New world-class laboratories open to EU researchers

Scientists could now rely on fascilities in Petten, Karlsruhe and Geel

Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre

Researchers from across Europe will now have even more opportunities to use the Joint Research Centre's state-of-the-art facilities. After a first round of the open access initiative, in which nearly 100 eligible proposals were received from 92 research institutions, further laboratories of the Commission's in-house science and knowledge service are now available to external scientists.

They will now also be able to run experiments on zero emission energy solutions and nuclear safety. 

"The Joint Research Centre uses EU-funded, world-class facilities to help us tackle the most pressing challenges of our time, from climate change to food safety and nuclear security. I am very pleased that we are now doing even more to support others striving to solve societal problems by sharing our laboratories and facilities with bright scientists from all over Europe," Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre, said.

The latest opening of facilities follows a successful first two years of sharing the JRC's research infrastructure, with 12 completed projects and over 30 ongoing. Since the Joint Research Centre (JRC) first opened its facilities in 2017, scientists from 21 EU and 3 neighbouring countries have been running experiments in 12 of the JRC's laboratories in Geel (Belgium), Ispra (Italy) and Karlsruhe (Germany).

The initiative is now being extended to Petten (the Netherlands), home to the JRC's energy and transport research laboratories. Two facilities dedicated to developing hydrogen fuel technologies are now open there. The JRC is also opening two state-of-the-art laboratories designed for research on actinide materials in Karlsruhe. Actinide elements are the backbone of nuclear technologies, such as energy, space exploration or medical treatments. From September, the JRC will also make accessible several of its European facilities for nuclear reaction and decay data measurements in Geel.

With this initiative, the JRC aims to boost scientific research and competitiveness as well as increasing cooperation between European researchers. Researchers from EU countries and countries associated with the Horizon 2020 research programme are invited to apply before 30 September.

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