The ENVironmental Research Infrastructures meets on a periodic basis in a dedicated board called until last week BEERi. This board was created as a unique point of meeting of the Environmental RIs, a forum for discussion since 2011 for the ENVRI cluster.

In addition to participation in the series of EU-funded ENVRI projects, such as ENVRI FAIR, ENVRI Hub, ENVRINNOV…, we used to discuss our common challenges to find common solutions, adopting common strategies for engaging with selected activities and opportunities.

The meeting of the 21-23 of May held in Belgium. Organised as a retreat, the meeting was dedicated to keep the focus on one single topic: its strategy, including its role and purpose,  its restructuration and membership. An excellent facilitator guided the debates and discussion for 2 days. The BEERI died and the ENVRI Board was born with a revisited organisation and plans for the future. 


Why? Flash Back and background 

In July 2023, the coordinators of several new Horizon Europe projects requested to become members of the Board of European Environmental Research Infrastructures (BEERi). Created in connection with the first ENVRI project (2011–2014), BEERi was initially designed as the place for soon-to-become RIs to exchange on common needs and challenges. The first environmental RI to become an ERIC (Euro-Argo) was established in 2014.

With the following ENVRIPLUS (2015–2019) project, many other types of organisations, associations, networks or research projects were associated with the activities of BEERi. The purpose was to sustain a forum for the ENVRI Community at large, providing support and advice between entities at different stages of their development. With the ENVRI-FAIR (2019–2023), many previous partners were no longer part of the cluster project that had been designed only for ESFRI Landmarks and Projects, but the decision was made to keep BEERi open to all members.

This has led to the current BEERi that includes 26 organisations with very different purposes, legal status and levels of maturity. In recent months, with the end of ENVRI-FAIR and no following cluster project, some uncertainty arose about the role and missions of BEERi in a significantly transformed landscape. This led to the decision taken in the July 2023 meeting to pause any new membership in BEERi until a deeper reflection could be carried out on its strategic role. For this purpose, it was suggested to organise an internal seminar.

More to come when minutes of the meeting will be available.


Authors: Valentina Tegas and Ingrid Puillat, EMSO ERIC