Anton Ussi, EATRIS Operations & Finance Director, elected Vice-Chair of the ERIC Forum

Published 19 February 2020

The ERIC Forum, which brings together 21 leading European Research Infrastructures, has a new leadership. The aim of the ERIC Forum is to advance operations of ERICs and to strategically contribute to the development of ERIC-related policies. The new Chair is John Womersley (Director General, European Spallation Source ERIC), and he will work together with the new Vice Chair Anton Ussi (Operations and Finance Director, EATRIS-ERIC).

The Chairs are responsible for the strategic planning of the Forum, and coordinate external relations with the European Commission, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), and other stakeholders.
The new Chairs were elected by the ERIC Forum Assembly and will remain in office for one year. The Chairs are supported in their work by three other members of the Executive Board, each representing a specific scientific cluster:
• Franciska de Jong, Executive Director, CLARIN ERIC, for the social sciences cluster
• Wolfgang Fecke, Director General, EU-OPENSCREEN, for the life sciences cluster
• Juan Miguel González Aranda, Chief Technical Officer, LifeWatch ERIC, for the environment cluster


Quote from John Womersley, newly elected ERIC Forum Chair:

“2020 is a year of opportunities. Policy at the EU level is advancing rapidly as the new Commission finds its footing on several key files that will be
extremely relevant for research infrastructures: Horizon Europe’s novel mission and challenge-led approach; the European Research Area’s “new
narrative”; the European Open Science Cloud – just to mention some. All ERICs must work together to secure their relevance in the emerging European science landscape. The ERIC Forum is the right platform – first and foremost to evaluate how the ERIC regulation is being implemented.”


Quote from Anton Ussi, newly elected ERIC Forum Vice Chair:

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to work closely with the ERIC community at such a critical moment in the EU. Closer cooperation will
allow us to jointly overcome the challenges and share the opportunities to serve the European Research Area better. The wealth of experience and expertise residing within the individual Members of the ERIC Forum is an invaluable source of knowledge and facilitating efficient exchange of best practices both internally and with our key stakeholders should remain our priority.”

Background Information

What is an ERIC?

The community legal framework for a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) is a specific legal form to facilitate the establishment and operation of research infrastructures with European interest. Among others, it provides a legal capacity recognised in all EU Member States, a faster process than creating an international organisation, and exemptions from VAT and excise duty.

What is the ERIC Forum?

The ERIC Forum brings together all European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERICs). The ERIC Forum aims to provides information, best practices and potential solutions to challenges which ERICs can face in the preparation phase or throughout the implementation of the ERIC Regulation. The ERIC Forum is
also a consultation body for EU policies related to Research Infrastructures. It centralises the type of challenges that ERICs face in this regard and the potential solutions which are being implemented.

More information is available on the ERIC Forum website: or contact us at:

ERIC Forum has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N. 823798.