On 1 April 2019, the European evaluation agencies HCÉRES (France), ANVUR (Italy) and AEI (Spain) signed a framework agreement to cooperate in the evaluation of European research infrastructures, thus establishing the ERIEC (European Research Infrastructure Evaluation Consortium).
The initiative to set up the ERIEC emerged from the evaluation obligation placed upon European research infrastructures with ERIC status (European Research Infrastructure Consortium), of which there are 20 today in various scientific disciplines.
For its first mission, ERIEC will be evaluating the ECRIN-ERIC (European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network) a European network of research centres for the development and implementation of multinational clinical trials. Based on the European standards, the evaluation will be organised in two key stages: a self-evaluation conducted by the ECRIN-ERIC followed by an external evaluation, including a site visit, by a panel of international experts selected by the ERIEC consortium. The final evaluation report will be available at the end of 2019.
Operating at the request of ERIC infrastructures, the ERIEC consortium offers them an evaluation system based on international and European best practice in quality assurance. Supporting the development of a European research strategy, the ERIEC invites any European evaluation agencies that might be interested to join the consortium and take part in these joint evaluations of European research infrastructures, whether with ERIC status or not.
ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) infrastructures
A tool developed by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), the ERIC consortium is a specific legal form that facilitates the establishment and operation of research infrastructures of European interest. Governed by European regulation EC 723/2009 of 25 June 2009, the ERIC permits the establishment and operation of new or existing research infrastructures on a non-commercial basis.
Hcéres (High Council for the Evaluation of Research and Higher Education, France)
Hcéres is the independent administrative body responsible for evaluating all higher education and research entities in France (clusters, institutions/bodies, research entities, doctoral schools, study programmes), as well as approving the evaluation procedures implemented by other organisations. Through its analyses, evaluations and recommendations, Hcéres accompanies, advises and supports the process of continuously improving the quality of higher education and research in France. Hcéres is a member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and is listed in the EQAR European register.
ANVUR (Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes – Italy)
ANVUR is an independent public body which, among its various tasks, oversees the quality evaluation system for universities and research bodies in Italy. It is responsible for the quality assessment of the activities carried out by universities and research institutes, recipients of public funding. It is also entrusted with steering the Independent Evaluation Units’ activities, and with assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of public funding programmes or incentive programmes for research and innovation activities. The Agency may adopt the most appropriate evaluation criteria and methods to identify universities’ strengths and weaknesses, according to national and international standard. ANVUR has been an affiliate of ENQA since 2013 and is applying for ENQA membership and for registration on EQAR. The evaluation is scheduled to finish in April 2019.
AEI (Agencia Estatal de Investigación – Spain)
The Spanish State Research Agency is a public law entity attached to the Ministry for Science, Research and Innovation through the auspices of the Secretariat of State for Science, Innovation and Universities.
The AEI purpose is to finance, evaluate and track scientific and technical research activities intended to generate, exchange and exploit knowledge, as fostered by the Central State Government. The AEI may act on either its own initiative or together with other Spanish Administrations or entities or with other countries and international bodies.
- Hcéres: Caroline Cordier – firstname.lastname@example.org – +33 (0)1 55 55 61 63
- ANVUR: Marco Albanesi – email@example.com