Project to map
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Project to ‘map’ research infrastructures

A comprehensive database of 900 EU research infrastructures has been created to allow scientists access to a wide-range of resources, services and facilities.

‘Mapping of the European Research Infrastructure Landscape’ (MERIL-2) builds on previous phases of MERIL, initiated in 2010. Now, with renewed funding from Horizon 2020 and an expanded team, the new three-year MERIL-2 project will provide the means for making informed assessments and decisions about the research infrastructure landscape in Europe and to encourage accessibility, new partnerships and collaborations within the scientific community.

Inclusion in the MERIL database is not limited by size or profile, with the portal covering facilities that provide access to European and international users, ranging from specialised university laboratories and historical archives, to biobanks and experiments at large establishments.

MERIL-2 will expand the coverage of research infrastructures included in the database and improve the depth and accuracy of the information held on them. The usability of the portal is also being developed through improved functionality and standardised data sets.

The MERIL database aims to enable individual research infrastructures to raise their profile and foster a greater sense of openness and partnership across Europe, while allowing scientists to access resources, services and facilities they may have previously been unaware of.

Ana Helman, MERIL co-ordinator at the European Science Foundation (ESF), said: “The original MERIL project was widely recognised as a valuable initiative, however in practice it faced a number of significant challenges and limitations. Now with renewed resources, an expanded team and having learnt from previous efforts, we believe MERIL-2 will realise the potential that such an initiative has to connect and inform the policy and research communities.”