European joint-venture (also allows the participation of non-European countries)
  • a legal capacity recognised in all EU Member States
  • flexibility to adapt to specific requirements of each infrastructure
  • a faster process than creating an international organisation
  • exemptions from VAT and excise duty

An ERIC may adopt its own procurement procedures which have to respect the principles of transparency, non-discrimination and competition.

The members of an ERIC can be Member States, associated countries, third countries and intergovernmental organisations.

The research infrastructure must meet the following requirements:

  • the infrastructure is necessary to carry out research programmes and projects
  • it represents added-value in the development of the European Research Area (ERA) and significant improvement in the relevant scientific and technological fields
  • effective access is granted to the European research community in accordance with the rules established in the statutes
  • it contributes to the mobility of knowledge and/or researchers within the ERA
  • it contributes to the dissemination and optimisation of the results


ERIC practical guidelines

The practical guidelines are aimed at assisting potential applicants for the ERIC legal framework.


National procedures for ERICs

Procedures to obtain a formal commitment of a State to become member or host an ERIC vary from country to country. The stakeholders of future ERICs are advised to work, well in advance, with their national authorities when preparing an ERIC.