A new phase in the Belgian contribution to EMBRC, Europe’s ‘research infrastructure’ for marine biological resources. | Marine@Ugent

A new phase in the Belgian contribution to EMBRC, Europe’s ‘research infrastructure’ for marine biological resources.

EMBRC-ERIC  is a distributed European Research Infrastructure Cluster, which provides and supports large-scale and high-quality marine science in Europe. It was established to address Europe's challenges related to 3 priority research themes:

  • 1) Global change ecology and evolution, 
  • 2) Marine living resources and
  • 3) Ecosystem and human health.

With 9 members (Belgium, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the UK), the EMBRC-ERIC offers access to a portfolio of research platforms, biological resources, analytical services, training, expert advice and data, to users from academia to industry. The Belgian EMBRC consortium consists of 10 Flemish internationally renowned research units active in the field of marine biological resources, belonging to 4 operators (UGent (7 laboratories), KU Leuven, UHasselt and Flanders Marine Institute) and the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural sciences  an additional Federal operator. EMBRC provides access to marine biological research facilities, resources and services through a single entry-point, and guarantees the long-term maintenance of infrastructure supporting innovative marine biological research and its applications. International co-ordination catalyses research partnerships and fosters mobility of researchers between member states and between industry and academia, while streamlining workflows and training. As a knowledge and technology transfer platform, the EMBRC-ERIC spurs development of the blue economy by improving the conditions to valorise scientific results into a product or service.  By being part of EMBRC, Belgium remains on the front stage of the Blue Growth scenario. As a strategic focal point of the European Commission, seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy and have great potential for innovation and growth.

Through their expertise and facilities, built over decades of competitive research development, the Belgian EMBRC operators excel in specific domains of marine science (ecology, developmental biology, biodiversity, conservation, aquaculture, microbiology, genomics, lipidomics), and provide  unique expertise in the ERIC.  Furthermore, the combination of taxonomic excellence  (globally threatened through a lack of funding) for specific groups (protists, macro-algae, bacteria, invertebrates and fishes) and high-tech infrastructure (technology platforms, experimental facilities, cultures and biobanks) makes Flanders a key-contributor to EMBRC-ERIC. In addition, through the development of a fully operational Marine Training portal as a global access point for marine and maritime training information, and through the coordination of the International Master in Marine Biological Resources, an EMBRC flagship initiative and globally the largest international graduate program on Marine Bioresources, the consortium makes a substantial and indispensable contribution to the operation of the European network.


UGent contact persons: Prof Ann Vanreusel ( ) and EMBRC-Belgium: Marleen Roelofs ( ).