INFRAFRONTIER Receives the ERIC Plate during a Presidency Conference in Brussels

June 17, 2024

Robert Puschmann, Martin Hrabe de Angelis and Michael Raess (left to right) holding the ERIC plate

On Tuesday, 4 June, during the Belgian Presidency Conference on Research Infrastructures, INFRAFRONTIER was honoured with an official plate, marking its recent achievement of becoming an ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium). The ceremony was led by Anna Panagopoulou, Director of ‘ERA & Innovation’ at the Research and Innovation Directorate General of the European Commission.

INFRAFRONTIER was not the only infrastructure honoured at the event; representatives of LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) also received their ERIC plate. With these new additions, Europe now counts with 28 ERICs, and more in preparation.

During her speech, Anna Panagopoulou congratulated both INFRAFRONTIER and LOFAR ERICs, wishing them great success. She highlighted the impressive geographical distribution of the Founding Members of both ERICs (INFRAFRONTIER includes the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, and Sweden).

Panagopoulou emphasised, “Both ERICs will contribute to top-level research, technological development, innovation, and societal challenges.” She also underlined the importance of ERICs as a legal instrument for European Research Infrastructures, stating, “ERICs have become a legal instrument of choice for a large part of common European Research Infrastructure’s initiatives.” She further mentioned the recent report on the ERIC regulation, identifying strengths and challenges, particularly the need for financial and operational sustainability.

Anna concluded her speech by discussing the future of European research policies, indicating that a new agenda for 2025-2027 is being developed in cooperation with Member States and stakeholders, including ESFRI members.

After this, the awarded ERIC representatives took the floor to present their respective Infrastructures.

Martin Hrabe de Angelis, Director of INFRAFRONTIER ERIC, presented the infrastructure in a talk titled “INFRAFRONTIER: a Research Infrastructure for Modelling Human Diseases”. He, along with Michael Raess, Head of General Management, and Robert Puschmann, Chairperson of the INFRAFRONTIER ERIC Assembly of Members, received the plate for INFRAFRONTIER.

In his speech, Martin enthusiastically emphasised the consortium’s journey to ERIC status, noting it as a 20-year-long endeavour, and highlighting INFRAFRONTIER’s pioneering role in the first ESFRI roadmap of 2006. Martin expressed gratitude to the European Commission, ESFRI, Ministry Working Group, collaborating centres, and the ERIC Forum for their support.

He also thanked the European Commission for selecting the INFRAPLUS project for 3 years funding. Martin remarked that this opportunity will advance INFRAFRONTIER’s in vivo models, expand the service portfolio, and focus on developing innovative in vitro models.

For more details, you can watch the ceremony starting at 6:43:30 HERE.

See the Conference Agenda HERE.

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