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DNA Helix

Cofund on Biotechnologies

Innovation for Europe – life science meets market application

European Research Infrastructure and European Research Services

Biotechnology research is multidisciplinary and relies on the availability of various facilities and services. Today, the European biotechnology community can utilise a large variety of Research Infrastructures and Research Services, spanning the whole breadth of the biotechnology sector and beyond.

European Research Infrastructure (RI) is coordinated by ESFRI, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructure. ESFRI was launched in 2002 and aims to support a coherent and strategy-led approach to policy-making on research infrastructures in Europe. In addition, ESFRI intends to facilitate multilateral initiatives leading to the better use and development of research infrastructures at a European and international level. The ESFRI Delegates are representatives from EU member and associated states, and the European Commission who are nominated for two years.

ESFRI maintains Strategy Working Groups in Energy, Health & Food, Environment, Social & Cultural Innovation, and Physical Sciences & Engineering, which have been publishing a Roadmap on Research Infrastructures since 2006. Roadmap is updated regularly and the most recent was published in 2018 (

European RI is established and operated by the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), which provides the legal framework for the RI.

There are currently seven distributed infrastructures which are relevant to biotechnology:

NameLocationService providedAccess
EMBRC - European Marine Biological Resource Centre
Partners in: BE, FR, GR, IL, IT, NO, PT, ES, UK Support for basic and applied marine biology and ecology research.
  • Biological resources
  • Ecosystem access
  • Experimental facilities
  • Technology platforms
  • Training, education, expert advice
  • E-infrastructure, data and services
Key areas:
  • Marine biodiversity & ecosystem function
  • Developmental biology & evolution
  • Marine products & resources
  • Biomedical science
Access request by contacting the respective partner organisation
EU-OPENSCREEN - European Infrastructure of Open Screening Platform for Chemical Biology
Berlin, DE Support for all aspects of chemical biology.
  • High-throughput screening against dedicated compound library
  • Assay development/chemical synthesis
  • Bio-profiling/in vivo studies
  • Training
Assay & compound providers (academia & commercial sector); projects selected on basis of scientific excellence, novelty and impact
ISBE - Infrastructure for Systems Biology Europe
Partners in: CZ, FI, DE, GR, IE, IT, NO, NL, SI, ES, SE, UK Support for systems biology through national SysBio centres.
  • Modelling of biological systems
  • Stewardship and standardisation
Access through a central web portal for academic & non-academic sector
MIRRI - Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure
Partners in: BE, CZ, DK, FI, FR, DE, GR, HU, IT, LV, NL, PL, PT, RO, RU, SK, ES, SE, UK Support for academia & bio-industry.
  • Facilitated access to & broad coverage of genetic resources
  • Legal advice
  • Data management
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Tailored service
Access to participating microbial domain Biological Resource Centres
ELIXIR - A distributed infrastructure for life-science information
Partners in: BE, CZ, DK, EE, FI, FR, DE, GR, IE, IL, IT, LU, NL, NO, PT, SI, ES, SE, CH, UK Coordination of life science resources across Europe
  • Services
  • Platforms
  • Communities
Dependent on user needs
INSTRUCT - The Integrated Structural Biology Infrastructure
Partners in: BE, CZ, DK, FR, IL, IT, NL, NO, PT, SK, ES, UK Support for all levels of structural biology. Access available to researchers from Instruct member countries (subject to peer review); basic research funded by INSTRUCT, fees for commercial users
IBISBA - Industrial Biotechnology Innovation and Synthetic Biology Accelerator
Partners in BE, FR, FI, IT, DE, GR, NL, ES, UK Support for IB and SynBio:
  • Experimental & in silico facilities
  • Project management
Transnational access through regular calls

Biotechnology research is a multidisciplinary sector that requires input from various other fields.

Data management, communication & dissemination and the inclusion of Responsible Research and Innovation, to name a few, are key components of the modern scientific environment and cannot always be performed by just one research group.

Over the last few years, often with the help of the EC, several services have been established to help the biotechnology community with these extracurricular activities.

NameService providedAccess
Data & model management service facility for Systems Biology
  • Data collection, management, storage & publication
  • Modelling and operating procedures
  • Pool of experts, training & community events
Access for individuals & organisations
RRI tools
Support in Responsible Research and Innovation for all actors
  • Tailored information for variety of stakeholders
  • Community contacts
  • Tools for implementing RRI
  • RRI Training
Free access (registration for increased functions)
Enabling faster knowledge-transfer in the bioeconomy sector
  • Knowledge Portal
  • Archive of webinars and blogs
Free access through website
Novel cluster model to bring KEY ENABLING BIOTECHNOLOGY research closer to markets and society
  • Dedicated social media platform (Cluster Hub)
  • Brokerage events to meet new cooperation partners (academic & non-academic)
  • Webinars & online working groups on biotechnology sectors
  • Project evaluation by KETBIO Commercial Committee and technology transfer specialists
Free access for individuals
European IPR Helpdesk
Cross-border support for SME and research activities to manage, disseminate and valorize technologies, other Intellectual Property (IP) Rights and IP assets
  • IP issues helpline
  • Newsletter & bulletin
  • Online library for fact sheets, case studies, guides and informative materials
  • Free webinars
  • Training events
Free access (registration required)
Forum for EU action in the bioeconomy, food and environmental sector Free access
Support platform/online database for public-public partnerships (P2P) under H2020 Free access