Who They Are
CERIC integrates and provides open access to some of the best facilities in Europe, to help science and industry advance in all fields of materials, biomaterials and nanotechnology. With a single entry point to some of the leading national research infrastructures in 8 European countries, it enables the delivery of innovative solutions to societal challenges in the fields of energy, health, food, cultural heritage and more.
Each Member country appoints one Representing Entity (RE), and contributes to CERIC by making available and supporting a high-quality Partner Facility. The Partner Facilities are strongly complementary to each other, allowing the integrated use of analytical and modification techniques based on microscopic probes for nano-level science and technology. Available methods include NMR, X-ray electron spectroscopy and light scattering, ion beam analysis, high-resolution electron microscopy, X-ray electron spectroscopy, materials’ analysis using synchrotron radiation and neutron beams.
Access to the facilities is open to researchers from all over the world through the submission of single- or multi-technique proposals to the two calls for proposals launched every year. A peer review evaluation system guarantees a competitive free access to the nearly 50 multi-probe techniques available. The only condition for free open access is publication of the results of the experiments.
Commercial users can also request access to CERIC, which is granted on market-based conditions.
The scientific quality of the infrastructure is ensured by the periodical evaluation of all laboratories by an international independent expert body, the International Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (ISTAC) of CERIC.
What They Do
CERIC’s main aim is to contribute to the creation of excellent science, both as in-house activity and as a service to international users. This is achieved mainly by providing open access to its research facilities through two calls for proposals per year, addressing researchers requiring the use of one or more complementary techniques for structural investigation, analysis, synthesis and imaging of materials and biomaterials down to the nano-scale. Between 2014 and 2017, 496 proposals were received from research groups coming from 40 countries worldwide. 324 proposals were selected for open access to the CERIC facilities, and the number of publications has significantly increased over the years.
To further contribute to scientific and technological output, mutual learning and integration of the facilities, CERIC supports four internal research projects, each involving at least two Partner Facilities. The three-year projects are implemented through joint co-funding of the involved parties, while the top-up is contributed from funds for strengthening CERIC, allocated by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research.
Training and education
CERIC promotes and supports training actions for students and researchers. Examples include the yearly participation in the Hercules School
on the use of Neutron and Synchrotron radiation, and the coordination of projects aiming at training perspective users on the possible uses of the instruments available in CERIC.
Projects such as PaGES
, Planning, Management and execution of a Scientific Experiment in an international research infrastructure, address high school pupils to get them closer to the scientific environment and give them an overview of the career paths available in a research infrastructure.
Mutual training practices carried out with managers and administrative personnel in different ERICs (among others, in the framework of the Accelerate
project) have fostered CERIC’s contribution to the development of policies, methodologies, funding plans and human resources elements of sustainability of research infrastructures, and of CERIC in particular.
CERIC-ERIC, contributes to European research and innovation, representing an added value for the development of the European Research Area (ERA) and to its innovation potential. It stimulates beneficial impact on the scientific, industrial and economic advancement by improving the quality and capability in education, technology and in the attraction of other socioeconomic returns.
Innovation and Development
CERIC collaborates with industry, contributing to science-driven innovation. It offers services for commercial users on market-based conditions, which include:
Research and Development (R&D)
Spin-off and start-up support
Learn more about the joint projects
between CERIC and industrial partners.