Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Coordinating European research excellence [Print to PDF] [Print to RTF]

Top quality research is only possible through cross-border coordination and cooperation. This concept has long been the driving force behind EU R&D policy, and is a central theme of Horizon 2020, the EU's new €70 billion research and innovation programme, which kicks off in 20...
Coordinating European research excellence
Top quality research is only possible through cross-border coordination and cooperation. This concept has long been the driving force behind EU R&D policy, and is a central theme of Horizon 2020, the EU's new €70 billion research and innovation programme, which kicks off in 2014.

By enabling cross-border research to flourish, the EU aims to be the most attractive and successful destination for world-class researchers. The recent launch of a public database of Europe's finest scientific research facilities will play a key role in making this a reality.

The MERIL (Mapping of the European Research Infrastructure Landscape) database aims to provide a comprehensive inventory of high quality research infrastructures in Europe across all scientific domains, accessible through an interactive online portal. It will provide a clearer picture of Europe's existing scientific capacities and foster collaboration amongst the European scientific community by compiling information on high quality facilities and projects.

By doing so, MERIL will better inform policy makers about the deployment of science funding, and help scientists locate and access the most appropriate equipment and services to support their research. The portal could also help institutions to identify suitable collaborators in order to put forward funding tenders. In effect, the new database will go some way to identifying research gaps and encourage greater collaboration.

The knock-on effect will be that Europe's scientific research capacity will be much improved, leading to new discoveries that will both benefit citizens and businesses. The portal will also stimulate discussion among policy-makers and research funders on research infrastructure funding and joint investment, and support the exchange of expertise and best practice among research infrastructure coordinators.

Research infrastructures indexed in the MERIL portal have been identified as being of high quality and of "greater than national relevance". They are required to offer access to external scientific users, both nationally and internationally. MERIL will remain continuously open to research infrastructures that meet the criteria for inclusion.

The development of MERIL has been the result of a pan-European multi-stakeholder effort co-ordinated by the European Science Foundation (ESF). Begun in 2010, the project has benefitted from EU funding along with significant input from ESF member organisations, including the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). It was officially launched at the Lithuanian EU Council Presidency Conference "Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities" in Vilnius on 24 September 2013.

The ESF coordinates collaboration in research, networking and funding of international research programmes. It also carries out strategic and science policy activities at the European level. Membership is made up of 67 national research funding agencies, societies and academies across 29 countries.
//CPA For more information, please visit:

MERIL
http://portal.meril.eu

Project factsheet
http://cordis.europa.eu/projects/rcn/96986_en.html

ESF
http://www.esf.org
Source: European Science Foundation

Related information

Record Number: 36100 / Last updated on: 2013-09-25
Category: Project
Provider: EC