Euro-BioImaging’s Bio-Hub Director, Antje Keppler, has been selected by her peers to represent the Life Science research infrastructures (LS RIs - https://lifescience-ri.eu/home...) as part of the ERIC Forum Executive Board. Antje Keppler, who has been an active participant in the LS RI Strategy Board for over 10 years, and has worked closely with the Life Sciences’ cluster projects CORBEL and EOSC-Life on topics including transnational user access, Open Science and FAIR data, explains why it is an honor to have this role. She also shares her outlook at this crucial phase when the ERIC Forum is looking to gain sustainability.
“First, let me give you some background. In December of 2019, Euro-Bioimaging became an ERIC, or a European Research Infrastructure Consortium. With this important step, we formalized the statutes of our infrastructure, gave it the legal characteristics of a European RI, and secured our position in the European Research Area (ERA) landscape. Becoming an ERIC gave Euro-BioImaging the opportunity to join a community of 22 similarly organized research infrastructures, operating on a pan-European level.
The 23 ERICs are joining forces in the ERIC Forum Implementation project, better known as “ERIC Forum”. ERIC Forum plays a crucial role in communication and unification of the ERICs. As entities subject to the ERIC regulation, ERICs face profound challenges linked to their still young legal personality, complex funding situation and lack of sustainable commitment. Built on the European spirit of inclusivity, subsidiarity and compromise, they are complex structures in a multidimensional environment of quite diverse interests and too often unseen by their most important stakeholders, the European scientists.
Being a part of the ERIC Forum Executive Board, which implements the activities approved by the Forum Assembly and communicates with one voice with e.g. the European Commission and ESFRI on behalf of the ERICs, is a logical way for me to give back to this community we are so proud to be a part of. I am very honored to have been elected by my peers to represent the LS RIs, as one of seven representatives, and see this as an excellent opportunity to put more focus on our particular challenges as distributed research infrastructures and make our voice heard.
As member of the Executive Board, I am closely listening to and working with the LS RIs for identifying opportunities for ERICs in the light of a newly strengthened ERA and its governance, and together with all ERICs move towards securing sustainable funding for ERIC Forum.”
View the composition of the ERIC Forum Executive Board: https://www.eric-forum.eu/2021/01/27/eric-forum-executive-board/