ERIC Forum builds on achievements during 2020 and re-confirms Womersley and Ussi as Chairs

EU-OPENSCREEN Director General, Wolfgang Fecke, will continue to support the work of the Executive Board for the life sciences cluster, Franciska de Jong, Executive Director, CLARIN ERIC, for the social sciences and humanities cluster and Juan Miguel González Aranda, Chief Technical Officer, LifeWatchERIC, for the environment cluster.

The leadership group that led the ERIC Forum through 2020 has been reconfirmed, following the results of the ERIC Forum internal election process, published on the 26thJanuary 2021 in occasion of the ERIC Forum Annual Meeting. John Womersley (ESS) and Anton Ussi (EATRIS) will lead the Forum for another year,following a complex year for research infrastructures, marked by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the development of the next European multiannual financial framework.

Bringing together 21 leading European Research InfrastructuresConsortia (ERICs), the ERIC Forum is one of the leading science policy voices in Europe, representing a sector (research infrastructures) that is crucial to provide high level services to European researchers and make science and innovationpossible. In 2020, the ERIC Forum was instrumental in increasing visibility for the services that each ERIC can provide to researchers involved in the fight against COVID-19. In parallel, the ERIC Forum remained the main contact point for several European stakeholders during the negotiation of the EU multiannual financial framework (MFF) and its impact on the development and maturity of research infrastructures, in particular concerning the final outlook of Horizon Europe, the world largest research and development funding scheme.

The 2021 elections, held online during the month of January, showed a strong support by the vast majority of ERICs, providing Dr Womersley and Dr Ussi a strong support to fulfil their mandate for 2021.The Chairs are responsible for the strategic planning of the Forum, and coordinate external relations with the European Commission, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), and other stakeholders.