On 1 April 2019, the European evaluation agencies HCÉRES (France), ANVUR (Italy) and AEI (Spain) signed a framework agreement to cooperate in the evaluation of European research infrastructures, thus establishing the ERIEC (European Research Infrastructure Evaluation Consortium).
The initiative to set up the ERIEC emerged from the evaluation obligation placed upon European research infrastructures with ERIC status (European Research Infrastructure Consortium), of which there are twenty existing today in various scientific fields.
For its first action, ERIEC will be evaluating the ECRIN-ERIC (European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network) a European network of research centres for the development and implementation of multinational clinical trials. Based on the European standards, the evaluation will be organised in two key stages: a self-evaluation conducted by the ECRIN-ERIC followed by an external evaluation, including a site visit, by a panel of international experts selected by the ERIEC consortium. The final evaluation report will be available at the end of 2019.
Operating at the request of ERIC infrastructures, the ERIEC consortium offers them an evaluation system based on international and European best practices in quality assurance. Supporting the development of a European research strategy, the ERIEC invites any European evaluation agencies that might be interested, to join the consortium and take part in these joint evaluations of European research infrastructures, whether with ERIC status or not.
ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) infrastructures
A tool developed by the European Commission in concertation with the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), the ERIC is a specific legal form that facilitates the establishment and operation of research infrastructures of European interest. Governed by European regulation EC 723/2009 of 25 June 2009, the ERIC allows the establishment and operation of new or existing research infrastructures on a non-commercial basis.