During the BE Presidency Conference “Research Infrastructures in a Changing Global, Environmental, and Socio-economic Context,” the ERIC Forum and ERICs were emphasised for their strategic value and the new ERICs LOFAR and INFRAFRONTIER were officially awarded the ERIC plate, while ACTRIS signed a Memorandum of Understanding, marking its entry as official ERIC Forum member.

The Conference of the Belgian Presidency of the European Council took place on the 4th and 5th of June, emphasising the role, impact, and ecosystem of Research Infrastructures in today’s increasingly dynamic global context. As strategic assets of the European Research Area (ERA), the ERICs were well represented, highlighting their contributions to the broader European Research community. Key speakers included Antje Keppler, ExBo Chair of the ERIC Forum; Jens Habermann, General Director of BBMRI-ERIC and coordinator of the ERIC Forum 2 Project; and several ERIC Directors such as Sally Chambers from DARIAH ERIC, Werner Kutsch from ICOS, Jana Kolar from CERIC-ERIC, and Anton Ussi, EATRIS’ Operation and Finance Director.
New ERICs LOFAR and INFRAFRONTIER received their ERIC plates from Director for ERA & Innovation, DG Research and Innovation Anna Panagopoulou of the European Commission, signifying the official recognition of their ERIC status.

Becoming an ERIC


“LOFAR ERIC is proud to be a new member of the ERIC family,” said Wim van Cappellen, the interim Director of LOFAR, expressing his great satisfaction with the official recognition received: “The LOFAR ERIC secures a more stable basis for our collaboration, enabling us to continue to operate and improve our pan-European radio telescope and pioneer discoveries in astronomy.”


Jacqueline Mout-Leurs (Council Chair), Wim van Cappellen (Interim Director) and René Vermeulen (Founding Director). Photo by Miriam Roelofs

Also for INFRAFRONTIER, achieving the ERIC status represents a valuable milestone, as highlighted in this article:

“It was a long time in the making! This achievement signifies an enormous step forward for INFRAFRONTIER, and reinforces our dedication to advancing scientific cooperation and innovation on a broader European scale.”

The new ERICs work in different fields, thereby enhancing the ERIC community’s multidisciplinary nature.
INFRAFRONTIER explores the relationship between gene function and human diseases. It promotes access to cutting-edge global services and resources and advocates for animal welfare in biomedical research.
LOFAR is the largest and most sensitive radio telescope operating at low radio frequencies. It consists of antenna stations distributed across eight European countries, using powerful station-level computing to create a highly flexible and agile observing system.

Memorandum of Understanding

During the BE Presidency, ExBo Chair Antje Keppler and ACTRIS ERIC Director General Eija Juurola met to announce the signature of ACTRIS of the ERIC Forum Memorandum of Understanding, marking ACTRIS official entrance into the Forum and underlining its commitment to contributing to the development of the ERIC community.

“Joining the ERIC Forum marks a significant milestone for ACTRIS ERIC,” commented its Director General, Eija Juurola. “This collaboration fosters best practices and strengthens our collective efforts to address shared challenges.”


Eija Juurola (ACTRIS ERIC Director General) and Antje Keppler (Chair of the ERIC Forum)

ACTRIS is the fundamental Pan-European distributed Research Infrastructure for short-lived atmospheric constituents. With its high-quality observational and exploratory systems, ACTRIS offers comprehensive access services – virtual, hybrid, remote, and physical – to a diverse range of users. It provides scientifically robust data crucial for predicting, mitigating, and developing sustainable solutions for societal challenges, such as climate change and air pollution.

Growing Together

By expanding its community, and fostering collaborations, the ERICs and the ERIC Forum confirm their leading role in addressing Europe’s research and innovation challenges in all the different scientific fields. As ExBo Chair Antje Keppler remarked:

“ERICs combine their missions with addressing big challenges and serving as implementers of EU policy objectives.”

We congratulate our new members on these significant achievements and look forward to future enlargements of the ERIC network.